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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.

Federal Affairs

ONC SAFER Guides Outline Best Practices
This week the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released the Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience (SAFER) Guides as part of the HHS Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan, which was issued in July 2013.  The guides outline best practices for health care organizations to implement and utilize electronic health records and reduce the chance of an adverse event.  Click the link for details

New National Coordinator Joins Health IT Policy Committee for January Meeting
The Health IT Policy Committee met on January 14th for its monthly meeting, and discussed several critical issues, including updates from CMS and ONC. The CMS report on registration and payment data for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program included information through November 2013. This was the first Policy Committee meeting for the new National Coordinator for Health IT, Karen DeSalvo, MD, who officially began her tenure at ONC on Monday, January 13.   

Health IT Policy Committee Meeting Highlights Patient Matching and Accountable Care Issues
At its January meeting, the Health IT Policy Committee heard reports on patient identification and matching issues, as well as a report on a recent hearing held by the Accountable Care Workgroup.  Click the link to learn more.

Leon Rodriguez to Depart OCR
President Barack Obama has nominated Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Director Leon Rodriguez to serve as the next director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Susan McAndrews, JD, OCR Deputy Director for Health Information Privacy, will speak at HIMSS14 during a HIMSS Federal Health Community Synergy Session. Click the link for details on Rodriguez’ departure and McAndrew’s HIMSS14 session.

Congressional Affairs

Congress Passes Omnibus Budget Bill for Remainder of FY14
Congress has passed a permanent, comprehensive federal budget for the remainder of FY14 (through September 30, 2014).  H.R.3547, the Fiscal 2013 Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 sets federal spending to $1.1 trillion.  Click the link for details.

Senate Committee Reviews Government Employee Travel and Participation in Conferences
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on January 14th on “Examining Conference and Travel Spending Across the Federal Government.”HIMSS submitted a statement for the record emphasizing the importance of federal employees engaging in continuing public dialog with industry and other stakeholders on important public policy issues, challenges, and advancements in topics such as health information technology.  Click the link to learn more.

House Committee Evaluates Chances of Identity Theft via
On January 16th, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled, “ Consequences of Stolen Identity.” Click the link to learn more.

Institute for e-Health Policy Event to Focus on HIT Policy Issues
The Institute for e-Health Policy will hold its first luncheon of 2014 to discuss “Health Information Technology 101: An Overview of PHRs, EHRs, E-Prescribing, HIEs, Home Monitoring, Telehealth, and More – for new and returning Congressional Staff.” This session, scheduled for January 30th, is designed to bring Congressional health and technology staff up to speed on fast evolving policy issues. Click the link for details and to RSVP for this no-cost seminar.

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Improve Care Coordination
A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives have introduced the “Better Care, Lower Cost Act of 2014,” which “seeks to improve care coordination for beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, the most-expensive and fastest-growing portion of the Medicare population.” The bill highlights the benefits of health IT and patient engagement in chronic care. Click the link to learn more.

UC Berkeley Undergrad Studies Health IT via Institute for e-Health Policy Program
University of California at Berkeley public health major Michael Chang joined the HIMSS Government Relations team in January for a two-week Institute for e-Health Policy externship in order to familiarize himself with the public policy issues of health IT. Click the link for more information about Michael and the Institute for e-Health Policy’s internship and externship opportunities.

State Affairs

Governor Launches Next Phase of Mass HIway
On January 8, 2014 Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick launched the next phase of the Mass Health Information Exchange, known as the Mass HIway. Click the link above to learn more.

Florida House Committee Discusses Healthcare Workforce
The Florida House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation met January 15th to discuss healthcare provider workforce issues. Click the link to learn more.

Kentucky Gavels in and Addresses Health IT
Shortly into the 2014 session of the Kentucky Legislature, Representative Denver Butler, introduced House Bill 5, which relates to the safety and security of personal information held by public agencies. Senator Tom Buford introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 18, which directs a study of the “potential use of an electronic health records system by the state to allow medical professionals instant access to medical histories of state employees, retirees, and Medicaid recipients.” Click the link for details.

Mississippi Establishes a Medicaid EMR Database
On January 13, 2014, Mississippi State Representative Omeria Scott filed House Bill 206 which provides “for a database of electronic medical records of Medicaid recipients, with access by Medicaid providers.” For more information, click the link above.


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.

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.

Are You a Veteran?
The HIMSS Veterans Career Service Initiative is looking for veterans who made successful transitions into the world of health IT. Our vMentor (veteran mentor) program aims to host questions from veterans currently re-integrating into the civilian workforce on topics related to career and professional development within health IT. If you are a veteran who would like to share your experiences, lessons learned, answer questions, and provide advice as a vMentor, contact Amy Justice at the e-mail 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.

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.

Federal Speakers Add to HIMSS14 Agenda
The list of federal speakers and education sessions is growing for HIMSS’ Annual Conference this year. Over 40 federal agency representatives from 13 federal agencies will be providing valuable insight on new policy initiatives.  We will highlight a few of the speakers each week in the Health IT Policy Update. Click the link for more.

HIMSS14 Panel Will Discuss Congressional Outlook
HIMSS14 Annual Conference attendees will have an opportunity to learn about Congressional priorities, challenges and the outlook for 2014 from a panel of current Congressional staffers.  Click the link for details.

Power Networking Opportunities
It’s more than just meeting people, it’s connecting with the right people. Share knowledge, best practices, and make career connections with like-minded professionals at these events during HIMSS14. Check the HIMSS14 website to see if additional registration or fees apply. Click the link above to learn more.

Public Policy Event Calendar

HIMSS Events

Health IT Policy Committee Meetings

Health IT Standards Committee Meetings

Upcoming CMS National Provider Calls

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 Experience
February 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

White Paper: Learn to reserve hidden patient safety, data security and compliance risks unique to medical devices. Download Now.

Renew Your HIMSS Membership?

Ensure the continuation of your HIMSS member benefits, login to the Member Center to renew your membership today. If you need a paper invoice, request one via e–mail to the Member Services department. You can also renew by phone at 312–664–4467 (option 8, then 2).


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