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CCHIT plans IT framework for ACOs


By Joseph Conn
Posted: December 13, 2012 - 3:00 pm ET
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As the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology continues to branch out beyond its original function of testing and certifying electronic health-record systems, accountable care organizations are the next hill on its horizon.

The Chicago-based not-for-profit organization plans to form an advisory panel with an eye to creating an "ACO framework" to "identify the health IT infrastructure components necessary for a provider organization to function effectively as an ACO and help identify any gaps that would prevent them from meeting their goals," CCHIT said in a news release.

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Dr. Karen Bell, chairwoman of the commission, will lead the exploratory committee on ACOs. Once the committee's work is completed, CCHIT plans to publish its findings to help "educate and inform those who are working on ACO development," according to the release.

In October, CCHIT announced plans to wade into the fluid field of health information exchanges by testing and certifying software and organizations involved in HIEs. CCHIT is one of six EHR testing and certification bodies to be authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under the federal EHR incentive payment program.


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