The number of eligible hospitals and eligible professionals who have attested to Stage 2 meaningful use continues to be sluggish. A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services official told a meeting today of the Health IT Policy Committee that only four hospitals and 50 physicians have achieved Stage 2 MU electronic health records.

Four months and seven months into the reporting year for professionals and hospitals, respectively, HIT Policy Committee member Paul Egerman asked Elisabeth Myers, policy and outreach lead for the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services, if she considered Stage 2 to be successful. "That is an excellent question. I don't think that we have enough data, again, to answer that question yet," said Myers.

When Egerman pressed her to make a judgment, she replied: "I would say that we have a very slim amount of data right now. We are encouraged by having people who have attested to Stage 2, given the anecdotal evidence that has said that no one will be ready." Myers added that there are some functionalities that are required for Stage 2 that are not fully implemented across all facilities yet.

Earlier in the meeting, Jennifer King, acting director of ONC's office of economic analysis, evaluation and modeling, told the committee that "many of the Stage 2 meaningful use functionalities had very high adoption rates" in the range of 80 percent to 90 percent or higher, according to results of the 2013 American Hospital Association annual Health IT survey that was just released by ONC. 

However, King also reported to the committee that some Stage 2 objectives had lower adoption rates, most notably the "view, download, and transmit" objective which only 10 percent of hospitals at the time of the AHA survey indicated that they had all three capabilities. Overall, she said that many hospitals had adopted most of the Stage 2 core functionalities, but few had adopted all of them.

ONC funded the survey to track hospital adoption and use of EHRs and the exchange of clinical data. All U.S. hospitals were invited to participate in the survey, which was conducted from November 2013 to the end of February 2014. The response rate for non-federal acute care hospitals was 59 percent.  

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