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EHNAC Enters New Frontiers in Accreditation

March 3, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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Will look at ICD-10 Readiness from a PMS vendor perspective; and accrediting ACOs

Amid the madness of the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference last week in Orlando, nonprofits, Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) and the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), announced they were creating a Practice Management System Accreditation Program (PMSAP). 

PMS vendors perform various administrative and clinical functions on behalf of providers. EHNAC and WEDI will assess vendors in the areas of privacy, security, mandated standards and operating rules, and key operational functions. It will also include looking at the technical infrastructure and best practices, as well as additional criteria.

Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC, spoke with Healthcare Informatics about the news. “We will have three beta organizations, made up practice system management vendors—small, medium, and large. They will go through the beta process with us develop and refine the criteria that will be used,” Barrett said to HCI.

“Then we’re putting together a steering committee, bringing together subject-matter experts. We’ll be starting that in March, with the intent of moving forward and having the betas completed by June and then we will allow people to go through the application process in June and July and then we’ll be coming out with a full product by September.”

In addition to all that, Barrett said EHNAC and WEDI will have capability that allows organizations to be reviewed in terms of ICD-10 compliance, to support to the providers. “The intent is to give providers some level of confidence that the organization, the PMS vendor that is supporting them, has the capability has the privacy, security, confidentiality aspect, and has gone through and is executing on a plan for ICD-10 readiness.”

The topic of ICD-10 readiness has been hotly debated as of late. In that regard, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently approved plans to conduct end-to-end ICD-10 testing for a small sample group of providers. Currently, there is no third-party review of PMS vendors and their ability to meet these standards.  

Also new to EHNAC’s docket is accreditation for accountable care organizations (ACOs). It will also look at privacy, security, and confidentially, as well as technical infrastructure for vendors supporting ACOs as well as the ACOs themselves. The development for this program will also include three betas, including two ACOs and one vendor, said Barrett. The quality measures from the CMS regarding ACOs will be a part of the accreditation process, he said.

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