The HIT Standards Committee, during its Nov. 13 meeting, received an update on work within the HIT Policy Committee to develop voluntary electronic health records certification programs for providers who are ineligible to participate in the meaningful use program.

Both committees are staffed with industry stakeholders who advise the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, as well as other agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services. The policy committee’s certification/adoption workgroup is studying a process for prioritizing HIT capabilities for voluntary certification that would improve interoperability across various care settings, according to a presentation at the meeting.

While taking into account existing certification standards, the workgroup also is looking at other capabilities that providers not participating in meaningful use may need to optimize care. Target audiences include long-term and other post-acute care, as well as behavioral health providers.

The workgroup, coordinating with the standards committee and ONC, expects to issue preliminary recommendations to the full policy committee in February 2014, with final recommendations to both committees in March 2014.

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