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IVANS Study Finds EHR Adoption Growing

February 25, 2012

IVANS, Inc. a national health information exchange, announced that while 42 percent of healthcare providers surveyed currently use either electronic health records (EHRs) or electronic medical records (EMRs), 39 percent have no plans yet to implement stage one of meaningful use. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 defined Meaningful Use as a provider using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly.

Stage one of meaningful use sets the baseline for electronic data capture and information sharing. The IVANS study demonstrates it is not enough to simply have an EHR or EMR system in place, but providers must be able to share and use the data in a meaningful manner, or they risk a possible reduction in their Medicare fees or could lose out on financial incentives.

Of the 39 percent surveyed that have no plans for implementing stage one of meaningful use, it is not surprising that 44 percent (represented by home care, long term care and hospices) are not yet eligible to participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. What is surprising is that a fairly large number (26 percent) of providers (represented by hospitals and private practices) are eligible for EHR incentives but still have no plans for implementing stage one of meaningful use.

Michael Schramm, IVANS president of healthcare services, said, “Whether eligible for meaningful use incentives or not, many providers point to such barriers as waiting on technology upgrades from vendors, integrating new changes into current workflow processes, and understanding and adopting complex Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) within a short period of time. If these issues are not resolved and integrated into subsequent stages of meaningful use, it will be difficult for providers to become meaningful users, thus resulting in further misalignment of financial incentives down the road.”

According to IVANS 2012 Healthcare Provider Survey, 33 percent of providers surveyed said budgetary concerns are their biggest challenges preventing them from sharing information electronically, while 21 percent said it was technology requirements which keep changing. This is an area where health insurers can make a difference by aligning their pay-for-performance programs with federal meaningful use criteria for EMRs.


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