MGMA survey: Meaningful use criteria mean decreased productivity

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Changes in practices’ operations to meet the EHR meaningful use criteria would lead to decreased productivity, according to new research by the MGMA.

Nearly 68 percent of respondents said physician productivity would decrease, and 31 percent said that it would dip by 10 percent, according to the poll. Practices were asked to estimate the change in productivity from implementing all the 25 meaningful use criteria.

“If the final rule mirrors those outlined in the current proposal, there is a significant risk that the program will fail to meet the intent of the legislation, and that a historic opportunity to transform the nation’s healthcare system will be missed.” MGMA President and CEO William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, said in a statement.

MGMA’s research also identified which criteria would be hard to achieve:
• The proposed requirement that 80 percent of all patient requests for an electronic copy of their health information be fulfilled within 48 hours (45.9 percent) and
• The proposed requirement that 10 percent of all patients be given electronic access to their health information within 96 hours of the information being available (53.5 percent).

In a recent podcast, Robert Tennant of the MGMA, explained to me that these criteria that require practices to deliver electronic copies of health information in a timely manner would be particularly troublesome. He said it would require many practices to acquire patient portals, which are often separate systems from their EHRs. This could be a costly proposition.

However, for those practices that said they didn’t currently use an EHR, about 42 percent said it was “very likely” that they would attempt to qualify for the EHR incentives. Another 18 percent said it was “likely.” But there is that more than 23 percent who said it was “very unlikely” or “unlikely” that they would.

Unsurprisingly, among those with an EHR, nearly 83 percent said it was “likely” or “very likely” that they would try to qualify for the incentives.

What do you think? Will these requirements have a major impact on your practice's productivity?

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