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AHIMA responds to HHS privacy rules MEANINGFUL USE

CHICAGO, Sept. 13 (PRNewswire-USNews-

wire) — The following statement was released by Rita K. Bowen, president, AHIMA board of directors: “While AHIMA continues to applaud federal gov- ernment support for the ideal of protecting patients’ health information rights, the proposed rule-making for HIPAA privacy, security and enforcement by HHS has a number of requirements that we do not believe the industry is ready to undertake; especially as it gears up for meaningful use. Today AHIMA is releasing its recommendations to the HHS Offi ce of Civil Rights (OCR) that speak to the issues we believe are most critical to the patients of America, the healthcare industry and the best practice of health information management. “As staunch supporters of patients’ health informa- tion rights, AHIMA agrees the single most contentious issue in the proposed regulation is the ability of indi- viduals to restrict the information held by their health- care providers from being shared with their health plan. While AHIMA believes an individual’s control over this data fl ow is valid, data fl ow restrictions in the HHS proposal create unintended repercussions for data integrity, data processing and other elements within the current U.S. reimbursement system. “Many AHIMA members are engaged in providing patients’ individual and aggregate data for a variety of approved uses. There is a continued discussion within the profession on how to best cover the costs of the retrieval, analysis and release of information within the context of the privacy and security regulations, patient restrictions, and the need to verify the requesting individual as a means of keeping released information available to a necessary minimum. Additionally, we remain concerned the charges permitted by states or HIPAA do not cover all costs and ultimately raise the cost of healthcare. “AHIMA also questions the sale of patient health information when an organization is being absorbed by a second organization. The OCR’s approach, while practical, raises the issue of whether consumers have the right to determine if their health information should be transferred with the ownership of a health organization. “Finally, AHIMA feels strongly that the OCR needs to provide greater clarifi cation regarding the defi nition of ‘agents’ as it relates to covered entities and who should be covered by HIPAA, including its hybrid organizations.”

6 October 2010

National HIMSS Davies Awards recognize EHR value, improved care

Created in 1994, the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award recognizes excellence in the implementation and use of electronic health records (EHRs) by healthcare organizations, private practices, public health systems and community health organizations. The six 2010 winners in four categories are: HIMSS DAVIES AMBULATORY AWARD


• Miramont Family Medicine – Ft. Collins, Colo.: Patient processing times were measured before and after EHR implementation, with the percent of “value-added time” improving from 64.2 per- cent to 67.5 percent, resulting in more effi cient time spent during the patient/provider visit.

• The Diabetes Center – Ocean Springs, Miss.: The Diabetes Center actively monitors more than 400 diabetes pumps, digitally downloaded at check-in to become a part of the patient record, leading to optimal treatment and care. HIMSS DAVIES COMMUNITY HEALTH AWARD

• Open Door Family Medical Center – Ossining, N.Y.: More than 92 percent of Open Door’s pa- tients have incomes at or below the 200 percent of the federal poverty line and more than 55 percent have no health insurance of any kind. As a Joint Commission accredited health center and an NCQA Level III Patient Centered Medical Home, Open Door leverages its data warehouse and quality reporting tools to achieve care quality and operational effi ciency. HIMSS DAVIES PUBLIC HEALTH AWARD

• Wisconsin Division of Public Health’s Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) – Madison, Wis.: Currently more than 11,000 users from 1,609 provider organizations operating at some 4,200 facility sites are on the WIR. More than 2,500 schools have “look-up” access to the WIR, and there are more than 6.8 million client records with 49 million associated immunization records. HIMSS DAVIES ORGANIZATIONAL AWARD

• Sentara Health System – Norfolk, Va.: Sentara’s eCare EHR system provides a single-view access for results retrieval across all environments of care.

• Nemours – Wilmington, Del.: The NemoursOne EHR, in combination with the system’s data warehouse, includes a streamlined medication reconciliation process, with an outpatient system- wide rate currently at 88 percent.


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