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U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health

The Biden-Harris Administration is building on the work to advance health equity by creating the first playbook for Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). The White House, along with Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have created a plan through three pillars: 

  • Pillar 1: Expand Data Gathering and Sharing 
    • Advance data collection and interoperability 
  • Pillar 2: Support Flexible Funding to Address Social Needs 
    • Identify how flexible use of funds could align investments across sectors to finance community infrastructure (including grants) and encourage coordinated use of resources to improve health outcomes. 
  • Pillar 3: Support Backbone Organizations 
    • Support the development of community backbone organizations to link health care systems to community-based organizations. (e.g. North Carolina’s NCCARE 360 electronically connects North Carolinians who have unmet social needs to community resources.) 

Check out the playbook.


Health and Human Services Releases Language Access Plan 

Under the Health and Human Services (HHS) plan, each agency under the purview of HHS shall ensure access to timely, quality language assistance services for individuals with limited English proficiency. Through a Language Access Steering Committee, HHS will:

  1. Update the Department’s language access policies
  2. Develop and maintain a record of the Department’s efforts to regularly assess and take necessary steps to improve of language assistance services
  3. Annually report to the Secretary on progress made by each HHS division

View the HHS Language Access Plan

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Occupational Code Assignment Form Sent to O*NET

With the support from 42 organizations, AMIA submitted an Occupational Code Assignment (OCA) form application to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) advocating for a clinical informatics code. This is a HUGE win for AMIA and the first step to our goal of clinical informatics inclusion in the next updated Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Codes. Review the application sent to O*NET.

For more information on the process and efforts, AMIA has authored a webpage dedicated to background and advocacy, which includes a unique occupational code relevant to clinical informatics. The page also contains information on our recent efforts and what to anticipate in the coming years.

National Academy of Medicine Engages AMIA in Healthcare Conversation 

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Digital Health Action Collaborative hosted an issue framing conversation on LLMs/Generative AI in Health and Medicine. The goal? To enhance common understanding among health professionals and health system leaders, technology developers, and government agencies of the nature and health and health care implications of large language models/generative AI, including the possible benefits, risks, and necessary guideposts, and guardrails. Several AMIA members were key in planning and presenting at the event, including Kenneth Mandl, Philip Payne, Peter Embi, and Jackie Gerhart. AMIA public policy staff participated. 

Disincentives for Health Care Providers Committing Information Blocking 

Health and Humans Services (HHS), The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and CMS have released a proposed rule that is the first steps for holding health care providers accountable for information blocking. The proposed rule would apply to certain health care providers that have been found to have committed information blocking by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG). Public comment deadline for the proposed rule is January 2, 2024.

NIH RFI – Consent Language for Research Using Digital Health Technologies 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting information regarding the useability of sample language for use in informed consent documents for digital health technologies utilized in research. NIH is interested in input on the specific language proposed in the informed consent sample language and on any gaps or additions that should be included. Additionally, NIH is looking for any potential hurdles or barriers to the voluntary use by the community, and other feedback relevant to this resource. NIH did express this resource is completely voluntary. Deadline to respond is December 12, 2023.

Review the NIH RFI on consent language for research.

FDA Creating Digital Health Advisory Committee 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is calling for nominations for its new Digital Health Advisory Committee. This Committee will provide advice on scientific and technical issues related to digital health technologies (DHTs) including regulation and their use. DHT topics could consist of AI/ML, augmented reality, virtual reality, digital therapeutics, wearables, remote patient monitoring, and software. The Committee would advise the FDA Commissioner on issues related to DHTs, for example, real-world data, real-world evidence, patient-generated health data, interoperability, use of DHTs in clinical trials for medical products, cybersecurity, DHT user experience, and Agency policies and regulations regarding these technologies. FDA plans for this new committee to begin in 2024. 
The FDA is accepting applications for nominations until December 11, 2023.
Learn more about the new Digital Health Advisory Committee.

National Institutes of Health RFI on Updating the NIH Mission Statement 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced a Request for Information (RFI) inviting suggestions on the proposed update to their mission statement. The input NIH is seeking to the new mission statement includes, but is not limited to, feedback on the statement’s reflection of the goals and objectives in the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 and suggestions for specific language that could be added to the proposed mission statement and why. 

It currently reads as:

  • “To seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” 

The proposed mission statement: 

  • “To seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to optimize health and prevent or reduce illness for all people.” 

Responses to NIH must be submitted by November 24 at 11:59 pm ET. Learn more about the RFI and how to submit.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) “Change Maker” Campaign

AMIA is joining the NAM “Change Maker” Campaign as a follow up to their Clinician Well-Being Collaborative. This public campaign will celebrate all the ways organizations are institutionalizing well-being as a long-term value across the nation. AMIA was an early endorser of the NAM’s National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being.

All Change Makers will build on their well-being efforts by affirming their commitment to Priority Area 6 of the National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being: "Institutionalize Well-Being as a Long-Term Value." Additionally, NAM Change Makers will have opportunities to shape Collaborative activities, such as the inaugural National Health Worker Well-Being Day in 2024 and other Collaborative events. All Change Makers will receive public recognition of their role through a 2023-2024 Change Maker for Health Workforce Well-Being Badge that can be displayed on websites, social media, and other promotional materials. 

Given AMIA’s ongoing position on improving the well-being of the health workforce by reducing documentation burden with the lead efforts by the 25x5 Task Force, we are excited to join! Learn more about the “Change Maker” Campaign. 

Around the Web

AMIA’s Washington Download is your source for health informatics policy news and information from around the Beltway, covering action from the Hill, the Administration, and important AMIA collaborators.