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ONC Issues Final Rule on Certification Program

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bluThe Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology today issued a final rule to create a temporary certification program for electronic health record technology, establishing processes organizations must follow to be authorized by the national coordinator to test and certify EHR technology.

Use of “certified EHR technology” is a requirement for providers wanting to qualify to receive incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs provisions authorized in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

Certification is used to provide assurance and confidence that a product or service will work as expected and will include the capabilities for which it was purchased. With EHR technology certification, healthcare providers can be assured the adopted EHR technology has been tested and includes the required capabilities they need to use the technology in a meaningful way.

By purchasing certified EHR technology, hospitals and eligible professionals and hospitals will be able to make EHR purchasing decisions knowing the technology will allow them to become meaningful users of EHRs, qualify for the payment incentives, and begin using EHRs in a way that will improve quality and efficiency in our healthcare system, said Dr. David Blumenthal, national health IT coordinator.

“We hope that all HIT stakeholders view this rule as the federal government’s commitment to reduce uncertainty in the health IT marketplace and advance the successful implementation of EHR incentive programs,” he said.

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