The door is open at the American National Standards Institute for organizations to submit applications to become accredited certifiers of electronic health-record systems under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payment programs.
ANSI accepting certifier applications
Applications to the ANSI for the initial accreditation program will be accepted through Oct. 7. The first ANSI accreditations of certification organizations are expected in 2012, according to an ANSI news release.
In June, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS named ANSI, a Washington-based not-for-profit organization, to serve as the sole accreditor of EHR certification bodies.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the ONC was authorized to establish a process for both testing and certifying EHRs as capable of meeting meaningful-use standards that providers must demonstrate they have achieved to qualify for federal IT incentive payments under the recovery act.
The ONC first set up an interim program through which organizations both tested and certified EHR systems. At present, there are six ONC-authorized testing and certification organizations. But under an ONC permanent rule for the EHR incentive payment program, the testing and certification procedures for EHRs will be split, and thus, so will the certification of organizations performing those two functions.
ANSI, the ONC-approved accreditor of certification organizations, is the U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization, a global federation of national standards institutes.
"We appreciate and respect the ONC's trust in the value and integrity of ANSI accreditation, and are committed to build on the record of confidence established via public-private partnerships with many other government agencies relying on ANSI accreditation," ANSI Vice President for Accreditation Services Lane Hallenbeck said in the release.
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