The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released early 2014 attestation data showing that eligible hospitals and professionals are getting mixed results when it comes to meeting meaningful use Stage 2 core measures.

In a Nov. 4 Health IT Policy Committee meeting, ONC provided an updateon EH and EP performance on MU Stage 2 core measures based on CMS Medicare Incentive Program data through September 2014. To successfully attest to Stage 2, EPs must meet 17 core objectives and three of six menu objectives, and hospitals must meet 16 core measures and three of six menu set measures.

As of Sept. 30, ONC’s Dawn Heisey-Grove told the committee that when it comes to Stage 2 attestation performance for about 4,600 Medicare professionals, 87 percent of EPs took an exclusion for a requirement to provide or send summary of care information electronically, while 54 percent took an exclusion on Stage 2’s immunization reporting measure and 48 percent took an exclusion for use of computerized provider order entry for radiology orders. However, Heisey-Grove made the point that 93 percent of the immunization reporting measure exclusions were because EPs did not administer vaccinations.

The attestation performance of about 250 hospitals shows they “are staying in the lower bounds of the thresholds for the summary of care sent electronically measure, which is brand new to Stage 2, as well as getting their patients to actually view, download or transmit the measure, which is also new to Stage 2,” Heisey-Grove said.

Stage 2 builds on the use and capabilities of EHRs introduced in Stage 1. The biggest differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2 are Stage 2’s increased emphasis on patient engagement and health information exchange. According to Heisey-Grove, when it comes to the three types of public health exchange that are core for Stage 2—immunization registry, electronic laboratory results, and syndromic surveillance reporting—72 percent of hospitals are electronically exchanging information with public health agencies on all three of these measures, with 94 percent reporting on at least one of these measures.

However, Heisey-Grove emphasized that the Stage 2 core measures data are “very preliminary” and do not account for about 6,800 EPs and almost 600 hospitals that have attested since September 30.

While healthcare industry groups might be concerned about the continued low numbers of eligible providers who have attested to Stage 2—11,478 EPs and 840 hospitals have attested as of Nov. 1—Heisey Grove argued that historically many eligible providers do not attest until after the close of the fiscal (hospitals) or calendar (professionals) year. “They wait until the last minute to attest,” said Heisey-Grove. Medicare EHs have until Nov. 30 to attest for 2014 and Medicare EPs have until Feb. 28, 2015 to attest for 2014.

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