GAO: Mixed Results in Meaningful Use Program | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

GAO: Mixed Results in Meaningful Use Program

March 7, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
Credit: Wikipedia Commons

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this week on the meaningful use program, summarizing there was a need for comprehensive strategy to better ensure the reliability of clinical quality measures collected using electronic health records (EHRs).

The GAO’s report looked at meaningful use under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, and assessed the extent of current and expected participation in the EHR programs. The agency found that participation in the programs increased substantially from their first year in 2011 to 2012, based on the number of providers awarded incentive payments.

The report looked at the success and challenges of certain meaningful use measures and researchers evaluated HHS efforts to ensure that EHR data can be reliably used to measure quality of care. The result was mixed.

Medicare hospitals reported using computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for over 84 percent of patients, less than 15 percent of professionals reported on an optional Stage 1 measure to provide a summary of care document at each care transition or referral. The lack of a strategy in this regard limits HHS’s ability to reliably clinical quality measures (CQM) collected in certified EHRs for quality measurement activities, the GAO says.

The agency notes that different providers may report CQMs based on and tested to different requirements depending on whether their EHRs have incorporated technical updates.“Without a comprehensive strategy, efforts to address reliability issues (in accordance with the internal control standard requiring relevant and reliable information) and improve quality and efficiency may be limited,” the GAO writes.

The agency recommended not only this kind of strategy, but asked HHS to develop and use outcome-oriented performance measures to monitor progress toward goals. According to the GAO, HHS neither agreed nor disagreed with its recommendations.

GAO also found that hospital participation increased from 45 percent of those eligible for 2011 to 64 percent of those eligible for 2012. . For professionals, such as physicians, participation increased from 21 percent of those eligible for 2011 to 48 percent of those eligible for 2012. However, it did find that a number of providers that participated in 2011 did not participate in 2012.

Get the latest information on Meaningful Use and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Appalachia Project to Study Relationship Between Increased Broadband Access, Improved Cancer Care

The Federal Communications Commission and the National Cancer Institute have joined forces to focus on how increasing broadband access and adoption in rural areas can improve the lives of rural cancer patients.

Survey: By 2019, 60% of Medicare Revenues will be Tied to Risk

Medical groups and health systems that are members of AMGA (the American Medical Group Association) expect that nearly 60 percent of their revenues from Medicare will be from risk-based products by 2019, according to the results from a recent survey.

83% of Physicians Have Experienced a Cyber Attack, Survey Finds

Eighty-three percent of physicians in a recent survey said that they have experienced some sort of cyber attack, such as phishing and viruses.

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.