ONC and CMS @HIMSS12 Annual Conference & Exhibition — Las Vegas

Federals at HIMSS12 Annual Conference & Exhibition
February 20-24, 2012 · Las Vegas, NV
Accessed and excerpted from HealthIT.gov on Feb 18, 2012

Representatives from ONC, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and other Federal agencies will be at HIMSS to share information about their health IT initiatives. Below are highlights from the HIMSS schedule of events. For a complete list of participating Federal agencies and their educational sessions, visit the Federal section of the HIMSS12 website.

HIMSS Schedule of Events

Time Location Event
Monday, February 20, 2012
8:45-9:30 a.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – Opening Keynote HIE: The Next Generation and Beyond
Doug Fridsma, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability
9:30-10:30 a.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – Inter Agency Collaboration: A Federal Update
John Allison, Health Insurance Specialist
Claudia Williams, Director, State HIE Program
10:45-11:45 a.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – State Collaborations: Current Trends and Future Directions
Lee Stevens, Program Manager, State HIE Program
11 a.m.-12 p.m. San Paolo 3504 Physicians’ IT Symposium – Optimizing Your EHR Value Through Patient Engagement
Judy Murphy, RN, Deputy National Coordinator
12:45-1:45 p.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – SLHIE: Moving from Planning to Implementation
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT
Claudia Williams, Director, State HIE Program
1-2 p.m. Veronese 2506 Achieving Meaningful Use Symposium – CMS and ONC Present Stage 2 Essential Knowledge
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
Steven Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
1:30-2:30 p.m. Veronese 2406 Performance Measurement and CDS Symposium: Leveraging CDS at the Point of Care to Optimize Quality Measure Outcomes
Jacob Reider, MD, ONC Senior Policy Advisor
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
9:45-10:45 a.m. Casanova 503 Health IT Update from HRSA
Yael Harris, PhD, MHS, Director, Office of Health IT & Quality
9:45-10:45 a.m. Lando 4303 Stage 2 Meaningful Use
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT
9:45-10:45 a.m. Galileo 1001 Direct Project Panel Discussion
Moderator: Doug Fridsma, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability
9:45-10:45 a.m. TBD HIE National Landscape, Monitoring States Momentum
Moderator: Lee Stevens, Program Manager, State HIE Program
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Casanova 503 CDC and Meaningful Use: Strengthening the Link Between Healthcare Providers and Public Health
Seth Foldy, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Senior Advisor, Public Health Surveillance & Informatics Program Office
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Lando 4303 ONC Consumer Outreach/Pledge Initiative
Lygeia Ricciardi, Senior Policy Advisor for Consumer e-Health
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. San Polo 3503 Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Meaningful Use Stage 1 Overview
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst
12:15-1:15 p.m. San Polo 3503 Redefining Health Care: Advancing Patient-Centered Care Through Health IT
Carolyn Clancy, MD, Director of AHRQ
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
8:30-9:30 a.m. San Polo 3503 ONC Certification Programs – Update and Next Steps
Doug Fridsma, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability
Steve Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division
Carol Bean, Director, Certification Division
9:45-10:45 a.m. San Polo 3503 Stage 2 Meaningful Use: An Introduction
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group, CMS
Steve Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
1-2 p.m. Casanova 503 Update on HIPAA Initiatives
David Sayen, Regional Administrator, CMS
Elizabeth Reed, Health Insurance Specialist, CMS
2:15-3:45 p.m. San Polo 3503 ONC Townhall: Advancing Health IT Into the Future
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Thursday, February 23, 2012
8:30-9:30 a.m. Palazzo Ballroom Keynote speaker
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
9:45-10:45 a.m. San Polo 3503 Privacy and Security – You Can Do It and Here’s How
Joy Pritts, Chief Privacy Officer, ONC
9:45-10:45 a.m. Venetian Showroom Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Stage 2 NPRM Overview
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group, CMS
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT, CMS
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
1-2 p.m. TBD RECs: Accelerating Meaningful Use
Kimberly Lynch, Director of the REC Program
1-2 p.m. Lido 3106 Stage 2: Exchange of Information and Public Health Objectives
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT, CMS
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
Steven Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
1-2 p.m. Murano 3306 Consumer E-Technology in Action: Four Implementation Examples from Beacon Communities
Korey Capozza, Utah Beacon
Drew McNicol, Western New York Beacon
Alan Snell, MD, Indiana Beacon
Barbara Sorondo, Maine Beacon
2:15-3:15 p.m. Marco Polo 705 IOM Study-Patient Safety
Jacob Reider, MD, ONC Senior Policy Advisor
2:15-4:15 p.m. San Polo 3503 Stage 2: Clinical Quality Measures
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Steve Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
Friday, February 24, 2012
10:00-11:00 a.m. San Polo 3503 HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations
Leon Rodriguez, Director of OCR
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Venetian Showroom Stage 2: Payment Adjustments and Changes from Stage 1
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
Theater Booth Sessions – Exhibit Hall, Booths 14624/14824

