On November 3, 2011, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued a six-month extension of the so-called temporary certification program that certifies electronic health record technology (EHRs) for use in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.  The temporary certification program was established in June 2010 to evaluate whether EHRs could satisfy the functionality and clinical reporting requirements set forth in CMS's Meaningful Use Rule.  A permanent certification program was set to take effect in January 2012, which would have increased the comprehensiveness of certification testing and increased ONC's oversight of certifying bodies.  However, ONC will extend the temporary certification program to mid-2012 so that the launch of the permanent certification program will coincide with the release of CMS's Stage 2 meaningful use criteria and ONC's Stage 2 certification standards.

ONC's November 3 announcement is available by clicking here.