HITECH ACT – Final Rule for Temporary Certification IssuedJun 20th, 2010 | By ehrstimulus | Category: Meaningful Use
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology issued its final rule for the temporary certification program. The program establishes a way for organizations to be authorized by the National Coordinator to test an
d certify electronic health record (EHR) technology.
Use of certified EHR technology is a core requirement for eligible health care providers to qualify for payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
For more information on the temporary certification program, visit: http://healthit.hhs.gov/certification.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provides HHS with the authority to establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health information technology (HIT), including electronic health records (EHRs) and private and secure electronic health information exchange.
The HITECH legislation directs the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to support and promote meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology nationwide through the adoption of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria as well as the establishment of certification programs for HIT, such as EHR technology..
About the Temporary Certification Program and ONC-ATCBs
To provide assurance to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) that the EHR technology they adopt will assist their achievement of meaningful use, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule to establish a temporary certification program for EHR technology on June 18, 2010. The rule outlines how organizations can become ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCBs). Authorized by the National Coordinator, ONC-ATCB are required to test and certify that certain types of her technology (Complete EHRs and EHR Modules) are compliant with the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted by the HHS Secretary and meet the definition of “certified EHR technology”.
About the Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria
On January 13, 2010, the Secretary published in the Federal Register an interim final rule that adopted standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for HIT. A final rule, which will realign with the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs final rule, is expected to be released in the near future.
What Certification Means for Health Care Providers
EHR technology, certified by an ONC-ATCB must be used in order to qualify for incentive payments. The temporary certification program provides assurance that the EHR technology health care providers adopt is technically capable of supporting their efforts to achieve meaningful use.
What Certification Means for Developers of EHR Technology
The temporary certification program provides a way for developers of EHR technology to have their HIT tested and certified so that it can be subsequently adopted by eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs who seek to achieve meaningful use.