The National Institute of Standards and Technology has posted to its Web site its first shot thus far at developing testing criteria to be used by certification bodies to test electronic health-record systems for acceptability in the federal information technology subsidy program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus law.
The law requires the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS, in consultation with the NIST, to come up with a methodology to recognize EHR certification organizations. Hospitals and physicians must use certified EHRs in a “meaningful manner” to qualify for subsidies estimated to range from $14.1 billion to $27.3 billion.
According to the NIST, the site “provides information about the key health IT testing initiatives under way,” including, “an overview of the Health IT Standards Testing Infrastructure, information and access to the test methods to meet meaningful-use technical requirements and standards, access to the Health IT Implementation Testing & Support Web site, as well as educational material on conformance and interoperability testing.”
Earlier this month, ONC head David Blumenthal announced the release of a 184-page proposed rule calling for a bifurcated process to anoint certification organizations.