CMS and ONC will be presenting on special topics in health IT and meaningful use at the theater booth in the HIMSS exhibit hall.

Time Presentation Topic
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
1:30-2:15 p.m. Workforce: The Use of Immersive Learning Environments in Online HIT Technology
3:00-3:30 p.m. Medicaid Patient Volume
4:00-5:45 p.m. Beacon Communities: Bringing HITECH to Life – Beacon Project Highlights – IT-Enabled Care Coordination, HIT Infrastructure to Support Pioneer ACOs, and Mobile Technology in Support of Better Diabetes Management
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
9:45-10:30 a.m. Query Health: Demonstrating How to Send Questions to the Data
11:00-11:30 a.m. Overview and Timeline for Incentives and Payment Adjustments
12:00-12:45 p.m. NwHN Exchange Opportunities and the Path Forward
2:45-3:30 p.m. AHRQ: Model Children’s EHR Format
4:00-4:30 p.m. FAQs on Stage 1 Meaningful Use
5:00-5:45 p.m. The popHealth Challenge Demonstration: Patient Engagement Reminders for popHealth Measures
Thursday, February 23, 2012
10:00-10:30 a.m. How States Are Auditing the Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Overview of Stage 2 Meaningful Use
3:00-3:45 p.m. Privacy & Security: Privacy Protection for Substance Abuse Treatment Information
4:00-4:45 p.m. Workforce: Using the ONC-HIT Teaching Materials
ONC “Talk to the Expert” Sessions – Exhibit Booth #14824

ONC will be hosting “Talk to the Expert” sessions at its exhibit booth. Stop by to learn about:

  • ONC resources
  • Certification and Standards/Interoperability
  • ONC’s Regional Extension Centers, Beacon, and Workforce programs.
Engage with ONC during the Conference Online

During HIMSS, ONC will be engaging people online through its social media properties by:

  • Hosting discussions on LinkedIn
  • Tweeting live from the event
  • Loading all of their handouts from the conference on Scribd

If you are not already a member of our LinkedIn group, or following us on Twitter (@ONC_HealthIT), sign up today to join the discussion!

Don’t forget to check out Scribd to download handouts from HIMSS!

For More Information

Final Rules for EHRs: Incentives, Certification, Standards –Preliminary Roundup

Guide to Initial Stories on Final Rules for Incentives, Certification, Standards

Stakeholders still assessing final meaningful use rule
July 14, 2010 | Diana Manos, Senior Editor
“Initial response seemed to be cautiously optimistic, but the American Hospital Association expressed concerns.”

HIMSS’s Government HealthIT
Lower bar to meaningful use assures more EHR participation
By Mary Mosquera   Wednesday, July 14, 2010
“If initial reactions are anything to go by, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services hit a home run with its final rule for meaningful use of electronic health records, simultaneously lowering the requirements bar and increasing the likelihood of more healthcare providers participating in the CMS’ incentive program and adopting EHRs.”

CMS abandons absolutes, adds flexibility to meaningful use
By Mary Mosquera             Tuesday, July 13, 2010
“In its final meaningful rule published today, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has abandoned its original all-or-nothing approach to offering incentives for electronic health record adoption and opted for flexibility.”

Public comments reshaped CMS final rule
By Mary Mosquera    Tuesday, July 13, 2010
“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services received some 2,000 comments after it published its proposed meaningful use rule in January, and they were key both to changes in the scope of the final rule published today and to the speed with which it was adopted.”


Meaningful-use regulations released
By Andis Robeznieks
      Posted: July 13, 2010
“ ‘After reviewing the comments, we agree that requiring that (eligible professionals), eligible hospitals, and (critical access hospitals) satisfy all of the objectives and their associated measures in order to be considered a meaningful EHR user would impose too great a burden and would result in an unacceptably low number of EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs being able to qualify as meaningful EHR users in the first two years of the program,’the rule states.”

