New Hospital Specific ARRA EHR Certification Program – EACH

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In a move that we’ve heard talked about for a long time now, CCHIT has finally announced its site specific EHR certification. This is the EHR certification that hospitals that have built their EHR software in house should consider.

The Certification Commission announced today a new electronic health record (EHR) certification program for hospitals that will be introduced at a Town Call webcast and teleconference Dec.1, 2010, and launched Dec. 15, 2010.  The EHR Alternative Certification for Hospitals, or EACH™ program, an ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification for installed hospital EHR technology, is designed to meet the needs of hospitals that have uncertified legacy software, customized commercial  products, or have developed their own EHR systems to suit their individual needs.  The teleconference will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern. Call-in details are available at cchit.org/towncalls.

“Until now, CCHIT’s ONC-ATCB certification was available only for health IT vendor developed products. Our new certification program is an alternative for hospitals that have developed their systems with products that are not individually certified or are a mix of certified and uncertified products.   These hospital EHR systems are often very sophisticated and may have been developed over many years.  Yet, they must be certified for hospitals to qualify for financial incentives through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and avoid Medicare penalties,” said Alisa Ray, executive director, CCHIT.

Alternative certification is not needed if a hospital has adopted an EHR with complete certification, or a combination of certified EHR modules that meet all of the 2011/2012 certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to support the meaningful use objectives established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Unfortunately, there was no talk of price in the press release from CCHIT. Looks like we’ll have to check out the Town Hall to see how much the EHR site certification (now called EACH by CCHIT) is going to cost. I imagine it won’t be that much less expensive than the current full EHR certification. Seems like the requirement list should be the same no?