Just because it is April Fool’s Day, HHS will not appreciate health information technology vendors joking around about their compliance with the Health IT Certification rules. So-called “Health IT Developers” are subject to these rules — that is, any company (like Greenway Health, Epic, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, and so many others) that creates software and technology that uses and stores patient health data. These rules impact not only the creators of electronic health record systems, but patient portal and e-prescription developers and companies that work on quality reporting and clinical decision tools. This Health IT Certification Program, run by the HHS Office of National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC), is voluntary — but hospitals and healthcare providers must use ONC-certified E.H.R. systems to receive Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments — so that makes certification pretty mandatory to do business in America’s healthcare system. Which is nice, because these rules require companies to send important health information to wherever it needs to go, as quickly as possible, so that patients and providers are fully informed when they need care. Starting today, organizations with ONC-certified products must declare “we’re compliant!” or “we’re not compliant, sorry, we’re working on it!” It is the first step, after many years of discussion and preparation, to create a national standard for the secure and fast exchange of health data. With the modernization of the healthcare system moving at a fast clip, this is just the beginning of making sure that all health IT systems are keeping up with the highest standards. Next, we need to make sure that Big Tech companies (which, so far, aren’t generally considered Health IT Developers) are also not fooling around with our health data.
April 1, 2022 | 3 min read
April 1, 2022
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