New EHR certification group emerges

December 4, 2009

A software lab in Austin, Texas, is submitting to become a EHR certification group.

Austin, Texas-based software test lab Drummond Group Inc., reported in November that it would submit to become a certifying body upon the release of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) requirements for certifying bodies for Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.

A certified system is one of the requirements for physicians to achieve "meaningful use" of EHRs in order to receive $44,000 in incentives over five years beginning in 2011 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The only organization currently certifying EHRs is Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, a Chicago-based nonprofit.

ONC is working on the scope and definition of "meaningful use" for EHRs. The final definition is expected early in 2010. ONC has announced plans to expand the number of EHR certification agencies.