Surveying the Meaningful Use Landscape

One can learn quite a lot by examining the statistics of eligible professionals (EPs) who have received a Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive payment. No doubt, the figures are impressive, with 6,358 unique providers having been paid an aggregate of more than $109 million through June in the current program year, according to CMS.

Totals to date since program inception come to 293,108 EPs having earned nearly $6 billion. Medicare-eligible MDs or DOs took in the lion’s share, about $3.4 billion, followed by Medicaid-eligible MDs, who received about $1.6 billion. The rest went to (in descending order): NPs, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractors, nurse-midwives, PAs, and dentists.

To find out more about where these EPs practice, I looked at state breakouts. The top 10 states for EP meaningful users (with 2010 U.S. Census rank in parentheses) are:

  • California (1) — 23,565 meaningful users
  • Texas (2) — 12,667
  • Florida (4) — 11,733
  • New York (3) — 10,897
  • Pennsylvania (6) — 10,837
  • Ohio (7) — 9,728
  • Massachusetts (14) — 8,560
  • Illinois (5) — 8,413
  • Washington (13) — 6,418
  • North Carolina (10) — 6,001

That view shows Massachusetts and Washington doing a bit better than might be expected by pure population extrapolation, and Michigan and Georgia notable by their absence. (Michigan ranks 8th in population and 11th in EP meaningful users with 5,802; Georgia ranks 9th in population and 14th in EP meaningful users with 4,975.)

To get an alternate view, I took the controls on ONC’s Health IT Dashboard site and configured the filters to reveal the Regional Extension Centers that have achieved the highest percentage to goal of primary care providers demonstrating Meaningful Use. Delaware’s REC came out on top with an 87 percent success rate, followed by the RECs in New Hampshire (80 percent) and Western Pennsylvania (74 percent). Click here to view the top 10 RECs by this measure.

Finally, I returned to the ONC Dashboard for a breakdown of the 7,957 Meaningful-Use providers who are affiliated with underserved settings. The following RECs had the most providers by number in that category:

  • REACH (MN & ND) — 1,106
  • New York eHealth Collaborative — 563
  • National Indian Health Board — 558
  • NYC REACH — 445
  • North Carolina REC — 366

Admittedly, I’ve presented a small and somewhat random sample of ways to look at the Meaningful Use population. I’m curious, though: What types of MU measures would you like to see in more detail, and why?

Frank Irving is editor of PhysBizTech, an online publication covering business and technology issues at small physician practices.

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