CMS releases vendor-specific stage 2 attestation data

On the heels of releasing general data on meaningful use stage 2 attestations, CMS updates data set with vendor specificity.

CMS released an unusual intra-quarter EHR Incentive Program data set that breaks out meaningful stage 2 attestations by vendor name. Athenahealth, Inc. grabbed a majority of stage 2 eligible provider attestations. Epic Systems Corp. was a distant second, with Practice Fusion, Inc. coming in close behind Epic.

The data is usually issued quarterly, but CMS refreshed data current to the end of May, adding company names. The agency previously had said the first detailed stage 2 information would likely be out in mid-July and it would reflect the full second quarter data.

While stage 2 will stretch on for several years, this initial data set is of particular interest. Physicians and hospitals lobbied for relief earlier this year because they claimed certain vendors' lateness in achieving meaningful use certification put their incentive payments in jeopardy. CMS acceded by saying it would grant hardship exceptions when a provider or hospital could prove its case.

No eligible provider (EP) using one of Cerner Corp.'s EHRs has attested yet, but the vendor leads among eligible hospitals (EHs), accounting for 27 attestations out of a total of 33, according to the CMS data.

Through May 31, CMS received a total of 485 EP attestations and 33 EH attestations.

Among EPs, athenahealth turned in 287, or about 59% of the attestations. Practice Fusion, another cloud vendor, took another 15% -- giving cloud-based companies some 75% of all EP attestations.

Cerner and eClinicalWorks LLC were not yet represented on the EP side of stage 2 attestation. They did not immediately respond to several requests for comment for this story. EClinicalWorks has accounted for nearly 36,000 stage 1 payments so far.

Athenahealth advocated for the immediate public release of the attestation data by vendor name, arguing that it would be more transparent and help create a clearer competitive arena. Furthermore, their executives advocate CMS release data on which vendors' customers will need the hardship exceptions.

"I'm glad they finally did it and to see what's shaking out. Epic, considering their market share, should have way more," Matthew Hoenigsberg, athenahealth product marketing manager, said, referring to the eligible provider statistics. "It's surprising to see NextGen not on there, Allscripts not on there, Cerner not on there."

Elizabeth West, spokeswoman for HIMSS' EHR Association, said the group had no position on athena's call for CMS to release vendor names as well as numbers, but "it's kind of interesting to watch."

"It's very competitive information," West said.

But Hoenigsberg maintained that CMS should always break out all the data, including the identity of vendor firms.

"If this is a taxpayer-funded program, that this absolutely should be public data," he said. "But we're over the moon that they've finally released the data."

EP vendor rankings:

  1. athenahealth, Inc., 287 payment attestations
  2. Epic Systems, Corp., 97
  3. Practice Fusion, Inc., 75
  4. gMed, Inc., 22
  5. Vitera Healthcare Solutions, LLC, 1
  6. Acumen Physician Solutions, 1
  7. HealthFusion, Inc., 1
  8. Insight Software, LLC, 1

EH vendor rankings -- one hospital can account for multiple attestations:

  1. Cerner, 27
  2. Meditech, Inc., 2
  3. CPSI, 2
  4. Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., 1
  5. McKesson Corp., 1

Let us know what you think about the story; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writer, or contact @SSutner on Twitter.

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