Just over 90 percent of 200 provider organization CIOs responding to a survey conducted in March expect their organization to qualify for Stage 1 meaningful use incentive payments, although many won't meet the goal until late in fiscal year 2012 and 2013. (The Stage 1 MU attestation process opens Monday, April 18. On April 20, HDM will host a Web seminar about the process. For more info, click here).

The 90 percent rate is consistent with previous quarterly surveys from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, although the new survey indicates that reaching meaningful use is tougher than many CIOs previously thought.

In the March survey, 32.5 percent of CIOs expected to qualify for incentives by Sept. 30, 2011, the end of the first fiscal year for hospital payments. But only 7.5 percent expected to qualify in April 2011 as attestation starts, compared with 15 percent in CHIME's November survey and 28 percent in last August's survey. CIOs are finding "quite a bit of 'devil is in the details' as they move along the process," says Pamela McNutt, CIO at Methodist Health System in Dallas and chair of CHIME's policy steering committee.

Other survey results include:

* Capturing and submitting data for quality measures is the most frequently cited concern.

* Among standalone hospitals, 19.5 percent of responding CIOs say their organization has registered for meaningful use, while 29.5 percent of CIOs at multi-hospital systems report all of their hospitals being registered.

* Among community hospital CIOs, 26 percent expect to qualify by Sept. 30, 2011, and two-thirds of respondents hope to qualify late in fiscal 2012 or 2013.

* Only 39.5 percent of CIOs believe their current I.T. strategy and applications will get them to meaningful use, down a little from 42 percent in November.

* A full three-quarters of respondents worry about legislative proposals to repeal EHR incentive funding.

* Nearly 90 percent continue to have concerns related to meaningful use requirements and more than half still have questions about the program.

More information is available here.

--Joseph Goedert


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