As healthcare delivery organizations prepare their systems to qualify for funds under the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs, a new survey reveals that healthcare CIOs are cautiously optimistic.
Most think that they will be ready to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology, a prerequisite to qualify for stimulus reimbursements under the HITECH portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The survey was conducted by the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) between August 3 and 18. CHIME's internet-based survey received responses from 152 CIOs who are members of the organization. The survey reflects their initial response to the final rules for achieving meaningful use of EHRs which were issued on July 13.
According to the survey's results, 28% indicated that they expect to qualify for stimulus funding in the first six months of fiscal year 2011, which begins on October 1. An additional 62% reported that they expect to qualify between April 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012, which marks the end of Stage One of the incentive program, and 10% believe they will not qualify for stimulus funds until fiscal years 2013 or 2014.
The survey also noted that the expectations of CIOs vary depending on the type of healthcare organization they represent and its size. For example, some 38% of CIOs from academic medical centers expect to qualify for stimulus funding within the first six months, compared with only 22% of CIOs from community hospitals. In general, executives of larger organizations say they are more likely to qualify for funding within six months than CIOs from smaller facilities.