On March 2, 2010, the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) issued its proposed rulemaking respecting the certification standards that an eligible health care provider’s electronic health record must satisfy in order to qualify for incentives under the Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health Act (HITECH Act), which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ONC proposes establishing two certification programs:
1) A temporary certification program whereby the ONC would authorize organizations to test and certify Complete EHRs and/or EHR Modules, thereby assuring the availability of Certified EHR Technology prior to the date on which health care providers seeking the incentive payments may begin demonstrating meaningful use of Certified EHR Technology; and
2) A permanent certification program that would replace the temporary certification program. The permanent certification program would separate the responsibilities for performing testing and certification, introduce accreditation requirements, establish requirements for certification bodies authorized by the ONC related to the surveillance of Certified EHR Technology, and would include the potential for certification bodies authorized by the ONC to certify other types of health information technology besides Complete EHRs and EHR Modules.
The comment period for the proposed rule will be established once it is published in the Federal Register. In the meantime, you can read the proposed rule on the ONC’s webpage.