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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Nail, meet ONC-CHPL coffin?

Press Release
CHICAGO — Oct. 28, 2014 — Today, the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) announced that it is winding down all operations beginning immediately. All customers and business colleagues have been notified, CCHIT staff is assisting in transitions, and all work will be ended by November 14, 2014.

Founded in 2004, CCHIT provided certification services for health IT products and education for healthcare providers and IT developers. Five years prior to the passage of the HITECH Act which enabled today’s Office of the National Coordinator certification programs, CCHIT worked in public-private collaboration to pioneer the design, development and implementation of health IT testing and certification programs.

“We are concluding our operations with pride in what has been accomplished”, said Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director. “For the past decade CCHIT has been the leader in certification services, supported by our loyal volunteers, the contribution of our boards of trustees and commissioners, and our dedicated staff. We have worked effectively in the private and public sectors to advance our mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. We have served hundreds of health IT developers and provided valuable education to our healthcare provider stakeholders.”

“Though CCHIT attained self-sustainability as a private independent certification body and continued to thrive as an authorized ONC testing and certification body, the slowing of the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification and the unreliable timing of future federal health IT program requirements made program and business planning for new services uncertain. CCHIT’s trustees decided that, in the current environment, operations should be carefully brought to a close”, said Ray.

As a 503 c(3) nonprofit organization, CCHIT’s trustees decided to donate its remaining assets, primarily its intellectual property, to the HIMSS Foundation.

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) operated as an independent, 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. CCHIT was founded in 2004 through a collaboration of three health IT associations – HIMSS, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (since dissolved) – to respond to a U.S. federal government goal to provide most Americans with EHRs within 10 years, thereby enabling the transformation of healthcare with information technology.

In an open selection process, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contracted with CCHIT in October 2005 to develop certification programs for EHRs and health information exchanges. CCHIT was first recognized by HHS as a certifying body in 2006 with the launch of the independent CCHIT Certified® program. CCHIT developed its own organizational infrastructure and subsequently became self-sustainable.

In February 2009, Congress acknowledged the value of certification in the language of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) aimed at stimulating the nation's economy. The law offers a multi-year series of incentive payments to providers and hospitals for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

In September 2010, CCHIT also became an Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) authorized certification body and testing laboratory. In January 2014, CCHIT voluntarily withdrew from the ONC HIT Certification Program and sunsetted its independently developed CCHIT Certified program. Since January, CCHIT offered programs focused on helping providers and health IT developers understand health IT requirements.

“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.
From their latest 990 (2012).

A 501(c)(3), 'eh? They've been paying a lot of money for compensation, and losing big dough. $1.710m loss in 2012?

From Neil Versel over at
CCHIT Demise Should Herald Demise of EHR Certification

In my very first post for, written back in May, I argued that certification of electronic health records had run its course and was no longer needed in health IT.

This week, that position got a boost with some news that in one sense was shocking and in another was not surprising at all: the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) is closing its doors on Nov. 14....

CCHIT had no reason to continue in certification after HITECH commoditized it, and several competitors offered the same service at lower prices. And CCHIT, despite its attempts to find a new purpose, had no reason to continue operations without being a certification body.

As I said in May, certification of EHRs for functionality rather than usability probably had outlived its usefulness in the age of HITECH and Meaningful Use. I still believe that today. The demise of CCHIT makes that crystal-clear.
"...certification of EHRs for functionality rather than usability probably had outlived its usefulness."
Indeed. We at Clinic Monkey agree. "Usability" that actually improves clinical care, that is. That's what we ought focus on, as a national Health IT priority. Again, Jerome Carter MD:
[T]he concern is how to best provide support for common clinical work needs such as collaboration or decision support. This is very different from EHR system designs inspired by paper charts where the goal is replication of chart features. For example, EHR systems often have problem lists, medication lists, note-writing features, and such as their main interface elements. The informational properties of these chart features are important. However, providing information and supporting clinical work, while related, are not the same thing—as demonstrated by an increasing number of usability and workflow complaints...
See EHR Science.

Also helps to return back down into the Weeds'.



More to come...

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