ONC/CMS Dataset Analyzed for Radiology Centric View of EHR Incentive Program

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the Center for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS) have updated the dataset showing the EHR products and vendors used for attestation of Meaningful Use of a Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CERT). It also identifiers the types of providers using these EHR’s as described in the technical datasheet.

The dataset contains information from April of 2011 through January 31, 2013 identifying the type of provider attesting to meaningful use of an EHR and the incentive program that the provider attested in, either Medicare or Medicare/Medicaid. The Medicare/Medicaid program category only applies to Eligible Hospitals. Medicaid statistics are not reported in this dataset.

The total Eligible Professionals (EP’s) are estimated by the Department of Health and Human Services to be at 521,600. Unique providers receiving payments under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program are 32% of the total eligible. The American College of Radiology estimates that approximately 27,000 radiologists are eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Radiologists are lagging behind the whole group of EP’s with just 7.8% of unique providers receiving payments under the Medicare EHR program.

2011 was the first year that payments were made under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and payments did not start until May of 2011. Radiologists hardly participated in that first year with just 236 (<1% of those eligible) receiving payments in 2011. The EP group as a whole had  6.4% receiving funds in that first year.

The first full year under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program had much higher participation from the whole group of EP’s but radiologists still had a small showing of 3.6%. The 2013 payment data is for just the month of January but the showing for radiologists was just about equal to the entire prior year which is a good sign. The attestations for EP’s tend to peak in the February of each year since February is the last time to attest to receive payment for the prior program year.

A large number of vendors are represented in providing Certified EHR Technology (CERT) employed by radiologists to attest to meaningful use (MU). Many radiologists utilized multiple systems. Four vendors (Medinformatix, Epic, Merge, and GE) accounted for 47% of the systems used by radiologists to demonstrate MU.

14 vendors accounted for 75% of the systems used by radiologists to attest to meaningful use of CERT.  Several health systems certified their own systems to be used for Meaningful Use of an EHR. These inclulded Partners Halthcare System, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Lahey Clinic Foundation, Marshfield Clinic, UNC Health Care, and Northwestern University. A complete list of vendors of CERT employed by radiologists is below.