N.J. considers fines for non-CCHIT EMRs

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A bill pending in the New Jersey legislature would impose civil penalties on anyone using health IT products not certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) on or after Jan. 1, 2011.

Any person or entity that is found in violation of the provisions would be liable to incur a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 for the first violation, not less than $2,500 for the second violation, and $5,000 for the third and each subsequent violation, according to the bill, introduced May 11, and sponsored by Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr., and Upendra J. Chivukula.

The use of  "CCHIT-certified products in New Jersey will lead to that interoperability by which various entities in the healthcare system nationwide can exchange data accurately, effectively, securely and consistently," wrote Conaway and Chivukula.

Therefore, by prohibiting the sale or distribution of health IT products not certified by the CCHIT, the state will expedite the "widespread use of CCHIT-certified products and thereby advance the public interest to be served by the development of an improved healthcare delivery system through the implementation of an effective, secure and interoperable electronic health information infrastructure."