HIMSS: 4 health IT policy priorities for 2019

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Chapter advocates from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society unveiled their priorities for state and local health IT policy in 2019, which the trade group summarized in a Jan. 23 blog post.

Four predictions HIMSS chapter advocates expect to see this year:

1. Customer-centric care. The industry will continue to empower patients by offering resources that help them take control of their care.

"This will lead to many advocacy opportunities in 2019," said Lauren Wiseman, MSN, past chair of the Chapter Advocacy Roundtable and HIMSS Greater Illinois Chapter Advocate. "Consumers continue to be more demanding in what they want to see and are more tech-savvy."

2. The opioid epidemic. HIMSS members will continue to urge lawmakers to address the opioid crisis in their individual communities.

"In New Hampshire, so far we have 72 new bills to kick off the new session," said Pamela Varhol, CAR chair and HIMSS New England Chapter Advocate. "Over half of those are related to healthcare, with seven related to the opioid epidemic."

3. Healthcare costs. Bonny Roberts of HIMSS' Colorado chapter outlined three policy ideas to reduce healthcare costs, which are included in a plan that will be introduced in the Colorado legislature this year:

  • Create a multistate consortium to pay for prescription drugs and universal care
  • Reach out to patients in rural and urban areas with preventive care, follow-up care and frequent monitoring
  • Make healthcare insurance universal, if only at the state level

4. Blockchain, artificial intelligence and other innovations. Some examples of innovation that chapter advocates shared include digital pharmaceuticals, health information exchanges and application programming interfaces.

Speaking on the promise of artificial intelligence in healthcare, Hank Fanberg of the group's Louisiana chapter said: "Robots won't replace physicians next year but I think there will be manpower shortage in the future, maybe not as soon as next year on the provider side, but soon."   

To read the complete blog post, click here.

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