Office of National Coordinator

Earlier this month, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a report to Congress on the feasibility of creating tools to help providers compare and select certified health IT products. As part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), Congress required ONC to conduct a study to examine the feasibility of establishing mechanisms to assist providers in comparing and selecting certified EHR technology products. Congress suggested that ONC consider mechanisms like establishing a website of aggregated survey results that would allow meaningful EHR users to directly compare the functionality of certified health IT products. Congress also suggested compiling information from vendors of certified health IT products, and making that information publicly available in a standardized format.

In response to its Congressional directive, and drawing upon recommendations from the Certified Technology Comparison (CTC) Task Force, public input, and its own market analysis, ONC’s report focused on two subgroups of the health care community – providers and comparison tool developers – and identified specific problem areas in the comparison tool marketplace. Ultimately, the report proposed four mechanisms to improve the health IT comparison marketplace:


Continue Reading The Rise of the One-Stop Shop? ONC Outlines Four Mechanisms to Help Providers Compare Certified Health IT Products

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) began the month of March and the HIMSS Annual Conference with the announcement of an unexpected proposed rule, the Enhanced Oversight and Accountability Rule (the “Oversight Rule”). The Oversight Rule would expand ONC’s role in the ONC Health IT Certification Program (“Program”). Specifically, the Oversight Rule provides ONC with express powers to directly review health IT certified under the Program and employ review, suspension, and termination processes to address “non-conformities” found in certified health IT.  The ONC is seeking comment on key issues such as the scope of ONC’s proposed direct review authority, its processes for reviewing certified and uncertified health IT capabilities, and the agency’s potential overlap with the authority of other agencies.  All public comments will be due to ONC on or before May 1, 2016.

As stated in the ONC’s press release, the Oversight Rule focuses on three areas: Direct Review, Enhanced Oversight, and Greater Transparency and Accountability.


Continue Reading The ONC Proposes the Direct Review of Certified Health IT in Oversight Rule