HHS-ONC Names EHR Certification Bodies

Have You To Ensure the Your System Qualifies for EHR Certification?

(September 1, 2010): Earlier this week, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), an organization within the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has named two entities as EHR Certification Bodies. They include:

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), Chicago, Illinois, and Drummond Group Inc. (DGI), Austin, Texas.

These entities are the first technology review bodies that have been authorized to test and certify EHR systems for compliance with the standards and certification criteria that were issued by HHS earlier this year. As HHS’ Press Release reflects:

Certification of EHRs is part of a broad initiative undertaken by Congress and President Obama under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. HITECH created new incentive payment programs to help health providers as they transition from paper-based medical records to EHRs. Incentive payments totaling as much as $27 billion may be made under the program.Individual physicians and other eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 through Medicare and almost $64,000 through Medicaid. Hospitals can receive millions.

To qualify for the incentive payments, providers must not only adopt, but also demonstrate meaningful use of, certified EHR systems. The law envisions that defined meaningful use requirements will help ensure that the patient and provider benefits of EHRs are realized. Initial meaningful use criteria were defined in a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 28."

With these appointments, EHR certification vendors will be able to have their programs certified as meeting criteria to support the "Meaningful Use" which are now required.

Should you have questions regarding these or other health law issues, you should contact your attorney or feel free to call one of the attorneys at Liles Parker. For a free initial consultation, call: 1 (800) 475-1906.