Donated EHRs Could Require More Frequent Recertification

February 28, 2007

Restructured federal regulations that allow hospitals to donate health IT to physicians could affect the status of already certified ambulatory electronic health records, Mark Leavitt, chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare IT, said Tuesday at the CCHIT Town Hall Meeting at the Health Information and Management Systems Society conference, Health Data Management reports.

Under the exemptions to the Stark Act, EHR products must be certified within 12 months of a donation. However, the CCHIT certification of an EHR is valid for three years. The discrepancy might force vendors to recertify products early even if they have not been changed, Health Data Management reports.

Leavitt noted that recertification can be easy if changes to the product do not affect certification criteria. The vendor simply must confirm that no certified criteria has been changed or removed, and then “we’ll put it in the published list,” he said.

CCHIT still is working to formally define when a new version of a product includes minor updates and does not require recertification and when a restructured application requires recertification, Leavitt added (Health Data Management, 2/27).

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