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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

Happy Birthday, HITECH!
Five years ago, on February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The “Stimulus Bill” included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.  HITECH codified into law the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and created the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program—aka the Meaningful Use plan.  Click the link for a look back from Tom Leary, HIMSS Vice President, Government Relations.

NIST Releases Cybersecurity Framework
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published the first version of its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity this week.  Click the link to learn more.

ONC and OCR Offer Challenge Opportunity for Creating Model Digital Privacy Notices
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’ Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT and Office of Civil Rights (OCR)have announced a “Digital Privacy Notice Challenge”—a call for designers, developers, and patient privacy experts to create and submit an online notice of privacy practices that is compelling, readable, and understandable by patients and easily integrated into Web sites.  Click the link for details.

DeSalvo Addresses Health Affairs Connected Health Briefing
National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, was the keynote speaker and the launch event for the February 2014 issue of the Health Affairs Journal last week titled, “Early Evidence, Future Promise of Connected Health.” DeSalvo told attendees, “It is vital to develop EHRs and health IT when dealing with emergencies and disasters.” She recounted her post-Katrina work in New Orleans working to increase the use of health IT and to redesign the New Orleans health system with technology. Click the link for more.

AHRQ Announces HIT Funding Opportunities
In FY14, Congress recognized the importance and value of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) work by adding $4 million to the agency’s budget. In particular, the funding was appropriated for the purpose of furthering studies on the effect health IT has on patient safety. In response, AHRQ has issued two new funding opportunities in Special Emphasis Notices (SENs). Click the link for details.

HIMSS Regulatory Chart Tracks Health IT Regulations
The HIMSS regulatory chart offers an at-a-glance snapshot of all health IT-related regulation HIMSS is following in 2014. The chart includes links to proposed and final regulations and to HIMSS comments and position statements, along with anticipated timelines.

Congressional Affairs

Legislation Introduced to Prevent Overregulation of Health IT
Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Angus King (I-ME) have introduced legislation “to protect jobs, reduce regulatory burdens, and provide greater certainty for health information technologies (health IT).”  Their bill, the “Preventing Regulatory Overreach To Enhance Care Technology (PROTECT) Act of 2014” (S. 2007) attempts to offers a regulatory framework for health IT innovation, and balances protecting patient safety.  Click the link above to learn more.

Autism Bill Encourages Use of HIT
Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) has introduced the “Autism Services and Workforce Acceleration Act” (HR 4010), to "authorize federal funding for enhanced treatment, support, research, and services for individuals with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD).” The bill contains language recognizing the value of health IT in care coordination.

House Homeland Security Committee Passes the SAFETY Act
On February 5, 2014 the House Homeland Security Committee passed H.R. 3696, the National Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2013.   H.R. 3696 would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002, making improvements to the cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection. 

Small Business Committee Looks at Opportunities in Wireless Technology
The House Committee on Small Business held a hearing entitled, “Building on the Wireless Revolution: Opportunities and Barriers for Small Firms,” focused on the use of mobile applications as part of the rapid growth in innovative wireless technologies being developed or used by small businesses nationwide.

Bill Passes to Fund SGR Transition
Congress has passed S.25 (Senate by a vote of 95-3 and House by a vote of 326-90), which includes language to create a $2.3 billion “transitional fund for sustainable growth rate reform.” Click the link for details.

State Affairs

State Legislators Spend the Day with MDHIMSS Showcasing Consumer Engagement Enabled by HIT
The 7th Annual Health Information Technology Day of the Maryland Chapter of the HIMSS was held on February 6, 2014 in Annapolis, Maryland. Maryland’s position on the importance of health IT in enabling consumer engagement in healthcare reform presented an unmatched opportunity for both elected officials and HIMSS members.  Click the link for highlights from the Maryland HIT Day. 

Hawaii-Alaska HIMSS Chapter Comments on SLHIE
The Hawaii-Alaska Chapter of HIMSS provided testimony to the Hawaii House and Senate Health Committees regarding Senate Concurrent Resolution 46 and House Concurrent Resolution 40. The resolutions recognize and designate the Hawaii Health Information Exchange as the only fully operational, statewide health information exchange operating in Hawaii.


New Podcast: The Nuts and Bolts of Achieving HIPAA Security Rule Compliance through Effective Risk Assessment
Download a podcast produced by the AMA and HIMSS. Listen to a risk assessment discussion between Dr. Salvatore Volpe, a solo physician practitioner, and Lee Kim, BS, JD, Director, Privacy and Security, with HIMSS. It will not only help your organization achieve compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule, but also help improve its security posture and mitigate risks. The podcast has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. To access this free CME activity, which includes the podcast and additional materials, visit the AMA Online Learning Center.

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.

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.

Visit the Federal Health IT Solutions Pavilion at HIMSS14
The Federal Health IT Solutions Pavilion in the HIMSS14 Exhibition Hall offers opportunities to learn more about the health IT portfolios at several federal agencies and gain insights into their perspective on the programs they administer.

Federal Health IT Business Development Workshops
The all-day pre-conference Federal Health IT Business Development Workshops are designed to provide an "insiders" look into the federal health IT market. These two February 23rd workshops, Basics 101 and Advanced 301, will aid you in making the most of the HIMSS conference by honing your business’ teaming and presentation skills before the conference officially begins.

Discuss Role of Health IT in Health Disparities at HIMSS 14
The HIMSS Latino Community and the HIMSS Small Business Diversity Round Table are facilitating a joint session at HIMSS14 on “Eliminating Health Disparities in Underserved Communities.”  Click the link to learn more about this session and the speakers, including Dr. Jaime Torres of HHS.

OSEHRA Hosts Open Source EHR Session at HIMSS
The Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance will host an education session at HIMSS14, entitled "Open Innovation in Electronic Health Records."

HIMSS Books. Read. Learn. Implement. Privacy & Security Bundle. Information Privacy in the Evolving Healthcare Environment. Implementing Information Security In Healthcare Building a Security Program. Information Security In Healthcare Managing Risk.

Public Policy Event Calendar

HIMSS Events

Health IT Policy Committee Meetings

Health IT Standards Committee Meetings

Upcoming CMS National Provider Calls

HIMSS Oregon Capitol Visit Day
February 20, 2014

National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Full Committee Meeting
February 20-21, 2014

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

HIMSS14 Online
February 24-27, 2014

Utah Healthcare IT Day
February 25, 2014

2014 Colorado HIT Advocacy Day
March 12, 2014

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

Government Health IT Conference and Exhibition
Washington, DC
June 17-18, 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

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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