Meaningful Use Dropout Rate Reaches 21% Among Family Physicians

The number of family physicians who participated in the meaningful use program fell by 21% between 2011 and 2012, according to data released by CMS, AAFP News Now reports.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

CMS Data Details

According to the data, 23,636 family health care providers attested to the program for the first time in 2012 -- a 180% increase from 2011.

However, only 9,188 of the 11,578 family physicians who attested to meaningful use in 2011 did so again the following year.

Jason Mitchell -- director of the American Academy of Family Physicians Center for Health IT -- and Steven Waldren -- senior strategist for health care IT at the center -- found that the overall dropout rate in the meaningful use program across all specialties was about 20%.

Possible Causes

Mitchell and Waldren cited several possible causes for the decline in meaningful use retention, including:

  • The meaningful use reporting period increasing from 90 consecutive days in 2011 to a full year in 2012;
  • Providers missing the two-month meaningful use attestation deadline for 2012; and
  • Decreased funding for regional extension center programs, which have helped providers meet meaningful use requirements (Porter, AAFP News Now, 7/3).
Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson
How can urban and rural hospitals get a better return on investment for the cost of electronic health records?

to share your thoughts on this article.