The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Technology released the final rule today that includes provisions for temporary certification of programs for EHR. (This will eventually be replaced by a permanent certification program). The entire press release can be found at the HHS website.
“By purchasing certified EHR technology, hospitals and eligible professionals and hospitals will be able to make EHR purchasing decisions knowing that the technology will allow them to become meaningful users of electronic health records, qualify for the payment incentives, and begin to use EHRs in a way that will improve quality and efficiency in our health care system,” said David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., national coordinator for health information technology. “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.”
According to the press release use of certified EHR technology is a core requirement for providers who seek to qualify to receive incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs which was authorized by provisions in the HITECH Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. CMS will issue final regulations to implement the EHR incentive programs also according to the press release.
For therapy and other small providers seeking to move to an electronic health record platform it is time to get in touch with the vendors that you have been considering, your incentive payments will depend on their certification through this program.