Tuesday, June 30, 2009

AHDI and MTIA Begin Work with Dewey Square Group on Advocacy Strategy for Important Year Ahead

AHDI and MTIA recently began employing the services of the Dewey Square Group (DSG), a well-respected lobbying firm in Washington, DC. By working with DSG, we will hone our advocacy strategy and increase our access to members of Congress, officials at administrative agencies, and other important government decision makers. Our work with DSG has already begun to pay dividends. Based on a strategy we designed with DSG, we carried out the following advocacy efforts last week.

Over four dozen AHDI and MTIA members responded to the advocacy alert asking members to submit comments to the HIT Policy Committee concerning the body’ draft description of “meaningful use.” By doing so, we educated the Committee and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on the crucial role healthcare documentation professionals and medical transcription service organizations (MTSOs) play in ensuring the accuracy, completeness, and integrity of patient health information and the need for that role to be recognized within the definition of “meaningful use.” This week, with DSG’s support, we will spread our message even further by sharing the comments with federal legislators, including key members of the Congressional committees with jurisdiction over healthcare issues.

We also submitted written testimony to the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulations and Healthcare, which held a hearing last week concerning the challenges solo and small group practices face in adopting health information technology (IT) and the implementation policies in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to promote Health IT adoption. Our testimony addressed the importance of healthcare documentation professionals and MTSOs for quality documentation, shared concerns we have regarding the financial effects of new HIPAA standards on small MTSOs, and called for collaboration, technical assistance, and financial support in light of those concerns.

Such advocacy efforts will enable us to make a greater impact on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in Washington, DC. As we work with DSG more in the future, AHDI and MTIA members must continue to be strong advocates for the profession and industry. Together we can ensure that Congress and the Obama Administration realize we are vital to quality documentation and successful EHR adoption and take into account the sector’s valuable contributions when creating legislation and regulations.

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