After almost a decade of testing and certifying electronic health record systems (EHR) the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) will no longer provide these services. CCHIT was the first provider of testing and certification services, and is still the most commonly used provider in the nation. Nearly half of the health IT systems on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS' Certified Health IT Product List have been certified by CCHIT.
CCHIT stopped taking applications from vendors in January. Executive Director Alisa Ray stated that they would wind down the remaining 70 systems scheduled for tests by April or May of this year. Ray explained that the delay for implementing meaningful use requirements lead to the decision to move away from certification and testing.
The company will also stop private-label certification programs for other health IT systems. CCHIT is phasing these programs down as the organization shifts to a global focus.
Consumers will have eight certification bodies to choose from with the withdrawal of CCHIT from the marketplace. Five of the companies are recognized by the ONC as Accredited Testing Laboratories. Three other companies are ONC Authorized Certification Bodies. All eight companies test and certify EHRs to qualify them for participation in the EHR incentive payment program established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.