AMDIS members take on ‘meaningful use’
By Joseph Conn / HITS staff writer Posted: July 15, 2010
“The recent release of the new rules on meaningful use of electronic health-record systems dominated the discussion during the opening day of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems’ annual Physician Computer Connection Symposium in Ojai, Calif., on Wednesday.”

John Halamka’s Life as  Healthcare CIO blog
A Do it Yourself Presentation on the Standards Rule
July 14, 2010
“Just as I did with the Meaningful Use Rule, I’ve prepared a presentation that you can use for your Board and stakeholders to review the Standards Final Rule.”

A Do it Yourself Presentation on the Meaningful Use Final Rule
July 14, 2010
“Just as I did in January with the Meaningful Use NPRM, I’ve prepared a presentation that you can use for your Board and stakeholders to review the requirements the final Meaningful Use Rule. Feel free to use it without attribution to me.”

An Analysis of the Final Standards Rule
July 13, 2010
“At 10am today, the final Standards Rule was released as described on my previous blog. Here are additional details for stakeholders who want a technical analysis.”

Meaningful Use and the Standards are Finalized
July 13, 2010
“Today at 10am, CMS and ONC released the final rules that will guide electronic health record rollouts for the next 5 years…Here’s my analysis of the key changes in the Final Rule.”

New York Times
Standards Issued for Electronic Health Records
By ROBERT PEAR     Published: July 13, 2010
“The rules significantly scale back proposed requirements that the health care industry had denounced as unrealistic.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog
‘Meaningful Use’ Regs for Electronic Medical Records Finally Drop!
By Katherine Hobson  July 13, 2010
“The final regulations — all 864 pages of them – on what will constitute “meaningful use” of electronic medical records are now here. And the changes they include make it easier for hospitals and doctors to qualify next year for the first round of incentive payments for adopting EMRs.”
 (Probably requires paid subscription.)

Final Rules on ‘Meaningful Use,’ EHR Standards Released Today
story roundup. “Blumenthal said the final meaningful use rule offers health care providers more flexibility than the proposed regulations released in January.”

AMDIS: Health execs initially pleased with meaningful use rules
By Mary Stevens, July 14, 2010
“OJAI, Calif.—A first look at the 864-page final rule for Meaningful Use and EHR Certification shows that policymakers “listened and responded” to some physicians’ concerns, said speakers Pat Wise, RN, vice president of healthcare information systems at HIMSS, and Michael Zaroukian, MD, PhD, CMIO and associate professor of medicine at Michigan State University, during a presentation at the annual AMDIS Physician-Computer Connection Symposium Wednesday.”

CMS, ONC release meaningful use final rules
By CMIO Editorial Staff       July 13, 2010
“In the final regulation is divided into two groups: a set of core objectives that constitute a starting point for meaningful use of EHRs and a separate menu of additional important activities from which providers will choose several to implement in the first two years, Blumenthal explained.”

e-Healthcare Marketing posts
See previous post on e-Healthcare Marketing for Final Rules PDFs, Press Release, Fact Sheets, and additional info.
See Dr. Blumenthal’s blog post on same subject as above, republished on e-Healthcare Marketing.
See Letter #17 from Dr. Blumenthal.

Hello Congress: It’s National Health IT Week and We Ask 3 Things

HIMSS Members from Across Nation Go to DC
for Fifth Annual National IT Week  
Plus  ”The Three Asks”
Washington, DC will see members of Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) chapters from across the country and related organization members go to Capitol Hall to make three requests, known as “Asks” in shorthand of Capitolese.

One Voice, One Vision: Transforming Health and Care
According to HIMSS Web site“National Health IT Week is a collaborative forum, now in its fifth year, of assembling key healthcare constituents—vendors, provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry/professional associations, research foundations, and consumer protection groups—working together to elevate national attention to the necessity of advancing health IT.”

HIMSS Three Asks For 2010
These are the three requests members of HIMSS will be requesting from Senators, Congressmen and women, and their staff members. These three links go to PDF files:

For a complete schedule of National Health IT Week: June 14-19, 2010, click here.

JUNE  14: Capitol Hill Briefing on Patients & Technology
eHealth Initiative:  ”The eHealth Initiative is actively working to ensure patient engagement and access to information is viewed as an integral part of the health information technology movement. This eHealth Initiative briefing will feature perspectives from Congress, Federal Agencies, Patients, and Industry Stakeholders.

“The session will address the strategies, challenges, and successes related to engaging patients in their health care through the use of technology.”

Featured Speaker: U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess, MD
Additional Speakers Include:

  • Joshua Seidman, PhD, Acting Director of Meaningful Use Division, Office of Provider Adoption Support, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
  • Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, MPP, Co-Founder of Renaissance Health, Ix Center for Information Therapy, Practicing Physician
  • Kate Christensen, MD, Medical Director of Internet Services Group, Kaiser Permanente
  • Paul Berger, Stroke Survivor, ePatient

JUNE 14: HIMSS Federal Health Community
Invitation only event for federal stakeholders to tour George Washington University Hospital’s electronic health record implementation.

JUNE 15: NHIT Week 2010 Partners
Press Conference on Capitol Hill, House Triangle in front of Capitol

JUNE 15-16: Government Health IT Conference & Exhibition
Registration Required.

JUNE 16: CHIME StateNet and ALT Policy Briefing
College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)
ONC’s Dr. Farzad Mostashari, Deputy National Coordinator for Policy and Programs will speak. Discussion of ”how CIOs are organizing and sharing information to leverage HITECH funding at the state-level.” Open only to CHIME members, StateNet CIO Coordinators, StateNet CIO participants, ALT members (and invited c-suite colleagues). Registration required.

JUNE 16National eHealth Collaborative Stakeholder Forum – Legal Agreements for Health Information Exchange: What is the Right Model for My State?
NeHC is offering a Special National Health IT Week Stakeholder Forum on Multi-Party Legal Agreements for Health Information Exchange as an opportunity for all stakeholders, especially state decision makers, to understand how multi-party legal agreements can be effective for data-sharing at the state level.

“This session is intended to provide decision makers and others with a foundational legal concept for understanding potential applications of multi-party data-sharing agreements. The Data Use and Reciprocal Services Agreement (DURSA) used by the NHIN Exchange will be presented as a case study in the development of multi-party agreements and participants will learn about those aspects of the DURSA that may be applicable to state level agreements.”

Open to the public. Participate online.

JUNE 16-17: HIMSS 10th Annual Policy Summit

“The HIMSS 10th Annual Policy Summit highlights keynote speeches and roundtable discussions from key decision-makers with their finger on the pulse of Capitol Hill and the White House.” Registration Required.

June 17: NHIT Week 2010 Partners Networking ReceptionProduced by eHealth Policy and CHIME. See http://www.e-healthpolicy.org/
for more information.

June 17: Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Telehealth and Healthcare Informatics’ Technology Showcase

Delaware Valley, Western PA HIMSS members visit PA Legislators in Harrisburg, Invited to Testify

HIMSS of Delaware Valley and Western Pennsylvania Invited to Testify After HIMSS Members Visit PA Legislators in Harrisburg
This post originally appeared on the PAeHI blog.
HARRISBURG  (April 20, 2010)–After a full day series of meetings between 50 Pennsylvania state legislators and HIMSS members from Western Pennsylvania (WPHIMSS)  and Delaware Valley (DVHIMSS) chapters in the Pennslvania Capitol Building,  DVHIMSS Chapter President Tom Pacek was invited to speak at  the April 22, 2010 House Insurance Committee public hearing  about Health IT and Electronic Health Records in Ambler, PA.

The public hearing will review legislation authored by State Rep. Rick Taylor of Montgomery, titled the Health Information Technology Act (H.B. 2106). The bill would direct a portion of Pennsylvania’s HITECH funds to develop a database of electronic medical records in the state.

In the morning, Pennsylvania Senators Mike Folmer, Patricia Vance, Andrew Dinniman, Vincent Hughes, and John Wozniak participated in active discussions with HIMSS members in Senate offices.

The Senate meetings were followed by meetings with Pennsylvania Representatives Stan Taylor, Mike Turzai, Matt Baker, Josh Shapiro, Frank Oliver, and Mike Sturla  in House offices with HIMSS members to learn more about Health IT needs and legislative requirements in Pennsylvania.

The day started with  HIMSS delegates networking and speaking  in small groups with 40 legislators over casual breakfasts in Conference Room 60 in the Capitol complex.

In addition to their support for quality medical care, general legislators were concerned about the financial sustainability of Health Information Exchange setups, as well as privacy and security issues.

