ONC lauds state Meaningful Use efforts

Maine, Ohio and Kentucky all are spotlighted for "meaningful" Meaningful Use efforts in a recent post to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's Health IT Buzz blog. The post comes on the heels of state-by-state rankings on health IT progress, unveiled by ONC this week.

In Maine, more than 80 percent of patients are electronically sharing their healthcare information with providers, while in Ohio, more than 40 percent of providers participating in the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative and state Beacon Community efforts have achieved Meaningful Use. In the Bluegrass State, rural healthcare providers already have pocketed $115 million in Meaningful Use incentive payments.

"A number of states demonstrate that with innovative strategies and commitment, accelerating Meaningful Use among hospitals and providers is achievable," ONC project officers Fadesola Adetosoye, Brett Andriesen and Paul Klintworth said.

Maine, according to ONC's rankings, boasted the largest percentage of providers who received payments under Medicare or Medicaid across the board between June and October of this year. As of October, 42 percent of the state's physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants had received a Meaningful Use Medicare or Medicaid incentive payment, while all of the state's hospitals had received such incentives. Delaware also had high percentages of providers who had received such payments, with 91 percent of physicians, NPs and PAs, and 100 percent of hospitals earning incentive dollars.

On the flip side, Idaho had the worst percentage for physicians, NPs and PAs receiving such payments (6 percent), while South Dakota had the worst percentage among hospitals (23 percent). Kentucky's "CIO-in-a-box" program--implemented by the Kentucky Regional Extension Center Program as a prescriptive guide for EHR implementation--was highlighted in the blog post as an innovative example of how hospitals and health centers in such rural areas can boost implementation rates.

"Rural providers often face additional barriers to EHR implementation due to the distance between clinics and available technical assistance, limited clinical or professional expertise in implementation requirements, and the availability of broadband to support a health IT infrastructure capable of documenting and exchanging patient information," Adetosoye, Andriesen and Klintworth wrote.

To learn more:
- read the Health IT Buzz post
- here are ONC's state rankings (.pdf)