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HHS announces proposed rules to support the path to nationwide interoperability

Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria rules proposed

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced the release of the Stage 3 notice of proposed rulemaking for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria to improve the way electronic health information is shared and ultimately improve the way care is delivered and experienced. Together, these proposed rules will give providers additional flexibility, make the program simpler, and drive interoperability among electronic health records, and increase the focus on patient outcomes to improve care.

The proposed rules are one part of a larger effort across HHS to deliver better care, spend health dollars more wisely, and have healthier people and communities by working in three core areas: to improve the way providers are paid; improve the way care is delivered; and improve the way information is shared. Together, these improvements can support better care and lower costs in the health care system.

“The flow of information is fundamental to achieving a health system that delivers better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. The steps we are taking today will help to create more transparency on cost and quality information, bring electronic health information to inform care and decision making, and support population health,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

The Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rule issued by CMS specifies new criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals must meet to qualify for Medicaid EHR incentive payments. The rule also proposes criteria that providers must meet to avoid Medicare payment adjustments (Medicaid has no payment adjustments) based on program performance beginning in payment year 2018. The rule give more flexibility and simplifies requirements for providers by focusing on advanced use of electronic health records and eliminating requirements that are no longer relevant.

The 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria proposed rule aligns with the path toward interoperability – the secure, efficient, and effective sharing and use of health information –identified in ONC’s draft shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap. The proposed rule builds on past editions of adopted health IT certification criteria, and includes new and updated IT functionality and provisions that support the EHR Incentive Programs care improvement, cost reduction, and patient safety across the health system.

“This Stage 3 proposed rule does three things: it helps simplify the meaningful use program, advances the use of health IT toward our vision for improving health delivery, and further aligns the program with other quality and value programs,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, M.D., M.Sc., CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “And, in an effort to make reporting easier for health care providers, we will be proposing a new meaningful use reporting deadline soon.”

“ONC’s proposed rule will be an integral component in the shared nationwide effort to achieve an interoperable health system,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H, M.Sc., national coordinator for health IT. “The certification criteria we have proposed in the 2015 Edition will help achieve that vision through provisions that consider the range of health IT users and uses across the care continuum, including those focused on interoperable standards, data portability, improved transparency, privacy and security capabilities, and increased oversight through ONC’s Health IT Certification Program.”

Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, doctors, health care professionals and hospitals, including critical access hospitals, can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt and meaningfully use health IT technology certified by ONC. Since the programs began in 2011, more than 433,000 eligible professionals and eligible hospitals have received an incentive payment representing about 60 percent of eligible professionals in either the Medicare or Medicaid programs and about 95 percent of eligible hospitals.

The Stage 3 proposed rule’s scope is generally limited to the requirements and criteria for meaningful use in 2017 and subsequent years. CMS is considering additional changes to meaningful use beginning in 2015 through separate rulemaking. Read more about this announcement on Dr. Conway’s blog.

The Stage 3 proposed rule may be viewed at here and the comment period ends on May 29, 2015. The 2015 Edition proposed rule may be viewed at here and the comment period ends on May 29, 2015. The Draft 2015 Edition Certification Test Procedures may be viewed at HealthIT.gov, and the comment period ends on June 30, 2015.

More information on meaningful use can be found on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/index.html.

More information on ONC’s editions of certification criteria can be found at http://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/standards-and-certification-regulations.

March 20, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare First to Achieve EHNAC’s Practice Management System Accreditation

Organizations evaluated on key performance standards of quality, privacy and security, as well as PMS vendor ICD-10 readiness
FARMINGTON, Conn. – January 20, 2015 - The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data, announced today that GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare are the first two organizations to achieve accreditation under its Practice Management System Accreditation Program (PMSAP).
 
 Jointly developed with the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), PMSAP has been designed to serve as a third-party review and provide an additional level of assurance to the provider community during the evaluation process of PMS system vendors.
 

The accreditation program offers a comprehensive evaluation of practice management system (PMS) vendors in the areas of privacy, security, mandated standards and operating rules, and key operational functions. Additionally, the PMSAP assesses health information and oversight for meeting privacy and security, HIPAA and ACA requirements, as well as focuses on technical performance, business processes and resource management. Additionally, the program provides a review of the PMS vendor readiness to support and implement ICD-10 in 2015 and therefore a level of assurance to the provider community.

