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Health IT Certification Developments: CCHIT’s Current Work and How to Get Involved

Author: Birnbaum, Cassi L; Hall, Terri; Sweet, Helayne; Wiedemann, Lou Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2009


For the last five years the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has been working to promote the adoption of health IT by certifying electronic health record (EHR) products against common, baseline criteria.

The private, nonprofit certification body....

Driving Compliance through Data Governance

Author: Nunn, Sandra L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2009


Healthcare organizations increasingly struggle to manage huge volumes of e-mail, hundreds of thousands of documents on shared drives, and hundreds of source and feeder systems that pour data and records into EHR systems, data warehouses, and decision support systems. This has given new panache....

HIM’s Role in Maintaining Privacy and Security

Author: Rulon, Vera

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2009


In the past several years medical information has made the news, though not in the way HIM professionals would like. Consider the following headlines:
“Data Breach Hits Close to Home” from the February 22, 2007, Washington Post
“Staff Suspended for Leaking George C....

Maximizing e-Prescribing Success

Author: Washington, Lydia

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2009


With fewer barriers and increased provider incentives, e-prescribing is currently poised to take off. More than just a means for doctors to transmit prescriptions to pharmacies, e-prescription systems can provide prescribers with a patient’s medication history, drug plan information, low....

2009 CPT Coding Update

Author: Majerowicz, Anita

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: February 2009


Changes to CPT codes for 2009 include 293 additions, 133 revisions, and 92 deletions. This article highlights some of the more notable changes; a comprehensive list can be found in appendix B of the 2009 CPT code manual. The changes took effect January 1.

E/M Codes


Nu....

Authenticating EHR Metadata

Author: McLean, Thomas R

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2009


Any medical malpractice action involving electronic records is likely to raise issues concerning metadata. Metadata are tantamount to an audit trail of how an electronic record was used and modified.

However, before this audit trail can be used in court, it must be authenticated. Whi....

Untangling Privacy

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2009


Health IT won’t advance far without resolving the complex issue of privacy protections. Can a complicated situation be teased apart thread by thread?

The debate on privacy has become very public.

Privacy advocates, health IT advocates, providers, HIM professionals, fe....

Renewed Focus on HIPAA

Author: Featheringham, Meg

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2009


At Upstate Carolina Medical Center, HIM director and privacy officer Harolyn B. Acklin, MBA, RHIA, is getting a crash course in privacy investigations.

Although she’s only been in the position for a little over a year, Acklin has had to deal with her fair share of privacy compl....

RAC Ready: How to Prepare for the Recovery Audit Contractor Program

Author: Johnson, Kathy M; Bloom, Allison; Morris, Denise; Madamba, Roderick

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2009


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to announce the official start date of the Recovery Audit Contractor program this month, but it is already time for providers to be preparing for a potential audit. Managing a RAC audit effectively and efficiently requires preparing de....

Advocacy Continues amid a Sea of Change

Author: Asmonga, Donald D.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2009



Over the past several months, Washington, DC, has seen a lot of changes—a new president, a new White House staff, key federal appointees, and more than 50 freshman members of the House and Senate.


However, even among this change, AHIMA expects some of its key advocacy i....

New Help for Medical Homes

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: January 12, 2009





Physicians seeking to transform their primary-care practices are seeing increasing support for the patient-centered medical home model. Growing recognition from payers and new help with the transition are advancing the model as a viable future for primary care.

AHIMA’s Advocacy Priorities for 2009

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009



The media has been rife with stories on the changes to come from the incoming 111th Congress and the new presidential administration. Healthcare reform appears to be high on the agenda. However, the current state of the healthcare industry is a mix of great needs and great expectations, co....

Releasing Information of Deceased Patients

Author: Herrin, Barry S.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009


Developed when modern law concepts were first formed, the mortmain, or “dead hand,” rule prevented the church from exercising undue influence over a soon-to-be-dead penitent to obtain a gift of an individual’s lands in remission of his or her sins. These statutes evolved over....

Auditing Copy and Paste

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009




For organizations that allow carrying forward clinical documentation, auditing its use is a key part of ensuring document integrity.




Copying clinical documentation can be a time-saver for busy clinicians. It also can pose a risk to document integrity. For org....

Reformer-in-Chief?

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009


The Obama administration enters office this month with healthcare reform high on its agenda. Clear federal leadership on seven health information issues will be crucial to achieving it.

Five years ago this month President Bush turned a federal spotlight on health IT’s role in he....

Leading on the Legal EHR

Author: Hicks, Jewelle E

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009


Carol F. Smith, MBA, RHIA, is enthusiastic about the year ahead. As director of health information management for the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, Smith supervises 110 full-time employees and works on projects ranging from revenue cycle, data quality, medical reco....

Universal Adapters: Terminology Standards Enable Meaningful Data Exchange

Author: Cook, Jane; Foley, Margaret M.; Giannangelo, Kathy; Paterno, Marilyn D.; Scichilone, Rita A; Schwarz, Kathleen M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009


Standardized clinical terminologies are critical connectors that allow systems to exchange health information.

