ONC Certification required EHR Stimulus Funding

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ONC Certification required EHR Stimulus Funding


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides reimbursement to qualifying medical practices to help cover their purchase of Electronic Medical/Health Records (EMR/EHR) systems. This is the second installment in our ten part series of down-to-earth considerations to assist in your decision.

Part 2 - "Is it, or will it be, certified?"

     Although there are literally HUNDREDS of EMR/EHR programs on the market, none will receive ARRA funding without certification.  The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC HIT) has released its more than 800 page standards this past year, by which “Meaningful Use” has been determined.  In addition, the ONC has selected several independent organizations known as ATCB (Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies).  The Drummond Group, CCHIT, InfoGard, SLI Global Solutions, SureScripts and ICSA Labs are currently conduct rigorous testing of products to certify software can achieve meaningful use objectives. In addition to the 33 required tests, every software manufacturer must choose at least nine additional core measures to have evaluated.  That being said, just because a program only shows nine items tested, it does not mean that the program cannot achieve the other 35 measures.  It simply means that the ONC-ATCB did not evaluate them yet.

     If the software you are considering has not been certified, check with the manufacturer to see when it is slated for testing.  In order for any testing organization to release testing information to you, they must have authorization from the software manufacturer first.  Here’s a hint…If the software manufacturer won’t allow you to contact the testing organization, what are they hiding?  

     Remember, without this certification, you may just have bought a flashy, over-priced, software program that comes with a complimentary coffee mug. By eliminating non-certified programs, you just cleared off a few hundred more choices. For more information, please review the official, albeit confusing information regarding Stimulus funding, on the www.recovery.gov website.  Let’s talk.   Part III - Click Here

EMR Catastrophe Avoidance - 10 Part Series - All Articles by Author Max Shylahr

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