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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

CMS Signals “Data Integrity Issue” with PQRS and eRX Program
On Monday, March 17, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an intent to collect information for the public, and is soliciting comments by May 16 on burden estimates and the use of the information collected. To learn more, click the link above.

April 3 Deadline for Health Plan Certification of Compliance Comments
The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the comment period for the Administrative Simplification: Health Plan Certification of Compliance proposed rule. Comments are being extended to April 3, 2014. Click the link above for more information.

ONC Releases Evaluation Report Reviewing ARRA Workforce Programs
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released a report in March that evaluates the four workforce development programs that were authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information on the report click the link above.

ARTICLE FORTHCOMING: HHS Releases Strategic Plan and Priorities for FY 2014-2018

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

Bipartisan Group of Senators Ask for Clarity from FDA on Mobile Medical Apps
On March 19, 2014, a bipartisan group of Senators called upon the Food and Drug Administration to provide further clarity on regulations for mobile medical application developers. To read the Senators’ letter, click the link above.

VA Plans to Compete to Provide DOD EHR System
At a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs Committee to discuss the President’s FY15 budget request for the Veterans Administration, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Stephen Warren, Executive in Charge for Information and Technology at the VA, indicated that VA intends to compete for the DOD’s plans to acquire a commercial EHR system. Click the link above to learn more about Secretary Shinseki’s testimony.

Senate May Take Up SGR Fix after Recess, House Passes Fix Paid for with ACA Funds
Last week, Senate Committee on Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Medicare SGR Repeal and Beneficiary Access Improvement Act of 2014 to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) while improving overall payments to physicians under Medicare and Medicaid. The Senate may consider Senator Wyden’s bill next week, click the link to learn more.

State Affairs

St. Patrick’s Day Official Visit to Global Center for Health Innovation
On March 17, 2014, Saint Patrick’s Day, the Irish Minister of Health, James Reilly, and Ed Fitzgerald, Cuyahoga County Executive visited the Global Center for Health Innovation and stopped by the HIMSS Innovation Center. Click the link above to learn more about the Minister’s visit to the HIMSS Innovation Center.

New York State Assembly Talks Telehealth
On March 19th, New York State Assemblywoman Addie Russell introduced two measures addressing telehealth in the Empire State. To learn more about telehealth legislation in New York State, click the link above.


HIMSS Acquires UK Events Company to Form HIMSS UK
HIMSS has announced the launch of HIMSS UK after acquiring ownership of Citadel Events Ltd, a UK based event management company specializing in health  IT. HIMSS UK joins existing HIMSS units in North America, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and elsewhere in Europe to support hospitals, trusts, physicians, other clinicians, health executives and others in the transformation of health and health care through information technology.

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.

HIMSS Analytics 2013 Mobile Technology Survey Examines mHealth Landscape
Providers identify increased access to patient information as top benefit to mobile technologies; Survey also discusses barriers and future predictions. Click the link to learn more.

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! AMA-Funded Study on ICD-10 Implementation Costs for Physicians
The American Medical Association funded a study written by Nachimson Advisors addressing updates to a 2008 report on the cost of implementing ICD-10 for physician practices. The 2008 study included estimates based on assumptions that had not yet been tested. Since then the industry has had an opportunity to begin testing. This latest report incorporates knowledge gained since the original report was written, incorporating experience gained from early testing activities. This study is posted on the HIMSS ICD-10 PlayBook.

NEW! ICD-10 Contingency Planning Guides
The HIMSS ICD-10 Contingency Planning Work Group (under the HIMSS ICD-10 Task Force) has posted on the HIMSS ICD-10 Playbook a series of contingency planning guides that are will help to anticipate operational or financial issues that may arise following the ICD-10 conversion, and include recommendations for responding to issues, along with advice on what you can do to avoid or minimize issues.

NEW! Physician Engagement with HIE Podcast
Listen to Dr. Joe Heyman, former Chair of the AMA Board of Trustees and former President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and Dan Paoletti, VP and CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP), discuss the importance of physician engagement with health information exchange. Specific attention is given to the benefits for both physicians and their practices; challenges to overcome, including recommendations for physicians with no access to an HIE organization; and requirements for participation.

NEW! HIMSS Clinical Informatics Institute—hosted by Denver Health
The HIMSS Clinical Informatics Institute is a one-day, on-site inaugural educational program that will explore the major initiatives and activities impacting clinicians today.

The program will introduce clinicians to informatics concepts that will advance their knowledge base, explore career opportunities and enhance their learning portfolio. Local and national leaders will explore the HIMSS Clinical Informatics Communities body of knowledge and thought leadership around Nursing Informatics, the Physician IT Community, Pharmacy Informatics Initiatives, Nutrition Informatics and Clinical Engineering & IT. Come join the discussion. This event will be held on May 16.

NEW! HIMSS Nursing Informatics Institute—hosted by Rush University Medical Center
Learn from the nation's leaders in Nursing Informatics at this one-day educational event. Build on your career portfolio and enhance your knowledge of the role of nurses in implementing information technology to enhance nursing workflow, promote patient safety and yield outcomes that improve patient care. This event will be held on May 2.

NEW! What Usability Projects Are You Working On?
Please post the following: HIMSS is reaching out to Weekly Insider readers to find out what usability-related projects you or your organization are working on. If you have any formal or informal usability-related projects currently in production, please let us know more by contacting Adam Bazer, Sr. Manager, Health Information Systems at the link above.

NEW! Ask the Expert Series for Medical Practices
Scratching your head while trying to find the answer to your question about ambulatory practices? HIMSS’ member experts have researched, referenced and cited their responses to the following questions: How are CAPHS surveys linked to PQRS and payments? Patient care call center—is it worth the effort? What tools help ensure successful transitional care management? Can orders entered by medical assistants count in meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use CPOE requirements? What's the difference between the CMS EHR Certification Identification and CHPL product numbers? How can I engage patients in their care to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements? What is meant by "view" for Meaningful Use Stage 2 Core Measure #7/Patient Engagement

NEW! Podcast: Alignment of MU CQMs and PQRS
Anita Somplasky, Executive Director for Pennsylvania’s Regional Extension Centers, discusses the alignment of Meaningful Use CQMs and PQRS, including timelines, workflow, exemptions, payment adjustments, preparing for Meaningful Use audits, and patient engagement.

NEW! How Strategic Vision in Analytics Leads to HIT Value
Looking for ways that health IT can add value to your organization’s strategic vision? Or wondering how the HIMSS Health IT Value Steps™ can improve patient care and clinical intelligence? Join our experts on March 26 and discover how the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has broadened the value of health IT in their organization. Register today.

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.


Mat Kendall, pictured with HIMSS Volunteer Beth Schindele (Director of Delaware REC), at the “At the Beyond Stage 1: Meaningful Use Event and Dinner,” stepped down on March 21 from his position as the Director of the Office of Provider Adoption Support within the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) after 4 1/2 years. Matt created and oversaw the 62 nationwide network of regional health IT extension centers known as Regional Extension Centers (RECs. )
Thanks for your hard work and years of dedication, Mat!

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Case Study: Solving the Unstructured Data Dilemma with Enterprise Content Management. Read Now.

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

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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