The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, which certifies entities that process transactions or exchange health information for meeting best practices, has finalized new criteria for 12 existing programs and three new programs covering use of the Direct Project secure messaging protocols.

Among other changes, the criteria were updated to reflect use of cloud computing and to align with provisions of the omnibus HIPAA rule that made changes to the privacy, security, breach notification and enforcement rules, as well as the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act. The compliance data for the rule, finalized in early 2013, is September 23, 2013.

Existing accreditation programs cover health information exchanges, electronic prescribing, e-prescribing of controlled substances, financial services, claims clearinghouses, value added networks, medical billers, payer-owned electronic health networks, third-party administrators, management service organizations, and outsourced services such as call centers and remote hosting.

Organizations applying for accreditation or re-accreditation on or after September 23 must comply with the enhanced criteria. More information is at

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