Certification Criteria Test Procedures Available for Public Comment

2 Waves Now Released for Public Review and Comment

On Tuesday, September 4th, the Health Information Technology: Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology, 2014 Edition; Revisions to the Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology final rule was published in the Federal Register.

SUMMARY: With this final rule, the Secretary of Health and Human Services adopts certification criteria that establish the technical capabilities and specify the related standards and implementation specifications that Certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) Technology will need to include to, at a minimum, support the achievement of meaningful use by eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs beginning with the EHR reporting periods in fiscal year and calendar year 2014. This final rule also makes changes to the permanent certification program for health information technology, including changing the program’s name to the ONC HIT Certification Program.

DATES: These regulations are effective October 4, 2012. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 4, 2012.

On September 7th the ONC released the first wave of draft Test Procedures and applicable test data files for the 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria for public review and comment. On September 14th the second wave was released for public comment. The ONC will make the effort to release new sets ever week to two week intervals throughout September and October. Each of the draft sets will remain in public review and comment periods for two week from the release date. For details on the test procedures and data files see the ONC’s 2014 Edition Draft Test Methods page.

Comments and suggestions should be submitted to ONC.Certification@hhs.gov. All submissions should include “2014 Test Methods” in the subject line. ONC will review and consider all public input, but will not publish the deliberation results. After draft Test Procedures have been through the public comment and review process, ONC will revise and finalize them. The final set of Test Methods is expected to be available for use in testing and certification in early 2013.