Participation in the Meaningful Use incentive program continues to increase, with more than 425,000 active registrations of eligible professionals and eligible hospitals. Overall, 325,000 unique providers have been paid incentives representing more than $16.5 billion in payouts, according to an article in Government Health IT.
The article, reporting on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's Nov. 6 Health IT Policy Committee meeting, also relayed that 91 percent of U.S. hospitals have registered for the Meaningful Use program, and that about 83 percent of them have received an incentive payment. Roughly 56 percent of eligible professionals are meaningful users of their EHRs, and 61 percent of all eligible Medicare providers are non-primary care physicians. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also expects more registrations, and to dole out more incentive payments, according to Rob Anthony, deputy director of CMS e-Standards and Services.
Despite the rising figures, there remains a growing concern about the apparent disparity between the providers who are registered and those who have successfully attested. Several studies have found that attestation varies significantly by type of provider and geographic region, with teaching, urban and for profit hospitals more likely than small, rural hospitals to have met the requirements.
CMS also has found that while 70 percent of community health centers use an EHR, a mere 9 percent have met the program's requirements.