Certified EHR Technology
Beginning in 2019, all eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, dual-eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) are required to use 2015 edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) to meet the requirements of the Promoting Interoperability Program. Note that the requirements for eligible hospitals, dual-eligible hospitals, and CAHs that submit an attestation to CMS under the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program were updated in the 2019 IPPS final rule.
In 2019, all Medicaid eligible hospitals and EPs must adhere to the requirements of their state’s Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program and attest directly to their state. Visit the 2019 Promoting Interoperability Medicaid page for more information.
In order to efficiently capture and share patient data, health care providers need an electronic health record (EHR) that stores data in a structured format. Structured data allows health care providers to easily retrieve and transfer patient information and 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 meet in order to qualify for use in the Promoting Interoperability Programs.
To avoid a downward payment adjustment health care providers must use 2015 Edition CEHRT beginning with the EHR reporting period in 2019. CEHRT 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 health care 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. For more information on 2015 Edition CEHRT, review this fact sheet (PDF).
The 2015 Edition CEHRT did not have to be implemented on January 1, 2019. However, the functionality must be in place by the first day of the EHR reporting period and the product must be certified to the 2015 Edition criteria by the last day of the EHR reporting period. The eligible hospital or CAH must be using the 2015 Edition functionality for the full EHR reporting period. In many situations the product may be deployed, but pending certification.
Health care providers participating in the Promoting Interoperability Programs must attest to certain statements to demonstrate that they have not knowingly and willfully taken action to limit or restrict the compatibility or interoperability of their CEHRT. Collectively, these statements are referred to as the "prevention of information blocking attestation." For more details on information blocking review this fact sheet (PDF).
Additional information on 2015 Edition can be found on ONC's website.
Please Note: It is possible that EHRs that are certified or qualified for use in other Medicare incentive programs, or pre-owned EHRs may not be certified for use in the Promoting Interoperability Programs.
To learn which EHR systems and modules are certified for the Promoting Interoperability Programs, please visit the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) on the ONC website.