I currently use EHR version 1.3 which I purchased from EHR technology developer XYZ. EHR technology developer XYZ has informed me that it is not going to seek certification for EHR version 1.3. Can I seek certification for EHR version 1.3 or can I partner with a group of other health care providers that also use version 1.3 to split the cost of certification? Additionally, if EHR version 1.3 becomes certified can anyone else using EHR version 1.3 rely on the certification issued to EHR version 1.3?
In response to your first question, yes, any individual health care provider, group of health care providers, other type of affiliation, or organization is permitted to seek to have EHR technology tested and certified. The Temporary Certification Program and ONC HIT Certification Program regulations do not specify who may seek testing and certification for EHR technology. However, we note that any party that seeks testing and certification for the EHR technology would typically assume the associated costs. We would also note that prior to presenting EHR technology for testing and certification, it may be prudent to conduct an analysis of the certification criteria with which, for example, EHR version 1.3 would be compliant (i.e., it may only be capable of meeting some, but not all, adopted certification criteria and could therefore only be certified as an EHR Module). Additionally, if the purchaser and EHR technology developer have entered into an agreement, the purchaser may want to review the terms and conditions of the agreement to see what, if any, restrictions have been placed on either of the parties in seeking certification of the EHR technology.
In response to the follow-up question, yes, regardless of who seeks (and/or incurs the costs) to have the EHR technology tested and certified, once the EHR technology is certified, the certification associated with that EHR technology is applicable to all identical copies (for example, all identical copies of EHR version 1.3). In addition, the ONC-ATCB or ONC-ACB would report to ONC that the particular EHR technology had been certified, and we would make this information available on our website through the Certified HIT Products List (CHPL).