Friday, July 25, 2014

NAHAM Requests Addition of Health Access Positions to Department of Labor's Standard Occupational Classification

The NAHAM Special Projects Committee recently submitted a request to the Department of Labor asking that the Standard Occupational Classification include health access managers and coordinators as distinct occupational classifications. NAHAM's Special Projects Committee worked hard to compile information on duties and responsibilities that are uniform across the health access field.

Politico reported on this letter in the "Morning Health" newsletter. Find their report below:


Seventeen health IT industry groups signed a letter to the Department of Labor this week requesting a new Standard Occupational Classification for the position of Health Informatics Practitioner. Presently, the classifications for health care lack codes associated with health informatics occupations. Due to lack of an official code, colleges and universities find it difficult to develop new academic programs, students in health informatics can't apply for federal aid, and health informatics practitioners can't fill in their correct occupational data on the U.S. Census, according to industry leaders. The HITECH Act of 2009 designated $118 million for workforce development, the letter points out, but new codes have not been created for all those jobs yet. "Collecting reliable and valid data for the health informatics occupation can be completed through the multiple discipline-specific professional associations and societies, but would be significantly improved with a [Standard Occupational Classification]," the groups write in the letter. Currently, they say, "there is a lack of appropriate career representation, both from work performed and a required education perspective." The letter writers include the Alliance of Nursing Informatics, the American Health Information Management Association, the American Medical Informatics Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and various university, federal and state health informatics departments.