AHIMA Announces HIM Jobs Initiative
Coverage of AHIMA’s 83rd Convention and Exhibit in Salt Lake City continues in AHIMA Today.
At a press conference on Monday, AHIMA announced its “HIM Jobs for America” Initiative, a sustained effort to support American employment and help improve the healthcare of underserved Americans in communities across the country.
“Today we are proud to announce ‘Health Information Jobs for America,’ AHIMA’s HIM workforce initiative that includes at its core an innovative partnership uniting the health information management profession with businesses at the frontier of healthcare technology, academia, and, of course, the federal government,” said AHIMA President Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, RHIA, FAHIMA, FHIMSS, during the press conference.
AHIMA’s “HIM Jobs for America” Initiative includes a legislative platform that addresses:
- A tax credit that provides incentives for employers that provide training to prepare credentialed HIM practitioners with the core job skills demanded by an integrated electronic health information system.
- A tax credit that provides incentives for employers that provide retraining and/or additional training to current HIM workers that prepares them to contribute to the development and operation of an electronic health information environment.
- HIT Pro competency exams, which confirm that workers’ experiences and skills satisfy the nation’s need for health IT. Employers would receive equal credit for all their HIM professionals who pass the exam in lieu of formal training.
- Expanding and funding baccalaureate and graduate-level curricula to further educate the next generation of HIM professionals through incentives to accredited state and land-grant colleges and universities as well as scholarships for students who pursue an HIM degree at or beyond a baccalaureate degree.
AHIMA’s new initiative will be bolstered by its partnership with the Department of Health and Human Service and North Shore Medical Labs to provide free health IT training to providers and staff in underserved communities. North Shore will donate electronic health record software and services through Nortec Software. The demonstration program will assist physicians in small practices in Alabama, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
“Under this alliance and with HHS support, AHIMA, through our Foundation, will develop content for EHR education, help in the recruitment of physician offices, and serve to evaluate the educational programs within the initiative.” Cassidy said at the press conference. “Efforts in Mississippi and Alabama will be coordinated through the Mississippi Institute for Improvement of Geographic and Minority Health; and in North Carolina, through the North Carolina Health Information Management Association.”
AHIMA is engaged in several health information workforce initiatives that meet the standards in President Obama’s American Jobs Act. These standards include:
- Provide a demonstrable public benefit by helping advance a more effective and cost-efficient healthcare delivery system
- Create permanent, sustainable, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer employment security that cannot be outsourced