Jeff Rowe, Editor, Future Care

Jeff Rowe is the editor of Future Care and a veteran healthcare journalist and blogger who has reported extensively on initiatives to improve the healthcare system at the local, regional and national level.

HIMSS: health IT sure to remain critical part of healthcare reform

February 9, 2017 AT 9:20 PM

The next several months will likely see the mother of all battles in Washington over the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But health IT advocates should be confident that their voices will be heard regardless of the overall outcome of the debate.

Writing recently at HealthcareIT News, Jeffrey Coughlin, Senior Director of Federal and State Affairs at HIMSS, says that throughout the debate “we intend to leverage a strategic framework that focuses on four foundational areas where the value of health IT can be demonstrated, including: supporting healthcare transformation; expanding access to high quality care; increasing economic opportunity; and, making communities healthier. “

Coughlin says the plan is to emphasize to the new administration and Congress that “health IT is a core foundational piece in reforming our healthcare system and that health IT tools are critical for improving patient safety and outcomes, increasing access and greater success in value-based care delivery, quality reporting initiatives, as well as in opportunities to test innovative care models.”

More specifically, he notes, HIMSS will be prioritizing several issues with the new administration, including ensuring a robust Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, continuing the shift to value-based care, expanding economic opportunities and job creation from Health IT and “spurring further progress on interoperability and exchanging health information.”

In addition, HIMSS will be advocating on fronts such as precision medicine, cybersecurity, telehealth, and patient data matching. “We want to continue to foster a culture where health IT is optimally harnessed to transform health and healthcare by improving quality of care, enhancing the patient experience, containing cost, improving access to care, and optimizing the effectiveness of public payment,” Coughlin says.