EHR Adoption in US Healthcare

Less than a decade ago, nine out of ten doctors in the U.S. updated their patients’ records by hand and stored them in color-coded files. By the end of 2017, approximately 90% of office-based physicians nationwide will be using electronic health records (EHRs). Health records are changing quickly — here’s a snapshot of the current EHR landscape:

Support for EHR adoption

  1. The annual healthcare spending of the country reached ~$2.9 trillion in 2011. It’s expected to soar to $3.5 trillion by 2015. (Source)
  2. Medical errors cost $19.5 billion a year, and maybe as much as $1 trillion a year when accounting for lost productivity. (Source)
  3. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer.

EHR adoption rates

  1. In March 2017, 67% of all providers reported using an EHR, a 1% increase over September 2016. Source: SKA
  2. As of 2015, about 9 in 10 (87%) of office-based physicians had adopted an electronic health records (EHR) and it represents a 4% increase from the year prior. (Source)
  3. Since 2008, office-based physician adoption of an EHR has nearly doubled, from 42% to 87%. (Source)
  4. According to a 2015 National Electronic Health Records Survey (NEHRS), 87% of physicians reported using an EHR system and 78% reported using a Certified EHR system. (A basic system is a system that has all of the following functionalities: patient history and demographics, patient problem lists, physician clinical notes, comprehensive lists of patients’ medications and allergies, computerized orders for prescriptions, and the ability to view laboratory and imaging results electronically. A certified system was defined by physicians answering “yes” to having a current system that “meets meaningful use criteria defined by the Department of Health and Human Services.”). (Source)
  5. Physician specialties with the highest adoption rates are internal medicine / pediatrics (76%), nephrology (75%), family practice (75%) and urology (74%). (Source)
  6. The states with the highest adoption rates are Wyoming (79%), South Dakota (77%), Utah (75%), Iowa (75%), and North Dakota (74%). (Source)

EHR Adoption Rates 2012-2016

YEAR EHR ADOPTION RATE
2012 40%
2013 48%
2014 50%
2015 63%
2016 66%
2017 67%

Meaningful Use achievement

  1. As of March 2014, eligible providers participating in Meaningful Use have received $22.9 billion in EHR incentive payments since the program’s first payout in 2011. (Source)
  2. Over 370,000 providers have earned Meaningful Use incentives. (Source)
  3. About three-quarters of physicians who have adopted an EHR system reported that their system meets Meaningful Use criteria. (Source)
  4. As of June 2015, nearly 8 in 10 of all REC enrolled Priority Primary Care Providers (PPCPs) are demonstrating meaningful use (MU) of certified EHR technology (CEHRT). (Source)
  5. As of June 2015, 94 percent of REC-enrolled PPCPs (134,978 providers) have an EHR installed and are routinely using the technology, and over 77 percent of all REC-enrolled PPCPs (110,107 providers) had demonstrated Meaningful Use of CEHRT and provided richer functionality of MU, including: clinical quality reporting, e-prescribing, and medication reconciliation. (Source)

EHR costs

  1. In 2015, spending on electronic systems by providers could grow 88%, to an estimated $37 billion. (Source)
  2. Roughly 45% of providers reported spending more than $100,000 on an EHR. (Source)
  3. 98% of providers identified their EHR as one of the biggest increases for IT spending. (Source)
  4. 67% of providers anticipate increasing their IT spending by 10% or more in 2014. (Source)

EHR vendors

  1. Currently, there are roughly 1100 vendors that offer an EHR — twice the number of vendors 4 years ago. (Source)
  2. 51.6% of providers reported the top criteria category for selecting an EHR was Connectivity or Meaningful Use Achievement. 43.2% cited system and implementation costs. (Source)
  3. The most popular EHR platforms (Source)
  4. More than 40% of hospital executives are either indifferent or dissatisfied with their current EHR system. (Source)
  5. 67% of providers reported not liking the functionality of their EHR systems. (Source)

Techli – Huge Demands for Medical Coders

Minnesota’s burgeoning healthcare tech scene sparks huge demand for coders

Minnesota is well-known for its robust healthcare tech scene, and now the demand for coders has reached such a high level that the University of Minnesota has launched a coding boot camp.

Last year, 98 health technology startups in Minnesota raised $420.28 million, according to an article by Modern Healthcare.

A simple job search on Indeed for “medical coding specialist” in Minnesota displays some 450 positions ready to be filled while ZipRecruiter lists over 2,000 available slots for “medical coder.”

