Transparency Needed in ONC-ATCBs Process

Jim Tate, Meaningful Use Expert

ONC-ATCBs – Inconsistencies in Testing Methodologies

Open Letter to ONC Redux

My Uncle Leo gave me one piece of advice, “Don’t whip a dead horse”.  We’ll maybe he’ll forgive me because here I go again.

For the past year I have been trying to draw attention to inconsistencies in the testing methodologies of the various ONC-ATCBs. Last July I wrote a blog post detailing my private and public efforts to encourage transparency in the process of ONC’s guidance and clarification to the ONC-ATCBs. The testing and certifying bodies are aware of the issues but can’t raise a fuss because they are in a “one down” position with the ONC.

The problems I first brought up at a public forum at HIMSS one year ago have still not been addressed. The specific testing problems I brought to ONC’s attention through emails and phone calls have still not been addressed. New variances in testing by the ONC-ATCBs have come to my attention in the past few months and I have notified ONC staff about this. I have gotten no response from my emails. I don’t know what is worse, being told something will be done, and it isn’t, or just being ignored.

The credibility of the certification program continues to be  at stake and I hope changes will occur as we move from the Temporary to the Permanent Certification Program. I have been through well over 60 ONC-ATCB tests with my vendor clients and I know what I am talking about. This cannot be fixed by the ONC-ATCBs, it can only be corrected by the ONC Certification Program staff. There really needs to be some changes. This needs to be fixed. OK, I promise not to whip the horse anymore. A year is long enough.

Jim Tate is a nationally recognized expert on the CMS EHR Incentive Program, certified technology and meaningful use and author of The Incentive Roadmap® The Meaningful Use of Certified Technology: Stage 1.