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Proposed Health IT Certification Programs

Today the Department of Health and Human Services released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Establishment of Certification Programs for Health Information Technology (Health IT). The rule first proposes the creation of a temporary certification program for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and EHR modules. This serves as a bridge to the second, permanent certification proposal, which establishes detailed guidelines to support an ongoing program of testing and certification of health IT. The meaningful use of certified EHR technology is a requirement for qualifying for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentives program.  The temporary program therefore is critical as it assures the availability of Certified EHR Technology prior to the date on which health care providers may begin demonstrating meaningful use. Significant stakeholder feedback was taken into account as these rules were developed, including formal recommendations from the HIT Policy Committee (a Federal Advisory Committee). Other comments are invited  on the proposed rule which can be made at http://www.regulations.gov during the public comment period.

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