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

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