HIMSS urges Price to delay new certified EHR rollout

In an April 11 letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society asked HHS to delay the implementation of new certified EHR technology.

The new certified EHRs — the 2015 editions — are slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2018. In the letter, HIMSS President and CEO H. Stephen Lieber and HIMSS North America Board of Directors Chair Michael H. Zaroukian, MD, PhD, suggested moving the start date to July 1, 2018.

Although ONC released the new certification requirements in October 2015, only a few vendors have upgraded their systems, according to the letter. This poses an issue for healthcare organizations, since their health IT products must be certified to the 2015 standards by the current January deadline to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs and the Quality Payment Program.

A six-month extension will "increase the likelihood that providers, vendors and consultants have the necessary time to ensure products complete the certification process, are fully tested and implemented, and staff training and workflow adjustments are achieved," Mr. Lieber and Dr. Zaroukian wrote.

In spite of the extension request, HIMSS emphasized its support for the 2015 certification criteria, citing its focus on cybersecurity, interoperability and population health.

Click here to view the full letter.

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