As I mentioned in my previous post about the race to be the first EHR certified (and the first ATCB to certify an EHR), there’s a lot more going on in the battle amongst the EHR certifying bodies.
The first interesting detail surrounds the previous CCHIT certified EHR vendors. This turns out to be a really great move by CCHIT. A quick look at CCHIT’s website has 49 EHR products (or modules of products) that have been certified for either the CCHIT 2011 certification or for the Preliminary ARRA certification. That’s 49 pieces of EMR software (a few less since some are different versions of the same product) have paid $22k+ in order to be certified by CCHIT.
I’ve talked to one of these EHR vendors and they said that CCHIT did a call with all current vendors and said that they will be honoring their previous commitment to provide the real ARRA certification at no additional cost to these providers. This turns out to be really smart if it means that many of the big EHR players like GE, Elipsys/Allscripts, NextGen, Epic, Athena, Pulse, Cerner, etc all decide to continue forward with CCHIT.
Many would ask why they would pay another $20k to someone like Drummond Group if they could get the EHR certification for free from CCHIT. Turns out their is a possibility if CCHIT isn’t able to deliver their certification in a timely manner and Drummond Group is able to do it much quicker.
Remember the list above are HUGE EHR vendors where $20k is basically a drop in the bucket. It’s kind of scary to consider that, but that’s the reality for most of the EHR vendors. Sure, it’s not what they’d like to spend if they don’t have to, but when did large corporations start worrying about wasteful spending? Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.
The good thing for Drummond Group is that there are still 300+ EMR vendors that will need to be certified. In fact, many of the non CCHIT certified EHR companies are likely moving to Drummond Group for EHR certification since CCHIT is giving priority to their existing EHR vendors.
Yes, that’s right. Over the next month and half CCHIT will spend all its time doing a bunch of free EHR certifications while Drummond Group will be making just under $20k for each EHR certification that they do.
One final thought about the fun that is EHR certification. When I recently talked to an EHR vendor that is CCHIT certified and will likely be getting their now free EHR certification, I found it really interesting to learn who from their company was on the CCHIT call. In this case, the EHR vendor’s VP of Marketing was on the call with CCHIT.
Of course, this begs the question why the VP of Marketing would be on a call about EHR certification standards and compliance. Shouldn’t the clinical director be the one that wants to be on that call? I think it sends a compelling message that I’ve been preaching on EMR and HIPAA for a long time. EHR certification is not a benefit to the doctor. EHR certification is not a benefit to the patient. EHR certification is a means for EHR vendors to market their EHR software.