EHR Incentives Timeline AdjustedStage 2 Requirements, New Certification Program, in Works
In an announcement this week, Farzad Mostashari, who heads the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, revealed that the final rule for Stage 2 of the EHR incentive program, spelling out revised standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria, is slated for release next summer. Those details are expected to include enhanced privacy and security requirements.
ONC also announced the postponement of the launch of a "permanent" EHR certification program, which had been slated for Jan. 1, 2012. That program now will be launched, instead, at the same time as the effective date of the Stage 2 guidelines. Until then, the narrower "temporary" EHR software certification effort will continue.
Earlier, ONC selected the American National Standards Institute to accredit EHR certifiers for the permanent program (see: EHR Certifier Accreditation Starts). Mostashari said this week that ANSI needs until next summer to accredit certification bodies and testing labs. So the temporary certification program, now in effect, will be extended until the Stage 2 incentive guidelines kick in. The final rule outlining the permanent certification program was issued last January.
So far, more than 1,200 EHR applications have been certified under the temporary program.