ONC Releases EHR Contract Guide for Providers

ONC Releases EHR Contract Guide for ProvidersEHR Contract Guide Helps Providers Understand Key Terms

If you are a provider yet to convert to certified EHR technology or looking to make a switch to a different EHR systems, the ONC has released a new resource to help navigate the EHR contract. EHR Contracts: Key Contract Terms for Users to Understand was prepared by research companay Westat for the ONC. The guide aids health care providers who plan to acquire an EHR system in understanding various EHR contract terms.

From the introduction:

Your ability to negotiate contract terms depends in part on the EHR technology developer (also known as an EHR vendor) you choose. Most EHR technology developers will offer standardized contracts with some negotiable terms but some will not negotiate any terms. You can choose whether or not to work with an EHR technology developer that offers only a non-negotiable contract. If you decide to accept standard EHR technology developer contract terms without negotiation, it may be especially important to understand the implications of the standard terms and to make yourself aware of terms that may not be in the contract that could provide you with added legal protection.

The ONC  EHR Contract Guide covers a number of common terms including:

  • Indemnification
  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements
  • Warranties and disclaimers
  • Limitation of liability
  • Dispute resolution
  • Termination and wind down
  • Intellectual property disputes

Make note: There is an important disclaimer contained in the document. The authors of the EHR Contract Guide  state that information contained in the guide “should not be viewed as legal advice and does not attempt to address all of the many legal and other issues that may arise in contract negotiations. Each healthcare organization presents its own unique circumstances. Purchasers should consult an experienced attorney for assistance in contract negotiations.”

You can view or download the guide PDF here.