2023 ADVOCACY CALL TO ACTION ALERT

Ask your Members of Congress to Cosponsor the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act

AHIMA needs your help to raise support for the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act. Take part by visiting the AHIMA Action Center to urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the bill and modernize 529 accounts, traditionally used to cover tuition expenses for college and graduate degrees, to include certification and credentialing costs as qualified expenses.
 
Supporting the health information (HI) workforce is an AHIMA advocacy priority. This includes supporting legislation to expand access to training and education that will maintain and propel the careers of HI professionals.
 
Reach out to your members of Congress today to urge them to cosponsor the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act.

ACT NOW!



Our advocacy agenda seeks to transform health and healthcare by connecting people, systems, and ideas.

At AHIMA, we’ve embraced three principles that underpin our work, our outlook, and our advocacy: access, integrity, and connection. As we work toward meaningful legislative and regulatory changes in 2023, AHIMA will work together with our members, national healthcare organizations, and other stakeholders to advance an advocacy agenda to realize our vision.

AHIMA advocacy leaders shared best practices for organizing and conducting a state-level Hill Day. A best practices checklist based on that discussion is now available to download.

45 CFR Part 2 HIPAA Alignment FAQ - Released December 2022
CMS ePA Proposed Rule Fact Sheet - Released December 2022

Act Now to Urge Your Members of Congress to Repeal Section 510 in the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bills


AHIMA needs your help.  Please take action on the action alert below. 

Act Now to Urge Your Members of Congress to Repeal Section 510 in the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bills

As Congress is working to pass a final federal budget before the end of the year, we need your help to urge Congress to finally repeal Section 510 from the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Labor-HHS appropriations bill.

For the fourth year, the US House of Representatives has repealed Section 510 from its Labor-HHS appropriations bill, and for the second year the Senate draft Labor-HHS bill also removed Section 510 from their bill. We need you to write your members of Congress to ensure the ban remains out of the final version of the bill. Section 510 has been a barrier to moving forward a national strategy on patient identification, and this is the year we must ensure its repeal.

AHIMA needs your help to reach out to your members of Congress and urge them to support the repeal of Section 510. 

CLICK HERE to take action.


Health Information Technology

To achieve nationwide interoperability of health information technology that can exchange data while improving care, we provide comments and feedback to federal regulators on a variety of topics, including interoperability, data standardization, mobile device applications, emerging technologies, and more.

Capitol Hill Update

The 118th Congress: The results of the 2022 midterm elections have been decided: Republicans gain the majority in the US House of Representatives (House) with a split of 222 Republicans - 213 Democrats. With the final US Senate seat decided in the Georgia runoff last week, Democrats gained an additional seat. However, Friday's announcement from Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema that she will switch her party affiliation from Democrat to Independent initially made the exact Senate party split uncertain. Since the announcement, Senator Sinema has indicated that she will keep the committee seats assigned to her by Democrats, suggesting that she will caucus with the Democratic party, giving Democrats essentially a 51-49 majority to Republicans. With more than 80 new members entering Congress in 2023, AHIMA and its members stands ready to engage and educate on issues of importance to the health information profession.

Federal Budget: The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the government expires on December 16, 2022. Democrats and Republicans currently remain tens of billions of dollars apart on topline spending amounts, and time is running out to reach an agreement to fund the government during Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), which started on October 1, 2022. It is likely we will see another short-term CR to give members of Congress more time to come to an agreement, but if no agreement is reached, there is the chance we could see a full-year CR, which would flat-fund the government in FY23 at FY22 levels.

Patient ID: As federal budget negotiations are ongoing, AHIMA and the Patient ID Now coalition continue to push for repeal of Section 510 in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill. In late November, the coalition sent letters to the House and Senate Appropriations committees urging the repeal of the ban. AHIMA encourages our members to participate in the campaign in our Action Center and urge your members of Congress to repeal Section 510


Federal Agency Update

ICD-10-CM/PCS C&M Comments: AHIMA submitted comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on ICD-10-CM/PCS code proposals discussed at the September ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance (C&M) Committee meeting that are being considered for implementation on October 1, 2023. 

New ICD-10-CM/PCS Codes: New diagnosis and procedure codes that become effective April 1, 2023 have been announced. Find it on this CMS page under Latest News.

