I was at a HHS ONC press conference today and the dates for selecting certifying bodies was announced.
- As of today if you’re interested in being a certification body you must request the HHS Certifying Body application in writing
- On July 1 ONC will start accepting applications
- By the “end of the summer” (HHS’s words) there will be one or more certifying bodies open for business (accepting products)
- By “this fall” (again, their words) there will be fully HHS certified products available
One important clarification was made by ONC — there is no grandfathering in CCHIT or previously certified products. Everybody is going to be re certified using the new NIST rules. This means that if you have even 2011 CCHIT certification now it won’t mean anything, you have to go through the process again. CCHIT is offering their “ARRA Interim Certification” but beware — the rules say that you have to follow the NIST plans, not what CCHIT developed. So, if you have the ARRA Interim Certification you may not have pay again but you still will be required to change your software to meet the HHS/NIST test plans and requirements.
What should you do now?
- Be sure you keep your software up to date with NIST’s view of the MU requirements (not anyone else’s)
- Be sure you keep up with the NIST draft test plans to make certain you’re following their steps
- Put all your resources into test automation and ensure that you can keep the automated tests up to date with the NIST requirements — they will continue changing for a little while
Everyone ready? Start your engines…