All of the "waves" have hit the beach, and what have washed up are the final sets of federally approved test procedures, data and tools for software developers to use in building IT systems that can be certified for use in the federal electronic health-record system incentive payment program.
In September, HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology began releasing—in what it called a series of seven "waves"
—its draft specifications
for the 2014 edition of standards and certification criteria for EHRs.Copies of the final 2014 edition test method
, which include 48 test procedures and 18 sets of test data, are available at the ONC's website.
EHR vendors—and providers with self-developed EHR systems—will use the full complement of these final specs to test and certify their systems for use in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payment programs to ensure the systems can meet the Stage 2 meaningful-use criteria providers must demonstrate they've reached beginning in 2014.
The Medicare and Medicaid programs thus far have paid out more than $9.2 billion to 177,100 providers, including 3,750 hospitals, according to the latest estimates by the CMS.