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AMIA members lead virtual briefing for Congress on ethical AI in healthcare and burden reduction

Washington, DC – This week, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) hosted its first-ever AMIA Virtual Hill Day, taking member leaders to see approximately 40 federal legislative offices.

On April 2 and April 3, AMIA member experts came together to discuss ensuring responsible AI integration in healthcare and the reduction of documentation burden and access increase. Subject matter experts met with the AI Task Force, Senate HELP and Finance Committees, and House Ways and Means Committee.

Outcomes Research Director at Merck and AMIA Public Policy Committee Chair Carl Johnson, MD, EDM, MSC, expressed that this two-day event gave participants insights into how lawmakers are thinking and an opportunity to see how they can better incorporate biomedical informatics into decision-making around innovation and advancement of heath care in the 21st Century. Dr. Johnson said, “A 21st Century approach to connecting subject matter experts in biomedical informatics with law makers and their offices is a significant outcome of AMIA’s first-ever Virtual Hill Day. The inaugural event offered AMIA the opportunity to better understand how lawmakers think, understand, and can support advancing the growing expertise and innovation within AMIA for healthcare issues that matter to their constituents that they represent.”

To encourage innovation while prioritizing patient wellbeing through responsible development and oversight of healthcare AI, AMIA recommended the following:

  1. Require transparency in the function of AI tools that clearly explains intended use and data context in non-technical language.
  2. Validate and monitor healthcare AI.
  3. Minimize or limit any possible increase in documentation burden for providers and patients caused by policies regulating the use of AI tools in healthcare.
  4. Work directly with clinical informaticians when developing and implementing national AI policies.  

The AMIA 25x5 Task Force’s aim is to alleviate documentation burden on U.S. health professionals. The Task Force’s vision is to reduce burden to 25 percent by the end of 2026 so health professionals can better focus on their patients’ needs and, ultimately, improve health outcomes. To help reach their goals, virtual visitors to the Hill recommended:

  1. Prior authorization (PA) be reformed due to the required onerous documentation needed to support it. PA is a major source of burden for clinicians, health systems, and patients in need of medically necessary care. AMIA members recommended reforming PA by passing the:
    1. Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care (Seniors’) Act and
    2. Getting Over Lengthy Delays in Care as Required by Doctors (GOLD CARD) Act (H.R. 4968).
  2. Funding research on the economic impact of excess documentation burden.

On April 23, AMIA will host a webinar to share more about the event and discuss upcoming activities.

In preparation for the event, AMIA members completed a 90-minute training. Participants were briefed on the current landscape of Congress, the structure of Virtual Hill Day, and best practices allowing for a fluid day of visits.

AMIA members are subject matter experts in the science and practice of informatics as it relates to clinical care research, education, and policy. AMIA membership includes stakeholders from across the spectrum of medical informatics, including clinical and health informatics professionals to translational; clinical informatics scientists, researchers, and educators; biomedical and health science librarians; informatics students; developers and computer, artificial intelligence, and data scientists; government officials and policymakers; consultants and industry professionals; corporations; and academic institutions. With a strong and diverse membership, AMIA member experts are poised to provide expert information on relevant health informatics topics including burden reduction and ethical AI in healthcare.   

About AMIA

AMIA is the professional home for more than 5,500 informatics professionals, representing frontline clinicians, researchers, public health experts, and educators who bring meaning to data, manage information, and generate new knowledge across the research and healthcare enterprise. As the voice of the nation’s biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA plays a leading role in advancing health and wellness by moving basic research findings from bench to bedside, and evaluating interventions, innovations and public policy across care settings and patient populations.