CMS Electronic Prior Authorization Proposed Rule: CMS released a proposed rule focused on electronic prior authorization (ePA). Comments on the proposed rule are due March 13, 2023 and you can learn more about what is in the proposed rule and how to sign up for work groups in our fact sheet.

OCR/SAMHSA CFR Part 2 HIPAA Alignment for SUD Proposed Rule: The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the long awaiting proposed rule to align 42 CFR Part 2 and HIPAA when dealing with substance use disorder (SUD) treatment records. Comments on the rule are due January 31, 2023. You can learn more about what is in the rule and how to sign up for work groups in our fact sheet.

OCR Releases Two Privacy Tools: HHS OCR has released a provider focused bulletin containing additional guidance and privacy considerations related utilizing third-party website trackers. OCR also released - in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - an interactive tool for app developers to determine which federal privacy laws apply in different app development scenarios.

AHIMA Responds to Two CMS RFIs: AHIMA submitted comments to two CMS requests for information (RFI). The first RFI focused on the opportunities and challenges to developing an API enabled national directory of hospitals. The second RFI - in partnership with multiple other federal agencies - focused on policy considerations for implementing advanced explanation of benefit (AEOB) and good faith estimate (GFE) APIs

 

Access

Individual Access: Enhance individuals’ electronic, timely, and seamless access to their health information.

Consumer Engagement: Empower individuals to make better decisions about their own health by using trusted data from traditional and emerging data sources.

Affordability: Ensure patients have access to timely and accurate information about the cost of healthcare services to make informed care decisions, including information about their expected out-of-pocket costs.

Privacy: Address privacy and security gaps of HIPAA non-covered entities that collect, access, use, disclose, and maintain electronic health information.

Cybersecurity and Information Security: Enhance and improve the sharing of cyber threats, risks, and cyber hygiene practices in real-time.
Behavioral health: Encourage policies that further integrate and coordinate behavioral health information with physical health information.
Healthcare Reform: Promote the continuity of accurate, timely, and trusted health information regardless of health insurance coverage.

Connection

Patient Identification: Enhance accurate patient identification to improve patient safety, interoperability, and the appropriate use of workforce resources.

Integrating Clinical and Administrative Data: Enhance and influence efforts to better integrate clinical and administrative data to improve the patient experience, reduce clinician burden, and potentially reduce costs.

Interoperability: Champion modern data standards (including application programming interfaces) and related infrastructure to support technical, functional, and semantic interoperability across healthcare.

Public Health: Advocate for the use of accurate and timely data for public health responses and initiatives while protecting the confidentiality, privacy, and security of an individual’s health information.

Social Determinants of Health: Promote the collection, access, sharing, and use of social determinants of health (SDoH) to enrich clinical decision making and improve health outcomes, public health, and health inequities in ways that are culturally respectful.

Integrity

Data Quality: Advance the completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of health data by influencing the development and maintenance of national and international coding standards.

Data Integrity: Influence and advance policies that promote the accuracy, consistency, and trustworthiness of health information regardless of its form, origin or application.

Health Equity: Advocate for the collection, use, and sharing of accurate, unbiased, complete, and standardized health information as an integral part of efforts to reduce and eliminate health disparities and inequities.

Value-Based Care: Promote new payment and delivery models that leverage accurate, timely, and complete health information—as well as technology—in new and innovative ways.

Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring Technologies: Expand access to care through the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring technologies, while ensuring the continuity of accurate, timely, and trusted health information and also protecting patient confidentiality, privacy and security.

Resources

Advancing Interoperability and Improving Prior Authorization Processes Proposed Rule CMS-0057 -Comments Due March 13, 2023

Federal Resources: 

MaHIMA Webinars and other Free Webinar offerings

Foley Hoag Health Information Privacy and Practice Blog

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics

Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

HHS Office for Civil Rights

National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics

MaHIMA Legal Publications

HHS Issues Important Notice That It Will Not Enforce Certain Fee Limitations On Individuals’ Requests To Transmit Health Records To Third Parties – January 28, 2020

Ciox Health LLC v. Azar

Title XVI; Chapter 111, Section 70 Records of Hospitals  or clinics; custody, inspection, copies, fees – 2016