RECs: Physicians still face Meaningful Use obstacles

Physicians are still encountering problems overcoming barriers to meeting the Meaningful Use requirements, according to the regional extension centers (RECs), which report to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

According to Rob Anthony of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Dawn Heisey-Grove from ONC, the RECs have reported 15,946 issues impacting 45,863 providers. The four main barriers are practice issues, vendor issues, attestation process problems and Meaningful Use measures. The top challenges, by the number of providers impacted are:

  • Meeting Meaningful Use measures
  • Provider engagement
  • Vendor selection
  • Administrative practice issues
  • Vendor delays in implementation/installation

The biggest Meaningful Use core measurement issues included clinical summaries and security review, electronic exchange and menu items immunization and patient reminders.

The report also addressed which type of provider was experiencing specific barriers to meeting Meaningful Use, the top new barriers, and which barriers were proportionally closer to resolution. For instance, 24.2 percent of attestation issues had been resolved, but only 12.9 percent of practice issues, such as workflow, have been resolved.  

The current barrier report differs somewhat from the initial report to the HIT Policy Committee in February, where the biggest barrier involved vendors, particularly in vendor selection, obtaining upgrades so they could attest and other technical or certification problems.

On the other hand, the July report did flag that only 12.7 vendor issues reported had been resolved.  

To learn more:
- listen to the meeting
- check out this HITECH Answers post
- review the presentation slides from February