The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Advocacy Summit was held March 20-21, 2023, in Washington, DC, USA. There were over 200 attendees for the educational sessions that were provided on March 20th, and approximately 150 AHIMA members who met with Representatives and Senators on March 21st.

Educational topics included:

  • the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights,
  • advancing data for better health,
  • the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA),
  • protecting health data privacy in an interconnected world,
  • data quality and patient safety through improved patient identification and matching,
  • end-user perspective in health IT policy and standards and,
  • the future of artificial intelligence.

AHIMA’s Lauren Riplinger and Kate McFadyen moderated discussions on several of these topics.

Meetings with Representatives and Senators were held at the corresponding offices for each Component Association. AHIMA members were advocating for removal of Section 510 of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. Section 510 has been an item of concern for many years, as the language in the bill is an obstacle to creation of a nationwide patient identification system.  Without a nationwide patient identification system, HIM professionals face issues that include duplication of services, misidentification of patients, and other patient safety problems.

The other topic AHIMA members were advocating for was Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) data. A recent study conducted by National Opinion Research Center (NORC) identified challenges related to lack of standardization of data collection, lack of integration of data into health records, insufficient training about data collection, and limited use of SDOH data. AHIMA members were asking for introduction of legislation to provide federal funding for training on collection of SDOH data.

While the AHIMA Advocacy Summit was only a two-day event, Public Policy and Government Affairs professionals continue to work year-round in the Washington, D.C. office to pursue advocacy efforts on the AHIMA advocacy agenda.



Leah Grebner, PhD, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA

Program Director, Health Information Technology

Department of Health Careers

Illinois Central College