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Providers inch toward MU2, hospitals fall behind


Halfway through the 2014 reporting year, providers and hospitals are still struggling to achieve meaningful use stage 2.

Halfway through the 2014 reporting year, providers and hospitals are still struggling to achieve meaningful use stage 2 (MU2).

As of July 1, of the 2,823 eligible providers (EPs), 972 have attested to MU2, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Health Information Technology Policy Committee meeting on July 8. That number is up from the last MU2 status report CMS released in May, when only 50 EPs had attested. Of the 128 eligible hospitals, only 10 have attested to MU2.

Jennifer King, chief of research and evaluation at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, emphasized that it’s still early in the process. 

“This is an early slice of folks who have attested so far in 2014, and we can’t really say if they’re going to be representative of the entire group of people who will attest by the end of 2014,” says King. “Although there are some differences in 2014 compared to previous years, we have seen in all of the past years that the vast majority of attestations happen in the later parts of the year, and we expect that to continue in 2014, even probably to a greater degree.”

Part of the challenge for physicians may be that EHR vendors have struggled to obtain 2014 certification. CMS released a rule change in May that it hoped would provide physicians and EHR vendors with more flexibility. The rule allows EPs to 2011-certified EHR technology (CEHRT) or a combination of 2011- and 2014-CEHRT to attest for the 2014 reporting period.

According to the CMS data, only eight different EHR vendors have been used for MU2 attestation. Athenahealth and Epic Systems Corp. topped the list. 

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