A survey of 445 physician practice administrators shows nearly all are aware of the upcoming incentive programs for meaningful use of electronic health records, but fear the programs will reduce physician productivity.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents, for instance, expect physician productivity will decrease if all 25 proposed meaningful use criteria are implemented. Nearly one-third believes the decrease in productivity will be greater than 10 percent.

The Medical Group Management Association conducted the survey in February and used results to continue its push for streamlined meaningful use criteria.

"In order to justify the high cost of software, hardware and staff training, the deployment of an EHR system in a medical group must produce administrative efficiencies and not result in a sustained and significant decrease in productivity," says William Jessee, M.D., president and CEO at Englewood, Colo.-based MGMA. "It is clear that the transition to electronic health information technologies must begin by successfully aligning incentives with overall cost to the implementing entities."

Other survey results include:

* Nearly a quarter of practices without an EHR doubt some of their providers will ever attempt to qualify for incentives. (Individual physicians in multi-practitioner groups can qualify for incentive payments even if their colleagues do not.)

* Among practices with an EHR, nearly 84 percent believe some of their physicians will attempt to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid incentives by the end of 2011.

* Seventeen percent of practices' vendors have provided no communication on whether the product can be certified at the level required to qualify for incentives.

* Large numbers of providers believe achieving meaningful use by the end of 2011 will be difficult.

For more results, click here.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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