On July 6, HIMSS and PCHAlliance submitted a letter in response to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Request for Information (RFI), on Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities through Government. This RFI aimed to solicit input on available methods, approaches and tools that could assist in identifying effective methods for assessing whether agency policies and actions equitably serve all eligible individuals and communities, particularly those that are currently and historically underserved.
In the letter, HIMSS and PCHAlliance noted that government agencies are making great strides to achieve goals concerning equity in a variety of initiatives already taking place through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and through the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Chief Technology Officer.
While encouraged by the work under way, HIMSS and PCHAlliance stressed that the conversation about health equity must continue to expand and address whether the intended benefits are reaching participants in underserved communities, as well asking underlying questions related to the impact of issues related to health literacy.
Moreover, HIMSS and PCHAlliance built upon the importance of access to quality and reliable broadband in all advancing equity discussions and additionally provided examples of actions taken by the organization to heighten the focus on health equity.
Overall, HIMSS and PCHAlliance appreciated this opportunity to highlight the role of digital health as the federal government assesses current policies and programs to more directly advance equity and support for underserved communities. HIMSS and PCHAlliance are committed to being a valuable resource to this Administration on equity issues moving forward.
The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.