A recent survey of C-level executives from 168 provider organizations, mostly hospitals, shows only a third of respondents expect to meet the first deadline for receiving Medicare/Medicaid incentive payments for meaningful use of electronic health records.

The survey also shows nearly half of respondents expect the meaningful use deadlines to be extended. Beacon Partners, a Weymouth, Mass.-based consulting firm, commissioned the survey. Aloft Group, an independent market research firm in Newburyport, Mass., conducted the survey.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents say the most common hurdle to EHR adoption is a lack of internal resources. Forty-five percent don't have the resources or are not sure if they have them, to successfully implement EHRs. Two-thirds expect to hire or outsource to compensate for a lack of internal resources. Other survey results include:

* Twenty percent of responding executives say their EHR is not CCHIT compliant and will need upgrading; a slightly larger number don't know whether it is compliant.

* Two-thirds of respondents are not familiar with or have very little knowledge of relaxed Stark Act provisions that enable hospitals to subsidize EHR adoption by community physicians. Only four percent of responding community hospitals has a Stark-authorized subsidy program or plan to.

* Forty-six percent of respondents are in the implementation stage of adopting computerized physician order entry systems.

Full survey results are available at beaconpartners.com/ehradoption/BeaconPartners_EHR_AdoptionStudy.pdf.

--Joseph Goedert

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