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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

Health IT Policy Committee Approves Stage 3 Recommendations
After a spirited debate on the Meaningful Use Workgroup’s recommendations for Stage 3, the Health IT Policy Committee voted on March 11th to approve the recommendations and send them to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT.  Click the link to learn more.

EHR Incentive Program Data for January 2014 Released
The Health IT Policy Committee met on March 11, 2014, for its monthly meeting, and received a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on registration and payment data for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program through January 2014.  Click the link to learn more.

NEW! HIMSS Launching Identity Management Task Force
HIMSS will launch its new Identity Management Task Force (IDM TF) on March 25, 1-2 pm (ET). The HIMSS IDM TF will focus on development of tools and resources that will inform HIMSS members on policy and technical challenges. The HIMSS IDM TF also will serve as a multi-stakeholder industry liaison group representing HIMSS membership with national and industry initiatives on identity management. HIMSS members are invited to share their knowledge, ideas, and thoughts. If you are interested in more information, please email Mike Kroll, Manager, Technology Solutions or Lisa Gallagher, Vice President, Technology Solutions.

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 HHS to Track Outcomes of EHR Program
In a new report, “Electronic Health Record Programs: Participation Has Increased, but Action Needed to Achieve Goals, Including Improved Quality of Care,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at participation in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs during 2011 and 2012. Click the link to learn more.

Six GOP Senators Question CMS on Meaningful Use Timeline
On March 6th, six GOP Senators sent a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, requesting details on hardship exceptions for providers "struggling to meet the burdens of new electronic health records regulations." Click the link to learn more.

Members of Congress Urge that Stage 3 Address Health Disparities
Twenty-four Members of Congress sent a letter encouraging the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to leverage Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use Electronic Health Record incentive program to address health disparities. Click the link to learn more.

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.

Volunteer for Health IT Leadership Awards and Congressional Asks Work Groups
This year’s HIMSS Policy Summit will take place on September 17-18, as part of National Health IT Week (September 15-19, 2014).  Each year, Policy Summit activities are made possible through the participation of HIMSS volunteers. Member involvement is crucial in shaping the messages that HIMSS members carry to Capitol Hill during the annual Policy Summit, and in selecting award recipients for the Annual State, Federal, and Congressional Health IT Leadership Awards. Click the link to learn more.

State Affairs

LA Rep Simon Introduced Louisiana Telehealth Access Act
Louisiana Representative Scott Simon (R) sponsored House Bill 903, the Louisiana Telehealth Access Act, which provides for greater access to telehealth services by providing for standards of care, confidentiality, and insurance coverage; expands the definition of telemedicine; and creates the Louisiana Commission on Telehealth Access. Click the link to learn more.

CA Looks to Expand Telemedicine Access and Reimbursement
California Assembly Member V. Manuel Pérez (D) introduced Assembly Bill 1771 which prohibits a healthcare service plan or health insurer from requiring in-person contact between a healthcare provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services appropriately provided through telehealth. Click the link to learn more.

WV Considers Consumer Identity Theft Protection Bill
West Virginia State Senator Evan Jenkins (R), along with 10 cosponsors, introduced Senate Bill 564, which provides for the registration of health insurance exchange navigators and non-navigator assisters operating pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. The bill also provides protection against consumer identity theft by health insurance exchange navigators and non-navigator assistants. Click the link to learn more.


Complimentary Physician Webinar Series
On Thursday, March 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. CT, Louis Diamond, MD, and Carol Steltenkamp, MD, highlight the groundbreaking sessions on the impact of HIT on our current quality framework, the value of personalized healthcare, communication and collaboration through transitions of care and more from HIMSS14. Register for HIMSS14 Outcomes today.

HIMSS Physician Community EHR Usability Pain Point Survey
The HIMSS Physician Community is seeking working physicians who utilize EHR systems on a regular basis to give insight on EHR usability. Let your physician voice be heard on EHR usability by taking the survey today. The survey will close on March 30, 2014.

NEW! Book of the Month: An Analysis of the Health IT Industry
The HIMSS Book of the Month for March is the newly released 2014 State of the U.S. Healthcare Information Technology Industry. This report profiles the state of the health IT industry in the U.S. hospital market at the start of 2014. The report analyzes the current and historical purchasing behaviors of more than 5,400 U.S. hospitals profiled in the HIMSS Analytics® Database, as well as critical factors projected to influence the HIT market in 2014 and beyond. 2014 State of the U.S. Healthcare Information Technology Industry is produced jointly by HIMSS and HIMSS Analytics, a wholly-owned market-research arm of HIMSS. Data used in the study comes from the HIMSS Analytics® Database 2013 and the Dorenfest Integrated Healthcare Delivery System+ (IHDS+) DatabaseTM. The report is available in print or eBook. Customers can also purchase a PDF version and have unlimited access to the report within their organizations by calling 312-915-9295

JHIM Seeks Abstracts on ACOs, HIEs and Payment Models
The HIMSS Journal of Healthcare Information Management (JHIM) has opened an abstracts call for its Summer 2014 issue on accountable care organizations, health information exchange and new payment models. JHIM is particularly interested in original analysis; solutions-based articles and position papers; and trends and strategic approaches; and realizing opportunities and challenges. To be considered, send all abstracts in a Word document to the e-mail link above. The abstracts should include a working title and 250-word synopsis for the proposed paper, as well as complete contact information for all potential authors. All abstracts to be considered for the Summer 2014 issue must be submitted by no later than Monday, April 7.

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.

CMS Updates Hardship Exemptions for 2013 Reporting Year
On March 11th, CMS updated the Hardship Exception Guidance for participants in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Information for the 2014 reporting year is expected in April.  Click the link above to learn more.

Putting Big Data to work. April 16-17, 2014 Renaissance/Washington DC. Click Here to Reserve Your Spot Today.

Public Policy Event Calendar

HIMSS Events

Health IT Policy Committee Meetings

Health IT Standards Committee Meetings

Upcoming CMS National Provider Calls

HIMSS Webinar: Best Practices for Data Management; Insight from the HIMSS Analytics Survey
March 25, 2014

HHS Webinar: Nurse Practitioners & Meaningful Use
March 26, 2014

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

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

Healthcare Business Intelligence Forum
Washington, DC
April 16-17, 2014

3rd Annual ILHIMA & GCCHIMSS HIE Advocacy Event
Springfield, IL
April 29 & 30, 2014

Government Health IT Virtual Briefing: 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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