In My Opinion: On the cutting edge of interoperability with Ann Phillips

Intelligent Medical Objects or In My Opinion? Here, there’s no need to choose. Check out the latest installment of our Ideas series featuring Q&As with IMO employees. The Office of the Chief Medical Officer’s Ann Phillips, MHA shares her thoughts in this month’s column.
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Ann Phillips, MHA

How long have you worked at IMO, what is your role, and what does it entail?

I joined IMO in September of 2020 as the Director of Government and Standards, and my role is diverse! 

I focus on both the intersection of interoperability in healthcare and payment policy as well as the process of developing the policy and health IT standards that inform the regulation of federal healthcare payment programs. These programs include Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

I also participate in standards development work with HL7, much of which is the foundation for the regulation of health information interoperability. I synthesize all this information for IMO’s leadership and product development teams to ensure that the company’s strategy aligns with the regulatory environment and the cutting edge of interoperability in healthcare. 

How does your job at IMO add value to our clients?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the single largest healthcare payer in the US. Helping our clients comply with the regulatory requirements of CMS payment programs and deliver the best care they can to the patient is central to my role. 

My goal is to ensure that changes in regulatory compliance and advances in health IT interoperability are considered during product design. While most of that effort is behind the scenes, I also write about payment policy and interoperability in healthcare for IMO – which gives me a platform to share information directly with IMO clients.

How has working at IMO changed your perspective as a patient, an employee, a manager, or otherwise?

My previous experience in health IT was in the development of processes for healthcare organizations to facilitate compliance with regulations and tools for implementation, but that was still very far away from the environment where implementation takes place. Working at IMO brings me much closer to that setting – the healthcare organizations using health IT in patient care. That perspective is incredibly valuable and factors into all the work I do.

Knowing that I am supported and that my contributions are valued has done wonders for my confidence and inspired me to achieve more in my role.

How have you grown professionally or personally since you started working at IMO?

I am appreciated for my knowledge and experience at IMO, and my colleagues acknowledge this directly to me. Knowing that I am supported and that my contributions are valued has done wonders for my confidence and inspired me to achieve more in my role. For example, participating in strategy discussions has piqued my interest to expand beyond the regulatory world into areas that are new to me, such as life sciences research.

Tell us about a moment, an exchange, or an experience you had at IMO that made you realize, “I’m in the right place.” 

The first moment I had within a week of my start date, the one I had last week, or the moment I had this morning? Overwhelmingly, almost every interaction I have with my colleagues leaves me feeling like my contribution is important to IMO and that I can make a difference.

To hear more about what it’s like to work at IMO, check out additional In My Opinion columns here or visit our Careers page.
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