Over 2023, AMIA made immense progress in our policy initiatives, including engaging more AMIA members in policy, expanding AMIA's network among public and private healthcare stakeholders, and establishing member-validated policy "North Star" priorities for the next several years. These four North Stars, passed in September, will guide AMIA's proactive leadership. AMIA's policy work is led by the Public Policy Committee (PPC), who engage with the 25x5 Task Force and other AMIA Committees throughout the year.
See a non-comprehensive list of AMIA's policy projects below. For more information, please visit the updated policy section on AMIA.org.
Policy "North Star" Priorities and Related Projects and Wins
1. Support the healthcare workforce by advancing the field of informatics and reducing burden on clinicians.
- 25x5's Policy & Advocacy Workstream drafted two policy briefs outlining their recommendations to federal policy makers to reduce documentation burden.
- Joined the National Academies of Medicine (NAM) Changemakers to advance NAM's National Plan for Health Workforce Well-Being.
- Received 42 sign-ons supporting AMIA's application to the Department of Labor to create a "Clinical Informatics" Occupational Code and/or adequately updating existing codes. Learn more.
2. Advocate for evidence-based care and decision-support through informatics, including through machine-learning and AI.
- Collaborated with Harvard Medical School's Division of Clinical Informatics (DCi) to host a conference discussing regulatory pathways to use ethical AI in healthcare. Several papers and policy materials and events are expected to come out of this meeting. See more about the conference.
- Engaged with Coalition for Health AI (CHAI) to advance AI best practices and consider how we may work together in 2024.
- Convened other groups outside of AMIA to gather information on their AI priorities and projects and how AMIA may engage and help reduce redundancies in the AI/healthcare policy landscape.
- Engaged with the Health and Human Services (HHS) AI Task Force and HHS Chief IT Officer.
3. Advocate for health IT solutions that ameliorate systemic biases and discrimination.
- Encouraged Congress to pass the Telehealth Expansion Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would meaningfully expand healthcare access by allowing employers and health plans to continue providing telehealth services coverage on a pre-deducible basis for Americans with high-deductible health plans coupled with Health Savings Accounts through 2024. See the sign-on letter.
- Encouraging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to update their mission statement to include language that focuses on research and applied, evidence-based knowledge. Find out more.
- Pushing NIH to make consent language easily understandable and accessible to all patients, keeping in mind that many are not immersed in technology jargon.
4. Advocate for ongoing funding for the field, including informatics research.
More AMIA Wins in 2023
- Submitted a total of 17 comment responses to federal agencies making 2023 the highest year of submissions since 2018! See AMIA's comprehensive list of comments in 2023.
- Consistently served as a resource to the National Academies of Medicine (NAM) Digital Health Action Collaborative, which works to advance the digital infrastructure necessary for continuous improvement and innovation in health, health care, and evidence deployment.
- Engaged more AMIA members outside of the normal policy channels by hosting a webinar focused on explaining the Federal Public Comment process and how AMIA members may participate.
What's in Store for 2024?
Some major AMIA Policy projects for 2024 include:
- The National Libraries of Medicine (NLM) asked AMIA to educate NLM's Associate Fellows on informatics and policy. This fellowship is a one-year postgraduate training program designed to provide broad education in health sciences information services.
- AMIA Virtual Hill Day will take place this spring. Approximately 40 AMIA member leaders will meet with key congressional offices to discuss AMIA's four North Star priorities. This will be the first AMIA Hill Day in years!
- Anticipating the federal government will publish a solicitation for information regarding their Standard Occupational Classification system. If the solicitation is published, AMIA will submit a comment letter and will engage the 42 organizations who supported the "Clinical Informatics" application to support the comment letter as well.
- The PPC will review and update AMIA's Public Policy Principles, which were initially published in 2020. These Principles are key in AMIA forming AMIA's comment responses to federal agencies.
Engage with AMIA's Policy Work
How can you engage with AMIA's policy work if you're not a member of the AMIA Public Policy Committee?
Let us know if you'd like to be tapped by AMIA staff when a relevant opportunity is available.