Number of EHR Certifying Bodies Continues to Increase

Posted on July 21, 2010 I Written By

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An article by Government Health IT’s Mary Mosquera has some interesting data from ONC about the number of EHR certifying bodies there might be available to EHR vendors. Here’s the most relevant section:

So far, ONC has received six or seven completed applications out of the 30 it sent to organizations that have requested them since July 1, said Dr. David Blumenthal, the national health IT coordinator, at a meeting of the advisory Health IT Policy Committee.

ONC released in June its final rule for the temporary certification program, which lays out steps organizations must take to be authorized by ONC to both test and certify that EHRs can perform the functions required for meaningful use.

“We are optimistic that we will have a new landscape in the certification realm in which, instead of having a single certification body, there will be more opportunity, a broader pipeline for certification, hopefully more price competition and shorter waiting times to get certification,” Blumenthal said at the committee meeting July 21.

6-7 applications to certify EHR software and 24 more out there that could come in. That sure blows the initial projection of 5 EHR Certifying body applications out of the water. I’m not really sure the business model for these organization. The customer base is about 300 EMR companies. That’s a pretty small market for these organizations to share.

I imagine this is really bad news for those people at CCHIT too. Mostly because CCHIT’s only product is certifying EHR software. At least other organizations like the Drummond Group do a number of certifications. Who would have guessed that the ARRA EMR stimulus money that looked so promising for CCHIT could become the legislation that drives them to irrelevancy?