Health Policy

Certification Criteria for Meaningful Use by CCHIT

A certification program is to be launched by The Certification Commission for Health IT in October, that will be required for providers to demonstrate meaningful use of their electronic health records by 2011. Healthcare providers must show that they are meaningful users of health IT to be eligible for increased Medicare and Medicaid payments provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. CCHIT said its plan will have options for certifying modular health IT products and services, such as electronic prescribing or computer decision support, that will let hospitals and physicians that do not have a comprehensive electronic health system prove meaningful use. Alongside, for more comprehensive electronic health records, CCHIT would update its certification plan to meet or exceed the 2011 criteria, told Dr. Mark Leavitt, Chairman CCHIT.

CCHIT, additionally, showed in an accompanying spreadsheet how its certification program corresponds to the current recommendations on meaningful use being developed by the ONC’s Health IT Policy Committee. To illustrate, the ability to incorporate lab tests results in a structured data format is a part of the current meaningful use plan. CCHIT pointed out it is also an existing CCHIT certification criteria for electronic health record systems as well as a HITSP (Health Information Technology Standards Panel). CCHIT urged that ONC clarify that CCHIT’s criteria for electronic health record systems fulfill the requirements for meaningful use incentive payments in 2011.

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