New CMS Data Shows Increased Participation by Radiologists

February 29th is the last day for eligible professionals (EP’s) to register and attest to receive a payment under the CMS EHR Incentive Program for calendar year 2011. However, EP’s can still receive the maximum incentive payment of $44,000. if they begin the 90 day reporting period for Stage 1 Meaningful Use by October 3, 2012 and attest by February 29, 2013. Those not able to attest by February 29, 2013 will have the maximum incentive payment drop to $39,000.

In January 2012, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a data set with Information about the CMS EHR Incentive Programs attestations and the ONC Certified Health IT Products employed. As of January 24, 2012, the number of attestations recorded numbered 37,576. Of these attestations, 36,048 were Eligible Professionals (EP’s) and 1,528 were Eligible Hospitals (EH’s).

Breaking out the data by specialties continues to show that most EP’s attesting to Meaningful Use are family practitioners or internists. However, radiologists started to participate in increasing numbers in the last four months of 2011.

The total number of radiologists attesting to meaningful use is only 294: 213 diagnostic radiologists; 37 interventional radiologists; and 44 radiation oncologists. Of the radiologists attesting 6 used systems certified as a Modular EHR while all the rest used systems certified as a Complete EHR.

The top five states with radiologists demonstrating meaningful use are: New Jersey; Oregon: Iowa; Connecticut; and Ohio. Over all, 23 states had radiologists attesting by the end of 2011 with 27 states yet to have radiologists successively participating in the program.

Although the number is small relative to the estimated 27,000 radiologists eligible for the program, the trend is encouraging. The stronger fourth quarter showing by the radiologists reflects the trend by all EP’s which doubled in the fourth quarter of last year.

6.9% of the total EP’s have successfully attested to Meaningful use versus 1.1% off the total radiology EP’s. Overall, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have participated in the more than $2.5B in EHR Incentive Payments for demonstrating meaningful use paid out in 2011.