There’s a big gap between what physicians thought they could do, and what they were eligible to do, to collect meaningful use incentives last year, according to a new study, which appears in the May issue of Health Affairs.
The study shows that 91 percent of physicians nationwide were eligible for federal electronic medical record (EMR) incentives in 2011. However, only 10 percent intended to apply for the program.
That number was on the low side of what the federal government had anticipated. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services had estimated that 10 percent to 36 percent of Medicare-eligible professionals and 15 percent to 47 percent of Medicaid-eligible professionals would demonstrate meaningful use in 2011.
According to the authors, among physicians intending to apply for meaningful use, about 21 percent were ready with the 10 core capabilities. Even in the state with the highest degree of readiness - Wisconsin - only 32 percent of physicians were ready with the 10 core capabilities.
The authors say the low level of readiness illustrates the challenges in meeting the federal schedule for financial incentives. Healthcare practices have support options, however. Your IT provider can help you if you need assistance preparing your meaningful use.