GAHIMSS Advocacy Update

Georgia Health IT Day is celebrated yearly in partnership with TAG Health. The day begins with a legislative resolution proclaiming Health IT Day at the Capitol. The luncheon program holds a uniqu theme and features a panel of  industry leaders. The day continued with advocacy visits and concluded with a networking reception hosted by GA HIMSS.


Please see below for the 2017 Legislative Asks that were discussed during the advocacy office visits on GA HIT Day:

 Recommendations To advance cyber readiness, HIMSS urges Congress to ensure the health sector has a champion at HHS encouraging stakeholders to be proactive and relentlessly vigilant about cybersecurity. Specifically, Congress should pass legislation that would:

1. Elevate the HHS Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to be a peer of the HHS Chief Information Officer (CIO).

2. Require the CISO role responsibilities include both internal and external portfolios, including responsibility for creating a sectorspecific plan to establish goals and priorities for cybersecurity.

Examples of these include the following:

a. Ensuring adequate threat and asset response, and a plan of action for such effective response, such as the use of a universal framework for information privacy and security,

b. Focusing on holistic security1 , and educating the sector on what that would entail (including software manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers, health plans, and others),

c. Fostering interdependence between the health sector and additional critical infrastructure sectors,

d. Expanding the pool of qualified cybersecurity personnel to work in the health sector, 1 Holistic security means that an organization’s security program is implemented and integrated in all levels (and departments) of an organization. Security becomes everyone’s responsibility – not relegated as an “IT problem”. Everyone gets trained, gets aware, and has the tools (and knowledge) to improve the security posture of the organization. Necessarily, a change management process must be put into place to achieve a robust security program throughout an organization. Holistic security is the antithesis of security (cybersecurity) “just” being an IT problem. In context, healthcare organizations face a significant cultural barrier in that IT security is often viewed as an IT problem, and they do not have the support, nor the resources, to move forward with their initiatives. continued

e. Advancing workforce education on privacy and security awareness at health-related organizations and a plan of action to enable the same, such as through the widespread dissemination of key messages prominently displayed in common areas (e.g., breakrooms),

f. Incorporating lessons learned from Health IT Regional Extension Centers and other successful programs to advance greater outreach to small providers,

g. Advancing bidirectional, timely cyber threat information sharing between the federal government and health sector stakeholders2, such as through the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), the Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC) and other means3 , and

h. Advancing the state of health IT by creating a plan of action that incorporates privacy and security best practices.







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Georgia State Senate



Recognizing January 25, 2018 as Health Information Technology Day at the state capitol; and for other purposes.


  1. WHEREAS, Atlanta is often referred to as the health information technology capital of the United States; and
  2. WHEREAS, health information technology provides the umbrella framework to describe the comprehensive management of heath information across computerized systems and its secure exchange between consumers, providers, government and quality entities, and insurers; and
  3. WHEREAS, there are more than 225 health information technology companies in Georgia, a number that continues to rise rapidly; and
  4. WHEREAS, the health information technology industry in Georgia already leads the nation with approximately 30,000 employees, their mission being to improve patient services and reduce health care costs; and
  5. WHEREAS, the following eight Georgia based health IT companies are ranked among the 2017 Healthcare Informatics 100 List: CIOX Health, Cotiviti, nThrive, Greenway Health, Brightree, Sharecare, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, and Navicure; and
  6. WHEREAS, the eight metro Atlanta companies ranked among the top 100 in the nation by Healthcare Informatics Magazine have cumulative revenues totaling close to $5 billion; and
  7. WHEREAS, Georgia’s health information technology employment growth is among the highest in the nation, with a growth rate of more than 20 percent in the past five years alone; and
  8. WHEREAS, The Technology Association of Georgia Health society’s mission is to be a catalyst for furthering Georgia as a leader in healthcare technology, through opportunities in education, networking and collaboration by working with society members, community leaders and industry stakeholders to create an environment that will facilitate the realization of this mission; and
  9. WHEREAS, The Georgia Chapter of the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (GAHIMSS) provides statewide leadership for the advancement and management of healthcare information and technology, which it encompasses over 1800 healthcare IT professionals; The GA HIMSS mission is to actively engage our members, sponsors, partners and legislators in improving health and health care in Georgia through healthcare information and management systems; and
  10. WHEREAS, the Institute for Healthcare Information Technology partners with industry, government, the Technical College System of Georgia and the University System of Georgia to raise awareness of this emerging workforce and to adjust education options available to Georgia schools.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE Georgia Senate that the members of this body commend TAG Health, GAHIMSS, IHIT, and the health information technology industry on their efforts to grow the economy by supporting businesses and facilitating industry and education partnerships.