Few hospitals meet all core measures for meaningful use

Hospitals seem to be a long way from meeting Stage 1 "meaningful use" requirements for Medicare Part A's 2011 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, if the preliminary results of a HIMSS Analytics survey are to be believed.

According to HIMSS Analytics, just 22 percent of the 687 hospitals surveyed currently meet 10 or more core measures (and 9.6 percent have at least 12 measures checked off). A plurality of 34 percent are capable of achieving five to nine of the measures, while 22 percent say they can only meet one to four of the requirements. That leaves 22 percent unable to comply with any of the required elements.

CMS requires hospitals to comply with 14 core measures in the Stage 1 criteria, which cover 2011 and 2012, though the HIMSS survey only covers 12 of those points. HIMSS Analytics added questions on meaningful use to its annual survey of U.S. hospitals prior to the July release of the final rules for the Medicare and Medicaid EMR incentive program.

CMS also has a "menu" of 10 additional measures, from which providers must choose five to meet during Stage 1. (HHS officials have said the menu items will become mandatory in Stage 2 and beyond.) According to HIMSS Analytics, 40 percent of survey respondents are able to achieve at least five menu items. Another 16 percent are ready for three or four of the measures and 11 percent can only meet one or two of the optional items. That means that a full third of hospitals surveyed don't believe they are currently able to achieve even one of the menu items.

The HIMSS Analytics survey includes questions on eight of the menu measures. HIMSS Analytics says it will issue quarterly updates on meaningful use, including all of the criteria, starting in January. The preliminary data have a 99 percent confidence level and a margin of error of 5 percent, according to the HIMSS research subsidiary.

For more:
- have a look at this InformationWeek story
- see this HIMSS Analytics press release