Meeting MU eligibility requirements will be a challenge for doc practices

While a majority of medical practices (80 percent) that have adopted electronic health records (EHRs) say they intend to participate in the EHR Meaningful Use incentives, only 13.6 percent at the current time indicate that they are able to meet all 15 core criteria for eligibility to receive those payments, according to a new survey and report from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Overall, the type of practice ownership may affect EHR adoption, said MGMA, which surveyed 4,588 healthcare organizations nationwide. The data represented the aggregate experience of more than 120,000 physicians in medical practices.

When MGMA looked at the degree of implementation nationwide, it found notable contrasts between independent medical practices and those owned by hospitals or integrated delivery systems (IDS): For instance, almost 20 percent of responding independent medical practices that owned EHRs said they had optimized their uses of EHRs. Only 8.8 percent of responding hospital- or IDS-owned practices with EHRs said they had optimized their EHR use.

In addition, almost half (48 percent) of independent practices with an EHR were now focused on optimizing its use. Just slightly more than 41 percent of IDS- or hospital-owned practices with an EHR were now focused on optimizing its use. Just under 20 percent of independent practices with EHRs were still in the beginning or implementation stage, compared with 33 percent of the IDS practices with EHRs.

Interest in qualifying for EHR incentives was high among the respondents who are currently using paper medical records, with nearly 29 percent saying that they were in the process of selecting an EHR system. Within this segment, three-fourths (75 percent) have indicated that they eventually intend to particate in the incentive program.

For more information:
- see MGMA study
- view the Government Health IT article
- see Becker's Hospital Review article

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