HIMSS EHR Association

The HIMSS Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association is a trade association of Electronic Health Record (EHR) companies, addressing national efforts to create interoperable EHRs in hospital and ambulatory care settings. The EHR Association operates on the premise that the rapid, widespread adoption of EHRs will help improve the quality of patient care as well as the productivity and sustainability of the healthcare system.

News and Resources

EHRA Underscores Its Support of Federal Government Focus on Interoperability (December 2014)
The EHR Association (EHRA) today reiterated its position that the federal government’s heightened focus on interoperability is appropriate, and that more measurement and evaluation in this critical area can ensure forward movement in the industry. The Association has been and continues to be supportive of government efforts to fully understand and address challenges associated with data exchange. The members of the Association, in serving the health information technology needs of the vast majority of hospitals and medical practices in the country, already facilitate hundreds of thousands of information exchange transactions every month, and that number is rapidly increasing.

EHR Association Responds to the PCAST Report, Big Data and Privacy: A Technological Perspective (October 2014)
In “Balancing the Need for Privacy and the Value of Big Data,” EHRA responds to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report Big Data and Privacy: A Technological Perspective, published in May 2014.
Representing its nearly 40 members, the Association stresses the importance to better address health information specific privacy issues as EHR adoption has accelerated to support data aggregation in various forms that may have the risk of compromising an individual’s privacy while providing potential benefits to society as a whole. The full EHRA response is available here.

EHR Association Responds to ONC's Request for Input on the 10-Year Interoperability Roadmap (September 2014)
Led by their Standards & Interoperability Workgroup, EHRA members offer their collective answers to the questions asked by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) in establishing a practical roadmap for the next 10 years that substantially improves the level of end-to-end interoperability across providers and with patients and other stakeholders - for example, payers, secondary data users, agencies, registries, and researchers. EHRA proposes to build upon the solutions defined by Meaning Use Stage 2 to be nationally deployed starting in 2014 and more broadly in 2015. 

EHRA Response to CMS' Proposed Rule on Changes to the Physician Fee Schedule (September 2014)
The Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) has submitted comments to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule, Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule, Access to Identifiable Data for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Models & Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2015; Proposed Rule. The group offers specific recommendations in response to several areas of the proposed rule, including the use of CEHRT for Chronic Care Management (CCM), the alignment of the PQRS with the electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) component of the EHR Incentive Program, proposed revisions to the PQRS, and proposed changes to the EHR Incentive Program.

EHR Association Responds to Senate Finance Committee Request re Healthcare Data Sharing (August 2014)
EHRA has responded to the Senate Finance Committee’s June 12, 2014 letter requesting comments on the availability and utility of healthcare data, while considering the need to maintain and protect patient privacy. Noting the growth in EHR adoption, including new ecosystems of connected health IT that includes, but extends beyond EHRs, EHRA cites the important innovations that the associated digitization will drive – personalized medicine, population health management, data analytics, and advanced payment models. Given the critical role that EHRs will play in enabling these capabilities, EHRA urges Congress and the federal government to engage with EHR developers and the broader health IT community to help prepare for and ensure the best use of technology.

EHR Association Responds to House Committee on Energy and Commerce White Paper, "A Path to 21st Century Cures" (July 2014)
Highlighting the accomplishments of the HITECH Act in accelerating the adoption of EHRs and health IT in general, the EHR Association (EHRA) has provided their perspectives to Congress on how technology can be harnessed to advance our nation's healthcare system to be more available and effective for more Americans. In particular, the EHRA letter notes the foundational components of Stage 2 of the meaningful use incentive program related to standards and interoperability, as well as the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in promoting patient safety, improved quality, and reduced costs through the use of health IT. 

EHR Association Responds to ONC and CMS on Proposed Rule to Add Flexibility to the 2014 Meaningful Use Program (July 2014)
The EHR Association (EHRA) has submitted its comments to ONC and CMS on the proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Modifications, Revisions: Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs for 2014; Health Information Technology [http://www.noticeandcomment.com/CMS-2014-0064-fdt-39069.aspx]. In its response, EHRA emphasizes the priority of a quickly issued final rule in eliminating wasted time and effort regarding 2014 work that is well under way in both vendor and provider organizations. They urge publication of a final rule as soon as possible, noting that many physicians and hospitals will make decisions based on the proposed rule, suggesting too that ONC and CMS consider these already-made decisions as they finalize the rule. 

EHR Association Submits Response to FDASIA Report, A Proposed Strategy and Recommendations for a Risk-Based Framework (July 2014)
The EHR Association (EHRA) has responded to the Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act (FDASIA) Report for Health IT on a Proposed Strategy and Recommendations for a Risk-Based Framework. EHRA members believe that patient safety is of paramount importance, the responsibility for which is shared among all participants in the healthcare community - physicians, nurses, hospitals, clinics and other clinicians providing care to the patients; software developers and those who implement health information technology (health IT); and health information exchange (HIE) organizations. EHRA supports the approach proposed in the draft report that categorizes health IT based on the level and nature of risk, then applying appropriate oversight mechanisms. Their general comments on the proposed framework, along with detailed responses to the agencies' questions, reflect alignment with many proposals as well as recommendations in specific areas. 

EHR Association Responds to JASON Report on "A Robust Health Data Infrastructure" (July 2014)
The EHR Association (EHRA) has provided comments and suggestions on the recently released JASON Report on "A Robust Health Data Infrastructure". Led by their Standards and Interoperability Workgroup, comprised of experts in the areas on healthcare interoperability and very engaged in the development and promulgation of supporting standards, EHRA finds that the underlying goals of the report are generally good, but that its analysis of the current state is not complete or current. The Association believes that the health IT industry is further along than the report portrays, pursuing an evolutionary approach that is more realistic and sustainable than the report’s specific recommendations to achieve interoperability. 

EHR Association Comments on Proposed IPPS Rule to Align Quality Measure Programs (July 2014)
The EHR Association (EHRA) submitted its comments, developed through its usual collaborative process that engages individuals from several member companies, on the proposed changes to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System. They provided comments and recommendations in response to the CMS' continued efforts to align quality measure programs, beginning with the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) and the Medicare EHR Incentive Programs. EHRA applauds the plans to align quality measurement across CMS programs and agrees that successful alignment will greatly reduce the burden on both hospitals and the software developer community.

EHR Association Responds to Unexpected Changes to Meaningful Use FAQs from CMS (July 2014)
In an urgent letter to CMS, the EHR Association expressed concerns regarding mid-course changes to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) intended to clarify meaningful use requirements for both EHR developers and providers. The letter regarding FAQ 8231, which addresses reporting for services provided "before, during, or after" a meaningful use reporting period, describes potential impacts and provides suggested remedies.

Electronic Health Record Association Elections Move Experienced Leadership into Top Roles (June 2014)
The Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA), a trade association of companies that provide the vast majority of operational EHRs to hospitals and physicians across the US, announced new leadership for the coming year after their annual elections which took place earlier this month. Two Executive Committee members were re-elected to two-year terms, two new members were added, and a new chair and vice chair were elected. These individuals fulfill EHRA's objective to maintain balanced representation from companies that serve healthcare enterprises with both ambulatory and acute care EHRs, and companies that focus solely on the ambulatory EHR market. Read the full press release here