A survey of clients by electronic data interchange vendor NaviNet Inc. shows mixed results on whether meaningful use incentive payments are driving electronic health records adoption among small physician practices.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company conducted the survey in March via e-mail among customer practices of 10 or fewer physicians, receiving 269 responses. In a similar survey last August, 12 percent of respondents said meaningful use incentives was driving technology adoption. That number rose to 27 percent in the March survey. The percentage of physicians with no plans to implement an EHR fell from 31 percent last August to 21 percent in March.

March survey results showed big jumps in the percentages of practices that are currently implementing an EHR, or will do so within three months, six months or 12 months.

Still, only 26 percent of respondents said they plan on following meaningful use criteria to qualify for incentive payments, and 63 percent were unsure what the meaningful use reporting requirements are. Nearly half--48 percent--said meaningful use requirements would not drive their EHR business decisions.

Further, barriers to EHR adoption remain formidable, with nearly half of respondents pegging cost as the biggest. Forty-six percent also noted that physicians weren't ready for adoption, 27 percent said the practice does not need an EHR and 26 percent said the practice does not believe it will achieve a return on investment.

Survey results are available at navinet.net/meaningfuluse.

--Joseph Goedert


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