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AHIMA's 2020 Advocacy Priorities

In support of our vision of a world where trusted information transforms health and healthcare by connecting people, systems, and ideas, we’re advocating for legislation and regulations in the following areas.

patient in telehealth appointment with doctor

Access

Consumer Access: Empower the electronic, timely, and seamless access of health information to consumers.

Privacy and Security: Protect consumers by addressing existing privacy and security gaps in the protection of health information held by HIPAA non-covered entities.

Information Sharing: Strengthen health information sharing policies by aligning the 42 CFR Part 2 regulations, which govern confidentiality and the sharing of substance use disorder treatment records under HIPAA. This would allow for the appropriate sharing of substance use disorder treatment records for purposes of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.

Cybersecurity: Protect consumers by improving information sharing about cyber threats, risks, and cyber hygiene practices in real time.

Person checking health data on smart watch

Connection

Patient Identification: Repeal the existing ban on the use of federal funds to promulgate or adopt a unique patient identifier (UPI) to enable the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to identify a national solution to address patient misidentification.

Interoperability: Lead efforts to establish a common set of data standards (including application programming interfaces) and related infrastructure to ensure semantic, technical, and functional interoperability across the healthcare ecosystem.

Integration of Clinical and Administrative Data: Transform and influence efforts to improve the use of new approaches to better integrate clinical and administrative data through data standardization, standardized templates, improvements in technology, and electronic transmission of information.

doctors meeting with health information colleagues

Integrity

Medical Coding Standards: Strengthen the quality of healthcare data by influencing the development and maintenance of national and international medical coding standards.

Trusted Health Information: Guide and advance standards-based documentation and documentation integrity best practices to generate reliable and trusted information for care continuity, quality improvement, research, population health, reimbursement, and other purposes.

AHIMA Policy Statements

AHIMA Policy Statement: Social Determinants of Health

AHIMA supports the use of public policy to encourage the collection, access, sharing, and use of social determinants of health (SDoH)1 to enrich clinical decision-making and improve health outcomes, public health, and health inequities in ways that are culturally respectful.

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AHIMA Policy Statement on Cybersecurity and Information Security

AHIMA supports the use of policy to address the information security, including cybersecurity, of patients’ health information. Health information (HI) professionals have extensive knowledge and expertise to contribute in developing these policies.

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AHIMA Policy Statement: Individual Access to Health Information

AHIMA supports the right of individuals to access their accurate and complete health information in a timely manner. Health information (HI) professionals are the frontline professionals when individuals seek access to their health information, and they have the expertise and knowledge to inform and enhance public policy that seeks to improve individuals’ access to their health information.

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AHIMA Policy Statement on Public Health

AHIMA supports the use of policy to ensure the soundest, most reliable, and responsible use of health information for public health. Health information (HI) professionals have extensive knowledge and expertise to contribute in developing these policies.

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Integrating Clinical and Administrative Health Data

AHIMA supports the use of policy and other tools to realize the benefits of greater integration of clinical and administrative data, including improved patient experience, decreased administrative costs, reduced provider burden, and improved quality of care and outcomes.

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Patient Identification

AHIMA supports the accurate identification of patients to enhance patient safety, while also improving interoperability and the appropriate use of workforce resources. Health information professionals have extensive knowledge and expertise to inform and advance public policy that seeks to improve the accuracy of matching patients to their health information.

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Health Information held by HIPAA non-covered entities

AHIMA supports the use of policy to address existing privacy, confidentiality, and security gaps in the protection of health information held by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) non-covered entities. Federal privacy and security baseline standards should be developed for the protection of health information held by data holders outside of the scope of HIPAA.

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