Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

ONC Update Details Hospital EHR Incentive Program Progress

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- An analysis of hospital EHR Incentive Program progress through December 2014 conducted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology shows that 90 percent of eligible hospitals (EHs) have attested to meaningful use of certified EHR technology (CEHRT). The information was revealed during the most recent meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee.

ONC EHR incentive program

According to the ONC meaningful use data update, fewer critical access hospitals (CAHs) than non-CAH hospitals had achieved meaningful use, 89 percent to 91 percent, respectively. Children’s hospitals trailed significantly behind CAHs and all other hospitals as a result of having started later in the meaningful use process as result of their eligibility for the Medicaid EHR Incentive which has a later start date.

Based on hospital size, large hospitals (96%) outpaced both medium (92%) and small urban (80%) hospitals but only eked out an advantage over small rural hospitals whose percentage of meaningful use attestations reached 95 percent. The lagging progress of small urban hospitals was mirrored by high-non-participation rates of 15 percent.

As for the progress EHs have made, the ONC meaningful use data breaks these organizations down into four cohorts:

• The 2011 cohort which began Stage 1 Meaningful Use in 2011 is on page to complete Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2014. This represents 18 percent of all EHs.

• The 2012 cohort, the largest of all four, comprises 36 percent of EHs that first attested to Stage 1 in 2012 and are schedule to complete Stage 2 attestation in 2014 as well.

• The next-largest cohort, the 2013 group (30%), completed Stage 1 attestation in 2013 and should complete Stage 2 attestation in 2015.

• The 2014 cohort is the smallest group, comprising six percent of all EHs. They complete Stage 1 attestation in 2014 and are slated to attest to Stage 2 in 2016.


From a retention standpoint, the EHR Incentive Programs have succeed in getting EHs to return to the programs. The EH cohorts between 2011 and 2013 shoed the highest levels of return with 98 percent of the 2011 cohort and 97 percent of the 2012 cohort attesting in subsequent years. During fiscal year 2014, 91 percent of Stage 1 EHs and 89 percent of Stage 2 EHs are scheduled to return.

As for the phase of the EHR Incentive Programs that has presented the most challenges to eligible providers, Stage 2′s success depends on the attestation of 4200 hospitals in FY2015.


A closer look at the CEHRT type and meaningful use definitions being used by these hospitals in FY2014 indicates that 99 percent of 2014 Stage 2 EHs will likely be using 2014 Edition EHR technology in FY2015. The same holds true for 2014 Stage 1 EHs whose use of 2014 Edition EHR technology is expected to reach 98 percent. As for 2013 Stage 1 EHs, most (63%) will be using 2011 Edition EHR technology following by the next largest percent (29%) using a combination of the two certification editions.

Read the full update here.



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