COVID-19 Federal Policy Workgroup CONCLUDES Meeting - Report Forthcoming


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COVID-19 Federal Policy Workgroup CONCLUDES Meeting - Report Forthcoming

July 9, 2020

In late April, eHI launched a special workgroup to help craft a report with a set of recommendations to fully leverage health IT and digital health to fight COVID-19 and future public health challenges.

Over the past two months, eHI members have dialed in to hear presentations from guest speakers and discuss critical issue areas including: telehealth and remote patient monitoring; artificial intelligence and machine learning; access to broadband; health information exchange; and public health surveillance.

While eHI staff is busy drafting a report made up of the consensus recommendations from our eHI member participants, you can find short summaries and recordings of every meeting below and keep an eye on your inbox for updates on the release of our workgroup report. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Catherine Pugh.


Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring

On April 27th, eHI Assistant Vice President of Policy Catherine Pugh provided an overview of the temporary federal telehealth policy changes that were enacted at the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency and discussed recommendations for making some of these changes permanent. Robert Jarrin with the Omega Concern presented on how remote patient monitoring (RPM) tools were being used during COVID-19 and Medicare reimbursement policy related to RPM.

Find a recording of the workgroup meeting here.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

On May 11th, Eileen Koski from IBM T.J. Watson Research Center joined the workgroup to present on how IBM was using artificial intelligence (AI) to support COVID-19 data modeling and insights through their Deep Search service, drug candidate exploration, and Functional Genetics Platform tools. The workgroup then discussed how federal policy can support and strengthen these tools to fight disease.


Find a recording of the workgroup meeting here.

Broadband Access

On May 26th, Brad Wolters, Director of Federal Government Relations with eHI member Marshfield Clinic presented to the workgroup on the challenges their health system – with locations in rural Wisconsin – have faced in using technology to continue to deliver care to patients during stay-at-home periods and when facilities were closed for non-essential services. Because of a lack of high-speed broadband in many areas they service, the use of audio-only telehealth was crucial for Marshfield.

Find a recording of the workgroup meeting here.

Health Information Exchange

On June 8th, Jaime Bland, CEO of eHI member Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII) discussed how they’ve helped support the response to COVID-19 in their state by supporting lab results reporting and hospital status/availability. The workgroup then discussed policy issues such as increasing HIE funding and better coordination between federal agencies with jurisdiction over lab reporting requirements.

Find a recording of the workgroup meeting here.

Public Health Surveillance

Finally, on June 22nd, Dr. Scott McNabb from Emory University presented to the workgroup on modernizing our country’s public health surveillance system. The workgroup discussed steps that could be taken to move from the current disease-specific and siloed system to an integrated surveillance system.

Find a recording of the workgroup meeting here.