Will the EHR EMR that I Purchase be Certified for Stimulus Payments?

The EHR funding available under the recently passed Stimulus Act requires “meaningful use” of a “certified EHR”.  How do I know if my EHR will qualify?

Some are assuming that CCHIT will be the certification under the Stimulus Act because that is the current certification process for EHRs.  However, the Stimulus Act doesn’t speciify CCHIT.  Also, with CCHIT some products have elected to skip certification years, making one wonder if the certification year will matter.

Since there is some doubt over what “certified” will mean by 2011, you may want to consider the following when choosing an EHR:

  • Is the EHR already CCHIT certified?  If so, this is a good indication that the vendor is willing to certify their product and that it already meets many of the likely requirements.
  • Has the EHR been certified within the last 12 months?  If it has, this is a good indication that the vendor is also willing to keep up with certification requirements.  If the vendor has skipped a certification year or more, ask why.  Specifically find out which current certification requirements the EHR does not meet.
  • Will the vendor include in their contract that they will meet WHATEVER certification requirements are required for the Stimulus payments?  This is your assurance that, even if CCHIT is not the designated certification or if the requirements change, you EHR will qualify for the Stimulus payments.

At Sevocity we have chosen to ease our customer’s minds by adding the following to our Services Agreement:

Sevocity is certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (“CCHIT”) as a Certificated Ambulatory EHR. As new certification programs are implemented under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, CMI will seek to obtain certification as a “certified EHR technology,” and to maintain such certification through 2015.

C Huddle, VP Market Development