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WEDI and EHNAC Intend to Accredit Practice Management System Vendors

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), in partnership with the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a nonprofit standards development organization and accrediting body, recently announced their intent to create a Practice Management System Accreditation Program (PMSAP). The purpose of this joint partnership is to create a comprehensive review of practice management system (PMS) vendors in the areas of privacy, security, mandated standards and operating rules, and key operational functions. The PMSAP will assess health information and oversight for meeting privacy and security, HIPAA and ACA requirements, as well as focus on technical performance, business processes, and resource management.

“Now, more than ever, practice management systems are a critical linchpin to the success of a physician’s practice and achieving their goals of driving down costs and improving quality through the use of systems,” says Devin Jopp, WEDI CEO. “Through this partnership, both WEDI and EHNAC hope to ensure that the industry maintains a common baseline that all PMS vendors will achieve.”

EHNAC Executive Director Lee Barrett echoes Jopp’s assessment: “Accreditation programs have proven to advance health care and improve competitive positioning for electronic health networks, health information exchanges, and a variety of other stakeholders directly affected by health care legislation. But to date, PMS vendors have not had such a platform that allows them to demonstrate adherence to a higher standard of quality, privacy, and security. WEDI was the ideal partner for us to finally address and support this important market sector.”

In an effort to reduce exposure and assist in compliance with health care reform mandates to all stakeholders utilizing a PMS vendor, having a comprehensive, third‐party accreditation review and audit will provide a much higher level of assurance. Additionally, the accreditation will create a trustworthy framework with providers and their PMS vendors.

"Physician practices must have in place the appropriate software to both meet federal mandates and take full advantage of administrative simplification initiatives. We anticipate that accreditation of these practice management systems will be an invaluable tool that can assist our members in the product selection process, and then in optimizing their solutions to access meaningful data," says Susan L. Turney, MD, MS, FACP, FACMPE, MGMA president and CEO.

PMS vendors perform various administrative and clinical functions on behalf of providers. It is projected that there are over four hundred PMS platforms serving the provider community. Currently, there is no third‐party review of these vendors and their ability to meet these standards. A common goal of this effort is to help all stakeholders take full advantage of the various administrative simplification opportunities included in both HIPAA and the ACA.

Sources: The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission and The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange