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CCHIT Proposes New Paths to Certification

June 17, 2009
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CCHIT is proposing three paths to certification in order to handle what it anticipates will be a HITECH-generated flood of applications in the coming months and years, said organization chair Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., at a town hall meeting today.

The newly proposed options are as follows:

  • Certified EHR Comprehensive (EHR-C) — “Rigorous certification of comprehensive EHR systems that significantly exceed minimum Federal standards requirements. For providers who seek maximal assurance of EHR compliance and capabilities.”
  • Certified EHR Module (EHR-M) — “Flexible certification of Federal standards compliance for EHR, HIE, eRx, PHR, Registry and other EHR-related technologies. For providers who prefer to integrate technologies from multiple certified sources.”
  • Certified EHR Site (EHR-S) — “Simplified, low cost certification of EHR technologies in use at a specific site. For providers who self-develop or assemble EHRs from noncertified sources.”

According to Leavitt, all three paths would ensure providers satisfy the “certification” requirement of HITECH. Providers, however, might be incentivized to select a comprehensive system, as that could mean less risk of not satisfying the meaningful use requirement of the act. Leavitt specifically stated that those two segments of qualifying for incentives are distinct and separate.

In applying for HITECH incentives, Leavitt suggested that providers would include a code — provided by their vendor, vendors or directly from CCHIT (in the case of an EHR-S certification) — on their application for funds.

Leavitt added that CCHIT had “talked” with ONC about its multi-layered approached and received a “favorable” reaction, though no official sanction has been given.

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