ICSA Labs Among First to Receive Federal Authorization as Stage 2 Certification Body for Electronic Health Records

ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon, has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to certify electronic health records for the next stage of Meaningful Use requirements.

The certification program of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was enacted to strengthen the security of electronic health records, reduce operational costs, protect private patient information and help providers become "meaningful users."  The new Stage 2 requirements, which are expected to go into effect in early October, provide more transparency and elevate the overall testing and certification process by mandating additional requirements for organizations providing EHR services.

EHR vendors also must have their products tested by laboratories accredited by the National Voluntary Lab Accreditation Program and certified by bodies authorized by the ONC and accredited by the American National Standards Institute. ICSA Labs recently earned accreditation from the National Voluntary Lab Accreditation Program and the American National Standards Institute.

"The latest round of federal requirements will enable us to help companies strengthen the security and privacy of their EHR offerings, ultimately benefitting both patient and health care provider," said Amit Trivedi, health care program manager for ICSA Labs.

The ONC's health information technology certification program, which provides authorization for the certification of electronic health care records, was established in January 2011.  The Stage 2 Standards, Implementation Specifications and Certification Criteria Final Rule was released on August 23 and is administered nationally by the ONC.

Meaningful use of "Certified EHR Technology" is a core requirement for eligible health care providers and hospitals who seek to qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs as established through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.

ICSA Labs offers testing and certification programs that evaluate EHR technology based on ONC-approved test requirements.  Since December 2011, ICSA Labs has been operating as a Stage 1 ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body.

About ONC
ONC is the principal federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position of National Coordinator was created in 2004, through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) of 2009.  ONC is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Visit www.HealthIT.gov  for more information about ONC.

About ICSA Labs
ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon (NYSE, Nasdaq:VZ), offers third-party testing and certification of security and health IT products, as well as network-connected devices, to measure product compliance, reliability and performance for many of the world's top security vendors.  ICSA Labs is an ISO 17025:2005 accredited and 9001:2008 registered organization. Visit http://www.icsalabs.com and http://www.icsalabs.com/blogs for more information.