As beta participants throughout the consultative and consensus-driven process of program development, GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare were the first to undergo evaluation on their compliance with the criteria and receive full accreditation status for the two-year timeframe.

“As healthcare and its payment system becomes more complex, it is essential that providers rely on systems and solutions they can trust,” said Jon Zimmerman, vice president and general manager, Clinical Business Solutions at GE Healthcare. “In collaboration with the leadership of EHNAC and WEDI, we have taken another big step forward toward providing standards based solutions that providers can use with confidence to run their businesses. This is another demonstration of our commitment to our customers to provide leading solutions in uncertain times.”

“Building trust in the healthcare community is essential to moving healthcare forward and through our collaborative efforts with EHNAC, we are at the forefront of providing the necessary security and trust assurances to enable more secure, efficient and effective healthcare delivery,” said Michael Lovett, executive vice president and general manager for NextGen Healthcare. “Being the first to achieve EHNAC accreditation underscores our commitment to ensuring that client and patient privacy is a top priority.”

“As beta organizations for the PMS accreditation program, GE Healthcare and NextGen Healthcare’s collaboration and feedback have been vital components in the development of an industry-changing initiative,” said Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. “The need to maintain high standards of privacy, security and confidentiality as a practice management system vendor is critical, to say the least. These organizations understand the value behind provider assurance in the quality and integrity of the companies with whom they entrust their data. We congratulate them both on their accreditation achievements.”

EHNAC accreditation recognizes excellence in health data processing and transactions, and confirms compliance with industry-established standards and HIPAA regulations. Visit www.ehnac.org for more details on PMSAP and the many other EHNAC accreditation programs.

About EHNAC

The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, eprescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators.

EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visitwww.ehnac.org, contact info@ehnac.org, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn andYouTube.

January 20, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CHIME Statement on Finalization of Meaningful Use ‘Modifications’ Rule

From Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO, President and CEO

This afternoon the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) finalized a regulation granting providers additional flexibility in meeting Meaningful Use (MU) requirements in 2014. However, the final rule lacked a key provision that would ensure continued EHR adoption and MU participation

CHIME is deeply disappointed in the decision made by CMS and ONC to require 365-days of EHR reporting in 2015. This single provision has severely muted the positive impacts of this final rule. Further, it has all but ensured that industry struggles will continue well beyond 2014.

Roughly 50% of EHs and CAHs were scheduled to meet Stage 2 requirements this year and nearly 85% of EHs and CAHs will be required to meet Stage 2 requirements in 2015. Most hospitals who take advantage of new pathways made possible through this final rule will not be in a position to meet Stage 2 requirements beginning October 1, 2014. This means that penalties avoided in 2014 will come in 2015, and millions of dollars will be lost due to misguided government timelines.

Nearly every stakeholder group echoed recommendations made by CHIME to give providers the option of reporting any three-month quarter EHR reporting period in 2015. This sensible recommendation, if taken, would have assuaged industry concerns over the pace and trajectory of rulemaking; it would have pushed providers to meet a higher bar, without pushing them off the cliff; and it would have ensured the long-term vitality of the program itself. Now, the very future of Meaningful Use is in question.

August 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

New CMS rule allows flexibility in certified EHR technology for 2014

Rule will help more providers use electronic health record technology

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule today that allows health care providers more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use for an EHR Incentive Program reporting period for 2014. By providing this flexibility, more providers will be able to participate and meet important meaningful use objectives like drug interaction and drug allergy checks, providing clinical summaries to patients, electronic prescribing, reporting on key public health data and reporting on quality measures.

“We listened to stakeholder feedback and provided CEHRT flexibility for 2014 to help ensure providers can continue to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs forward,” said Marilyn Tavenner, CMS administrator. “We were excited to see that there is overwhelming support for this change.”

Based on public comments and feedback from stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) identified ways to help eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) implement and meaningfully use Certified EHR Technology. Specifically, eligible providers can use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs; All eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs are required to use the 2014 Edition CEHRT in 2015.

