HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has issued a final rule establishing a permanent certification program for organizations that seek ONC approval to test and certify health information technology.
ONC issues final rule for permanent certification program
The meaningful use of certified electronic health-record technology is a core requirement for healthcare providers looking to qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. According to the ONC, the program provides new features that are intended to enhance certification of health IT by increasing the comprehensiveness, transparency, reliability and efficiency of current processes that are used for EHR technology.
"This final rule completes the two-phased approach ONC began with the proposed rule issued in spring 2010 and includes several important improvements to our certification processes," ONC head David Blumenthal said in a news release. "Our goal is to make the transition to the permanent certification program as seamless as possible."
Last summer, the ONC issued a final rule that established a temporary certification program. According to HHS, that temporary program will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2011, or a later date depending on when the processes necessary for the permanent program are completed.
The permanent certification program indicates that organizations must first be accredited to test or certify health IT, and ONC-authorized certifying bodies are required to conduct post-certification surveillance.
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