Third EHR Certifier Selected

InfoGard Laboratories to Test Software for Incentive Program
Third EHR Certifier Selected
A third organization has won approval to serve as a certifier of electronic health records software for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program.

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, headed by David Blumenthal, M.D., has selected InfoGard Laboratories Inc., San Luis Obispo, Calif., as a certifier.

Earlier, Blumenthal's office authorized The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, Chicago, and the Drummond Group Inc., Austin, Texas, as EHR software certifiers. And the office is continuing to review additional candidates' applications.

The recently announced certification standards include numerous security capabilities, including encryption.

InfoGard, founded in 1993, provides accredited IT assurance services to customers worldwide. CCHIT has been certifying EHR software since 2006 in an independent program. The Drummond Group has tested the interoperability of software in many industries, including healthcare, since 1999. Under the HITECH Act, Medicare and Medicaid will provide as much as $27 billion in incentive payments, beginning next year, to hospitals and physicians who make "meaningful use" of qualifying certified EHR software.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently completed a set of procedures that the certifiers will use when testing the applications. The 45 approved test procedures are designed to evaluate all the components of EHRs, including security features, such as encryption and authentication.

Blumenthal's office has created a website with more information on the certification program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a website with details on the incentive program.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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