These updates to the EHR Incentive Programs support HHS’ commitment to implementing an effective health information technology infrastructure that elevates patient-centered care, improves health outcomes, and supports the providers that care for patients.

The rule also finalizes the extension of Stage 2 through 2016 for certain providers and announces the Stage 3 timeline, which will begin in 2017 for providers who first became meaningful EHR users in 2011 or 2012.

An updated meaningful use timeline and a chart with 2011 and 2014 CEHRT Edition options are available at http://cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2014-Press-releases-items/2014-08-29.html.

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visithttp://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. For more information about CEHRT, please visit http://www.healthit.gov/certification.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CHIME Supports New Pathways for Meaningful Use in 2014

Nation’s CIOs ask for swift finalization of proposed rule with ‘common sense’ amendments
ANN ARBOR, MI, June 30, 2014 - In comments submitted Friday, June 27 on proposed “Modifications to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs for 2014,” the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) offered general support of program changes, but requested additional revisions and clarifications to maintain momentum of the federal initiative.

Comments from the professional association of healthcare CIOs and IT leaders said additional flexibility is needed because changes proposed for the Meaningful Use incentive program were only first released in late May, limiting the amount of time providers have to react to changes.

“CHIME supports the new pathways as defined in the proposed rule,” the letter read. “We believe these options will provide needed flexibility for EHR optimization, encourage continued participation in the program and help maintain the upward trajectory of EHR adoption in the US.”

One of CHIME’s primary requests is that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allow providers to choose any three-month quarter for an EHR reporting period in the next federal fiscal year or calendar year to qualify for Meaningful Use in 2015. As currently structured, the program requires providers to report a full year of data to qualify for incentives.

“We believe this change will have a dramatically positive effect on program participation and policy outcomes sought in 2015,” CHIME’s comments noted. “The additional time afforded by this modification would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.”

“We are grateful for the agencies’ acknowledgement that 2014 has been an extremely challenging year for the industry,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “The new pathways created by this NPRM will enable many hospitals and physicians to capitalize on progress made to date. However, the benefits of this new flexibility will be immediately lost if 2015 reporting requirements are not tempered.  Carrying forward the 2014 policy requiring providers submit data covering one quarter of their choosing in 2015 is common sense.”

Additional flexibility is needed because of the continued industry-wide strain to implement information technology in time to meet ongoing requirements of the program, CHIME contended. “Because there is such limited capacity for the industry to absorb ongoing technology upgrades and process changes, CHIME implores CMS to allow 3-month quarter EHR reporting options in 2015.”

CHIME’s comments also asked that the agencies delete ambiguous attestation requirements related to the definition of “fully implemented” Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT). “A number of CHIME members have indicated their apprehension to take advantage of the new pathways created by this NPRM (because of) how this proposed rule defines ‘full implementation’ of CEHRT since the examples do not adequately represent their situation,” CHIME stated.

“Given the industry’s experience with Meaningful Use audits, there is a lot of anxiety over how such a requirement would be validated,” said CHIME Board Chair Randy McCleese, FCHIME, LCHIME, CHCIO, Vice President of Information Services and CIO at Moorhead, Kentucky-based St. Claire Regional Medical Center.  “The fear generated by meaningless audits can be crippling for small and rural organizations like ours. Ambiguity in what constitutes ‘full CEHRT implementation’ defeats the primary intent of this NPRM – namely, to encourage continued participation in the program.”

Overall, CHIME believes “these new pathways will provide much-needed relief to hundreds of thousands of providers struggling to meet MU requirements in 2014, due to circumstances beyond their control,” but CHIME is asking agencies to “explicitly state its intentions to let providers meet MU requirements retrospectively in 2014, if they are able.”

Finally, CHIME offered its support of the one-year extension of Stage 2 for providers that first qualified as meaningful users of EHR technology in 2011 and 2012. “This is a necessary extension to give policymakers time to evaluate past experience and incorporate lessons learned into the third Stage of Meaningful Use,” CHIME stated.

