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The The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT). - Washington, DC.

Federal Oversite Shuts Down Two EHR / EMR products.

ONC revokes certification for two electronic health record products.

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) has terminated the certifications of two versions of the SkyCare Electronic Health Record software programs. The ONC made the announcement after the SkyCare parent company, Platinum Health Information System did not respond to requests for routine surveillance. The announcement was made September 2, 2015.

The routine surveillance was requested by InfoGard Laboratories, an ONC Authorized Certification Body. InfoGard is headquartered in San Luis Obispo, California.

Platinum Health Information Systems, based in Santa Ana, CA. The California company appears to have shut down, stranding those providers who have invested in their product. According to reports approximately 50 providers where using SkyCare in relationship to their Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

The ONC allows for stranded providers to apply for a hardship exception to prevent Medicare from reducing their payments as a penalty for not actively working towards a successful EMR / HER product installation and utilization.

After news of the decertification was published, the Health IT Now urged Congress to pass legislation which would establish a hardship exception for providers who were using SkyCare without having to appeal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The organization also called for a fund to be created to answer hardship cases where providers using discontinued or non-functional EMR / HER systems to transition to a new provider. The hardship funds would also cover some of the costs to convert the provider's data to a new system.

Prior to this announcement, only two other Electronic Medical Record products had been de-certified. They were both developed by EHRMagic which was located in Santa Fe Springs, California. That revocation of certification occurred in 2013.

The decertification is a wakeup call for other EMR / EHR vendors who may not be meeting the Meaningful use Standards set by the ONC HIT which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In a 2015 appropriations bill, congress urged the ONC to use its authority to ensure all Electronic Health Record products were able to meet Meaningful Use standards.

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By Scott Greene

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