Health Information Management

ONC opts for 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria over 2015 Edition

HIM-HIPAA Insider, September 15, 2014

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by Jaclyn Fitzgerald, Editor

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) published a final rule in the September 11 Federal Register stating that it would make changes to its 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria in lieu of adopting its proposed 2015 Edition EHR certification criteria.
ONC stated in the final rule that instead of adopting all of the 2015 Edition criteria outlined in a proposed rule, it would adopt small subset of the proposals as optional 2014 Edition EHR certification criteria. ONC refers to the latest version of this criteria as 2014 Edition Release 2 or 2014 Edition Release 2 EHR certification criteria. Developers do not need to update or recertify products to meet this criteria and organizations will not need to upgrade their certified technology based on 2014 Edition Release 2 options (see table 1 of the final rule for a complete list of optional and revised criteria).

The 2014 Edition Release 2 EHR certification criteria includes 10 optional and two revised certification criteria for inclusion in the 2014 Edition. Optional certification criteria includes changes to computerized provider order entry and transitions of care certification criterion.

ONC also changed the naming conventions for this criteria. Going forward, rulemaking similar to that of the final rule that adopts an edition of certification criteria would be referred to as “[current edition year] Release #X.” This was done to avoid potential confusion that could be caused by linking an updated certification criteria edition’s year to any other program’s compliance date.

ONC announced these changes not long after it released another final rule that offers enhanced flexibility for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals using certified EHR technology and working toward meaningful use attestation. CMS will host a webinar that addresses both final rules at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday, September 16.



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