ONC Issues Rule Proposing the Establishment of Certification Programs for Health IT

Sheel Pandya reports:

On Tuesday, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (Health IT) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule that establishes two voluntary certification programs to test and certify health IT. The National Coordinator for health IT is required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (link to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ5/html/PLAW-111publ5.htm) (ARRA)  to work with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a program (or programs) for voluntary certification.
This proposed rule represents the third in an important set of coordinated rulemakings by HHS affecting health IT. Back in December 2009, HHS released two proposed regulations. The first, a proposed rule, describes how eligible professionals and eligible hospitals can qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid programs through the meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. The second, an interim final rule, describes the standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria that EHR technology needs to meet for providers to receive incentive payments. HHS has invited the public to submit comments on both of these rules on or before March 15, 2010.
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