HIMSS mobilizes its members and other collaborators to successfully accomplish multiple levels of advocacy activities that are fueled by its members’ passion and experience. These activities include educating HIMSS members and Members of Congress and their staff on key issues to actually proposing and writing draft legislation. In addition, HIMSS works closely with key federal decision-makers and the House of Representatives' 21st Century Health Care Caucus to advance improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare.

Advocacy is about educating our members about bills that are currently in the Senate and Assembly that will affect healthcare IT.

Recent National Updates:

The Senate and House passed a bipartisan, two-year budget deal.  Some of the healthcare industry impact is highlighted below:

  • Raises the spending caps on both defense discretionary and non-defense discretionaryspending by about $300 billion.
  • Including a CR to fund the government through March 23rd
  • Advances Key Health Policy Priorities
    • CHRONIC Care Act
    • Community Health CentersFunding ($8 Billion)
    • Increased NIH funding ($2 Billion)
    • Increased funding to combat the opioids crisis ($6 billion)
    • Extends CHIP an additional 4 years

Presence of Congressional Staff at HIMSS18 in Las Vegas

  • 21 Congressional Staff
  • Bipartisan Delegation
  • Mostly Committee Staff: House Ways & Means, Energy and Commerce, House Veteran Affairs, Senate Finance, Senate Help, Labor & Pensions (HELP).
  • Personal office staff from California, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Utah
  • Focus on Health IT, Telehealth, Medicare, Medicaid
  • Allows staff to get a 360-degree view of everything they are reading and learning about as they consider and develop legislation.

Policy Events at HIMSS18

  • Congressional Forum
    • When: Tuesday, March 6th–4PM –5PM
    • Where: Delfino4004
  • Public Policy Breakfast
    • When: Wednesday, March 7th–7AM –8:15AM
    • Where: Lido 3105
  • Telehealth on the Hill: How Policy is Ushering Change
    • When: Thursday March 8th –2:30PM –3:30PM
    • Where: Sands Show Room

We continue to track NJ Assembly and Senate Bills that affect Healthcare IT. Below are recent activities:

Authorizes healthcare providers to engage in telehealth and telemedicine

Senate bill NJ S291 seeks to authorize providers to engage in telehealth and telemedicine and reimburse for these services. On Thursday November 3, 2017 at 1pm, the amended bill was passed by the NJ Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. 

Establishes Electronic Health Information Technology Fund

Assembly Bill 3713 and Senate Bill 1574 were introduced in 2016 .  These identical bills establish the Electronic Health Information Technology Fund, to be known as the e-HIT fund, in the Department of Banking and Insurance, in order to provide a guaranteed source of funding to support the implementation of a Statewide health information technology plan in New Jersey.

NJ Cybersecurity Commission

Assembly Bill A2265 and Senate Bill S808 were introduced in 2016.  These identical bills create the New Jersey Cybersecurity Commission in the Office of the Attorney General, consisting of thirteen members.

Senate Bill S808 was passed by the Senate (36-0) on December 19,2016

The purpose of the commission is to bring public and private sector experts together to make recommendations as to ways in which New Jersey may become both a leader in cybersecurity and improve its own cybersecurity infrastructure. The commission is directed to:

  • identify high risk cybersecurity issues facing the State;

  • provide advice and recommendations related to securing New Jersey's State networks, systems, and data;

  • provide suggestions for the addition of cybersecurity to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management's response capabilities, in consultation with the New Jersey Office of Information Technology;

  • present recommendations for science, technology, engineering, and math educational and training programs for all ages, offered through elementary schools, community colleges, and universities;

  • offer strategies to advance private sector cybersecurity economic development opportunities;

  • provide suggestions for coordinating the review of and assessing opportunities for cybersecurity private sector growth as it relates to military facilities and defense activities in New Jersey;

  • offer suggestions for promoting awareness of cyber hygiene among the State's citizens, businesses, and government entities; and

  • gather data about cybersecurity and cybersecurity threats and issue an annual report of its summary of the data collected to the Governor, including any recommendations for changes in laws or regulations concerning cybersecurity, information and technology, or other general matters of public safety related thereto.