Healthcare News & Insights

Study: Doctors’ EHRs failing to meet meaningful use standards

One motivator behind healthcare organizations’ increasing EHR adoption is the possibility of receiving incentive payments from the federal government. However, a recent study of physicians in one state found that many are using EHR systems but falling short of federal standards. 

Most doctors’ offices that are eligible for EHR incentive payments are not using systems that meet the standards to receive incentives, according to the report, “On the Road to Meaningful Use of EHRs: A Survey of California Physicians,” published by the California HealthCare Foundation.

Though 71% of the physicians surveyed are using EHRs, only 30% are using a system configured to meet the 12 meaningful use objectives looked at in the study.

In addition, among the offices surveyed that would be eligible for incentive payments, 70% currently are not using an EHR system that would meet the requirements.

As we’ve written earlier, healthcare organizations should avoid choosing an EHR system solely because it will help them qualify for incentive payments — the costs of implementing a system that’s not the right fit will far outweigh the amount of the incentives that might be received. However, this survey shows that many organizations are missing out on funding because they are not educated enough about the programs.

For example, many of the physicians surveyed were not every knowledgeable regarding California’s Medicaid inventive program, Medi-Cal. More than half of the doctors surveyed who are eligible do not believe they are eligible, do not plan to apply, or need more information about the program. Also, 8% of the physicians who are not eligible for the program plan to apply.

Meeting meaningful use objectives can do more than just help doctors receive incentive payments — doctors who had met those objectives were also more likely than others to be satisfied with their EHR systems.


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