HHS issued two rules today in compliance with the HITECH Act. The first is a proposed rule defining meaningful use. The second is an interim final rule that sets forth the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHRs. In a conference call this afternoon, David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for HIT, said "both [rules] are important in their own right but should be seen as part of a comprehensive effort to improve the health of the American people and the efficiency of the heath care system." Blumenthal also said the interim rule setting forth the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria is "pegged to the meaningful use requirement" and is meant to aid providers in achieving meaningful use of EHRs.
Both rules will have a 60-day comment period and will be published in the Federal Register shortly. The rules may be found at the following web addresses:
Meaningful Use Proposed Rule: http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2009-31217_PI.pdf
Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria Interim Final Rule: http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2009-31216_PI.pdf