Electronic Health Records

Integration & Interoperability News

Sources of Strength in Meeting Meaningful Use Requirements

All five categories of primary care providers are at least at 95 percent in terms of using a live EHR system.

By Frank Irving

- Data current as of Jan. 19, 2016 show 78 percent of primary care providers having demonstrated meaningful use of certified electronic health records technology. Further analysis shows solid meaningful use performance by nurse practitioners as well as providers at consolidated small practices, and among internal medicine and family practice doctors.

Data recently released by ONC show 78 percent of primary care providers having demonstrated meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

The numbers, released by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)’s Office of Programs and Engagement, include 80 percent of 108,364 doctors of medicine/osteopathy reported as demonstrating meaningful use by ONC’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool data based on primary care providers registered with Regional Extension Centers (RECs).

Of the 24,010 nurse practitioners included in ONC’s data analysis — the next-highest provider segment studied — 73 percent are meaningful users. Nurse midwives (71 percent) and physician assistants (70 percent) follow in much smaller sample sizes (2,107 and 671, respectively). All 30 chiropractors included in the analysis are demonstrating meaningful use, according to ONC.

All five categories of primary care providers are at least at 95 percent in terms of using a live EHR system.

When analyzing meaningful use demonstration by practice type among REC-enrolled providers in “underserved settings,” ONC found the highest level (83 percent) at practice consortia made up of former small practices that consolidated under a single tax ID. Rural hospitals (77 percent) and private practices with 10 or less practitioners (76 percent) also have relatively high levels of success in demonstrating meaningful use. In contrast, specialty practices (50 percent) and private practices with 11 or more practitioners (29 percent) rank lowest as meaningful users, according to the CRM tool data.

Of the 10,261 specialists studied by ONC, an overall total of 47 percent are meaningful users. By individual specialty, internists and family practice doctors lead the way with 84 and 82 percent, respectively, having demonstrated meaningful use. OB-GYN (77 percent) and geriatric specialists (76 percent) trail slightly, with pediatricians tracking further behind at 72 percent. Overall, specialists have lower levels of practices live on an EHR system (78 percent) than primary care physicians (95 percent).

Geographically, REC-enrolled providers in the following states have the highest rates of demonstrating meaningful use: New Hampshire, Kansas, Michigan and Montana (all at 98 percent); Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Wyoming (all at 93 percent); Georgia (91 percent); and Alabama and Arkansas (90 percent). The national average is 80 percent. States with the lowest percentage of providers demonstrating meaningful use are: North Carolina (61 percent), Idaho (62 percent), Nebraska and New Mexico (63 percent), Alaska and South Carolina (64 percent), North Dakota (65 percent), Maryland (68 percent), and New Jersey and Washington (69 percent).

The ONC analysis also reveals that in 10 states — Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming — 100 percent of REC-enrolled critical access and rural hospitals have demonstrated meaningful use. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii (12 percent), Virginia (20 percent), Idaho (37 percent) and Florida (42 percent) fall well below the national average of 87 percent. ONC notes that Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and South Carolina have no critical access or rural hospitals enrolled in the REC program.

 

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