Certification Commission Launching 2011 Certification Programs In October

CHICAGO - September 8, 2009 - The Certification Commission today announced that it is proceeding with its planned launch of new certification programs on October 7. In addition to an updated comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) certification program, called CCHIT Certified® 2011, the organization will offer a modular certification program called Preliminary ARRA 2011 that is limited to the standards for qualifying EHR technology under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 

"There is a high risk that providers would not achieve meaningful use to qualify for the ARRA incentives in 2011 and 2012 if they wait until late 2010 to implement certified EHR systems and technologies," said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Commission.  "On our Town Call September 3, which drew over 700 attendees, we received valuable feedback on our proposed programs, and a strong indication of interest from health IT companies and developers in applying for timely certification under these programs."  Results of polling during the Town Call have been published on the website http://ehrdecisions.com.

The Commission has followed and analyzed the emerging recommendations of the health information technology advisory committees to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), and believes there is sufficient information to offer the preliminary ARRA certification now.

HHS criteria and standards are expected to be published by the end of 2009. Final rules on Meaningful Use are expected later in the Spring of 2010.  If that process results in the introduction of new requirements, the Commission will offer vendors with preliminary certifications an incremental inspection at no additional fee to bring their certifications into alignment with the final rules.  The Commission's certification materials including criteria, test scripts and certification policies for both programs will be published at http://cchit.org  on September 24. Applications for certification will open online on October 7.

To prepare HIT companies and developers to make their 2011 certified EHR technology available to providers sooner, the Commission is offering a workshop in the Chicago area on October 1.  The purpose of the workshop, Get Certified 2011, is to orient companies and developers to the new certification process and to use the new certification program tools effectively. More information about the workshop is available now at http://www.cchit.org/education/GetCertifiedFor2011.

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has been recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 2006 as an official certification body for electronic health records (EHR). Its public mission is to accelerate the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  More information on CCHIT and CCHIT Certified® products is available at http://cchit.org and http://ehrdecisions.com.

"CCHIT®" and "CCHIT Certified®" are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.