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Survey suggests wide EHR buy-in

Article-Survey suggests wide EHR buy-in

Washington — Eighty-one percent of U.S. hospitals and 41 percent of office-based physicians say they intend to register for federal incentive payments for adoption and “meaningful use” of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology, reports.

The statistics are among survey results released earlier this month by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). ONC officials say the results are encouraging signs that providers are buying into the government’s Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, an initiative aimed at modernizing the nation’s health IT infrastructure.

Survey data comes from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), both of which the ONC commissioned to conduct the research.

The AHA survey found that 81 percent of hospitals plan to achieve meaningful use of EHRs and take advantage of incentive payments, while 65 percent say they will enroll during stage 1 of the incentive programs in 2011-2012.

The NCHS survey found that 41 percent of office-based physicians plan to take advantage of the incentive payments, and 32.4 percent say they plan to enroll during stage 1 of the programs. NCHS data also show that 29.6 percent of primary care physicians have already adopted a basic EHR, a 50 percent increase over 2008’s adoption rate.

Only 14 percent of respondents say they do not plan to apply for “meaningful use” incentives.

Non-hospital-based physicians and other eligible professionals can obtain incentive payments of as much as $44,000 under Medicare or $63,750 under Medicaid for implementing and meaningfully using certified EHR technology.

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