CCHIT Program To Help Hospitals Pass EHR Certification

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology certification program targets hospitals with legacy, customized or self-developed Electronic Health Record systems.
CCHIT further tries to ensure applicants pass the test by monitoring the amount of time they spend in the first two phases. If that level is substantially below what is determined to be a sufficient effort, the applicant will be notified.

In creating the program, CCHIT worked with hospitals to receive feedback. EACH will be piloted at New York University Hospital, Edward Hospital and Health Services (Illinois), and Care Group in Boston. The program will officially launch on Jan. 10 when the program orientation becomes available, with wide availability and inspection capacity the following week.

Pricing for the program breaks down as follows: the Preparation phase costs $99, with Readiness priced at $3,500. If an applicant moves on to the Certification portion, the readiness fee will be applied as a credit to that bill. Complete EHR Certification runs $32,550. Module testing starts with a base fee of $7,000 for certification against ONC's mandatory security criteria, with each module adding an additional fee on top of that. For example, the "calculate and submit clinical quality measures" module costs $2,000 which, added to the base fee, would result in a $9,000 bill.

To help defray the testing costs for critical access hospitals, CCHIT is offering some "limited" scholarships. More information will be provided when the application process opens.

Becker said CCHIT will not charge for same-day retests. However, "if you completely flunk the whole thing and we have to reconvene, we would charge some additional fees, but that happens very, very rarely. We think you'll have good outcomes with our safeguards -- including the same-day retest -- to be able to get the results you want."

Starting in the second quarter of 2011, CCHIT said it will expand the program to include ambulatory practices.

Anthony Guerra is the founder and editor of, a site dedicated to serving the strategic information needs of healthcare CIOs. He can be reached at [email protected].

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