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Permanent EHR Certification Program (ONC-ACB) Delayed – Is Meaningful Use Stage 2 Delay Next?

Posted on November 4, 2011 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.

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me to see the news (yes it’s a couple days old now) that the permanent EHR certification program (where ONC-ATCB becomes ONC-ACB) has been delayed. It was set to sunset at the end of this year and it would essentially convert into the permanent EHR certification program.

ONC’s Farzad Mostashari put out a letter describing the delay in implementing the permanent EHR certification program in this letter. Here’s one portion of the letter:

ONC pushed the plan back after it consulted with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which ONC selected as its approved accreditor (ONC-AA) earlier this year, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which administers the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). ANSI and NIST said they needed more time to complete the approval of testing labs and certification organizations and ONC to review the applications of the certifiers.

Part of the reasoning for this was for the permanent EHR certification to coincide with the final rule for meaningful use stage 2. I guess it makes sense.

The real challenge I have when thinking about the change from temporary to permanent status is, what will really change? To me this feels mostly like a bureaucratic requirement as opposed to some change that actually provides some sort of benefit.

Will an ONC-ACB provide something of more value than a ONC-ATCB does now? I think not. Will EHR vendors go through a different process with an ONC-ACB compared with what they do now with the ONC-ATCB? I can’t imagine they will. Seems the only ones that should be concerned with this are the ONC-ATCB’s.

Plus, if meaningful use stage 2 gets delayed, then will the permanent EHR certification get delayed again too? Now your ears perk up. Not because anyone cares about the permanent EHR certification, but because a delay in meaningful use stage 2 would be something of note.

Uncertain Future for HITSP

Posted on February 3, 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.

One of my regular readers and commenters, DKBerry, sent me some extracts on an article by Modern Healthcare about HITSP. DKBerry also commented, “HITSP is still operational through 30 April. Despite the extension question to its future is going to hurt its mission IMO.” I think HITSP does face a very uncertain future. Here are the excerpts from the article:

“It appears the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, or HITSP, has become yet another organization formed at the behest of the Bush administration that is being forced to reapply for its job under the federal government’s new heath IT authority.


“That contract was set to expire Jan. 31, but HHS issued a “no-cost extension” to the contract through April 30, according to HITSP Chairman John Halamka, a physician who is chief information officer at 621-bed Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and at Harvard Medical School, Boston.”

“Halamka said the HHS contract extension through April will enable HITSP “to have a presence at the upcoming HIMSS conference (scheduled to run March 1-4 in Atlanta) and support the quality reporting activities being demonstrated in the Interoperability Showcase there.”

In addition, HITSP will host “informational conference calls” over the next few months and its Foundations Harmonization Subcommittee set a schedule of three meetings, the first being today at 10:30 a.m. ET, with two more Feb. 8 and Feb. 17 to wrap up its work.

“HITSP is not done; the lights are on,” said Liz Neiman, an ANSI spokeswoman. HITSP and healthcare IT interoperability are “a tremendous priority for ANSI,” Neiman said. “Absolutely, we’ll be going for any RFP that’s coming out. What’s really important for us is to keep the momentum going.”