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Certified EHR Technology

What is a certified EHR?

In order to capture and share patient data efficiently, providers need an EHR that stores data in a structured format. Structured data allows patient information to be easily retrieved and transferred, and it allows the provider to use the EHR in ways that can aid patient care.

CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have established standards and other criteria for structured data that EHRs must use in order to qualify for this incentive program.

To get an incentive payment, you must use an EHR that is certified specifically for the EHR Incentive Programs. Certified EHR technology gives assurance to purchasers and other users that an EHR system or module offers the necessary technological capability, functionality, and security to help them meet the meaningful use criteria. Certification also helps providers and patients be confident that the electronic health IT products and systems they use are secure, can maintain data confidentially, and can work with other systems to share information.

Please Note: EHRs certified or qualified for other Medicare incentive programs may not be certified for this program. Also, if you already own an EHR, it may not be certified for use in the EHR Incentive Programs.

To learn which EHR systems and modules are certified for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, please visit the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) on the ONC website:

Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?

Sometimes people use the terms "Electronic Medical Record" or "EMR" when talking about Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology. Very often an Electronic Medical Record or EMR is just another way to describe an Electronic Health Record or EHR, and both providers and vendors sometimes use the terms interchangeably. For the purposes of the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must use certified EHR technology.


What is the CMS EHR Certification ID?

During attestation, CMS requires each eligible professional, eligible hospital and critical access hospital to provide a CMS EHR Certification ID that identifies the certified EHR technology being used to demonstrate meaningful use. This unique CMS EHR Certification ID or Number can be obtained by entering your certified EHR technology product information at the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) on the ONC website:

NOTE: The ONC CHPL Product Number issued to your vendor for each certified technology is different than the CMS EHR Certification ID. Only a CMS EHR Certification ID obtained through the CHPL will be accepted at attestation

Eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals can obtain a CMS EHR Certification ID by following these steps:

  1. Go to the ONC CHPL website:
  2. Select your practice type by selecting the Ambulatory or Inpatient buttons.
  3. Search for EHR Products by browsing all products, searching by product name or searching by criteria met.
  4. Add product(s) to your cart to determine if your product(s) meet 100% of the CMS required criteria.
  5. Request a CMS EHR Certification ID for CMS attestation. The CMS EHR Certification ID contains 15 alphanumeric characters.

NOTE: The “Get CMS EHR Certification ID” button will not be activated until the products in your cart meet 100% of the CMS required criteria. If the EHR product(s) do not meet 100% of the CMS required criteria to demonstrate Meaningful Use, a CMS EHR Certification ID will not be issued.