HIM professionals advocate for increased access to information, patient safety

March 21, 2018

Members of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) called on Congress to support legislation to ensure healthcare professionals have access to their patients’ entire medical history—a move that could help address the opioid crisis in the United States while maintaining the privacy and security of patient information. AHIMA members met with Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. during the 2018 AHIMA Advocacy Summit.

Two current Congressional bills, House of Representatives bill 3545, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, and Senate bill 1850, Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act, aim to turn the tide on the opioid crisis and prevent more patient overdoses by providing physicians with information about a patient’s addiction treatment—detail that is currently prohibited from sharing with physicians without explicit patient consent—while strengthening privacy laws. This appropriate sharing of substance abuse disorder information will ensure patients receive the integrated care they need.

H.R. 3545 aligns the 42 CFR Part 2 regulation, which limits release of substance use disorder treatment records without a patient’s consent, with a portion of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which allows healthcare professionals to obtain this information when it directly affects their provision of care. The proposed new rule finds a middle ground, modernizing privacy protocols to maximize quality care.

During the Summit, AHIMA continued advocating for a nationwide patient matching strategy by requesting Congress lift the current ban that restrains the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from working with the industry on creating a system for seamless patient identification. AHIMA previously advocated for the need for a unique national patient identifier during its Advocacy Summit in 2016 and continued to focus on patient identification issues in the 2017 call for lifting the current funding ban prohibiting HHS’ collaboration with industry in finding a patient matching strategy.

AHIMA’s advocacy initiatives began Monday, March 19, with the 2018 AHIMA Advocacy Summit. AHIMA members reached out to legislators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, March 20.

AHIMA has more information

Sponsored Recommendations

Enhancing Remote Radiology: How Zero Trust Access Revolutionizes Healthcare Connectivity

This content details how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures high performance, compliance, and scalability, overcoming the limitations of traditional VPN solutions...

Spotlight on Artificial Intelligence

Unlock the potential of AI in our latest series. Discover how AI is revolutionizing clinical decision support, improving workflow efficiency, and transforming medical documentation...

Beyond the VPN: Zero Trust Access for a Healthcare Hybrid Work Environment

This whitepaper explores how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures secure, least privileged access to applications, meeting regulatory requirements and enhancing user...

Enhancing Remote Radiology: How Zero Trust Access Revolutionizes Healthcare Connectivity

This content details how a cloud-enabled zero trust architecture ensures high performance, compliance, and scalability, overcoming the limitations of traditional VPN solutions...