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ONC Names First EHR Certification Bodies

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, September 1, 2010

"Multiple steps are underway to carry out the intent of Congress in supporting rapid and effective adoption of EHRs throughout our health care system, Dr. Blumenthal says.

CMS is working to create an online system for providers to register and attest for the EHR incentive programs, according to Blumenthal. The first incentive payments are targeted to be made in May 2011. Meanwhile, the ONC is also carrying out new programs of technical assistance and training—especially for smaller hospitals and physician practices.

We are gratified to be among the first organizations authorized to certify EHRs by ONC," says Karen M. Bell, MD, chair of CCHIT. CCHIT plans to launch its authorized certification program on Sept. 20 with a town hall-type webcast describing its application and testing process; CCHIT will take new health IT developer applications immediately after. The first group of certified complete EHRs and EHR modules are expected to be announced within weeks of that launch.

In addition to certification, CCHIT will continue to offer its CCHIT certified program for ambulatory and inpatient EHR products that exceed the ONC criteria and are designed for hospitals and physician practices that are "looking for assurance of more robust, integrated EHR products," the company says.

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