Surveys find more hospitals, physicians likely to seek EHR incentive payments

New survey numbers reveal a reversal of the low interest in EHR adoption in previous years, according to David Blumenthal, MD, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

At a news conference at George Washington University Hospital, Blumenthal said that four‑fifths of the nation's hospitals and 41 percent of office‑based physicians are intending to take advantage of federal incentive payments for adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

An American Hospital Association survey found that 65 percent of hospitals said they will enroll during stage 1 of the meaningful use incentive programs in 2011‑2012.

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), an agency of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals that a third of all office‑based physicians (32.4 percent) will enroll during stage 1 of the programs. Only 14 percent of respondents said they were not planning to apply for meaningful use incentives.

Additional survey data from the NCHS revealed that increasing numbers of primary care physicians have already adopted a basic EHR--increasing from 19.8 percent of primary care physicians in 2008 to 29.6 percent in 2010. Basic EHRs provide a beginning point for the use of electronic health records in physician offices, but most physicians would need to further upgrade their EHR systems or their use of the systems in order to qualify for meaningful use incentive payments.

Provider registration for the Medicare EHR incentive program and some Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs opened Jan. 3, 2011. Most states will allow provider registration to begin for their Medicaid EHR incentive programs during the spring and summer of 2010.

For more details:
- see the Department of Health and Human release
- see survey results from NCHS
- learn about the AHA results