PHIMA Advocacy in Action

AHIMA released the attached study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago that examines the current state of the health information workforce, and the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) tools on the healthcare workforce. NORC surveyed 2,526 health information professionals from a pool of 35,000 potential respondents in the summer of 2023.

Key findings from the survey and white paper include:

  • 66% of survey respondents reported understaffing of HI professionals at their organization within the last two years, which led to increased burnout, higher staff turnover, reimbursement issues, lowered data quality, slower release of information, slowed implementation of regulatory requirements, and decreased privacy and safety.
  • AI is showing some promise to alleviate administrative burden and increase productivity, but respondents also reported challenges with increased technical burden and suggested the need for increased oversight.
  • 75% of respondents report the need for upskilling amidst the adoption and implementation of AI, and 72% suggest the need for new training areas.

AHIMA will use the findings from the survey and recommendations contained within the white paper to help shape policy discussions on these issues at the federal level. Questions about the survey may be directed to advocacy@ahima.org.

Information Blocking

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a joint rule outlining the provider disincentives subject to information blocking. AHIMA created an FAQ outlining the major provisions of the proposed rule. AHIMA will submit comments on the proposed rule.

Artificial Intelligence

The Biden-Harris Administration released an expansive Executive Order directing the federal government to expand its efforts to regulate and provide transparency as it relates to AI. AHIMA created an FAQ of the key provisions of the Executive Order that may impact HI professionals.

Physician Fee Schedule

CMS released its annual CY24 Physician Fee Schedule final rule finalizing many of the changes contained in the proposed rule. Most relevant to HI professionals is the finalization of a proposal allowing social determinants of health screenings as fully reimbursable if conducted during the annual wellness visit.

Trusted Exchange Framework

The Sequoia Project, acting as the Recognized Coordinating Entity, released an updated v1.1 of the Common Agreement. Changes contained in v1.1 are minor but set the stage for the first Qualified Health Information Networks to come online and begin data exchange. Proposed changes to the Common Agreement suggest the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) is nearing FHIR exchange implementation and that more significant changes may be included as part of v2.0 of the Common Agreement, expected to be released next year.