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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

HIMSS and CHIME Submit Comments to Standard Occupation Classification Revisions
HIMSS Submits Comments on the Standard Occupational Classification which classifies all occupations in the economy to provide a means to compare occupational data produced for statistical purposes across agencies.

CMS Announces Changes to QIO Program
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is restructuring the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program to create a new approach to improve care for beneficiaries, families and caregivers. QIOs are staffed by doctors and other health care professionals trained to review medical care and help beneficiaries with complaints about the quality of care and to implement improvements in the quality of care available throughout the spectrum of care click here to learn more
HIMSS Officially Launches Rural Health IT Community Website
HIMSS launches the Rural Health IT Community website to discuss the challenges that rural communities face with the efficient use of limited health IT resources.

ONC Says that new HIT Safety Center Will Not Regulate
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology defended its right to create a health information technology safety center, in a letter sent to the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The letter addressed Republican concerns that the new Health IT Safety Center would have the authority to regulate health IT.

Congressional Affairs

Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Hearing
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health discussed ways to bring better cures and treatments to patients more quickly. The hearing addressed the role of aggregated electronic data from EHRs and patient registries.

Bipartisan Bill to Expand Medicare Reimbursement of Telemedcine
An impending bipartisan legislation that would gradually expand Medicare funding of telemedicine is being circulated by Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA). The proposed bill would expand specific telehealth services under Medicare in two-year Increments over three years. Click here to read more. 

21st Century Cures Roundtable on Personalized Medicine
The House Energy and Commerce held a roundtable discussion on fostering innovation to more effectively find potential treatments and cures for impacted populations. Click to read more about the discussion

Senate Behavioral Health Information Technology Bill Proposed
Legislation was introduced in the Senate that will extend Health Information Technology payment to mental health providers. The bill seeks to update Meaningful Use (MU) Program by adding mental health providers previously excluded by the HITECH Act

HIMSS Responses to House of Representatives 21 Century Cures Initiative
The HIMSS Analytics EMRAM scale data clearly demonstrates that the HITECH Act is achieving its intended result of encouraging increased implementation and meaningful use of EHRs among hospitals. HIMSS pledges the commitment and expertise of the organization to the goals that was outlined for 21st Century Cures Initiative. Click to read more about HIMSS response to 21 Century Cures Initiative


One Voice, One Vision: Show Your Commitment to Health IT
National Health IT Week 2014 (Sept. 15-19) is an independent, Partner-driven virtual awareness week made up of local, regional and national events that offer all healthcare stakeholders an opportunity to unite in support of the benefits that health IT can bring to U.S. healthcare. There is no cost for National Health IT Week 2014 Partnership, but your organization must be a member. Become a Partner>>

NEW! HIMSS Medical Practice and Community Health Center Community
Learn about the unique health IT challenges and opportunities faced by medical practices and CHCs during quarterly webinars. The Community unites volunteer leaders, providers, REC staff, consultants, vendors, HIT decision makers and industry thought leaders on topics such as Meaningful Use, patient engagement and workflow. Community membership is open to all current HIMSS members. Register here today! Please contact Valerie Griffen for more information.

NEW! HIMSS Rural Health IT Community
Join industry experts for an in-depth look at the expanding role of health IT for rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, networks and medical practices during this quarterly webinar series. Areas of focus will include HIE, meeting incentive program objectives, quality initiatives and healthcare reform. Community membership is open to all current HIMSS members. Register here today! Please contact Valerie Griffen for more information.

VOLUNTEER: Care Coordination Task Force
Thanks to Meaningful Use (MU), Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) and other incentive programs, care coordination is becoming a key focus for many medical practices. This task force will develop resources and tools on how care coordination and care transitions measures can be achieved to improve patient outcomes and maximize cost-effectiveness with health IT. This task force meets monthly via WebEx. Contact Valerie Griffen to register.

VOLUNTEER: Value of HIT and Meaningful Use Task Force
This task force provides feedback on Meaningful Use public comment periods for eligible providers. It also publishes business cases and success stories that highlight the improved patient care, cost-effectiveness and efficiencies that can result from EHR implementations and achieving Meaningful Use.  This task force meets monthly via WebEx. Contact Valerie Griffen to register.

OPEN CALL: HIMSS15 Poster Presentation Submissions
HIMSS invites you to submit a proposal to present a poster session at HIMSS15 in Chicago, IL. The conference will be held April 12-16, 2015. The call for proposals will be open until Aug. 1. Learn more and 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
Arnol B. Simmons
Manager,Public Policy Initiatives, HIMSS
HIMSS Office of Government Relations, (703) 562-8826

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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.

Let Your Voice Be Heard on Capitol Hill -- Register for the HIMSS Policy Summit!
Registration is now open for the 13th Annual HIMSS Policy Summit taking place at the Grand Hyatt Washington on September 17-18, 2014 in Washington, DC.  Early bird registration rates end August 9th.  Register here today!

Protecting Data Assets and Managing Risks. September 8-9, 2014 The Westin Boston Waterfront Boston, MA www.

Public Policy Event Calendar

HIMSS Events

Health IT Policy Committee Meetings

Health IT Standards Committee Meetings

Upcoming CMS National Provider Calls

National Health IT Week
September 15-19, 2014

HIMSS 13th Annual Policy Summit
Grand Hyatt Washington DC
September 17-18, 2014

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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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