After months of being the target of critics both legitimate and questionable, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology is reasserting itself in the EMR marketplace. Last week, the federal Health IT Policy Committee signed off on recommendations from its Workgroup on Certification and Adoption that there should be multiple bodies to certify EMRs for participation in the multibillion-dollar Medicare and Medicaid EMR subsidy program authorized by the economic stimulus legislation. However, given the time it would take to start up a competing certification mechanism, the committee recommended that CCHIT take the lead for now in adapting certification to the "meaningful use" matrix that will determine whether a provider qualifies for stimulus money.
Meanwhile, CCHIT says it will update its certification criteria in October to meet the stimulus requirements for 2011, the first year of the subsidy program. The commission plans to respond to earlier criticism by adding certification options for some individual EMR components such as e-prescribing and clinical decision support. It also asked HHS to determine whether CCHIT's existing criteria satisfy the 2011 requirements for meaningful use.