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The Department of Health and Human Services Releases a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Establishment of Certification Programs for Health Information Technology (Health IT)

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was issued in order to establish programs by which health IT technologies will be tested and certified. Such programs were mandated by the HITECH Act, which provides incentive payments to providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technologies. Companion regulations have also been introduced which propose standards and criteria that will be necessary to demonstrate meaningful use and which propose the functional capabilities that EHR technologies must have in order to be eligible for certification.

The NPRM proposes a temporary certification program for EHR systems and modules, and lays the foundation for a permanent program that will eventually replace the temporary program. The temporary program is designed to ensure that certified technologies are in place so that providers may take advantage of the incentive payments at the earliest opportunity before the permanent program has been fully implemented.

The NPRM comes after the initial meaningful use NPRM and the Standards & Certification Interim Final Rule (IFR), published in January 2010. The Standards & Certification IFR establishes an initial set of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for Complete Electronic Health Records (EHR) and EHR Modues for aodption by the HHS Secretary. The Certification Programs NPRM and the Standards & Certification IFR will operate jointly to create confidence in the security and effectiveness of electronic health IT produces and systems.

Visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Health Information Technology website for more information.

For more information, please visit www.wachler.com or contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.