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ONC Survey: 81% of Hospitals and 41% of Practices will Apply for Meaningful Use EHR Funds

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healthcare IT newsAccording to a survey conducted by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology, 81 % of hospitals and 41 % of practices are going to apply for federal incentive payments for adopting electronic health records (EHR) technology.

The findings, released as registration opened for the first round of incentive payments, further demonstrated that 65 % of hospitals and 32.4 % of practices plan to register for Stage one incentive payments in 2011-2012. A new AHA survey, however, suggests that hospitals still have much to do to qualify for the payments. The survey, conducted this week, found that less than 2 % of hospitals could actually meet the EHR certification and meaningful use criteria at the current time.

Rick Pollack, AHA Executive Vice President said: "The AHA findings reflect the practical challenges hospitals face in revamping their EHR systems to be certified and meet the high bar set for meaningful use under a very challenging time frame." Eligible hospitals could receive millions of dollars for implementing and meaningfully using certified EHR technology, and practices are eligible for as much as $44,000 per physician under Medicare or $63,750 under Medicaid.

To help healthcare organizations implement EHR and meet with meaningful use standards, the ONC reported that 62 regional extension centres across the nation offer "customized, on-the-ground assistance, especially for smaller-practice primary care providers and for small hospitals and clinics."

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