Doctors’ Use of EMR Up 24% Since 2009

A new study released by the Center for Disease Control shows that doctors and medical professionals are using electronic medical records at much higher rates than in 2009.

This, the report says, is due in large part to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which authorizes payments through Medicaid and Medicare programs to physicians to advance adoption of EMR systems nationwide.

In 2012, 72% of office-based physicians used electronic medical record or electronic health record (EMR/EHR) systems, up from 48% in 2009. EMR/EHR use ranged from 54% in New Jersey to 89% in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts showed the highest percentage of electronic medical records (EMR) users, which experts have linked to the state’s earlier adoption of many provisions included in the Affordable Care Act that takes full effect later this year.

Also notable was that 66% of office-based physicians said that they plan to apply or have already applied to for “meaningful use” incentives.

In order to receive payment through the HITECH Act, physicians must demonstrate that they’re “using meaningfully” electronic health and medical records (EHA/EMA). Meaningful use comes from a physician’s readiness to meet at least 13 of the Stage 1 Core Set objectives.

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