Companies that are looking for coders include Twin Cities OrthopedicsHealth Partners, and Fairview among many others, but more on that later.

In order to meet the overwhelming demand for tech talent in Minnesota, including its burgeoning healthcare sector, the University of Minnesota is launching a coding boot camp.

Although the boot camp is not aimed specifically at healthcare tech, that’s where you will find the highest demand as evidenced by recruitment within the industry.

With demand for skilled web developers at an all-time high, University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education will launch a 24-week Coding Boot Camp in November 2017.

“Students who complete the program will have the skills they need to develop dynamic end-to-end web applications—and to make a great impression on prospective employers,” the university website reads.

The University of Minnesota Coding Boot Camp is offered in collaboration with Trilogy Education Services, a Continuing Education Program Manager (CEPM) that creates and manages skills-based training programs that combine market-driven technical instruction with a deep emphasis on career coaching and employer networking.

minnesota healthcare

Dan Sommer, CEO and Founder at Trilogy Education Services

“Today, more than ever before, knowing how to code is a form a literacy just like the ability to read and write, said Dan Sommer, Founder and CEO of Trilogy Education Services.

“Forward-thinking continuing education programs recognize their essential role in helping train a job-ready workforce with technical skills, and the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education is at the forefront of this movement.”

While the University of Minnesota Coding Boot Camp will help train students to do code across industries, the healthcare sector is where big companies and startups alike are looking to hire.

Startups in Minnesota’s healthcare tech sector are receiving serious funding, including $14 million raised by Minneapolis-based Gravie last month.

Other leading healthcare startups in Minnesota that are looking for tech workers include Bright Health, who are looking for data scientists, and SherpaHealth, which was created by Element Consulting based on the need to “leverage clinical data to recognize patient risk factors and enable patient interventions with clinicians,” is looking for “Technology Solutions Integration and Migration” positions.

With big funding coming in for startups in Minnesota’s healthcare tech sector, the demand for coders is rising tremendously.

According to Modern Healthcare, “In Minnesota, about 439,300 people are employed in the healthcare industry.”

The University of Minnesota’s Coding Boot Camp is one of way of educating home-grown students to meet that demand, but it still won’t be enough to fill all the thousands positions currently available in healthcare, from well-established corporations to up-and-coming startups that are producing great work everyday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

What is Medicare new program MACRA talks about

MACRA :

The above abbreviation stands for Medicare Access and Chip Re-Authorization Act.

Medicare keeping in mind to reduce the rising cost in delivering healthcare and in the interest of keeping patient most healthier, introduced some quality payment programmes.  By asking the top providers in the country to join this drive, has made the providers life easier, patient healthier and the rising costs reduced.  As we all are aware Medicare was paying the providers through a method namely “FFS – Fee for service”.  This service actually depends on the sustainable growth rate formula created for fixing the prices for the services provided.  Each year, the congress used to pass a bill which affected the providers remuneration to greater extent as these were based on volume and not the quality of services provided.

Quality payment programme has provided 2 ways to track the quality measures to the providers:

  1. MIPS (Merit based Incentive payment systems)
  2. APMs- Advanced Alternative payment models.

MIPS – When providers participate in MIPS they will be entitled to earn a performance based incentive.  They have laid certain criteria for certain providers, as for MIPS is concerned.  The providers must also be 1. Physician, 2. Physician assistant, 3. Nurse practitioner, 4. Clinical Nurse specialist or 5. CRNA’s.  If they are ready to participate, they have to submit the data on the quality measures undertaken, electronically, for the period Jan 1 2017 – Dec 31 2017 by March 31, 2018.  If they do not participate, then they are entitled for a negative payment retraction of 4% by Jan  1, 2019.

Not only this, Medicare has provided 3 options to choose for those providers who wish to participate for MIPS.  They could 1. select to submit a few quality measures data, 2. Partial year submission 3. Full year submission.

APM’s – When providers participate in Advanced Alternative Payment Model system, they will be entitled to earn the incentive based on the quality measures provided on the APM”s.  The participating providers should submit the data on the quality measures undertaken, electronically, for the period Jan 1 2017 – Dec 31 2017 by March 31 2018.  Through this programme, the providers are entitled for a 5% incentive.  If not, they are entitled for a negative payment adjustments by 2019.

If the providers participate in these quality measures and are successful, they could reach higher heights in terms of remuneration, patient satisfaction and in return, more business expansions can happen.  If not, their negative retraction will be higher…