In the winter of 1904 a major fire broke out in Baltimore, MD. The resulting damage—an entire swath of the downtown destroyed—was blamed largely on a lack of uni....

Keeping HIPAA Education Fresh

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009

Get hip with HIPAA.

That’s just one tagline attached to Sharp Healthcare’s HIPAA education modules. Photos from the age of hip—the late 1960s and early 1970s—permeate the online HIPAA training modules. Musicians Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan and era-TV icons like the....

Coding Radiology Services

Author: Walk, Gerri

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: January 2009


Because coding and radiology departments often share accountability for the quality of outpatient radiology coding, it is important that coding professionals share coding issues and charge capture expectations with radiology staff. This article outlines methods to improve the quality of coded....

HIM Key to Healthcare Reform

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009



This promises to be a challenging year. Against the backdrop of a brittle economy, virtually every major societal system—including healthcare—needs redesign and reinvestment. Our cover story this month identifies the key HIM elements in the health information reform agenda. Fed....

Securing Portable Devices

Author: Dinh, Angela K.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2009


Reports of data breaches involving portable devices last year ran the gamut from oversight to theft: a college of medicine professor gave away a personal computer containing protected health information, including photos of his patients, to friends; a flash drive containing Social Security num....

PCASSO Retrospective

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: December 18, 2008





PCASSO—the Patient Centered Access to Secure Systems Online project—was an early trailblazer in using the Internet to give patients and providers instant access to medical records. The project started in 1996, a time when most people considered the Internet an unse....

Closer Look at the Red Flag Rules

Author: Apgar, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: November 21, 2008



* * *


Healthcare organizations must be in compliance with the FTC’s red flag rules by May 1, 2009. The rules, which require financial institutions and creditors to establish identity theft protection programs, were included in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act pas....

Cost-Benefit Model for PHRs

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: November 17, 2008





Healthcare is badly in need of some cost-savings. A new study suggests that a change in the way we keep health records could save billions. Last week the industry got a look at a cost-benefit model for personal health records. According to the report, widespre....

Management Practices for the Release of Information

Author: Bock, Linda J.; Demster, Barbara; Dinh, Angela K.; Gorton, Elisa R.; Lantis, James R. Jr.

Source: AHIMA practice brief | Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2008


Exchange of health information is an essential function to the provision of high-quality and cost-effective healthcare. The information should be complete and timely for its intended purpose. While this sounds straightforward, often it is not an easy task in the complex medical and legal envir....

Releasing Records from Other Providers

Author: Herrin, Barry S.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2008


Question: Should organizations include records of other providers when responding to a release of information?

Answer: Yes. There are three reasons this is so.

First, there is no law or regulation that generally prohibits the redisclosure of information received from anot....

FY 2009 Hospital IPPS Final Rule

Author: Schwab, Linda

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: November 2008


The final rule for the FY 2009 hospital inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) went into effect October 1, 2008. Although there are relatively few changes to MS-DRGs and the complication and comorbidity (CC) and major CC (MCC) lists, the final rule signals that the Centers for Medicare an....

CMS Bans Use of Physician Signature Stamps

Author: Bryant, Gloryanne H.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2008


Question: What is the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ruling on use of signature stamps?

Answer: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made it clear that it will only accept signatures that are handwritten, electronic, or facsimiles of original wri....

ABCs of Medicare Advantage

Author: Hernandez, Jeannette

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: November 2008


Although most Medicare beneficiaries receive their health coverage through the traditional Medicare Part A and B fee-for-service programs, more and more beneficiaries are enrolling in Medicare Part C, referred to as Medicare Advantage (MA), to manage their healthcare costs.

By June 2....

Planning Forms Automation

Author: Hyde, Cynthia S

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2008


A carefully crafted project plan is the first step in achieving expectations and lasting value from electronic forms management.

The intent of transitioning from paper-based processes to electronic, automated systems and solutions is to benefit the operations of healthcare facilities....

Getting Engaged for Life

Author: Mangin, Wendy L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2008




With 2008 drawing to a close, and with it the end of my term as AHIMA president, I want to reflect on what it means to be really engaged in one’s profession. Each of us has busy and fulfilling professional lives. We give 100 percent to our employers each and every day, and our....

2008 AHIMA Convention Wrap-Up

Author:

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2008


AHIMA held its 80th Convention and Exhibit October 11–16, 2008, in Seattle, WA. It was a time for members to share ideas, challenges, and solutions and hear about some of healthcare’s hottest topics from industry experts. A full exhibit hall offered a collection of the latest in HIM....

Why ICD-10 Can’t Wait

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


In August the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published two notices of proposed rule making (NPRMs): one for the adoption of ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS and one for an upgrade to the HIPAA transaction standard. Comments on the proposed rules are due on October 21. Once the comment p....

HIM Leadership Challenge...for the Next 80 Years!

