ONC Releases Final Rule for Temporary EHR Certified Program

On June 18th, the Office of the National Coordinator of Health and Information Technology (ONC) released a final rule pertaining to the temporary certification program for electronic health records (EHR).  The rule contains guidelines for organizations to follow in order to be authorized by the ONC to test, approve and certify EHR technology.

In March, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had released a notice proposing the establishment of two certification programs, one temporary and one permanent.  The permanent program will be published at a later date and will have more rigorous requirements for becoming authorized to test and certify electronic health records.

The temporary certification program is a compulsory requirement for providers who wish to take advantage of the incentive payments offered in the adoption of EHRs under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.  Under the act, providers become eligible for substantial incentive bonuses (in excess of $44,000) if they can demonstrate “meaningful use” of a certified EHR.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is currently in the process of issuing final guidelines for demonstrating meaningful use and earning the EHR incentive bonus.

Organizations interested in apply for temporary registration must provide appropriate documentation indicating that they are qualified to test and certify EHRs for meaningful use requirements.

To access the ONC’s final rule in its entirety, click here.