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Meaningful use stage 2 attestation numbers remain anemic

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) released the most recent monthly status report with updated meaningful use attestation data, and health IT observers who are hopeful for a boost in stage 2 participants will be disappointed.

The data shows that through July, the total number of active registrations totaled 487,866, and the total amount paid in incentives was $24,873,262,183. More than 92% of Eligible Hospitals (EHs) have received an EHR incentive payment CMS programs, but most were still in stage 1.

Some 90% of eligible providers (EPs) have also registered for the EHR incentive programs and 75% of them have made a financial commitment to implement EHRs. More than 400,000 Medicare and Medicaid EPs have received an EHR incentive payment. Out of the 8,024 who have attested for the 2014 reporting year so far, 136 of them are new participants and only 143 of them attested to stage 2. For the 2014 reporting year, 8,024 EPs have attested, 136 of them are new participants and 143 attested to stage 2.

With less than 17% of the nation’s hospitals and 2% of EPs demonstrating stage 2 capabilities thus far, healthcare leaders from numerous physician and health IT associations are pushing for CMS to shorten the reporting period in 2015.

“If CMS continues to require a full-year of Meaningful Use reporting for 2015, we anticipate that large segments of providers will no longer be able to participate in the program-which hinders our nation’s ability to improve the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access to care,” said Carla Smith, Executive Vice President of the Health Information Management Systems Society.

A group of provider organizations is pressuring CMS to shorten the reporting period as well. The coalition of provider organizations also argues that allowing more flexibility on the Transitions of Care measure as well as the View, Download and Transmit measure would help improve incentive program participation.

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