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President's Letter April 2017

April 10th 2017

AHIMA Advocacy Summit
March 26 - 29, 2017

What an amazing experience we had in Washington DC! Michelle Edwards, MeHIMA President Elect and I, Linda Pooler, MeHIMA President, were honored to attend the AHIMA Advocacy Summit and represent Maine! This year ONLY three states were unable to attend the Advocacy Summit…amazing attendance numbers. 

We attended meetings for two days, to help prepare us for our “Congressional Appointments” (appointments had been set up for us months in advance!). We had several very dynamic speakers that shared pertinent information to help us understand the issues at hand and what was expected from us, as AHIMA advocates. Speaker topics included:

  • informative explanations of the different AHIMA committees and what thestructure, goals and purposes are
  • Inspiring Innovation and Change: OCR, HIPAA and YOU – Devon McGraw, Deputy Director, Health Information Privacy, Office of Civil Rights, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • We’re All in This Together: Getting to know the FTC – Cora Han, Senior Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Federal Trade Commission
  • 2017 Healthcare Landscape: A Strategic Scan – Lauren Riplinger, Senior Director, Federal Relations, AHIMA
  • Keynote Speaker was Aneesh Chopra, President, NavHealth (named in Modern healthcare’s list of top 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 2011). He was a very dynamic and explained that his company “incubates ideas that improve the productivity of health and education markets”. He simplified so many processes pertaining to IT that you had to wonder why these things get so convoluted in some companies. Very enlightening.
The AHIMA Topic of “Patient Matching” was our “agenda” item this year (see attached “Patient Matching” sheet for details). The biggest take away was to ask that AHIMA/MeHIMA be at the table when healthcare issues are debated and decided on…we ARE the experts in the Health Information Management field.   

Both Michelle and I met with and discussed the above topic with Representative Bruce Poliquin (who arranged a private tour of the Capitol for us!), Patrick O’Neil (on behalf of Senator Angus King) and Sarah Khasawinah (on behalf of Senator Susan Collins). All were extremely gracious and even took notes during our meeting…we shared a packet of information briefly giving an overview of what the HIM Profession entails and our stance and concerns on Patient Matching.  

We had evenings to explore the city and spent lots of time walking and taking in all the history and cherry blossoms, which were at peak while we were there.  I wanted to thank KBH for supporting and enabling me the opportunity to be away from my duties to attend this educational session and grow professionally; it is much appreciated and never taken for granted!

Linda J Pooler, RHIT
MeHIMA President

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