HHS published today in the Federal Register: “Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology” 75 FR 2013-2047. This Interim Final Rule (IFR) is effective February 2, 2010. Comments on the IFR may be submitted to HHS no later than March 15, 2010. Here is the Summary from the IFR:
“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing this interim final rule with a request for comments to adopt an initial set of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria, as required by section 3004(b)(1) of the Public Health Service Act. This interim final rule represents the first step in an incremental approach to adopting standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria to enhance the interoperability, functionality, utility, and security of health information technology and to support its meaningful use. The certification criteria adopted in this initial set establish the capabilities and related standards that certified electronic health record (EHR) technology will need to include in order to, at a minimum, support the achievement of the proposed meaningful use Stage 1 (beginning in 2011) by eligible professionals and eligible hospitals under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.” This IFR is a consequence of HITECH Act provisions that were enacted on February 17, 2009, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT. [01/13/10] The IFR is available online here.