The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has published a final rule governing how to discipline the ONC-Approved Accreditor, the designated overseer of the federal EHR certification program.

The ONC-AA will be the entity that accredits organizations wishing to be a certification body under the permanent electronic health records certification program scheduled to start in mid-2012 at the earliest.

The National Coordinator will have the final say on picking organizations to do the actual certifications.  Earlier this year, ONC selected the American National Standards Institute as the ONC-AA. The final rule establishes processes in case the ONC-AA does not perform its overseer duties.

"This final rule establishes a process for addressing instances where the ONC-Approved Accreditor engages in improper conduct or does not perform its responsibilities under the permanent certification program," the rule states. "This rule also addresses the status of ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies in instances where there may be a change in the accreditation organizations serving as the ONC-AA and clarifies the responsibilities of the new ONC-AA."

The final rule governing the ONC-AA discipline process follows a proposed rule in late May, from which ONC received no public comments. Consequently, the final rule is substantially the same with all major provisions finalized as proposed.

The final rule is available here and will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 25. Federal agencies have been kicking it in overdrive recently with new regulations, policies, guidance and grant programs. A recent slideshow lists significant actions.

 

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