PHIMA Advocacy in Action

2024 Advocacy Summit Highlights

Pennsylvania was represented at the AHIMA Advocacy Summit and Hill Day. Attendees included PHIMA President-elect Lauren Gess, Advocacy/Legislative Cochairs Erin Spohn, and Gabrielle Wenger, and PHIMA member Maryam Hashmi.

The 2024 Advocacy Summit kicked off March 11, 2024, with AHIMA President and Board Chair Mona Calhoun and AHIMA CEO Kevin Klauer, welcoming attendees to Washington, DC to begin the Policy Institute of the Summit.

OCR Director Melanie Fontes Rainer and AHIMA CEO Kevin Klauer, discussed the Biden-Harris administration’s goals for AI, privacy implications, and impacts on HI professionals in a fireside chat followed by Mona Calhoun moderating a discussion with Children’s National Hospital on healthy equity and social determinants of health. AHIMA senior director, of coding policy and compliance, Sue Bowman, led a discussion with panelists from US Davis, Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), and the American Hospital Association (AHA) around activities to inform future decisions by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the adoption of ICD-11.

Afternoon sessions opened with an outlook on government affairs for 2024, moderated by Lauren Riplinger, AHIMA chief public policy and impact officer, diving into the current political landscape as we navigate an election year. AHIMA senior director of government affairs, Kate McFadyen led a panel discussion focused on patient identification and matching. The Summit concluded with a discussion with representatives of the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) on the impact of global ecosystems on health IT, and a conversation on the health policy priorities of the 118th Congress with committee members on Ways and Means and Veteran’s Affairs.

Hill Day

On Tuesday, March 12, AHIMA members from 40+ states headed to offices on March 12 to meet with representatives and advocate for HI issues for our workforce and our patients.

Our members met with the offices of Senator Bob Casey, and Representatives Madeline Dean, Lloyd Smucker, and Mary Scanlon to talk about the patient matching. Reps. Mike Kelly (PA) and Bill Foster (IL) have introduced HR 7379 the Patient Matching and Transparency in Certified Health IT (MATCH IT) Act of 2024! AHIMA, with the Patient ID Now coalition, helped lead the development of this legislation, which will improve patient matching through increased standards and transparency.

See all the photos on the PHIMA Homepage.

Just 5 minutes of your time…

We were on Capitol Hill Tuesday advocating for this bill, and we urge you to join in this advocacy effort by emailing your Representative and asking them to cosponsor this important legislation. Visit our Action Center and take part in our campaigns on the MATCH IT Act to amplify the AHIMA voice on Capitol Hill. Your letter can make the difference in moving this legislation forward!

We also spoke with our representatives about Health Information Workforce and Artificial Intelligence. In November 2023, the American Health Information Management Association® (AHIMA) released a study, conducted by NORG at the University of Chicago, to better understand the state of the health information (HI) workforce and how emerging technologies are affecting the management of health data.

An overwhelming number of respondents stated that upskilling of the current HI workforce and new training and focus areas for the future workforce is necessary amidst increased adoption of Al and machine learning (ML) tools in healthcare. Additionally, more than half of respondents reported that their organization plans to increase the use of Al/ ML over the next 12 months.

To better understand the benefits and risks associated with non-clinical Al, the key drivers and barriers to its adoption, implementation, and utilization, and to ensure workforce readiness amid the adoption of Al and ML tools, legislative support is essential.

The AHIMA Advocacy Summit and Hill Day is open to any AHIMA member. We had a great time, we spoke up for the HI workforce, and we hope you will join us next year!

Grassroots Advocacy Award

Want to make sure your component association increases its engagement for the Grassroots Advocacy Award? Learn how you can get involved and contribute to your state’s engagement numbers for federal advocacy. See the documents below for more information.

Please contact your Component Association or advocacy@ahima.org with any questions.