The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) named InfoGard Laboratories Inc., San Luis Obispo, Calif. as an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB). The addition of InfoGard Laboratories, Inc. as an ONC-ATCB provides more options for EHR vendors to have their products tested and certified for compliance with the standards and certification criteria that were issued by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year.
Certification of EHRs is part of a broad initiative undertaken by Congress and President Obama under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. HITECH created new incentive payment programs to help health providers as they transition from paper-based medical records to EHRs. Incentive payments totaling as much as $27 billion may be made under the program. Individual physicians and other eligible professionals can receive up to $44,000 through Medicare and almost $64,000 through Medicaid. Hospitals can receive millions.
ONC authorized the first two ONC-ATCBs, the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), Chicago, Ill. and the Drummond Group Inc. (DGI), Austin, Texas, in late August, 2010. Additional applications are under review.