Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Sun is Setting on the 2011 Edition HITECH Certification Program

Have you received your Stage 1 HITECH certification yet?  If not, you should sign up with an ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) as soon as possible!  

The permanent certification program, also known as Stage 2 and the 2014 Edition, is scheduled to be released in late summer of 2012.  Once the permanent certification program is released, the temporary certification program, also known as Stage 1 and the 2011 Edition, will officially sunset.  

According to the final rule, once the permanent certification program is established and the temporary certification program sunsets, ATCBs cannot accept new requests for certification on the temporary program.  ATCBs are permitted six months from the sunset date to complete any outstanding testing and certification activities that were initiated prior to the sunset date.  If the temporary program certification is not complete within six months, the technology will have to be resubmitted for certification on the permanent certification program. 

If you have received your Stage 1 HITECH Certification, there are a number of changes coming in Stage 2!  

The new program introduces Gap Testing which will allow technology that was previously certified by the 2011 Edition to use the original certification results on criteria that is ‘unchanged’ in the 2014 Edition. This offers a less costly option for vendors and health providers who participated in Stage 1 certification.  It should be noted that if an outdated version of a standard was used during Stage 1 certification, the module must be retested with gap testing.  For example, if you used HL7 v2.3.1 during certification of 170.302(k) Submission to Immunization Registries, you would need to gap test this module and submit a HL7 v2.5.1 message. 

The payment year schedule for Meaningful Use has also been shifted slightly by the 2014 Edition.  According the CMS Proposed Federal Register, an EP, eligible hospital, or CAH that became a meaningful user in 2011 or 2012 will begin their Stage 2 reporting period in 2014.  That means January 1, 2014 for EPs and October 1, 2013 for hospitals and CAHs.  

Contact Dynamic Health IT at 504-309-9103 or sales@dynamichealthit.com for certification consulting or to set up a Gap Analysis of your system.