We don’t “Lobby” in Healthcare IT, we “Advocate”

As someone who grew up in other countries before becoming a naturalized American, there’s always been some kind of fascination when it comes to what is called “lobbying” in the United States. I’ve never been able to understand it as it always seems that it goes against the grain of what I’ve always thought of the United States through history books and the Founding Fathers, whom I so admire for their simple vision that has overcome the tests of time. Yet, hiring professional lobbyists in the United States is perfectly legal and healthcare has been leveraging this legal loophole for sometime now. Just this year as an example, lobbying has come into the news through the change in the regulatory date for ICD-10 from October 1st, 2014 to October 1st, 2015. Most believe that this was the result of pressure from care delivery professionals that wanted more time to get their act together (I for one was against this).

Recently, it was reported in “Modern Healthcare” (September 10th, 2014) that Epic retained a lobbyist and as it was reported the filing said that it was “to educate members of Congress on the interoperability of Epic’s healthcare information technology.”

Last week, HIMSS delegates from across the country had their yearly visit to Washington D.C. for their HIMSS Policy Summit, held during National Health IT week where (as reported by Healthcare IT News) HIMSS had certain asks of the nation’s representatives, which were:

  • Minimize disruption in our nation’s health delivery system emanating from federally mandated health IT program changes.
  • Fund the National Coordinator for Health IT to achieve interoperability, improve clinical quality and ensure patient privacy and safety.
  • Expand telehealth services to improve patient access and outcomes and decrease healthcare costs.

The role of politics and healthcare will remain inextricably tied to one another. As we continue to move through this paradigm shift, these areas will ultimately focus on the future of our country’s care delivery and outcomes and the way that we, the patient, will receive our care.

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CSO HIMSS Conference Registration is now open!

For those of you eagerly anticipating our events, the Central & Southern Ohio HIMSS conference registration is now open. I have collaborated with great individuals both regionally and from a few places outside of Cincinnati to make sure that we have a great conference. We are this fall, focused on a strategic area of HIMSS and that is the all important area of Analytics. The conference is titled “Data! What is it good for? and will be held at UC Health’s Drake Center on October 24th, 2014 in Cincinnati.

Please register early as it will assist us with planning and making sure that our event is even more awesome as it was last year at that same venue. Check out the new CSO HIMSS website at csohio.himsschapter.org

This event is much more provider focused than previous conferences, but I always look for balance between vendor offerings and provider initiatives.

Register soon and see you there!