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 Sponsors Congressional Briefing on Interoperability (Washington DC, June 2016)
Nearly 100 Congressional staffers attended a briefing on the current state of interoperability, highlighted by a panel of healthcare provider executives who discussed their accomplishments in the secure exchange of clinical information beyond the walls of their organizations. The panel reinforced the Association's position that additional legislation is unnecessary to achieve broad-based interoperability among healthcare organizations, especially where such legislative proposals target areas that would either be duplicative or even disruptive of current private sector efforts. View Fact Sheet.

EHR Association Provides Guidance to ONC on Measuring Interoperability (Chicago, June 2016)
In its response to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC's) request for information (RFI) regarding assessing interoperability, the Association called on ONC to use metrics and measures that currently exist as part of the meaningful use program rather than asking providers to collect new data that may not be relevant to patient care. View detailed response.

EHR Association Responds to CMS' MACRA/MIPS Proposal (Chicago, June 2016)
Recognizing the complexity of the MACRA legislation, the Association expressed appreciation that CMS considered a variety of comments from a diverse set of stakeholders in developing the proposed rule. In their detailed comments, the Association emphasized that some of the complexities in the proposed rule will lead to many significant changes and implications for eligible clinicians. The EHRA urged CMS to take every possible step to dramatically simplify requirements in the final rule and to develop provider-focused communications to reduce complexity. View detailed comments.

Electronic Health Record Association Annual Elections Bring In New Leaders and Retain Experienced Leadership (Chicago, June 2016).
The Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association, a trade association of companies that provide the vast majority of EHRs to hospitals and physicians across the US, announced new leadership for the coming year after their annual elections in May. The Association strives to balance its leadership positions among representatives from both large and small member companies that serve both the enterprise and ambulatory markets. Read full press release.

EHR Association Responds to ONC's Proposed Expansion of Health IT Oversight (Chicago, May 2016)
The Association is generally positive regarding proposals related to Accredited Testing Labs (ATLs) and broader release of surveillance results included in ONC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the ONC Health IT Certification Program: Enhanced Oversight and Accountability. However, the Association believes strongly that this ONC proposal for direct review of certified health IT inappropriately expands ONC's role in certification far beyond its current scope. They express specific concerns and opposition to the proposal to extend certification authority to non-certified capabilities, which would require new and complex processes to assess such capabilities where there are no criteria against which to evaluate conformance. View detailed comments.

Electronic Health Record Association announces the release of Version 2 of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct (Chicago, February 2016)
The Code of Conduct, first released in 2013, is a transparent set of industry principles that reflect a commitment to safe healthcare delivery, continued innovation, and high integrity, was developed by the Association and updated reflect the rapidly evolving health IT industry. This revision is the result of a collaborative effort of EHR Association members, many of whom have adopted the Code, along with several stakeholder groups that provided feedback during the update process.

EHR Association Responds to CMS RFI on eCQMs (Chicago,February 2016)
The EHR Association expresses appreciation to the CMS for the opportunity to comment on their Request for Information on the certification frequency and requirements for the reporting of clinical quality measures (CQMs). In their detailed feedback and recommendations, however, they expressed concerns that the areas focused on in the RFI will provide little improvement to the actual quality of the submission of the CQM data to CMS, and may not streamline or reduce the burden of electronic quality measurement on providers, hospitals, and health IT developers.

EHRA and ACP Co-host Usability Workshop (Chicago, December 2015)
The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) co-sponsored their first open usability workshop in Chicago on December 8. The objective was to engage clinicians, EHR developers, and usability experts in a forum to discuss opportunities to improve how EHRs are designed, developed, implemented, and used in a variety of clinical settings. With the accelerated adoption of these systems driven by the EHR Incentive Program and other delivery system reform efforts, improved usability is widely recognized as critical to achieving the benefits that providers expect from their EHR investments - more efficient, effective patient care and support for new care models.

EHRA Submits Comments on CMS’ Proposed MU3 Rule (Chicago, December 2015)
Using a collaborative approach to reflect the expertise of its members, EHRA submitted its comments on the CMS proposed final rule on meaningful use Stage 3. They express concern about the impact of the comment period on the timeline, given that there could be additional requirements driven by other HHS programs (e.g., MIPS) that could add functionality and require rework for both EHR developers and their customers. EHRA also notes a number of inconsistencies and areas that require clarification from CMS.

EHRA Responds to ONC’s Proposed 2015 Edition Certification Criteria (Chicago, December 2015)
Reflecting the expertise of health IT developers who focus on the EHR Incentive Program requirements for meaningful use and certification, EHRA members worked collaboratively to ensure that their collective experiences are brought to bear as policymakers work to finalize these requirements. EHRA suggests a number of format improvements that will help both EHR developers and providers to better understand the criteria and reporting requirements, and reiterates the need for thorough documentation and testing tools to be available as early as possible.

EHRA Responds to CMS’ RFI on new provisions in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA): Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and physician-focused payment models (PFPMs) (Chicago, November 2015)
The EHRA reiterates its belief that EHRs and other health information technologies are foundational to healthcare payment reform, specifically new payment models based on patient-centered outcomes, quality improvement, and reducing costs. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to help providers optimize the use of technology as they transition to APMs.

EHRA Provides Insights to ONC on Their Interoperability Standards Advisory (Chicago, November 2015)
In its response to the ONC Draft 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA), the EHR Association expressed appreciation that the ISA expresses standards and interoperability specifications in the context of clearly-defined use cases and interoperability needs. However, the EHRA sees the need for further clarification and specificity to better evaluate the appropriateness of some proposed standards or implementation specifications, particularly as some might need to be split into more discrete descriptions of the market and user needs.

EHR Association Comments on ONC's Proposed Patient Safety Collaboratory (Chicago, October 2015)
The EHRA provided extensive comments to ONC on its proposed Patient Safety Collaboratory, agreeing with the emphasis on culture, rather than prescriptive solutions to the complex questions around health IT and patient safety. We expressed our support for the report as well balanced across all stakeholders and issues, and aligning with EHRA positions that there are shared responsibilities among all stakeholders and that an open dialog is essential to a learning healthcare system.

EHR Association Responds to ONC’s Report on Information Blocking (October 2015)
In April, 2015, ONC issued the “Report on Health Information Blocking” in response to a request from Congress to report on the extent of health information blocking and propose a comprehensive strategy to address it. In its response, the EHRA notes the consideration with which ONC identified the potential and real challenges, as well as ideas to minimize information blocking, and looks forward to working with ONC and other stakeholders to establish an environment where the right data can flow to the right party at the right time, using a minimum set of agreed upon standards that are always available, while allowing space for innovation to further improve on how data best can be shared across all stakeholders.

EHR Association Comments on the PFS NPRM (Chicago, September 2015)
EHRA has responded to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), CY 2016 Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Medicare Part B, reiterating their position that EHRs and other health information technologies are foundational to healthcare payment reform, including new payment models based on outcomes and quality. Details of those comments are available here.

EHR Association Publishes Interoperability FAQs (Chicago, August 2015)
EHRA is making their Interoperability Frequently Asked Questions available to help all stakeholders understand the basic tenets of this complex topic. The Association is encouraging its members and others to use it as an educational tool to move this important work forward. 

EHRA Sponsors Provider Exec Panel on Interoperability (Washington DC, July 2015)
Congressional staff meeting packet here.