The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule to establish the permanent certification program for health information technology on Monday.
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Jan 7th and the National Coordinator will use the permanent certification program to authorize organizations to certify EHR technologies beginning on January 1, 2012.
Highlights of the permanent certification program include:
- Organizations must first be accredited by an ONC-Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) in order to become Authorized Certification Bodies (ONC-ACBs) to test and/or certify health information technology.
- ONC-AA status will be granted to only one accreditation body at a time and will be chosen based on a competitive process.
- Every three years the ONC-AA will be required to renew their status and at this time the ONC will accept new applications.
- The ONC expects there will be six ONC-ACBs, which will be required to renew their status every three years.
- ONC-ACBs are required to conduct post-certification surveillance.
- ONC-ACBs are permitted to perform “gap certification,” providing the option for and performing gap certification of previously certified complete EHRs and or modules.
- ONC-ACBs are allowed to certify other types of HIT in the event that applicable certification criteria are adopted.
- ONC-ACB are required to accept requests for a newer version of a previously certified complete EHR/and or module to inherit the certified status of the previously certified complete EHR/and or module without requiring the newer version to be recertified.
Click HERE to read/download the final rule.