The response to last week’s Meaningful Use IQ Test revealed a tremendous thirst for information and a fair amount of confusion about the facts and realities of meaningful use. Neither was terribly surprising, given the recent hype surrounding the program’s launch and the complexity of the regulations.
Since the quiz was posted last week, 534 people have taken the test. The average score was 56% (see chart below and the breakdown of responses at the bottom of the page). These results mean that physicians will need a great deal of assistance from consultants, Regional Extension Centers, and vendors to succeed in their pursuit of the EHR incentives. If that aid is not forthcoming, there could be a large number of very disappointed providers when the incentives are distributed.
The following are some observations:
- Only a small minority of our test-takers (9%) appear to truly understand the regulations and the requirements in their entirety. (Inga, from HIStalkPractice.com is one of the few who just might—based on her perfect score!)
- Many people find the intricacies of the regulations baffling—as indicated by more than half of the respondents (300 of 534) knowing half or less of the information.
- The fact that over one-third of the respondents did not know that providers cannot collect Medicare EHR incentives and Medicare ePrescribing incentives in the same year—no “double dipping” allowed—means that they have likely not analyzed their options to maximize the total revenue from the two incentive programs.
- I thought it was interesting that nearly half of the respondents thought that the program requires reporting on only Medicare and Medicaid patients, when, in reality, the government is requiring providers to submit data on all patients.
- Clearly, the message has come through that the program has been made more specialist-friendly, as physicians will be able to exclude measures that are not relevant to their practices. However, many do not understand how these exclusions factor into the demonstration of meaningful use.
The Meaningful Use IQ Test is still active, so if you haven’t accepted the challenge yet, you can still do so. I’m glad that it is raising awareness and providing valuable education. That was precisely its purpose!