Healthcare Business News

Federal panel OKs recommendations on certification

By Joseph Conn
Posted: May 6, 2010 - 11:00 am ET

The Health IT Policy Committee accepted by unanimous vote recommendations on certification and privacy from two of its work groups today.

The work group on the adoption and certification of health information technology systems presented a list of 12 recommendations on tweaks to the proposed permanent program for the certification of electronic health-record systems outlined in a proposed rule published March 10 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS. The public comment period on the rule ends May 10.

The privacy and security work group also made a series of recommendations regarding the same proposed rule, theirs dealing with the testing and certification of so-called modular components of an EHR system. The work group included in the recommendations that vendors be required to label these modules, identifying the scope of their privacy and security elements.

In addition, ONC chief David Blumenthal said he soon would form a joint, ad hoc work group of the Health IT Policy Committee and its peer advisory panel, the Health IT Standards Committee, to address a mandate in the recently passed healthcare reform law.

The new law tasks the two committees with making recommendations on health IT standards to better enable social and health service databases to interoperate with one another in preparation for the establishment of health insurance exchanges called for under the reform legislation. The law gives the two committees 180 days to come up with their recommendations, Blumenthal said.

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