ONC Releases Final Rule for Temporary HIT Certification Program

On Friday afternoon, June 18, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule:  Establishment of the Temporary Certification Program for Health Information Technology.   The final rule can be viewed in portable document format (pdf) online at:  http://www.federalreigster.gov/…. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register, most likely next week, and will be effective upon date of publication.

The summary of the final rule is reproduced here:

“This final rule establishes a temporary certification program for the purposes of testing and certifying health information technology.  This final rule is established under the authority granted to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (the National Coordinator) by section 3001(c)(5) of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), as added by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.  The National Coordinator will utilize the temporary certification program to authorize organizations to test and certify Complete Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and/or EHR Modules, thereby making Certified EHR Technology available prior to the date on which health care providers seeking incentive payments available under the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs may begin demonstrating meaningful use of Certified EHR Technology.”

The Medicare incentive program mentioned in the summary is expected to start in January 2011 and the Medicaid incentive program may start as early as the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2010, when the new federal fiscal year (FY  2011) starts.  (20100618)

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