Meetings were followed by lunch at the Harrisburg Country Club, with HIMSS members, sponsors, and Philip W. Magistro, Deputy Director, Implementation from the Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform; and David Toth from Represenative Taylor’s office. The session reviewed the morning meetings, a culmination of Advocacy events planned by the two chapters leading up to today, and looked ahead to next steps with comments from Magistro and Toth.

The Health Insurance Committee hearing is open to the public and will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 22 at the Ambler Theater, located on 108 E. Butler Ave. in Ambler.  Pacek and one or two other HIMSS members are expected to testify.

Today’s sessions were part of The Third Annual PA Healthcare IT Advocacy Event co-sponsored by DVHIMSS and WPHIMSS, whose Chapter president is Bonnie B. Anton, RN, MN.  Additional organizers of this well-organized event will be named in a later version of this post.

Link to the Advocacy talking points “Better Care Through Information Technology” (pdf).
DVHIMSS Web site: http://dvhimss.org
WPHIMSS Web site: http://www.wpahimss.org

This post originally first appeared on the PAeHI blog.

ONC at HIMSS10 in Atlanta: Posts Schedule

ONC at HIMSS10 Atlanta: Health IT Buzz Blog
On February 27, 2010, ONC posted  schedule on its Health IT Buzz Blog of where their people would be participating at the HIMSS10 Annual Meeting in Atlanta from February 28 to March 3. This is excerpted from the blog.

“Health IT professionals from around the country will be convening in Atlanta at the beginning of March for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Annual Conference. HIMSS will provide a unique opportunity for ONC to speak to, learn from and interact with 27,000 leaders in the health IT field. This year’s theme — change is everywhere, opportunity is here — aptly sets the tone for ONC’s participation and related presentations that will highlight the administration’s efforts to support the adoption of health IT and the promotion of secure, nationwide health information exchange. Here are some of the events we will be participating in at the conference:

“ONC hopes to engage a diverse range of health IT stakeholders in dialogue and discuss the work that needs to be done over the coming year to transform our healthcare system through the use of IT.”

Healthcare organizations’ security not up to HITECH standards per HIMSS Study

Healthcare organizations’ security not up to HITECH standards per HIMSS Study
Molly Merrill of Healthcare IT News reported on November 4, 2009, “Healthcare organizations aren’t prepared to meet privacy and security standards associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to a new survey.”
Mary Mosquera of Government HealthIT reported on November 4, 2009, “Security budgets are low and organizations lack a plan for responding to threats or a security breach, according to the findings, which were  published Nov. 3. Many healthcare organizations also have not named a chief security officer or chief information security officer.”
Lisa Gallagher, HIMSS’ senior director of privacy and security, wrote a guest column in Government HealthIT on November 4, 2009 entitled “Healthcare needs a security framework.” Gallagher noted “The advent of ARRA has brought long overdue additional statutory requirements for ‘covered entities’ as well as an extension of HIPAA to other entities. ARRA has additional requirements such as: breach notification, accounting of disclosures, new limits on the sale and marketing of personal health information, a right to restrict disclosures and increased enforcement.”

HIMSS Security Survey 2009 Document (pdf)

For another study outlining data security needs at hospitals, see previous e-Healthcare Marketing post.

Note:  Both Healthcare IT News and Government HealthcareIT are published by HIMSS, and the HIMSS survey and report were funded by Symantec.

Oct 6: A Stimulus for EHR Deployment, Worcester, Mass from New England HIMSS & MHDC

A Stimulus for EHR Deployment: Oct 6, 2009 Conference
from New England HIMSS and Mass Health Data Consortium

Thirty-five speakers in 20 breakout sessions, 40 vendors and over 300 people will gather at DCU Center in Worcester, Mass on October 6, 2009 to discuss “A Stimulus for EHR Deployment.”
HealthMart2009 Agenda   Oct 6: 8am to 4pm
–Walk-on registration only. Online registration closed.
(Date corrected from previous post.)

New England HIMSS & MHDC: HealthMart2009–October 6, 2009

A Stimulus for EHR Deployment: Oct 6, 2009 Conference
from New England HIMSS and Mass Health Data Consortium

Thirty-five speakers in 20 breakout sessions, 40 vendors and over 300 people will gather at DCU Center in Worcester, Mass on October 6, 2009 to discuss “A Stimulus for EHR Deployment.”
HealthMart2009 Agenda   Oct 6: 8am to 4pm
–Walk-on registration only. Online registration closed.
(Corrected date.)

