Nearly all recently surveyed CIOs, mostly representing hospitals, expect their organizations to attempt to qualify for meaningful use incentive payments, according to the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, which queried its members and got 152 replies.

Twenty-eight percent of all respondents expect to qualify for incentives during the first six months of fiscal year 2011, which start on October 1 with applications for incentives being accepted beginning in January. Thirty-eight percent of CIOs expecting to qualify quickly represent academic medical centers, 26 percent represent multi-hospital organizations and 22 percent represent community hospitals. All total, 40 percent of CIOs representing organizations with 400-599 beds expect to qualify early, double the rate of those at facilities with less than 200 beds.

Another 61 percent of all respondents expect to quality for incentives later in 2011 or 2012 during the Stage 1 meaningful use period. Ten percent don't expect their facilities to qualify before 2013 or 2014. That means 99% of all respondents expect to qualify for incentive payments at some point. Nearly all respondents at hospitals with 600-900 beds expect to qualify for Stage 1 incentives, while only two-thirds of those at facilities with 100-199 beds have the same goal. Other survey results include:

* Relaxed meaningful use criteria will have little or no impact on improving an organization's chances of qualifying, according to 75 percent of respondents. The relaxed criteria greatly improved chances, according to 20 percent, while 5 percent said the changes actually worsened their chances.

* Forty-three percent of respondents say their organizations are well positioned to achieve meaningful use with their current information technology strategy and existing applications. Another 32 percent expect to accelerate plans to implement EHRs or other applications, 20 percent are evaluating current applications to determine if changes are necessary, and 5 percent say no acceleration or changes are planned even if they miss out on incentives.

To access the full survey results from Ann Arbor, Mich.-based CHIME, click here. The organization expects to quarterly survey its members to identify trends in achieving meaningful use and qualifying for incentives.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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