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


As AHIMA celebrates its 80th anniversary this month, we focus on the significant challenges that lay ahead. Though most emphasis today is on acquiring and implementing health IT, this will give way to an emphasis on managing and creating value from an organization’s information assets.

Applying Legal Holds to Electronic Records

Author: Nunn, Sandra L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


Historically, applying a legal hold has been a straightforward process for the HIM professional in charge of release of information. When a record consisted of a file folder whose content was a structured set of paper documents, sequestering a medical record was as simple as pulling and outgui....

Successful Recruiting Strategies

Author: Dover, Kayce

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


It can be a challenge to hire the HIM professionals your organization needs. Smart managers and their HR departments stay proactive.
As the demand for HIM professionals continues to increase and the supply of experienced HIM professionals continues to lag, implementing a successful recruit....

Raising Awareness of Medical Identity Theft: For Consumers, Prevention Starts with Guarding, Monitoring Health Information

Author: Rinehart-Thompson, Laurie A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


Financial identity theft has become ubiquitous in our global society. Its consequences are familiar, and fear of its repercussions has created a widespread reliance on credit bureaus for protection. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 8.3 million Americans were reportedly affected by fi....

Taking the Specialty Route

Author: Rollins, Gina

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008



Specialty tracks and associate degrees offer professional fulfillment, career advancement, and better pay.

Laid-off when a manufacturing and shipping business closed, Cindy Higgins, RHIT, took advantage of retraining opportunities and entered the HIM field. She went on to comple....

Year of Milestones

Author: Mangin, Wendy L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


We have much to celebrate as 2008 begins to wind down. AHIMA has achieved several milestones.

First and foremost, this year marks AHIMA’s 80th anniversary. The association’s mission is as relevant today as it was eight decades ago: advancing the vision of quality health i....

Quality Impact of the Master Patient Index

Author: Wheatley, Victoria

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2008


The master patient index (MPI) is HIM service’s lifeline to ensuring quality care in a healthcare organization. If MPI data are compromised, HIM’s contributions to many healthcare functions are slowed down or brought to a halt.

Over time, the MPI has evolved from a simple....

In Search of Document Imaging Best Practices

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2008


The number of healthcare providers implementing document imaging as a part of their electronic health record solution is on the rise. In order to help others navigate the process, the following HIM professionals offer their experiences in planning, selecting, and implementing document imaging....

Building Mass and Flexing HIM’s Muscle

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2008


A body of knowledge is the sum total of all knowledge in an area of expertise or profession. It is comprised of knowledge areas or domains. HIM’s domains include health data content and structure, medical terminologies and classification systems, and health information systems and techno....

Managing E-Mail as Records

Author: Nunn, Sandra L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2008


E-mail use is so commonplace today that many HIM professionals do not even think of these routine transmissions as records. However, a growing number are becoming aware of the implications of e-mail and its power to transmit attachments of all kinds anywhere, anytime.

Ken Withers, a....

Education, Collaboration Keys to Director’s Success

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2008


When Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston has a tough health information-related issue to solve, chances are Deborah Adair, MPH, MS, RHIA, and her team are already working on it.

Director of health information services and privacy officer at MGH (part of the Partners Health....

Applying Business Lessons to HIM

Author: Mangin, Wendy L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2008


I recently had the privilege of hearing retired UPS chairman and CEO Michael Eskew speak at a chamber of commerce dinner in my hometown of Vincennes, IN. A native of Vincennes, Eskew graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and completed the Adv....

Renewing the Vision of the Digital Medical Practice

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2008


I recently observed a series of focus groups in which high school students, “Generation Y” young adults, working parents with small children, and “pioneer” baby boomers discussed health IT. As you would expect, there were many differences in how these groups use technology.


Ho....

Weighing the Stark Law Exceptions

Author: Howrey, Linda

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2008


Donations of software and services to physicians allowed under the anti-kickback exceptions are meant to spur health IT adoption, but evaluating the potential is a complex exercise for both donor and recipient.

Exceptions to the Stark Law and the anti-kickback statute enable hospital....

Physicians and EHRs: a Bibliography

Author: AHIMA Work Group

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2008


The August 2008 issue of the Journal of AHIMA published a selected bibliography of research and writing on EHRs in physician practices. This is the extended version, as promised in the print issue.

"Physicians View Use of EMRs as Part of New Business Model." Capitation Management Repo....

Tapping HIM Expertise for Physician Practice EHRs

Author: Mangin, Wendy L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: August 2008


Managing patient records has become more complex for medical practices. Electronic health records, quality reporting, and coding and documentation compliance all affect how a practice manages its patient information.


While improved information holds great promise for patient c....

Running a Successful CDIP

Author: Dimick, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA - website

Publication Date: July 22, 2008





Clinical documentation improvement programs can enhance the clinical record and capture lost reimbursement. But they can be a challenge. Getting physician buy-in, avoiding turf wars between documentation specialists, coders, and nurses, and measuring program succes....

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