HHS released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on March 2010 that would establish a Certification Program to test and certify electronic health records. The HITECH act mandates the development of a certification program to give purchasers and users of EHRs assurances that the technology and products have the necessary functionality and security to help meet meaningful use criteria.
NPRM proposes the establishment of certification programs and requests comments. The proposed rule incorporates two phases of development for the certifications program to ensure that eligible professionals and hospitals are able to adopt and implement certified EHR technology in time to qualify for meaningful use incentive payments.
The first proposed program creates a temporary certification process where the National Coordinator will authorize organizations to assume many of the responsibilities needed to be fulfilled under the permanent certification program. Later, a permanent certification program, would replace the temporary certification program. The rule proposes transitioning much of the responsibility for testing and certification to organizations in the private sector.
Additional information on the programs and how to comment can be found at http://HealthIT.hhs.gov.