“From Day One, CHIME has been an adamant supporter of Meaningful Use, and we remain supporters to this day,” said Branzell. “Our comments and recommendations are pragmatic and meant to ensure that industry, government and taxpayer investments are properly managed.  We are confident that if CMS makes these common sense changes, we can realize the benefits of a modern, connected healthcare system.”

The full text of CHIME’s response to the proposed modifications to the Meaningful Use program can be found at http://www.cio-chime.org/advocacy/resources/download/CHIME_Response_to_Modifications_MU_2014_Final.pdf

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and more than 130 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

June 30, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CMS Rule to Change EHR Certification Requirement and Meaningful Use Stage 2 Schedule

Rule also proposes to extend Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs through 2016

Today, HHS published a new proposed rule that would provide eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use. The proposed rule, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would let providers use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Beginning in 2015, all eligible hospitals and professionals would still be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT. Since the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs began in 2011, more than 370,000 hospitals and professionals nationwide have received an incentive payment.

“We have seen tremendous participation in the EHR Incentive Programs since they began,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “By extending Stage 2, we are being receptive to stakeholder feedback to ensure providers can continue to meet meaningful use and keep momentum moving forward.”

The proposed rule also includes a provision that would formalize CMS and ONC’s previously stated intention to extend Stage 2 through 2016 and begin Stage 3 in 2017. These proposed changes would address concerns raised by stakeholders and will encourage the continued adoption of Certified EHR Technology.

“Increasing the adoption of EHRs is key to improving the nation’s health care system and the steps we are taking today will give new options to those who, through no fault of their own, have been unable to get the new 2014 Edition technology, including those at high risk, such as smaller providers and rural hospitals,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H, M.Sc., national coordinator for health information technology.

Proposed changes to meaningful use timeline

New Meaningful Use and EHR Certification Timelines - Meaningful Use Stage 2 Delay

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visit http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. For more information about CEHRT, please visit http://www.healthit.gov.

May 20, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Patient Education Reference Center™ Certified to Meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 Criteria

~ Point-of-Care Resource is certified as an Electronic Health Record Module for Both Inpatient and Ambulatory Settings ~

IPSWICH, Mass. — May 16, 2014 — Patient Education Reference Center (PERC) from EBSCO Health has been certified as an Electronic Health Record (EHR) Module for both Inpatient and Ambulatory settings. PERC is compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria and supports Stage 2 Meaningful Use measures required for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

PERC provides health care professionals with evidence-based patient handouts that can be customized, printed and given to a patient at the point of care. The health care provider is able to go into a patient’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and click on the Infobutton for any diagnosis, medication or lab within a given record to access relevant patient education documents for the specific patient. The materials can then be printed, saved to a patient record and/or posted to a patient portal record.

The PERC certification is in accordance with the applicable Hospital and Eligible Providers certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The ONC 2014 Edition criteria support both Stage 1 and 2 Meaningful Use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under ARRA.

EBSCO Vice President of Medical Product Management and Chief Content Officer Betsy Jones says that by meeting Meaningful Use Stage 2 Criteria and providing access to patient education content via the HL7 Infobutton Standard, PERC is now even more of an asset for healthcare providers. “PERC has always helped health care professionals by providing customized handouts that can be given to a patient at the point-of-care. Now PERC allows providers to continue to provide the valuable information conveniently through EMRs while also helping institutions comply with Meaningful Use requirements.”

The handouts provided by PERC are easy to read, include illustrations, and are structured to enhance patient knowledge and understanding of material. Topics covered include more than 4,000 common and chronic diseases and conditions; over 750 specific procedures and lab tests; more than 2,800 lifestyle and wellness topics; over 1,500 unique drugs (more than 8,000 brand and generic names); and discharge and home care information for more than 1,000 related topics. For more information on PERC visit http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/patient-education-reference-center.

EBSCO Health, a part of EBSCO Information Services, has several point-of-care resources that integrate evidence-based content into EMR systems. In addition to PERC, valuable clinical content is available from DynaMedNursing Reference Center andRehabilitation Reference Center.

