The Year That Was Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use - EHR IncentivesA Meaningful Year for Meaningful Use

It was a big year for meaningful use with the release of Stage 2 MU requirements, Stage 1 meaningful use audits beginning and pressures to create EHR payment oversight.

In November the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled “Is ‘Meaningful Use’ Delivering Meaningful Results?: An Examination of Health  Information Technology Standards and Interoperability.”  The hearing examined the progress on the development and implementation of health IT. Read Brian Ahier’s post giving an overview of the hearing and his thoughts.

In mid-December the ONC released a data brief that supports the large upward national trend of EHR adoption. Three researchers from the ONC’s Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling took a closer look into the data released from the annual EHR survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).  The results of their research can be found in this data brief Physician Adoption of Electronic Health Record Technology to Meet Meaningful Use Objectives: 2009-2012.

Patient engagement had a big year too, in part due to Stage 2 meaningful use requirements. The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) helped sort out this issue for us with the release of its Patient Engagement Framework. The framework supports healthcare organizations in developing and improving their patient engagement strategies in a health IT environment and how these strategies align with each stage of meaningful use.

We had a busy year ourselves with Roberta Mullin dissecting the various components and changes the final rule for  Stage 2 meaningful use will bring. And Jim Tate spent time addressing the audit issue. You can read his two-part post here.

It was the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that had the last word though with the release of  EHR incentive payment numbers year to date through November. To date for the programs overall, CMS had paid out over $9.3 billion in incentives to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals attesting to meeting Stage 1 meaningful use. The general breakdown is as follows:

Registrations through 11/30/12

  • Medicare Eligible Professionals – 231,166
  • Medicaid Eligible Professionals – 104,731
  • Eligible Hospitals – 4,193

EHR Incentive Payments through 11/30/12

Meaningful Use - EHR Incentives