ONC earned its nickname as the “Office of No Christmas” during the 2009 Holiday season roughly two years ago when we, along with our colleagues at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced the proposed regulations to govern the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs (EHR Incentive programs) established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). CMS’s proposed rule outlined provisions governing the EHR Incentive programs, including defining the central concept of “meaningful use” of EHR technology.
At the same time, ONC issued an interim final regulation that set initial standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for EHR technology. In the closing months of 2009, ONC also issued a flurry of funding opportunities to support health information technology adoption, information exchange, and the workforce needed to make this important Recovery Act program succeed.
A year later, by the 2010 holiday season, vendors, newly accredited certification bodies, and a few vanguard providers were gearing up for the official launch of the EHR Incentive programs, which opened for registration on January 3, 2011. What has happened in the 12 months since then?Email This Article