HIMSS Responds to Senate Finance Committee Hearings

HIMSS has responded to a recent series of three Senate Finance Committee hearings in June and July of this year on health IT and improving the quality of healthcare in America.  HIMSS’ recommendations to Congress included:

  1. Launch Stage 2 Meaningful Use on-schedule and extend Year 1 of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation period through April 2015 for Eligible Hospitals and June 2015 for Eligible Professionals.Congress should make it a national priority the development and adoption of a consistent nationwide patient data matching strategy through government-private sector collaboration.
  2. Congress should exercise its oversight responsibilities to ensure that needed health IT data definition and transaction standards are implemented consistently and effectively nationwide, in support of national healthcare transformation.
  3. Congress should support harmonization of federal and state privacy laws and regulations by: (1) being aware of the roadblocks to information exchange created by the current differing laws and regulations; (2) convening hearings on the challenges and possible solutions to mitigate the divergence of federal and state laws and regulations; and (3) directing HHS to promulgate the ONC Privacy and Security Framework to protect personal health information while eliminating barriers to interstate exchange of health information.
  4. Congress should reduce barriers to providers and patients sharing data, and direct appropriate modifications to the Medicare reimbursement structure to encourage health information exchange, promote coordination of care, and improving clinical outcomes while helping control healthcare costs. 

To view HIMSS’ letter to the Senate Finance Committee in response to the July 24, 2013 hearing on “Health Information Technology: Using it to Improve Care,” click here.

HIMSS Statement on Senate Finance Cmte Hearing July 24 08-15-2013