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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

Obama Administration Releases $3.9 Trillion Budget Proposal for FY 2015
President Barack Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2015 Budget on Tuesday, March 4, and presented it to Congress.  HIMSS has created a Fact Sheet summarizing health IT-specific parts of the budget proposal.  

ONC Releases Patient Matching Findings; Cites HIMSS Work
On Friday, February 21, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), released the findings of an environmental scan of patient matching systems, programs, and work being done throughout the healthcare industry.

ONC Releases Voluntary 2015 Edition CEHRT Criteria
On Friday, February 21, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released its Voluntary 2015 Edition Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification Criteria; Interoperability Updates and Regulatory Improvements. HIMSS has developed a fact sheet on the proposed regulation.

FCC Launches New Health IT Taskforce
This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the creation of a Commission Taskforce focused on identifying barriers to wireless health adoption and building partnerships with industry stakeholders.

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

GAO Calls on Better VA/DOD Collaboration on iEHR
In a new report, “Electronic Health Records: VA and DOD Need to Support Cost and Schedule Claims, Develop Interoperability Plans, and Improve Collaboration,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the iEHR program.

Congressional Committees Hear from Treasury Secretary Regarding President’s FY15 Budget
This week, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee heard from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on the President's FY15 budget proposal.

Congressional Staff Panel Presents at HIMSS14
Twenty-six Congressional staff participated in HIMSS14.  A significant component of Congressional participation in HIMSS14 included a Congressional Staff Panel on Monday, February 24th.  Five Congressional staff members described current and potential national legislative issues affecting healthcare and health IT, the Congress and its priorities, and what the healthcare and IT communities can expect during the next year.  

State Affairs

ONC Blog Praises 2013 Davies Award Winner Dallas Children’s Medical Center
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) took a moment to praise the 2013 Nicholas E. Davies Enterprise Award Winner Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, through a posting on the Health IT Buzz Blog.

Through the Lens of State Policymakers @ #HIMSS14
Tom Keefe, HIMSS Senior Director of State Government Affairs reflects on State Government events at HIMSS14 including the State Officials Panel (Education Session #17): Navigating Health Insurance Marketplaces, the State Advisory Roundtable Luncheon, and the VIP Interoperability Showcase Tour. To read Keefe’s full blog, click the link above.

Utah Governor Declares Healthcare Information Technology Day
By an official Gubernatorial Declaration, Utah Governor Gary Herbert declared February 25th, 2014 as Healthcare Information Technology Day in Utah.

HIMSS Chapter Advocacy 2nd Quarter Report
Every three months, the HIMSS State Government Affairs team releases a report summarizing the activities and achievements of the HIMSS Chapter Advocacy Roundtable including advocacy events, awards, staffing updates, and much more. Click the link to review the roundtable’s accomplishments and to see what initiatives they have in store for this year.


Apply Now to Join HIMSS Public Policy Committee - Deadline Extended to March 17
HIMSS’ Annual Call for Committee Volunteers for FY15 (beginning July 2014) is open through March 17, 2014.  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 and direction.  For more information, contact Rich Hodge, Senior Director, Congressional Affairs.

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 threats, 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.

Davies Ambulatory Award of Excellence Call for Submissions
In a continued effort to share the most exciting stories about how health IT is being leveraged to improve quality and patient safety, 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. Since 1994, the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence is HIMSS highest recognition of outstanding achievement in the implementation and value from health information technology. 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.  For more information and to discuss possible submissions, please contact Jonathan French, Director of Healthcare Information Systems. To be recognized as a 2014 Davies winner, case studies must be submitted by July 1.

Davies Public Health Award Call for Submissions
The HIMSS Davies Public Health Award program has opened a call for submissions by public health organizations that have utilized innovative health IT-enabled workflows to improve population health. For more information and to discuss possible submissions, please contact Jonathan French, Director of Healthcare Information Systems. To be recognized as a 2014 Davies Public Health Award winner, case studies must be submitted by June 30.

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.

HIMSS14 Closed with Record-Breaking Attendance
HIMSS14 ended on Thursday, Feb. 27, with record-breaking attendance of more than 38,800 attendees and with 1,233 exhibiting companies. Hear from Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS, in this video interview. And—save the date for HIMSS15 in Chicago, April 12-16, 2015.
Recap of Key HIMSS14 Health IT Policy Sessions
Even if you were part of the more than 38,800 attendees at HIMSS14 in Orlando last week, you probably missed a few sessions you had hoped to attend.  HIMSS staff was at every CMS and ONC session, and provided brief “town crier” recaps.

Congressional Staffers Attend HIMSS14
Twenty-six staff members from the US Congress attended this year’s HIMSS14 Annual Conferenceand Exhibition in Orlando to learn about health information technology, national health IT public policy issues, and the potential of IT to transform healthcare in America. 

HIMSS14 Welcomes Veterans
The Hero’s Welcome to Health IT booth at HIMSS14 was a popular area for veterans, transitioning service members, employers and educators.  This was the first formal event for the newly launched HIMSS Veterans Career Services Initiative; a collaboration with Bellevue College funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. 

HIMSS14 Attendees Discuss Health Disparities
HIMSS14 attendees participated in a discussion on “Eliminating Health Disparities in Underserved Communities.” Keynote speaker, Dr. Jaime Torres, Regional Director, NY, NJ, PR & USVI, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service focused his discussion on the impact that Health IT can have on the health population experiencing health disparities.

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Public Policy Event Calendar

HIMSS Events

Health IT Policy Committee Meetings

Health IT Standards Committee Meetings

Upcoming CMS National Provider Calls

Colorado State Health IT Advocacy Day
Denver, CO
March 12, 2014

7th Annual Ohio Healthcare Information Technology Day
Columbus, OH
April 3, 2014

Florida State HIT Day
Tallahassee, FL
April 7-8, 2014

3rd Annual ILHIMA & GCCHIMSS HIE Advocacy Event
Springfield, IL
April 29 & 30, 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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