Radiologists skeptical about, unfamiliar with Meaningful Use

Most radiologists are eligible to participate in the electronic health record incentive program, but many of them have concerns about the applicability of the Meaningful Use requirements to their specialty, according to a new report issued collaboratively by KLAS Research and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).  

The report found that only 6 percent of the 216 radiologists surveyed feel "very familiar" with Meaningful Use. Fifty percent consider themselves "not at all" or "just a little" familiar with the requirements, with nearly 40 percent concerned about the clarity of the guidelines and the potential decreased efficiencies. 

Still, a little more than half (55 percent) of responding radiologists plan to, or are considering, meeting the Meaningful Use requirements. Fully, 10 percent of respondents have no plans to qualify for the incentives, with 35 percent not knowing how they plan to proceed. One-fourth of the respondents feel that vendors are not prepared to help them meet Meaningful Use. 

This is not the first time that radiologists' involvement in the EHR incentive program has been studied; in September, an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology concluded that radiologists "would be wise" to study and respond to the government's incentive programs related to the Meaningful Use of certified ambulatory electronic health record systems, considering that more than 90 percent could qualify for the bonus payments. This is the first time, though, that a large number of radiologists were polled about Meaningful Use, according to Emily Crane, KLAS research director and author of the report.  

"These numbers should be a wakeup call for the radiology industry," Crane said in a statement. "Most radiologists are Eligible Providers--meaning that if they meet MU criteria by the deadline, they are eligible for some or all of the $44,000 incentive. In addition, those who do not meet the criteria by 2015 will be hit with penalties."

To learn more:
- read the press release