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EHR Incentives & Certification

Certification Process for EHR Technologies

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Certification Program provides a defined process to ensure that Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies meet the adopted standards and certification criteria to help providers and hospitals achieve Meaningful Use (MU) objectives and measures established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals who seek to qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are required to use certified EHR technology.

Temporary and Permanent Certification Programs

In June 2010, ONC issued a final rule to establish a Temporary Certification Program for Health Information Technology for the purposes of testing and certifying EHRs. This final rule was specifically established to assure the availability of certified EHR technology prior to the date on which health care providers seeking the incentive payments would begin to report demonstrable meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

For more information about the TCP, please visit Temporary Certification Program.

Permanent Certification Program

In January 2011, ONC issued the final rule to establish the Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology. The permanent certification program will eventually replace the Temporary Certification Program. The Temporary Certification Program will continue to be in effect until the processes necessary for the Permanent Certification Program to become operational are in place. Stay tuned for additional information regarding the sunset of the Temporary Certification Program.

For more information about the PCP, please visit Permanent Certification Program.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

In collaboration with ONC, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed the functional and conformance testing requirements, test cases, and test tools to support the proposed health IT certification programs. These conformance test methods (test procedures, test data, and test tools) will help ensure compliance with the meaningful use technical requirements and standards. Visit the NIST website to learn more.

Learn More

For questions related to the health IT certification programs, please contact ONC's Office of Certification.