What Is the EHR Reporting Program?

In the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, Congress directed the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Program. The EHR Reporting Program will provide publicly available, comparative information about certified health IT. The program will reflect input from certified health IT developers and voluntary input from those who use certified health IT on criteria related to: security, usability, interoperability, conformance to certification testing, and other topics as appropriate.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued a request for information (RFI) from the public in August 2018 and has contracted with the Urban Institute and HealthTech Solutions to establish this program. So far, we have summarized RFI comments and scanned the existing literature on EHR selection and comparative information about certified health IT. We are also engaging stakeholders in 2019 through in-person and virtual public open forums to find out what kinds of comparative information stakeholders need about health IT. This input will guide the team’s development of reporting criteria for the EHR reporting program.

 

What’s Next?

Staff from the Urban Institute and HealthTech Solutions will give stakeholders an opportunity to suggest what comparative information about certified health IT they need, where that information might be available, and how it could be collected. Seven regional meetings are planned in 2019.

For additional information on the program, please refer to https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/page/2019-07/EHRReportingProgram072519v1.pdf.

 

The seventh regional meeting will take place in Chicago, Illinois, on August 18-20, 2019. Details are as follows:

Tuesday, August 20th
Focus: Public Forum
Time: 5 pm – 7 pm CT
Location: HIMSS’ Chicago Office
33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1700 12th Floor Conference Room, Chicago, IL 60603
Virtual Link: https://healthtechsolutions.zoom.us/j/135407349

 

At the end of 2019, the Urban Institute and HealthTech Solutions will use the RFI comments, background research, and stakeholder input to develop a draft set of EHR Reporting Program criteria. We will test these draft criteria with a small sample of certified health IT developers, clinicians, and others. After testing, we will make necessary revisions and release the draft reporting criteria in the Federal Register for public comment in mid-2020. We will then revise and release the criteria based on public feedback and begin collecting data. ONC plans to publicly release EHR comparison information in late 2022.

 

How Is This Different from the Existing ONC Health IT Certification Program?

The ONC Health IT Certification Program is a voluntary program through which health IT developers demonstrate they have met the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted by HHS. ONC’s Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) identifies health IT products that conform to individual certification criteria. The 21st Century Cures Act requires certified health IT developers to report information on the EHR Reporting Program criteria, once finalized, to maintain their certification.

The information certified health IT developers report to the EHR Reporting Program is expected to be different than the information included in the CHPL. However, information collected through the existing CHPL may be included as part of the EHR Reporting Program.