- In 2013, 78% of office-based physicians used any type of EHR system, up from 18% in 2001.
- In 2013, 48% of office-based physicians reported having a system that met the criteria for a basic system, up from 11% in 2006. The percentage of physicians with basic systems by state ranged from 21% in New Jersey to 83% in North Dakota.
- In 2013, 69% of office-based physicians reported that they intended to participate (i.e., they planned to apply or already had applied) in meaningful use incentives. About 13% of all office-based physicians reported that they both intended to participate in meaningful use incentives and had EHR systems with the capabilities to support 14 of the Stage 2 Core Set objectives for meaningful use.
- From 2010 (the earliest year that trend data are available) to 2013, physician adoption of EHRs able to support various Stage 2 meaningful use objectives increased significantly; however, many physicians who plan to participate in the program do not yet have systems ready.
However, the adoption of EHR systems varied widely across states. In 2013, the percentage of physicians who had a system meeting the criteria for a basic system ranged from 21% in New Jersey to 83% in North Dakota. The percentage of physicians who had a system meeting the criteria for a basic system was lower than the national average (48%) in eight states (Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming) and higher than the national average in nine states (Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin). In 2013, the percentage of physicians using any type of EHR system ranged from 66% in New Jersey to 94% in Minnesota.
And the latest figures show over 31% of physicians are uncertain or do not intend to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs as of 2013. I expect we may see some higher non-participation in 2014, and certainly an increase in the seeking of hardship exemptions. Only about 13% of all office-based physicians reported that they both intended to participate in meaningful use incentives and had EHR systems with the capabilities to support 14 of the 17 Stage 2 Core Set objectives for meaningful use. Fully 56% of physicians plan to participate but are not ready.
There is little doubt we are making great progress in the adoption of EHR's, especially compared to five years ago primarily as a result of the EHR Incentive Program. While strides are being made there are challenges throughout the country, particularly in rural and underserved areas. And since many vendors are falling behind in meeting the certification criteria we are starting to see physician readiness to participate in meaningful use start to stall. As Karen DeSalvo said during our talk at HIMSS below, it is now time to pause and take a breath and take stock of where we are and chart the best path forward in driving towards the actual meaningful use of health information technology.