Please add to your Safe Sender list
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Case Study: Solving the Unstructured Data Dilemma with Enterprise Content Management. Read Now.

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.

Editor’s note: The Health IT Policy Update will not publish next Friday, February 28th.  See you at HIMSS14!

Federal Affairs

CMS Continues to Emphasize October 1st as a Firm ICD-10 Compliance Date But Agrees to End-to-End Testing this Summer
On Wednesday, February 19th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would offer ICD-10 end-to-end testing to a small sample group of providers this summer.  Even in announcing the new testing protocol, CMS officials strongly stated that October 1, 2014, was a firm deadline for ICD-10 implementation.  Click the link to learn more.

HIMSS Responds to CMS RFI on Second Pioneer ACO Grants
On Wednesday, February 19th, HIMSS submitted a response to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in regards to its request for information to inform its second round of Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Grants. Click the link for details of HIMSS’ response.

HITPC Meaningful Use Workgroup Votes to Eliminate Certain Stage 3 Proposed Requirements  
On February 19th, the Health IT Policy Committee’s Meaningful Use Workgroup voted to eliminate certain measures from consideration as potential Stage 3 requirements. Click the link for details and reaction.

Health IT Standards Committee Discusses Patient Generated Health Data    
On February 18th, the Health IT Standards Committee received an update report from its Consumer Technology Workgroup on patient generated health data and discussed joint recommendations on this topic from the Consumer Technology Workgroup as well as the Clinical Operations Workgroup.  Click the link for details.

DoD Releases Two EHR RFIs
Last week the Department of Defense (DoD) released two Requests for Information (RFI) related to electronic health records (EHRs). The first is to develop a next generation EHR to serve 9.6 million patients and 70,000 clinicians through enterprise licenses designed to meet the needs of military hospitals and clinics. The second is to start the procurement process for a new dental EHR capable of managing 17,000 patient appointments daily.  Click the link to learn more.

AHRQ Releases Common Formats; Comment Opportunity
On February 18th, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced the release of its Common Formats for Surveillance—Hospital. These Common Formats, common definitions and reporting formats that allow healthcare providers to collect and submit standardized information regarding patient safety events, are comprised of newly-added modules that include health IT. Click the link for details.

Happy Birthday, HITECH
Five years ago, on Feb. 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.

SSA Plans Disability Awareness Campaign
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is planning to launch the “Faces and Facts of Disability” Awareness Campaign. As part of developing public information materials, SSA is soliciting feedback. Click the link above to participate in a brief survey.

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

Apply Now to Join HIMSS Public Policy Committee
Those interested in health IT policy should consider joining the HIMSS Public Policy Committee, which meets monthly by phone to guide HIMSS’ public policy efforts.  Applications are welcome through March 6th.  Click the link above to learn more.

Four Senate Doctors Express Concern Over ICD-10 Testing
This week, Senators Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK), John Barrasso, MD (R-WY), John Boozman, OD (R-AR), and Rand Paul, MD (R-KY) sent a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner expressing concern about CMS’ plan to perform front-end testing of the ICD-10 billing code system during the week of March 3, 2014.  Click the link for details.

Senator Questions Administration Policy on Patient Access to Personal Health Information
On February 20th Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for clarification of the Administration’s position on patient access to personal health information.  Click the link for details.

State Affairs

ONC Releases Blog Covering Vast Achievements on REC’s 4th Birthday
February marks the 4th birthday of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) Regional Extension Center (REC) Program. With that milestone in the books, ONC published a blog on the achievements of the REC program to date. The article also highlights how the centers’ partnerships with providers continue leveraging health IT to improve care.  Click the link for highlights.

MD HIMSS Testifies on Telemedicine Assistance Bill
On February 18, 2014, Kathryn Whitmore, Maryland HIMSS Board Member and Advocacy Committee Co-Chair, testified in front of the Maryland General Assembly’s Health and Government Operations Committee on House Bill 802. This measure requires the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide specific reimbursement for specific services delivered by telemedicine. It also repeals the limitations on the health care services delivered by telemedicine that are eligible for reimbursement.  Click the link for details of the testimony.


HIMSS Security Survey
Results of the 2013 HIMSS Security Survey show that, despite progress toward hardened security and use of analytics, more work must be done to mitigate insider threat, such as the inappropriate access of data by employees. Although federal initiatives such as OCR audits, Meaningful Use and the HIPAA Omnibus Rule continue to encourage healthcare organizations to increase the budgets and resources dedicated to securing patient health data, in the previous twelve months, 19 percent of respondents reported a security breach and 12 percent of organizations have had at least one known case of medical identity theft reported by a patient.  Click the link above for more highlights, and to access the full report and an infographic.

Call for Submissions: Davies Ambulatory Award
HIMSS’ Davies Ambulatory Award of Excellence has opened a call for submissions by ambulatory practices that have utilized innovative health IT-enabled workflows to improve patient outcomes. The Awards program promotes EHR adoption through sharing information and lessons learned on implementation strategies, financial return on investment and value of the EHR to improve patient care and outcomes. To apply, independent ambulatory practices and enterprise clinics must achieve 100 percent usage of the EHR system at the point of care by all clinical staff, including providers, at least two year prior to application submission, and those practices must demonstrate sustainable, replicable, improvements in quality outcomes while demonstrating sustainable return on investment through efficiencies , additional revenue,  and cost savings.  Click the link to learn more.

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

Advertising inquiries
HIMSS Media Solutions

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.

CDC to Host Discussion at HIMSS14 on Current State of 2D Barcode Vaccine Use
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites solution vendors and other members of the vaccination community to hear a brief presentation at HIMSS14 on the current state of 2D barcode application to vaccines and findings from the CDC 2D Barcode Vaccine Pilot.  Click the link for details.

HHS Regional Director to Keynote HIMSS14 Health Disparities Session
As you plan your activities at HIMSS14, consider attending “Eliminating Health Disparities in Underserved Communities.” The session features Regional Director of the New York Regional Office for HHS, Jaime Torres, DPM, MS. Click the link for details.

Kick off HIMSS14 with the HIE or Interoperability Symposium
The following two HIMSS Pre-Conference Symposia on Sunday, Feb. 23, allow attendees to dive deep into health information exchange and interoperability.

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.

Getting Around the HIMSS14 Exhibit Hall
With more than 1,200 exhibits at HIMSS14, it is important to have a plan for spending time on the Exhibition Floor. There are several tools to help attendees search for and identify exhibiting companies and plan meetings and booth visits.

A Hacker's Guide to #HIMSS14
Eager to get the complete HIMSS14 experience? Not everybody can make it or attend all of the events on the agenda, but luckily there are resources online to make connecting to health IT's premiere event easy. There’s an abundance of ways to put your hacker chops in to high gear and get more out of the show than you ever have before.

HIMSS Annual Call for Committee Applications. Open January 2, 2014 through March 6,2014. Apply Now.

Public Policy Event Calendar

HIMSS Events

Health IT Policy Committee Meetings

Health IT Standards Committee Meetings

Upcoming CMS National Provider Calls

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).


LinkedIn Discussions
Participating in these discussions is easy. Simply become a member of our HIMSS Linkedin Group, which is free and open for anyone to join.

Connect with HIMSS
Expand your network by connecting to HIMSS on these social media sites:

Connect With HIMSS on LinkedIn Like Us On Facebook Follow HIMSS on Twitter Connect With HIMSS on Google Plus