HIMSS, AFEHCT now unified

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The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Association for Electronic Health Care Transactions (AFEHCT) last week announced that they have unified to form the HIMSS AFEHCT Business Information Systems Initiative. The unification is an effort to combine the strengths of each organization — subject matter for AFEHCT and the organizational strength of HIMSS — to work together to influence policies and procedures in e-commerce and business transactions in healthcare, according to a joint release from the organizations.   
“The HIMSS AFEHCT initiative provides a stronger and more strategic position for members who represent the administrative and financial transaction sectors of healthcare delivery,” said H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, president/CEO, HIMSS.  “With a unified voice, the new AFEHCT community will strengthen and extend our leadership through a shared vision and with the professional expertise of both organizations.”
Per the agreement, the HIMSS AFEHCT Business Systems Initiative is a membership community within HIMSS operating under the strategic direction and guidance of the HIMSS board and dedicated AFEHCT volunteer leadership. HIMSS staff will coordinate the activities recommended by AFEHCT leadership. Individual members of AFEHCT will automatically become HIMSS members until the HIMSS membership renewal date of Jan. 1, 2007. Current HIMSS members also will have the opportunity to participate as a benefit of their HIMSS membership.    
“AFEHCT and HIMSS share a compatible mission and vision but have focused on different aspects of healthcare information systems,” said Sheila Schweitzer, CEO, CareMedic and AFEHCT’s Board chair. “Now, we have the strengths of both organizations combined to advance the best use of information and management systems on both the clinical and administrative sides for the betterment of healthcare.”