NY HIMSS–Oct 2, 2009 Conference: Healthcare Reform: IT’s Here, IT’s Now

NY HIMSS–Oct 2, 2009 Annual Conference:
Healthcare Reform: IT’s Here, IT’s Now

As of Sept 27, 2009, there are still slots open to attend this NY HIMSS Annual Educational Conference in New York City on Friday, Oct 2, 2009.
Complete Agenda (pdf)
Speakers include 10 CIOs and Chief Informatics Executives from New York regional medical organizations including Mt. Sinai, NYU, Memorial SloanKettering, Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Albany Medical Center, and Monroe County Medical Society.
Location: NYC Digital Sandbox, 55 Broad Street, NY NY 10004
Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: $125 HIMSS members/sponsors, $175 non-members

NJ HIMSS Delegation Joins National Health IT Advocacy on Capitol Hill

NJ HIMSS Delegation Joins National HIT Advocacy on Capitol Hill
Taking a pre-dawn bus to Washington, DC, Wednesday, September 24, 2009 as part of contingent of more than 40 New Jersey HIMSS chapter members with several colleagues from the Delaware Valley chapter, we joined HIMSS members from across the country visiting senators, Congressmen and their staffs.

Requesting three major initiatives (known as “Asks” on the Hill), New Jersey members visited personally with Congressmen Leonard Lance and Steve Rothman in their respective offices, and Lance’s legislative assistant Jeffrey Last, as well as a member of Congressman’s Frank Pallone’s staff and aides in other Congressional offices. On the Senate side, NJ delegations of more than 20 met with Senator Robert Menendez’s legislative correspondent Chasseny Lewis and Senator Frank Lautenberg’s legislative assistant Apryl Clark.

The “Asks”
Per quidelines supplied by HIMSS Legislative Affairs leaders
“1. Ensure that the Executive Branch meets the timelines, requirements, and the needs of your Congressional constituents for the health information technology (IT) components included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

2.  Require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a study concerning the necessary funding needed to achieve the nationwide exchange of health information among health information exchanges (HIEs).

3.  Apply Congressional oversight authority to ensure that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) establishes a final regulation for the e-prescribing of controlled substances that would not impede the overall benefits of e-prescribing.

To view all HIMSS position statements and legislative analyses, please visit the HIMSS website at: http://www.himss.org/advocacy ”

The Offers
Led by NJ HIMSS chapter president Richard Temple, CIO of AristaCare, members offered  their personal and chapter services
1. to answer future questions about HITECH and healthcare IT  issues and challenges, as well as

2. to offer forums for NJ members of Congress and their staffs to learn more about the IT issues facing hospitals, physicians, patients, healthcare and IT professionals.

One Congressional staffer was surprised and pleased to hear we were offering help and not just asking.

For New Jersey the Advocacy Day event was organized by Advocacy chair Indranil (Neal) Ganguly, CIO of CentraState and Events chair and bus chaperone Tony Ferrante, Director, Business Development for Computer Design and Integration. And no one was left behind.

The HITECH Process
This writer, along with colleagues from NJ HIMSS note their appreciation for the passage of the HITECH  Act with generally high expectations  for its impact on patients and healthcare. The complex process led by National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal, his fellow ONC staffers and advisors, and the public and private members of the HIT Policy and Standard Committees, along with HITSP volunteers, has demonstrated to this writer remarkable momentum, transparency, and agility including responsiveness to a great deal of public feedback. CCHIT has also moved rapidly to adjust to the new certification environment.

One observes a powerful force unleashed in 2009 after a decade or two of these healthcare leaders and experts  working on their own and with each other to develop better ways to support patient care with healthcare IT, and building on a underfunded but critical structure developed under the previous administration. New Jersey and all other states and territories are increasingly focusing on in-state and local activities (Health Information Exchanges and Regional Extension Centers) under the guidance of ONC to move this process to the individual healthcare provider and patient.

The Learning
When the NJ bus arrived mid-morning Sept 23, 2009, to HIMSS 8th Annual Policy Summit at the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel, we were fortunate to hear a very adept policy update from a member of the HIT Policy Committee, Gayle Harrell, Member of the Florida House of Representatives (2000-08). We look forward to the online posting of her presentation.