About EBSCO Health
EBSCO Health, part of EBSCO Information Services, is a leading provider of clinical decision support solutions, healthcare business intelligence, and medical research information for the healthcare industry. EBSCO Health users include professionals in medicine, nursing, and allied health. Flagship products include CINAHL®DynaMed,Nursing Reference Center, clinical e-books and e-journals, EBSCO Discovery Service, licensed databases (such as MEDLINE®), plus EBSCONET®. EBSCO databases are powered by EBSCOhost®, the electronic resource favored by libraries around the world.

About EBSCO Information Services

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the world’s premier database aggregator, offering a suite of more than 375 full-text and secondary research databases. Through a library of tens of thousands of full-text journals, magazines, books, monographs, reports and various other publication types from renowned publishers, EBSCO serves the content needs of all medical professionals (doctors, nurses, medical librarians, social workers, hospital administrators, etc.). The company’s product lines include proprietary databases such as CINAHL®DynaMedNursing Reference CenterPatient Education Reference CenterRehabilitation Reference CenterRehabilitation & Sports Medicine Source and SocINDEX as well as dozens of leading licensed databases such as MEDLINE®PsycARTICLES® and PsycINFO®. Databases are powered by EBSCOhost®, the most-used for-fee electronic resource in libraries around the world. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com.

May 16, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Accreditor for ONC Health IT Certification Program approved for second term

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has approved the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for a second three-year term as the ONC-Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) for the ONC Health Information Technology Certification Program.

ONC certifies electronic health record (EHR) technology products to ensure they meet the standards to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health information technology and electronic health information exchange.

EHR products that have been successfully tested by a National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program Accredited Testing Laboratory are certified under this program. The ONC-AA accredits the certification bodies that seek to serve as ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies (ONC-ACBs) under this program and ensures that they continue to meet requirements necessary to maintain accreditation.

ANSI was approved as the ONC-AA after a competitive process that included an evaluation against a specific set of requirements. The requirements include conformance to ISO/IEC 17011 (General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies), and sexperience evaluating conformance of certification bodies to ISO Guide 65 (General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems).

ONC’s goal is to give assurance to EHR developers, users, and the general public that certified products meet and maintain the functionalities required for certification.

May 14, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

2014 Edition EHR Tests, Certifications in Full Swing – Drummond Group

Our commitment to ONC MU Program Remains Strong

CCHIT recently announced that it will no longer offer ONC testing and certification services, and predictably, we have had numerous inquiries on related matters, such as our future in the ONC program and thoughts on the 2014 Edition criteria. We wanted to issue a single response to address these questions.

First, the process of changing from one ACB to another is well defined under the ONC program and supporting ISO guidelines for certification bodies. There is nothing “new” or “special” about the process. Any EHR software vendor may request its certification(s) be moved to another accredited certification body. Starting point for joining Drummond Group is going to our website and submitting a certification-only registration, or if you are needing testing as well, for example, to go from an EHR Module to a Complete EHR, register for testing as well.

Second, while the 2014 Edition program is certainly more challenging than the previous criteria, we are very comfortable with the requirements and our ability to support our customers in their pursuit of certification. To date, Drummond Group has tested and certified approximately 60 percent of all 2014 Edition Complete EHRs and nearly 50 percent of all 2014 Edition certified EHRs on the ONC CHPL. We offer WAVE testing options to break out the testing activities over a period of time, tutorial videos on every criteria with other supporting documents, Dry Run testing options and unmatched one-on-one support with our highly trained technical proctors.

And finally, Drummond Group will continue with 2014 Edition Testing and Certification, and we plan on being an ONC-ACB and authorized testing lab for the foreseeable future. We are not in EHR testing for the short term, but rather, the long haul. This was true when we said it in 2010 and it is true now. We are excited about the future of HIT testing and the ONC certification program.

We look forward to working with you in the near future and welcome your feedback anytime.

January 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CCHIT ANNOUNCES NEW STRATEGIC DIRECTION WITH GLOBAL FOCUS PLANS TO OFFER COUNSEL AND POLICY GUIDANCE TO HIT STAKEHOLDERS

CHICAGO – Jan. 29, 2014 – Today, CCHIT announced a new strategic direction that will return it to its founding public mission of supporting the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  CCHIT plans to offer direct counsel to both healthcare providers and health IT developers on the requirements for certified EHR technology and how to best satisfy HIT regulations published by organizations and governments.  With a more global focus, and in alliance with HIMSS, CCHIT will also develop new programs and policy guidance aimed at achieving interoperability and supporting change in the way providers and patients around the world use IT to positively transform health and healthcare.

