On September 10, 2014, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule that would give electronic health record vendors more flexibility in testing and certification criteria for attesting to Meaningful Use stage 2.

After taking public comments under consideration, ONC abandoned its initial plan to release an optional 2015 Edition in its final rule, and instead released a set of 10 optional and two revised certification criteria called 2014 Edition Release 2.

Under the new rule, ONC won’t require that providers or EHR vendors update or recertify their systems. However, this rule will give vendors the opportunity to make changes to their products.

This rule adopts a new “ONC Certified HIT” certification, as opposed to “Complete EHR” certification.

ONC is committed to continually improving the certification program and responding appropriately to consumer feedback. Health IT developers and their customers will both benefit from this rule change. This final rule provides more choices, such as new interoperable ways to exchange medical information securely.

As technology and standards continue to evolve to support innovation, this rule can serve as a model for future updates.

Author: Lauren Daniels

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