ONC to instill vendor fee for EHRs

ONC puts for vender fee proposition

Citing the crush of an increasing workload and dwindling government funding, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has proposed a health IT user fee that would be imposed on health IT vendors who certify their products through the ONC Health IT Certification Program.

The ONC explains the reasoning for the fees – totaling as much as $1 million – in an appendix of the agency’s proposed 2014 budget.

The work to date has been funded with the money from ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment and Act, but the funding is set to expire at the end of 2013.

The health IT industry relies on ONC to administer a timely and reliable testing infrastructure and certification process for health IT products, the ONC wrote. “Since the establishment of ONC’s Health IT Certification Program, the number of health IT vendors and the volume of health IT products submitted for certification has steadily increased. This workload is expected to increase in the coming years as ONC’s responsibilities associated with administering the Certification Program expand,” the agency stated.

The user fee would provide ONC with the resources necessary to pay for the program, the ONC noted.