EHR Incentive and Certification Criteria Final Rules Published in Federal Register
The EHR Incentive and Certification final rules were published in the Federal Register this morning, July 28, 2010. HIPAA.com provides the title, summary, effective date, and URL for each below.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “42 CFR Parts 412, 413, 422, and 495; Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program; Final Rule, Federal Register, 75(144), Wednesday, July 28, 2010, pp. 44313-44588.
Summary: This final rule implements the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)(Public Law 111-5) that provide incentive payments to eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs that adopt and successfully demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. This final rule specifies–the initial criteria EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs must meet in order to qualify for an incentive payment; calculation of the incentive payment amounts; payment adjustments under Medicare for covered professional services and inpatient hospital services provided by EPs, eligible hospitals and CAHs failing to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology; and other program participation requirements. Also, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will be issuing a closely related final rule that specifies the Secretary’s adoption of an initial set of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for electronic health records. ONC has also issued a separate final rule on the establishment of certification programs for health information technology. [p.44314]
Effective Date: September 27, 2010
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, “45 CFR Part 170; Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology; Final Rule,” Federal Register, 75(144), Wednesday, July 28, 2010, pp. 44589-44654.
Summary: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing this final rule to complete the adoption of an initial set of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria, and to more closely align such standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria with final meaningful use Stage 1 objectives and measures. Adopted certification criteria establish the required capabilities and specify the related standards and implementation specifications that certified electronic health record (EHR) technology will need to include to, at a minimum, support the achievement of meaningful use Stage 1 eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and/or critical access hospitals (hereafter, references to ‘eligible hospitals’ in this final rule shall mean ‘eligible hospitals and/or critical access hospitals’) under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Complete EHRs and EHR Modules will be tested and certified according to adopted certification criteria to ensure that they have properly implemented adopted standards and implementations specifications and otherwise comply with the adopted certification criteria. [p. 44590]
Effective Date: August 27, 2010
These final rules follow on the June 24, 2010, publication in the Federal Register of ONC’s final rule: Establishment of the Temporary Certification Program for Health Information Technology, with an effective date the same as the publication date. HIPAA.com did a post on the Federal Register’s prepublication release of this rule on June 18, 2010. 
Ed Jones, Author & Healthcare AuthorityFiled Under: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Health IT and HITECH, Meaningful Use