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CHIME boosts political and business profiles

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is flexing its political muscle and boosting its business profile.

CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell, in a statement timed to accompany a letter from 30 House lawmakers to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services pressing for immediate relief from 2015 meaningful use requirements, promised to “fight for policies to make meaningful use meaningful in 2015.”

The Dec. 17 CHIME statement also came on the same day CMS announced that more than half of U.S. physicians will be penalized in 2015 for failing to attest to meaningful use in 2013 and 2014.

Branzell applauded Reps. Renee Ellmers, R-North Carolina, and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, the lead co-sponsors of the so-called Flex-IT bill, supported by CHIME and 15 other healthcare groups, which would shorten the meaningful use to 90 days from 365 days.

“We are encouraged by the bipartisan letter,” Branzell said in the statement.

In a separate move, CHIME has formalized a partnership agreement, first announced in October, with KLAS Enterprises, an independent health IT market research firm.

Under the agreement, CHIME and KLAS plan to co-develop best practice and benchmarking studies, start an industry recognition program for the health IT executives, distribute KLAS research briefs produced for members of CHIME and its affiliated groups and offer discounts on KLAS services to CHIME members.

In a release, KLAS founder Kent Gale said: “By partnering with CHIME, we can assist the industry’s IT vendor and service firms to excel, align their goals and objectives with client success, and become key drivers of innovation.”

“To keep pace with the healthcare industry’s rapidly changing environment, our goal is to get critical, timely market data into the hands of our members, so they can make informed decisions and effectively lead their organizations,” Branzell said in the release.

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