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Health Information Professionals Advocate for Patient Safety and Health Equity at AHIMA Advocacy Summit

CHICAGO – April 1, 2022 – The AHIMA Advocacy Summit concluded Tuesday with hundreds of attendees meeting with members of Congress and their staffs to advocate for legislation that improves patient safety and health equity. Attendees advocated for S509/HR 6072, the LINC to Address Social Needs Act, which would create a program to assist states in establishing or enhancing community integration network infrastructure for health and social services.

Attendees also advocated for the repeal of Section 510, which stifles innovation around patient identification, from the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill. The ban was removed from last year’s House Labor-HHS bill but remained in the federal budget passed by Congress earlier this month.

Rep. Bill Foster (D, IL-11) spoke at the Advocacy Summit on Monday about the impact of repealing Section 510, which could lead to the development a patient identification solution that improves patient safety by reducing misidentification errors. He said a patient identification solution could have other positive impacts, including reducing the practice of “doctor shopping,” which has contributed to the opioid epidemic.

“I’m proud AHIMA members came together virtually to put the AHIMA mission, vision, and core purpose into action,” said Lauren Riplinger, AHIMA vice president of policy and government affairs. “The Advocacy Summit is a great opportunity for HI professionals to share their expertise, knowledge and personal stories with policymakers. We’re thrilled by the level of commitment and engagement from our members as they discussed the critical issues facing healthcare.”

The Advocacy Summit featured a number of other distinguished presenters:

  • Thomas A. Mason, MD, ONC chief medical officer, spoke about the importance of maintaining patient privacy when collecting and recording social determinants of health data. He also detailed how funding from the American Rescue Plan will help public health information services.
  • Deborah Bryant, a special advisor for the Consumer Support Group Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) discussed how health information and price transparency can help people make better decisions about their care.
  • Carmen Smiley from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) spoke about the patient identification goals of Project US@ and the companion guide developed by AHIMA and ONC.


AHIMA is a global nonprofit association of health information (HI) professionals. AHIMA represents professionals who work with health data for more than one billion patient visits each year. AHIMA’s mission of empowering people to impact health® drives our members and credentialed HI professionals to ensure that health information is accurate, complete, and available to patients and providers. Our leaders work at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and business, and are found in data integrity and information privacy job functions worldwide.

Erin Wendel-Ritter 


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