Start the certification engines, ONC says bodies will be ready to certify by “the end of summer”

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…

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4 thoughts on “Start the certification engines, ONC says bodies will be ready to certify by “the end of summer”

  1. That about sums it up: now we'll finally get to see some action in the HITECH (up to now waiting) game. I found both CCHIT's and Drummond Group's blog reactions to the news interesting, in terms of how they compare and highlight their differences. You can see two word clouds of them over at the Occam PM blog.

  2. Shahid, very nice. As you know, I have always had positive views of the HITECH Act. I just think the government really put a lot of thought into it. At least on the cert. side, it looks like there will enough time for early adopters to meet MU in 2011 if they keep their timeline for cert. program. Thanks for the info!

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