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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Temporary Certification Rule

On Friday, ONC posted the final rule on the Temporary Certification program.  The final rule provides a temporary certification program for health information technology until December 31, 2011 or if the permanent certification program is not ready, until such time as specified by the National Coordinator.  The rule's anticipated publication date in the Federal Register is Thursday, June 24th.

There were several changes to the final rule based on comments.
  1. The National Coordinator is responsible for approving the test tools and procedures (the proposed rule specified the use of NIST tests and procedures or equivalent).
  2. Refunds would be issued should testing not be able to be completed due to the conduct of the temporary certification body, including those cases where the EHR would need recertification.
  3. Temporary certification bodies are required to report which quality measures a product was tested and certified with, and what additional tools were needed to perform those measures.
  4. The rule is effective IMMEDIATELY upon publication in the Federal register.  ONC will begin accepting applications July 1st.
  5. Even if your EHR was already certified under CCHIT, it would still need to certify under this program.
  6. The temporary certification bodies created under this rule will become "recognized certifiers" by HHS with respect to relaxation of the Stark and Anit-Kickback rules.  Preexisting CCHIT certifications would still be "deeming" if the EHR product was certified in the time frame specified under those rules, but certifications after this regulation goes into effect would need to come from certifying bodies recognized by ONC under this new regulation.


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