ONC Selects CCHIT, Drummond Group as EHR Testers, Certifiers

TOPIC ALERT:

Last week, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced the first organizations to be approved as Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies under a temporary certification program for electronic health records, Government Health IT reports.

ONC named the Certification Commission for Health IT and the Drummond Group as ATCBs.

Background

The certification program will allow vendors to receive certification for products designed to help health care providers meet Stage 1 "meaningful use" requirements.

Health care providers must use certified EHR products to be eligible for the meaningful use Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments included in the 2009 federal stimulus package.

Roles of CCHIT and the Drummond Group

The newly announced ATCBs received two days of training from ONC.

CCHIT plans to launch its authorization program Sept. 20. It will offer certification for:

  • Complete EHRs that meet all criteria for Stage 1 of meaningful use; and
  • Modular EHR products that meet one or some of the criteria (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 8/30).

On Aug. 31, the Drummond Group posted on its website information on its testing and certification program and said that it currently is accepting applications (Goedert, Health Data Management, 9/1). The Drummond Group will certify:

  • Complete EHRs; and
  • All ambulatory and inpatient-setting EHR modules (Government Health IT, 8/30).

More Applications Under Review

Prior to the 2009 economic stimulus package, CCHIT was the only organization authorized by ONC to certify EHRs (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 8/31).

Weno Healthcare, which provides an e-community for health care organizations, announced last week that it has applied to be an ONC-ATCB (CMIO, 8/31).

The applications for several more companies, which have not been named, currently are under review (Goedert, Health Data Management, 8/30).

ATCBs will use testing procedures developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Government Health IT, 8/30).

Next Steps

The temporary certification program will last at least until Jan. 1, 2012 (Health Data Management, 8/30).

ONC is developing a permanent certification and testing program to become effective for the next stages of the meaningful use incentive program (Government Health IT, 8/30).

For more coverage on the newly announced ATCBs, see today's iHealthBeat feature.


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