The attestation rate for hospitals eligible to attest to Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program currently stands at 77 percent, according to Elisabeth Myers from the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services.

Myers gave a presentation on the latest CMS data at Tuesday’s Health IT Policy Committee meeting in which she said that the 77 percent attestation rate was based on that fact that so far 1,814 hospitals had attested to Stage 2 out of 2,115 eligible hospitals. To be eligible to attest to Stage 2, they had to complete two years of Stage 1 attestation. As a result, only a little more than half of hospitals were eligible to attest to Stage 2 in 2014.

In response to the data, Paul Tang, M.D., co-chair of the committee, said the “biggest ah-hah” moment for him was “the whole who’s eligible for Stage 2” distinction. Tang commented on the fact that “in the past, we’ve sort of focused on who is attesting and we’ve been looking at really small numbers.” But, he emphasized, that “actually only about half of hospitals are even eligible to attest for Stage 2.” As a result, Tang said the “encouraging part is that almost 80 percent of those who are eligible did attest.”

At the same HIT Policy Committee, Dawn Heisey-Grove from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT argued that hospital attestation trends in 2014 correlate with historical trends, namely that the majority of hospitals tend to attest after the close of their fiscal year. In fact, she observed that the “shift to after the end of the fiscal year [attestation] is even more prominent this year than it has been in the past.”

When it comes to eligible professionals and the 2014 reporting period, Heisey-Grove said that historically the majority of EPs attest after the close of their calendar year. “That means we should expect to see most of the attestations for our professionals come in in January and February given the historic trends,” she added. EPs have until the end of February to report their progress.

According to Heisey-Grove, about 40 percent of EPs are eligible to attest for Stage 2 and of those who have attested 60 percent have attested to Stage 2. “This segment is much smaller because our eligible professionals have three more months from the date of this data—remember these data are through November of 2014,” she said. “So, they have December, January and February to attest.”

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