CCHIT to develop ACO framework

ACO focus complements work on EHRs, officials say

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) plans to develop an IT framework for accountable care organizations (ACOs). The framework will identify the health IT infrastructure components necessary for a provider organization to function effectively as an ACO and help identify any gaps that would prevent them from meeting their goals as an ACO.

“CCHIT has been the leader in developing criteria, and testing and certifying EHRs, for the past six years. We also recently became the compliance testing body for a consortium of health information exchanges representing more than half of the U.S. population,” said William Jessee, MD, chair of the CCHIT Board of Trustees.  “Building on that, and our successful CCHIT Certified and Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) authorized EHR certification programs, we are looking at other opportunities that will complement our work, and we believe expanding into the ACO environment is one way to do that.”

Karen Bell, MD, who was re-appointed chair of the Certification Commission, will lead a blue ribbon advisory panel to develop the framework, which may serve as the basis for additional certification programs developed by CCHIT. Once the framework is in place, CCHIT plans to publish it so that it may educate and inform those who are working on ACO development.

CCHIT appointed Janet M. Corrigan and Grace E. Terrell, MD, president and CEO of Cornerstone Health Care, as new members of the Board of Trustees to serve three-year terms. CCHIT also re-elected three members to its board of trustees to serve three-year terms: Jessee, senior vice president/senior advisor, Integrated Healthcare Strategies, who also was re-elected chair; Lori Evans Bernstein, president, GSI Health; and Stephen K. Klasko, MD., CEO, University of South Florida Health, and dean, Morsani College of Medicine, USF.

Alisa Ray, executive director of CCHIT, also has been named CEO.