In latest monthly meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee, Elisabeth Holland of the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) reported that 1814 of 2115 eligible hospitals (EHs) had attested to Stage 2 Meaningful Use during the 2014 period as of the first of the year.
In late November, the federal agency extended the 2014 meaningful reporting deadline until December 31, giving these eligible providers an additional month to complete their 2014 meaningful use attestation.
Over that one-month period, the number of EHs successfully attesting for meaningful use reporting year 2014 rose from 3696 to 4093, with the EHs successfully attesting to Stage 2 Meaningful Use increasing from 1681 to 1814.
The total number of hospital attestations is slightly less than last year’s mark of 4112 total attestations for this portion of eligible providers.
During December’s meeting, the federal agency reported that number of EHs having successfully attested to Stage 2 Meaningful Use as of December 1 doubled from 840 to 1681.
The update comes one day after a group of industry associations voiced their support of a reintroduced bill to modify 2015 meaningful use reporting requirements, the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015 that would require a 90-day, quarter-based reporting period rather than a full year of reporting this year.
Support for the bill was bolstered by CMS data indicating that one-third of hospitals expected to demonstrate Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2014 had to file for a hardship exception or meet Stage 1 requirements again, yet these figures and those provided yesterday by CMS do not add up.
Speaking of bad math, there is CMS data on eligible professionals over the same timeframe that raises questions. As of January 1, a total of 76,730 EPs demonstrated meaningful use in 2014, up from 60,561 EPs as of December 1. As for Stage 2, CMS data from the Health IT Policy Committee meeting incorrectly shows a decrease in successful 2014 Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestations — 16,455 to 16,359. (CMS is currently correcting those figures which will be made available shortly.)
The meaningful use attestation deadline for these eligible providers is set for the end of February. The number of EPs attesting to Stage 2 Meaningful Use has ample time to increase.