Expectations for achieving Meaningful Use and qualifying for incentive payments vary depending on the type of healthcare organization and its size, according to a recent CHIME survey.
For example, 38 percent of CIO respondents from academic medical centers expect to qualify for stimulus funding within the first six months, compared with only 22 percent of CIOs at community hospitals.
While respondents generally predict a high degree of success in qualifying for stimulus funding, only two-thirds from hospitals with 100 to 199 beds say they will get funding within the first two fiscal years that the Stage 1 criteria are in effect. By contrast, nearly all respondents from facilities with 600 to 999 beds expect to qualify within that timeframe.
Of the 152 member CIOs who responded to the survey, 62 percent reported that they expect to qualify between April 1, 2011, and September 30, 2012, which marks the end of Stage 1 of the incentive program; while 28 percent indicated that they expect to qualify for stimulus funding in the first six months of fiscal year 2011, which begins on October 1, 2010. Only 10 percent believe they will not qualify for stimulus funds until fiscal years 2013 or 2014.
CIOs caution that much remains unknown about how the federal program will operate, specifically around certification. CHIME is submitting a list of questions to federal officials requesting clarification on key questions on various facets of the EHR stimulus funding program.
Providers’ potential to receive funding is still predicated on their ability to solve several challenges that many see as large obstacles standing in the way of meeting Meaningful Use requirements. The survey found that more IT executives are concerned about the certification program that will approve applications for use by providers seeking to participate in the program. About a quarter of respondents cited concerns directly or indirectly related to certification.
The objective specifying the use of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) by provider organizations was the second most frequently mentioned concern. Also ranking high as a concern is capturing and submitting data on quality measures.
- Relaxed standards for qualifying for stimulus funding will have little to no impact on improving providers’ chances, according to 75 percent of the respondents.
- While about 40 percent of respondents say they are well-positioned to achieve Meaningful Use with their current IT strategy and existing applications, slightly more than half say they are accelerating their plans to implement EHRs or otherwise re-evaluating current HIT applications to obtain funding.