HIMSS: Road to coordinated care has become rocky

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society reached out to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a plan to address health IT issues facing the nation's healthcare system.

In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Sept. 30, HIMSS Chairman Paul Kleeberg and President H. Stephen Lieber said the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's plans to revise the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan open up the doors for collaboration between HIMSS and ONC.

"While we champion a vision of  coordinated care leading to a positively transformed health system in the United States, we want to express our concerns that the road to that goal has become rocky and offer solutions to address these concerns," Kleeberg and Lieber said. "To help re-establish manageable expectations, HIMSS offers to work with HHS to devise a comprehensive plan to address all health IT issues germane to transforming the nation's healthcare system. ... We welcome the opportunity to work with ONC to review the multitude of overlapping programs, determine how they currently fit into the larger health IT blueprint and formulate a best approach to revising expectations and timelines working within congressional and administration intent."

The organization listed three policy levers they are looking to focus on, including:

  • The EHR Incentive Program: They urge the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to adjust the 2015 requirement to one three-month quarterly reporting period versus a full year
  • Interoperability: The organization pledges to continue working with ONC to achieve a nationwide, interoperable health IT infrastructure
  • Electronic reporting of clinical quality measures: They want to work with CMS on eCQM reporting requirements by creating a multi-stakeholder IT roadmap for overcoming barriers that providers and vendors are currently facing

In addition to the letter, HIMSS recently presented three "Congressional Asks"--formal requests to Congress to accomplish specific goals to advance health IT.

To learn more:
- read the HIMSS letter (.pdf)