The number of eligible professionals and hospitals that have attested to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program increased slightly in July, according to the latest CMS data, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 8/6).
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
The new data follows a proposal released in May by CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to give providers an additional year to upgrade EHR systems to meet reporting requirements for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program.
The agencies noted that the proposed timeline change came in response to stakeholder feedback about needing more flexibility. The proposed rule acknowledges that many software vendors have had difficulty upgrading their EHR products, receiving certification and upgrading customers’ systems in time to attest to the meaningful use program.
The proposed rule would change:
- The meaningful use timeline;
- The definition of certified EHR technology; and
- Requirements for the reporting of clinical quality measures for 2014 (iHealthBeat, 7/9).
Latest Attestation Figures
On Wednesday, Elisabeth Myers of CMS’ Office of eHealth Standards and Services told Health IT Policy Committee members that as of Aug. 1:
5,365 eligible professionals, 955 of which are new participants, have attested to meaningful use for the 2014 reporting period; and
322 eligible hospitals, 131 of which are new, have attested for the 2014 reporting period (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 8/7).
Of those, the data show that:
- 1,898 eligible professionals attested to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, up from 972 who had attested as of the end of June; and
- 78 eligible hospitals have attested to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, up from 10 who had attested as of the end of June (Sullivan, Healthcare IT News, 8/7).
Meanwhile, Myers noted that as of the end of June:
- 95% of eligible hospitals have registered for the program, with 92% receiving at least one incentive payment; and
- 89% of eligible professionals have registered for the program, with 75% receiving at least one incentive payment.
In total, the program has paid out $24.7 billion in incentives, according to Modern Healthcare (Modern Healthcare, 8/6).