ONC decertifies two SkyCare EHR products

Two electronic health record systems--both versions of SkyCare 4.2 developed by Platinum Health Information Systems Inc.--have had their certifications terminated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT for failure to continue to meet the EHR certification program requirements.

According to a Sept. 2 announcement, Platinum Health failed to respond and participate in routine surveillance requests made by InfoGard Laboratories Inc., one of ONC's authorized certification bodies (ONC-ACBs). InfoGard initiated the surveillance activities as required by the ONC certification program and according to standards to which the ONC-ACBs are accredited. Despite InfoGard's "good faith efforts," Platinum didn't respond, and consequently was no longer in compliance with the certification requirements.

"We take our responsibility to provide appropriate oversight of certified EHR products seriously and have every expectation that users will have systems that meet the technological capabilities and requirements adopted by Health and Human Services and will take action accordingly," National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo (pictured) said in a statement.

To date, 48 eligible professionals have attested to Stage 1 of the Medicare Meaningful Use program using SkyCare. Although they attested while the products were certified, those providers will now have to transition to other EHR products in order to continue to participate in the program. They can apply for a hardship exception from the program while they make that transition, according to the announcement.

Previously, only two EHR products, both developed by Santa Fe Springs, California, vendor EHRMagic, have had their certification revoked for failing to meet the standards of the Meaningful Use program. That occurred in 2013.

However, more products may be at risk of decertification. For instance, some EHR vendors are known to be out of compliance with the certification requirement of providing user centered design.

Others may have their certification terminated for engaging in information blocking. Congress specifically addressed decertification in its 2015 omnibus appropriations bill, urging ONC to use its authority to certify only products that meet the Meaningful Use standards and don't block data sharing, and to decertify any products that do. 

ONC had indicated that it was looking hard at the implications of taking more "aggressive action" and that decertification of info blockers was "on the table."

To learn more:
- read the announcement