As part of this change, CCHIT will no longer offer ONC testing and certification services, or its independently developed certification programs.

“It’s apparent to both providers and vendors that the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification has been slowed by the challenges of more rigorous criteria and testing, and the timing and nature of future federal health IT program requirements remain uncertain. With these changes, we can provide a greater level of support and counsel to providers and vendors, something we could not undertake as a government authorized certification body,” said Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director. “At the same time, returning to our independent work, we can convene thought leaders and advisory groups to provide policy and governance recommendations, and guidance to the healthcare community here and internationally.”

CCHIT will continue to operate The Source™, its subscription-based ONC testing and certification preparation service. At the completion of CCHIT’s transition, a new menu of individualized services focused on topics such as Understanding ONC Certification Criteria and Test Methods, Interoperability, and Clinical Quality Measures and Meaningful Use Reporting will be added to help EHR developers. New services designed especially for healthcare providers will be added incrementally.

CCHIT will develop new programs with a global charter that will include the participation of HIT thought leaders and multi-stakeholder advisory groups, with a series of summits and events to support that work.  CCHIT is entering into an alliance with HIMSS to benefit from its deep understanding of healthcare provider and HIT industry needs, domestically and internationally, and enhance the chances of success of CCHIT’s new programs.  CCHIT intends to launch these new services at HIMSS14, on February 26, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.  Information about the first CCHIT Summit – The Decade of Health IT – is available at https://www.cchit.org/events.

This discussion with past National Coordinators Dr. David Brailer, Dr. Robert Kolodner, and Dr. Farzad Mostashari will include a critical look back at the last decade of health IT progress, followed by a session allowing audience input on the desired role of health IT in the decade to come. The Summit will be moderated by Christopher Weaver, a journalist covering the business of health care for the Wall Street Journal.

“Both HIMSS and CCHIT share the common and long-term goal of improving health with information technology,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, HIMSS executive vice president. “This alliance allows our organizations to combine our considerable knowledge and experience to better serve our stakeholders as we work together to further positive patient outcomes.”

CCHIT’s customers have been notified of this change. CCHIT has recommended that its customers accept an offer from ICSA Labs to maintain their certification or apply for new testing services. CCHIT chose ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, and an ONC-Authorized Certification body and Accredited HIT Test Laboratory, to support its customers because of the expertise of its staff and its processes. CCHIT will assist and support its customers as services are transferred.

“This move works at many levels in the best interest of companies that are developing EHRs and those in the medical community who use EHRs.  Each of us – CCHIT, HIMSS and ICSA Labs – will be concentrating on what we know and do best,” said Ray.

Along with this new strategic direction, CCHIT has restructured its board of trustees with the following health and health IT leaders constituting the new board:

Dana Alexander RN, MSN, MBA, FAAN, FHIMSS
VP Integrated Care Delivery & Chief Nursing, Caradigm

Lori Evans Bernstein
President, GSI Health

Paul Kleeberg MD, FAAFP, CPHIT, FHIMSS
CMIO, Stratis Health

Grace Terrell MD, MMM, CPE
President & CEO, Cornerstone

Andrew M. Wiesenthal, MD, SM
Director, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Hal Wolf
ADVI, LLC

Michael H. Zaroukian, MD, PhD, FACP, FHIMSS
Vice President & Chief Medical Information Officer, Sparrow Health System

The work of CCHIT’s board of Commissioners has concluded and will be replaced by multi-stakeholder advisory groups, which will be named later.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) has operated as an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and was authorized in 2012 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a certification body (ONC-ACB).  CCHIT is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a certification body for the ONC HIT Certification Program for  electronic health record (EHR) technology and accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an Accredited Testing Laboratory (ATL) to test EHRs.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. Visit www.himss.org.

HIMSS is a part of HIMSS WorldWide, a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS WorldWide encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  HIMSS WorldWide, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.