WSHIMA Attends Hill Day In Washington D.C.
2018 AHIMA Advocacy Summit Summary
Inspiring Leadership, Influencing Change
March 19-20, 2018
AHIMA 2018 Hill Day was another exceptional experience! Those representing WSHIMA this year were:’
- Cindy Kelly, WSHIMA President
- Paula Dascher, WSHIMA President-Elect
- Jason Rosencrans, WSHIMA Treasurer
- Melanie Endicott, AHIMA Interim Vice President,
- Sheila Green-Shook, WSHIMA Delegate and Chair of Advocacy and Collaboration
Monday, March 19th
Monday was full of great speakers and information. We were all formally introduced to the new CEO of AHIMA, Dr. Wylecia Wiggs Harris and she spoke about leading through change. No AHIMA Hill day would be complete without an update from Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations, Pam Lane and a thorough and understandable presentation by Lauren Riplinger, Senior Director, Federal Relations. Lauren gave a great presentation on advocacy in action: navigating the halls of congress in preparation for Tuesday, our day on “the hill’.
Each year, AHIMA puts together two talking points or ‘asks’ for all of us to discuss with our congressmen and senators. This year the two issues to discuss were:
- Patient matching. Because of the concerns from privacy groups, the 1999 Appropriations Act prohibited the use of funds by HHS to ‘promulgate or adopt any stand standard for a unique health identifier until legislation is enacted specifically approving the standard.’ This language has been carried forward in every appropriation bill since 1999. Our request to congress in 2018 – omit the 1999 language in 2019 appropriations legislation to enable HHS to work with the healthcare industry to advance a nationwide patient matching strategy
- Modernize privacy laws to Combat Opiod Epidemic. As anyone who follows the news knows, the opiod epidemic is a crisis in our country. AHIMA’s ask is for support and co-sponsorship of HR 3545 (The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act) and S Bill 1850, the Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act. Both bills propose to amend the Public Health Services Act to protect the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records to align with HIPAA, which allows sharing records without a signed authorization by the patient only for treatment, payment and healthcare operations.
Tuesday morning started with cold, rainy weather with the imminent threat of a snow storm blowing in Tuesday evening. AHIMA schedules the appointments and each of the attendees meet with the Representative or his/her staffer in the district in which you vote. Because of timing, we buddied up; Cindy and Paula (Cindy participated last year) and Jason and I buddied up since I had attended last year. There was a bit of confusion getting an appointment with Senator Murray’s office, but luckily I had the business card of one of her staff from last year so were able to meet with him. Senator Cantwell, this year as well as last, met with us personally. It was interesting timing; the senate was very busy negotiating changes to the omnibus bill. Senator Cantwell was late for the meeting as she was coming from the senate; came into the meeting for a few minutes and then was called out for an urgent telephone call (more negotiating funding for the bill) and then came back for the rest of the meeting.
Regardless of political beliefs, I am so appreciative to have the opportunity to walk the halls in the buildings in Washington DC, see the names on doors of the senators I see at night on the news, visit the offices of the representatives and senators for the great State of Washington and to see and network with other AHIMA colleagues from across the United States.
I do believe a great time was had by all!
Sheila Green-Shook, MHA, RHIA, CHP, FAHIMA
WSHIMA, Chair Advocacy and Collaboration
1st Year Delegate