EHR Incentive Program Has High Dropout Rate

Physicians are not happy with electronic health record systems, and some of them are doing something about it - they're dropping out of the EHR Incentive Program.

Physicians are not happy with electronic health record systems, and some of them are doing something about it — they’re dropping out of the EHR Incentive Program.

The average dropout rate was around 17%, which represents the percentage of health care providers who earned the first incentive payment in 2011, but not the second incentive in 2012. Those providers were able to demonstrate meaningful use for 90 days, but unable to sustain it for a full year, according to Evan Steele, chief executive officer EHR company SRSsoft, in HIT Consultant.

Steele wrote:

“A 17% loss rate in any business is wholly unacceptable, and this failure does not portend well for the future of the EHR Incentive Program. If $12,000 proved to be insufficient motivation for physicians with meaningful use experience to meet the relatively low requirements of Stage 1 on an ongoing basis, it would be foolish to expect physicians to muster the wherewithal to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of Stage 2.”

Stage 2 raises reporting thresholds and add requirements for patient engagement and health information exchanges. Further, it takes place while physicians will be expecting to handle ICD-10 implementation, EHR Intelligence points out. A Physician’s Practice survey revealed that 14% of providers who successfully attested to Stage 1 will not continue to participate in Stage 2.

Furthermore, along with increased requirements and the added pressure of ICD-10, the incentive of a year’s performance during Stage 2 of meaningful use will only be $4,000, according to Steele.

Jennifer Bresnick wrote in EHR Intelligence:

“If meaningful use can’t hold on to participants by offering big incentives, what will happen when that money goes away — and what does that say about the deeper issues underlying EHR adoption in the United States?”