2014 Certified EHR is More Flexible in Choosing Technology

EHR Certification: 2014 Criteria Redefine Certified EHR Technology

By Robert Tagalicod, Director, Office of E-Health Standards and Services

To participate in the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals must use an EHR system or module that is certified specifically for the EHR Incentive Programs.  If you select certified EHR technology for your practice, you can know that your EHR has the necessary capabilities to help you meet meaningful use criteria.

More Flexibility in Choosing Certified EHR Technology
In the previous rule (the 2011 Edition criteria) the standards for certified technology for the EHR Incentive Programs required that participants have EHR technology capable of meeting all of the certification criteria for an inpatient or an ambulatory setting.  In other words, each provider had to have a complete EHR with full functionality.

Some stakeholders felt that the policy was too rigid because it required providers—regardless of the setting or their scope of practice—to have EHR technology capabilities that they might not use or need in order to demonstrate meaningful use.

HHS has changed the policy and definition of what constitutes certified EHR technology in the new rule (the 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria). Now, you have the flexibility to acquire only the EHR technology you need to meet Stage 1 or Stage 2 requirements for meaningful use in your practice setting and to implement an EHR tailored to your needs using modular certified technology.

Finding a certified EHR to Fit Your Needs
With the expanded definition of certified EHR technology, vendors can now offer smaller-scoped, more specific certified EHR modules that will align more closely to your needs. If you are seeking a product tailored to your practice needs, you can start by looking at the Certified Health IT Product List, which lists all certified EHR technology. The CMS website also offers information to help determine what certified EHR will work for your practice.

We appreciated the feedback we received from stakeholders on 2014 Edition EHR certification, and we look forward to working with you to shape future eHealth programs.