AHIMA Goal: 40,000 More HIM Jobs
A new initiative from the American Health Information Management Association seeks to create at least 40,000 HIM jobs to build and maintain electronic health records.
“The HIM Jobs for America” initiative is two-fold and builds off AHIMA’s ongoing work to provide HIM curricula to universities and community colleges.
Under a demonstration program, AHIMA is working with the HHS Office of Minority Health and North Shore Medical Labs in Williston, N.Y., to bring health I.T. to 100 small-practice physicians in underserved communities in Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina. HHS has identified the communities, AHIMA will recruit physicians and provide free I.T. training to providers and staff, and North Shore will donate Web-based electronic health records/practice management/patient portal software from Nortec Software Inc.
Abid Sheikh is president of North Shore Medical Labs and CIO of Nortec Software, but the companies are separate entities, he says. Sheikh has committed up to $1.5 million in software to the demonstration program. If successful, HHS, AHIMA and North Shore will approach other vendors to expand the program and offer I.T. and educational services to other communities.
The second plank of the HIT Jobs for America program is a legislative push to get federal approval of employer tax credits for providing HIM training or additional training to new and current HIM workers. AHIMA also will seek employer tax credits for existing HIT professionals who pass the association’s competency examinations in lieu of formal training. AHIMA offers 10-week, Web-based courses to prepare for the exams.
AHIMA has not yet decided if it will try to get tax credit language inserted into the Obama Administration’s American Jobs Act recently sent to Congress, or use another legislative vehicle.