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Pabrai on HIPAA/HITECH Compliance

Feb 24 2011   11:35AM GMT

Permanent EHR Certification Program, Now Final

Posted by: Pabrai
EHR, HIPAA, HITECH, Meaningful use

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has finalized the permanent EHR certification program for the Meaningful Use (MU) incentive program. This was published in January 7 in the Federal Register. The program is effective January 1, 2012. The temporary certification program published on June 24, 2010 will be in effect until it sunsets on December 31, 2011 or at a later date when the processes necessary for the permanent certification program to operate are completed.

The ONC has specifically separated the powers in approving organizations to test and certify health IT products. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will accredit organizations to test products. NIST through its National Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) will develop a laboratory accreditation program for organizations to be accredited to test Health Information Technology (HIT) for purposes of the permanent certification program.

The ONC will designate one organization to approve other organizations to certify health IT products. The accrediting organization will be referred to as the ONC-Approved Accreditor. Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals participating in the MU/EHR incentive program must use HIT that has been certified by organizations approved by the ONC.

Organizations must first be accredited in order to test and/or certify HIT. Certification bodies authorized by the National Coordinator – ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies (ONC-ATBs) are required to conduct post-certification surveillance. ONC-ACBs are permitted to perform “gap certification.” More information is available at

Have you addressed the Meaningful Use core objective mandate for risk analysis? Ask ecfirst for a complimentary proposal to address the risk analysis requirement and about the STePS Meaningful Use program.

Contact Audra at to schedule a private Webcast focused on Meaningful Steps to Meaningful Use.

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