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Welcome to HIMSS' Health IT Policy Update, bringing you the latest news on legislative and regulatory activities related to health IT from HIMSS' Government Relations office. We welcome your feedback, and if you're reading this complimentary newsletter online or receiving it as a forward, please subscribe.

HIMSS Welcomes New Senior Director for Federal Affairs
The HIMSS Government Relations Team this week welcomed Jeff Coughlin as HIMSS’ new Senior Director of Federal Affairs, leading HIMSS outreach efforts with federal agencies, including the Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Commerce, and others.  Jeff is a long-time healthcare policy expert and strategist, experience at HHS and several non-profit organizations.  He was most recently with a Washington, DC area consulting group.  Please feel to reach out to Jeff at

HIMSS Seeks Innovator in Residence to work with HHS on Patient Data Matching Strategy
Through HHS’s existing “Innovator in Residence” (IIR) program, HIMSS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are collaborating to move forward on the creation of a nationwide patient data matching strategy. HIMSS is currently recruiting an IIR to develop a vision, strategy, and implementation plan for the near-term deployment of consistent patient data matching in health that builds on the body of work from HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and healthcare community partners.  The person hired for this two-year opportunity will be a HIMSS employee who will work onsite in the office of the HHS Chief Technology Officer, to foster further collaboration with stakeholders across the healthcare community and in collaboration with ONC. Click the link above to learn more and to apply.

Federal Affairs

HHS OIG Issues Report Critical of EHR Program Integrity and Vulnerabilities
On January 8th the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report, “CMS and Its Contractors Have Adopted Few Program Integrity Practices To Address Vulnerabilities in EHRs,” which discusses how CMS and its contractors have not adjusted their practices for identifying and investigating fraud in EHRs, compared to paper medical records.  Click the link to learn more.

CMS Issues RFI on the Next Generation of ACOs
On December 20th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a  Request for Information on the evolution of Accountable Care Organizations.  CMS hopes to obtain input on policy considerations for the next generation of ACOs. Comments are due March 1, 2014. Click the link above for details.

DOD to sustain AHLTA through 2018
With attempts to create a single electronic health record between the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs agency halted, the Defense Health Agency has issued an “Sustainment Re-Compete” for AHLTA, its electronic health record and Composite Health Care System (CHCS), which is DOD’s core medical information system. Click the link for details.

IOM Issues Report on EHR “Return on Information” and Proposed Model
This week, the Institute of Medicine released a report, “Return on Information: A Standard Model for Assessing Institutional Return on Electronic Health Records.” Click the link to read more.

HRSA Announces New Rural Telehealth Grant Opportunity
On December 26, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Rural Health Policy/Office for the Advancement of Telehealth announced the Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program to aid providers serving rural and underserved populations. For more information on this grant opportunity, click the link above.

Workshop on Mobile App Development and FDA Regs
The MMA Roadshow, co-sponsored by mHIMSS, will dive deeply into the regulatory issues associated with bringing new mobile apps into the healthcare space. The four-hour program will be hosted across the country in January, March, May and June. If you are a HIMSS member and part of the mHealth Community, you are eligible for a registration discount by e-mailing Click the headline above to dates, locations and the agenda. Register here.

HIMSS Regulatory Chart Tracks Health IT Regulations
The HIMSS regulatory chart offers an at-a-glance snapshot of all health IT-related regulation HIMSS has been following in 2013. The chart includes links to proposed and final regulations and to HIMSS comments and position statements, along with anticipated timelines.

Congressional Affairs

Congress Examines Medicare SGR Policies
The House Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on January 9, 2014, entitled “The Extenders Policies: What Are They and How Should They Continue Under a Permanent SGR (Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate) Repeal Landscape?”  Click the link for details.

Personal Data Privacy and Security Act Introduced in the Senate
On January 8, 2013, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, introduced the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2014 (S. 1897). The legislation would enhance security measures to protect personal information and privacy. Additionally, the bill would establish a national standard for data breach notification. Click the link above to learn more.

New Legislation Addresses Exchange Breaches
On January 7, 2014, Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, introduced the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act of 2014 (HR 3811). The bill would mandate that HHS notify individuals within two business days of any breach on the health care law exchanges, state and federal, that endangers personal data. The legislation is expected to come up for a vote by the full House of Representatives on January 10th. Click the link to learn more.

Institute for e-Health Policy Extern Learning Health IT Policy
Lauren Mock, a junior at the University of California at Berkeley majoring in Public Health and minoring in Public Policy, has joined the HIMSS Foundation’s Institute for e-Health Policy as a short-term January extern.  She’s enjoying learning about “health IT in the public health sphere, how technology intersects with the healthcare industry, and how the ways in which healthcare is delivered adapts to rapid advances in technology.” For more information about Lauren and about the Institute for e-Health Policy’s internship and externship opportunities, click the link above. Applications for Summer 2014 are being accepted through February 15, 2014.

