EHR Certification Testing Dates Scheduled into November

Posted on September 14, 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.

I can’t remember when or where I saw it, but at some point I saw someone reference Jim Tate from EMR Advocate as the expert on EHR certification. I’d known Jim electronically for quite a while having followed his writings online and on Twitter. I even haphazardly bumped into Jim where we both looked at it each other and recognized our pictures from Twitter.

After Jim stopped by to comment on my previous EHR certification post, I emailed Jim to ask him if he wanted to do a guest blog post for EMR and HIPAA. He is busy with 3 stage 1 EHR certifications this week, but did send the following info which I found interesting and useful. I’m also looking forward to taking a look at his manual on meaningful use. I hear it’s highly targeted at doctors and clinical practices which fits in line with my style too.

The HHS/ONC Authorized Certification Program has really broken loose. We were in the eye of the storm, but the eye has passed and the windows are being blown out. Vendors are desperately trying to get a testing date in October and not Novemenber or later. The ability to get Stage 1 Certified and listed on the ONC website is now a giant business issue. A two month’s delay in being able to market and sell certified technology is a handicap. We will see the effect that decisions made over the past year by vendors will play out in the market. Those that applied for the CCHIT Preliminary IFR Stage 1 test are sitting pretty as their can choose test dates based on their application date. Those vendors that elected to wait may pay a price in delayed certifications. Of coursethere are presently 2 organizations authorized to test and certify and I expect maybe 2 more in coming weeks. That may help the crunch. The Drummond Group is charging $23,500 for all Stage 1 testing for EPs and has begun accepting applications for testing. Information about their program is available at: http://www.drummondgroup.com/pdfs/EHR_Testing_and_Certification_Guide_Rev_A.pdf (PDF). A number of my vendor clients have applied and have been given test dates in mid to late November. CCHIT will hold a Town Call next Monday at 1 PM ET: http://www.cchit.org/about/towncalls/CCHIT-Town-Call-Authorized-HHS-certification-program. The fees for their Stage 1 testing will be announced at that time and applications will begin to be accepted that date. Vendors who had already applied for CCHIT’s Preliminary Stage 1 Testing will begin testing against the CMS Final Rule next week. By the end of this month we will Certified Technology listed on the ONC website.

Due to the complexities of the CMS EHR Incentive Program for EPs I have written a manual, The Incentive Roadmap, to help guide medical practices through the process. It is being updated continually to reflect the changes in the incentive program. It is being sold at HITECHAnswers.