The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has named the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology and the Drummond Group Inc. as the initial Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies for the temporary electronic health records certification program.

Applications for several other unidentified companies that hope to be named testing and certification bodies remain under review.

CCHIT and Drummond Group have long made public their wish to be testing and certification entities, and their selection as the initial entities is not a surprise. Chicago-based CCHIT has been the industry-created EHR certifier for several years under programs now superseded by temporary and permanent certification programs authorized under the HITECH Act.

Austin, Texas-based Drummond operates a test laboratory offering interoperability/conformance testing and certification for multiple industries. The company announced last November it would apply to be an EHR tester and certifier after being approached by several EHR vendors.

EHRs currently certified under previous CCHIT programs must be recertified as supporting electronic health records meaningful use criteria by an Authorized Testing and Certification Body under the temporary certification program that lasts until at least Jan. 1, 2012. Providers must use EHR products that have the new certifications as part of the process to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid meaningful use incentive payments.

Vendors now can apply to CCHIT and Drummond Group to go through the testing and certification process. More information is available at cchit.org and drummondgroup.com.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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