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Certified EHR Technology

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is renaming the EHR Incentive Programs to the Promoting Interoperability (PI) Programs to continue the agency’s focus on improving patients’ access to health information and reducing the time and cost required of providers to comply with the programs’ requirements. CMS is also in the process of finalizing updates to the programs through rulemaking. For more information, visit the landing page where CMS will publish updates and additional resources as soon as they are available.

Certified Electronic Health Record Technology

In order to efficiently capture and share patient data efficiently, 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 PI Programs (formerly the EHR Incentive Programs).

  • Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) - To avoid a Medicare payment adjustment or receive a Medicaid incentive payment, health care providers must use an EHR that is certified specifically for the PI Programs. 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.

  • Information Blocking Attestation -Providers participating in the PI Programs must attest to three 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.

Additional information on EHR technology certified to the 2014 Edition and 2015 Edition can be found on ONC's website.

Please Note: EHRs certified or qualified for other Medicare incentive programs, or pre-owned EHRs may not be certified for these programs.

To learn which EHR systems and modules are certified for the Medicare and Medicaid PI 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 EHR technology. Very often an EMR is just another way to describe an EHR, and both health care providers and vendors sometimes use the terms interchangeably. For the purposes of the PI Programs, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must use CEHRT.