HIMSS Analytics: Confidence in Stage 3 MU dropping among ambulatory providers

Although more ambulatory providers are adopting EHRs, more than half of them have not successfully attested to Meaningful Use Stage 2, and the confidence level for meeting Stage 3 is dwindling, according to the HIMSS Analytics' sixth annual  ambulatory PM and EHR study.

The study surveyed 563 IT executives from free standing and hospital-owned ambulatory facilities. It found that only 25.7 percent of free standing and 36.2 percent of hospital owned ones had successfully attested to Stage 2.

"Those attesting to Stage 1 is pretty high. Stage 2 is a bit more complex," Brendan FitzGerald, Director of Research for HIMSS Analytics, told FierceEMR in an exclusive interview. "They're not necessarily up to speed regarding how these solutions best maximize to meet the criteria."

Providers also appear concerned that Stage 3 will be even more daunting, with confidence levels in meeting the criteria dipping from about 33 percent  in 2012 to about 25 percent in 2014.

"The criteria is scaring them a little," FitzGerald said. "They know they have a long road ahead of them."

The study additionally found that providers were more focused on meeting the Meaningful Use criteria than getting into accountable care organizations, with only 24.5 percent of providers having a defined plan regarding joining one. Forty-five percent did have plans to join a health information exchange.

Not surprisingly, hospital-owned ambulatory providers were much more likely to join both types of organizations.    

The report dovetails with those of other recent studies revealing that ambulatory providers are continue to run into challenges with Meaningful Use and are still not fully embracing them. Just 25 percent of ambulatory providers believe that EHRs and Meaningful Use are having a positive impact on patient care.

To learn more:
- read HIMSS' announcement