The EHR meaningful use achievement rate for nearly 5,000 eligible hospitals is 90 percent through December 2014, according to the latest numbers from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

ONC’s Dawn Heisey-Grove told a Feb. 10 joint meeting of the HIT Policy and Standards Committees that of all eligible hospitals 90 percent have attested to some stage of meaningful use, 5 percent are adopting, implementing or upgrading (AIU) paid, 1 percent are registered and 4 percent are not participating.

“AIU paid” refers to hospitals that have been paid to adopt, implement, or upgrade to a certified EHR technology, but have not yet attested to meaningful use. Registered hospitals are those that have registered with the EHR Incentive Program, but have not attested or received payment. Non-participating hospitals are those that have not yet registered with the EHR Incentive Program.

However, when it comes to the approximately 100 children’s hospitals, 55 percent have attested to meaningful use, 26 percent are AIU paid, 10 percent are registered and 9 percent are not participating. “Children’s hospitals got a little bit of a late start because of some of the nuances with the meaningful use program, so that’s probably why you see the difference in their Meaningful Use achievement rate compared to all eligible hospitals,” said Heisey-Grove.

She observed that small rural hospitals (less than 100 beds) are achieving meaningful use at about the same rate as the larger hospitals (more than 400 beds)—95 percent vs. 96 percent. In addition, the critical access hospital MU achievement rate (89 percent) was slightly lower than non-CAH hospitals (91 percent).

According to Heisey-Grove, small urban hospitals had lower MU attainment (80 percent) and higher non-participation rates (15 percent) than other hospital types. “It looks like those are more specialty hospitals that may not be making that leap forward, but it’s definitely something that we need to look into a little bit further,” she commented.

Heisey-Grove also said that more than 90 percent of hospitals that attested during 2011-2013 returned to the EHR Incentive Program in subsequent years. And, in fiscal year 2014 the return rate was similar across the two stages—91 percent of hospitals scheduled for stage 1 returned, while 89 percent of hospitals scheduled for stage 2 returned.

Of eligible hospitals, she reported that 90 percent attested using 2014 certified EHR technology. Approximately 4,200 hospitals are scheduled to attest to stage 2 in fiscal year 2015 and of those the vast majority used 2014 certified technology in fiscal year 2014.

When it comes to 2014 attestations, Elisabeth Myers from the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality told members of the committees that 4,090 hospitals have successfully attested through Feb. 1, 2015, of which 2,275 have attested to Stage 1 and 1,815 have attested to Stage 2.

Myers also presented hospital attestation data through the end of December 2014 showing that attesters are often exceeding the passing threshold for hospital Stage 2 core and menu measures by very large margins.

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