State Affairs

Virginia General Assembly Addresses Health IT in 2014
The Virginia General Assembly formally began its 2014 legislative session on January 8, 2014. Two health IT bills were prefiled prior to Wednesday, which allowed them to be eligible for immediate consideration.  Click the link for details.

Four Tips for a Health IT New Year’s Resolution in 2014
Tom Keefe, HIMSS Senior Director of State Government Affairs, reports on looking ahead to 2014 and the election year we have in store for us, offering “a few suggestions to make sure we all vote for candidates who support healthcare reform through health information technology.” To read Keefe’s full blog, click the link above.


Veterans Welcomed to HIMSS14
U.S. military veterans and their families will have a chance to take part in a special program designed to introduce them to future careers in the health IT industry, during “A Hero’s Welcome to Health IT” at HIMSS14 in Orlando. The initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Education and Training Administration, provides military veterans an opportunity to gain knowledge of professional development and employment opportunities within health information technology. The goal of the Veterans Career Services initiative is to welcome transitioning military veterans into the health IT field—a growing and promising area for technologically-adept veterans. Click the link above to learn more.

HIMSS Annual Call for Committee Volunteers Now Open
HIMSS announces its Annual Call for Committee Volunteers for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.  Serving on a HIMSS Committee is an excellent opportunity for professional development, networking and active engagement around key health IT topics, settings and constituencies.  Committee participation is open to all HIMSS members who are not currently serving in other leadership positions within the Society and have maintained active membership for at least the past 12 consecutive months.  Click the link for details or to apply.

Registration Open: Second Annual National Healthcare Innovation Summit
Join Summit Co-chairs, Dr. Molly Coye, Chief Innovation Officer, UCLA Health System and Dr. Wendy Everett, President, NEHI at the Second Annual National Healthcare Innovation Summit. The Summit will be held May 13-15 at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. HIMSS is working collaboratively with NEHI and AVIA to organize and host the event. The Summit will explore demonstrated, high-value innovations that support the Triple Aim—with an emphasis on identifying and reducing the costs of care. At the Summit, innovative leaders from across the health sector will share proven and real-world approaches, first-hand experiences and lessons learned from the accelerated transformational path they follow. Keynote presentations feature executives from leading health systems, payers, public policy, foundations and think tanks, as well as private sector developers and investors. Register today!

Health IT Policy Update is a weekly online newsletter published by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Copyright© 2014 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission. Contact HIMSS Publications at 33 West Monroe Street, Suite 1700, Chicago, IL 60603–5616;

For information on Health IT Policy Update
Elinore Boeke
Sr. Manager, Public Policy Communications, HIMSS
HIMSS Office of Government Relations, 703–562–8817

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The inclusion of an organization name, product or service in this publication should not be construed as a HIMSS endorsement of such organization, product or service, nor is the failure to include an organization name, product or service to be construed as disapproval.

Take Part in the HIMSS Mobile Survey
For the first time in 2011, HIMSS Analytics explored the use of mobile technology to improve access to the information needed on a day-to-day basis in a healthcare setting. This year’s survey is built around the six topics of the mHIMSS Roadmap: New Care Models, Technology, ROI/Payment, Legal/Policy, Standards & Interoperability, and Privacy & Security. You’re invited to complete the Mobile Technology Survey by Jan. 17, and watch for the results to be released at HIMSS14 in Orlando.

Public Policy Event Calendar

HIMSS Events

Health IT Policy Committee Meetings

Health IT Standards Committee Meetings

Upcoming CMS National Provider Calls

VA HIMSS 8th Annual State Advocacy Day
Richmond, VA
January 16, 2014

HIMSS Webinar: ICD-10 Is Just Around the Corner: Steps Your Practice Should Take to Prepare for October 1, 2014
January 22, 2014

ONC Annual Meeting
Washington, DC
January 23-24, 2014

mHIMSS Open Mic: "The Role of Return on Investment (ROI) in Mobile Healthcare Models"
January 24, 2014

HIMSS Webinar: Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Requirements and New Proposed Timeline
January 29, 2014

Tennessee HIMSS Advocacy Day
Nashville, TN
January 29, 2014

Georgia HIMSS Advocacy Day
January 30, 2014

HIMSS Webinar: The HIMSS14 Experienced Conference Attendee: Getting the Most Out of Your ExperienceFebruary 5, 2014

HIMSS Webinar: The HIMSS14 First Time Attendee: Navigating the Landscape Successfully
February 5, 2014

Maryland HIT Day 2014
Annapolis, MD
February 6, 2014

HIMSS Webinar: The HIMSS14 Online Attendee: Getting the Most Out of Your Experience
February 12, 2014

HIMSS14 Conference & Exhibition
Orlando, FL
February 23-27, 2014

HIMSS14 Online
February 24-27, 2014

HIMSS Media Webinar: Mission Possible: Health IT and Policy beyond Meaningful Use and ICD-10
April 30, 2014

National Health IT Week
September 15-19, 2014

Save the Date!
HIMSS 13th Annual Policy Summit
Grand Hyatt Washington DC
September 17-18, 2014

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