Cost of EHR Certification

Posted on February 20, 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.

We’ve had a lot of discussion in the past about the cost of EHR certification. It’s been one of the biggest complaints about CCHIT and their EHR certification. One of my readers wanted me to post again about the costs and how this will be such a challenge for new EHR vendors.

First, the problem isn’t that a new EHR vendor couldn’t afford the cost if they wanted to pay it. The problem is that it provides very little benefit to the end users and at the end of the day the cost of the EHR certification would be passed on to the doctors who purchase the EHR.

I’m going to use round numbers, but you can see the detailed CCHIT EHR certification costs on my previous post. Basically as it stands today, full CCHIT EHR certification will run a vendor $37k or more to become certified. Of course, if you just want to be Preliminary ARRA Certified (although we don’t even know if that’s true yet either), then it’s only $33k. Yes, you can certify fewer modules, but that won’t make much sense for most EMR vendors.

Yep, that’s right. $33k that an EMR vendor will have to pay for certification which will add little value to end users and decent marketing value for the EMR vendor.

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the development costs to meet the standards (which I should remind you are still not finalized). I read one EMR vendor say that to become CCHIT certified (this was back in 2006 or so) it cost in the six figure range. That’s a lot of money for what?

We know that the Drummond Group and possibly other organizations are planning to certify EHR as well. In fact, the Drummond Group just launched an EHR Certification blog. In the first comment on their blog, they got a question about how much they’re planning to charge for EHR certification.

I’m sure that these organizations will try to undercut CCHIT as far as EHR certification pricing. I’m just not sure it will be enough to make much difference. Why would they undercut them too much?