The three options include:
- "A rigorous certification for comprehensive EHR systems that significantly exceed minimum Federal standards requirements. This certification (EHR-C) would be targeted to the needs of providers who want maximal assurance of EHR capabilities and compliance
- A new, modular certification program for electronic prescribing, personal health records, registries, and other technologies. Focusing on basic compliance with Federal standards and security, the EHR-M program would be offered at lower cost, and could accommodate a wide variety of specialties, settings, and technologies. It would appeal to providers who prefer to combine technologies from multiple certified sources.
- A simplified, low cost site-level certification. This program would enable providers who self-develop or assemble EHRs from noncertified sources to also qualify for the ARRA incentives."
These certification options are targeted to be available for 2011-2012 certifications which kick off in January 2010.
CCHIT has been criticized for too close a relationship to Health IT vendors, led most visibly by David Kibbe and Brian Klepper, who have asked "If the HITECH monies are spent on CCHIT certified EHRs that can't do any of these patient-centered tasks, or EHRs that don't come equipped with the features and functions to extend health IT capability to the patients and consumers, do we really think that the money will have been spent wisely? But that's the pathway we seem headed down, led by the vendors." Mark Leavitt, Chair of CCHIT, has responded forcefully to this criticism.
CCHIT's announcement addresses the concern that certification was previously only available to vendors able to deliver monolithic solutions covering all EHR requirements.