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New Hospital Specific ARRA EHR Certification Program – EACH

Posted on November 16, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

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?

More CCHIT Details

Posted on September 28, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The good people over at >HITECH Answers must have more time on their hands than I do. They got on the CCHIT conference call where they talked about their newest ONC ATCB certified EHR program. Here’s a portion of the HITECH Answers summary which includes some CCHIT pricing details:

The ONC-ATCB Certified 2011/2012 Toolkit will help prepare health IT companies and EHR developers for testing. You can purchase the toolkit for $1000. Pricing will be in tier levels and range from $8K to $34,300K. They want to do the testing in a single day. There can be an accumulative approach where modules can be certified and added to the current certification without having to retest previously certified criteria.

It still feels wrong that they charge you $1000 for the toolkit you’ll need to use in order to pay them $34k more dollars to become certified. Uhh…yeah.

The fact that you can use a cumulative approach to certification is a difference between CCHIT and Drummond Group. Drummond Group has said that you would have to recertify everything if you wanted to do more modules.

HITECH Answers also mentioned that CCHIT has a program called EACH (EHR Alternative Certification for Hospitals) that will certify EHR technology in place for legacy and custom programs. They’d been calling this the EHR site certification before.

They also did a quick poll on the CCHIT call with the following results:
“Using the interactive polling option of the meeting, CCHIT asked attending vendors what their plans on certification were. In a quick response from about 250 vendors, 24% said they were intending to certify immediately, 45% said in the next few months, and 8% where not sure.”

Don’t ask me what the other 23% of responses were. However, these results do point to my belief that most EHR vendors will certify.