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Evaluating Compliance Program Effectiveness

Author: Ortquist, Steve; Vacca, Sheryl

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004


Every organization that hopes to receive government credit for reducing criminal sentences and civil fines and penalties must be able to prove the effectiveness of its compliance program. Effectiveness is also necessary to keep compliance programs cost efficient and meaningful within their org....

Mind-boggling Change

Author: Duggan, Christina Mayer

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004



Mind-boggling. It’s a word that comes from Debbie Fernandez's mouth time and again when she discusses the sheer volume of hospital correspondence, the transition from paper to electronic environments, and the dedication of her staff.

For nearly 20 years Fernandez, RHIA, has....

Developing E-Health Standards for Web Sites

Author: Quinsey, Carol Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004


Healthcare consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet for information about services critical to their health. An estimated 80 percent of adult American Internet users (approximately 93 million people) have searched the Internet for information on at least one of 16 major health topics....

Constancy of Change

Author: Duggan, Christina Mayer

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004



Change is constant in Kathleen Cleary's career and something she welcomes and embraces. Throughout her 15-year medical-records career, she’s moved from Wisconsin to California to Texas. Cleary, RHIA, has also helped implement electronic records management systems for two large ambula....

E-HIM: a "Glocal" Challenge

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004


The US is embarked on a public works agenda as major as highways, water works, and electrical grids. This same agenda is being pursued around the world in many developed and developing countries. It is a worldwide project to design and implement electronic health information systems. As HIM pr....

Taking the Next Step Forward for ICD-10

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004


In November 2003 the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) agreed to recommend that the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopt the ICD-10-CM and the ICD-10-PCS classification standards as replacement for the ICD-9-CM classification currently used in the US.

Changes Abundant for CPT 2004

Author: Hull, Susan

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: January 2004


Changes for CPT 2004 affect all chapters, and it’s important to stay up to speed. This article presents a summary of CPT changes for 2004. Because a number of the procedures may be unfamiliar to some coding professionals, AHIMA has provided online links to descriptive articles on these s....

Panel Hears 'Drumbeat' for Future in EHR Efforts

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2004


In 2010 will HIM professionals be working in a paperless environment in the context of a robust national health information infrastructure? According to a panel of experts, public and private entities are taking steps to move closer to this goal. Leading decision makers and public policy exper....

Quality Leader

Author: Hicks, Jewelle E

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


Quality is defined as a degree of excellence. When the term quality management is applied to HIM, the definition expands to include the consistent and methodical improvement of data quality. As the director of quality management at Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney, OH, Elizabeth Custis, RHIT....

Understanding Diabetes Mellitus

Author: Huff, Garry L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: November 2003


Diabetes mellitus represents a group of disorders that are characterized by hyperglycemia. The clinical and ICD-9-CM classification of diabetes mellitus have evolved as understanding of insulin physiology has expanded. This article will explain diabetes mellitus and its ICD-9-CM classification....

Data Quality: Part of the e-HIM Agenda

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


This has been another remarkable year for advancing HIM issues and the HIM profession. Programs to improve patient safety through information solutions have gone from the drawing board to demonstration projects. On April 14, the HIPAA privacy rule went into effect across the US. In July, the se....

Data Warehousing: Myths, Pitfalls, and the Secret Weapon

Author: Moyer, Rich

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


Is your organization using its data warehouse to its fullest potential? The author provides some pitfalls to avoid and some tips that may help improve care and use resources more efficiently.
Most healthcare organizations have invested in building a data warehouse. But once the warehouse....

Opportunities for HIM in Revenue Cycle Management

Author: Campbell, Thea

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


The pressure on all healthcare organizations for improved financial performance continued to grow in 2003. Many healthcare organizations experienced a financial loss in the first quarter of 2003, and disproportionate reimbursement-to-expenditure ratios in healthcare are straining all organizat....

Keen Eye on Core Measures: Joint Commission Data Quality Study Offers Insights into Data Collection, Abstracting Processes

Author: Watt, Ann; Williams, Scott; Lee, Kwan; Robertson, James; Koss, Richard D; Loeb, Jerod M

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


The Joint Commission has been collecting core measures data for more than a year. But how reliable are the data being collected? Strategies from successful organizations show how improving your documentation processes can improve the reporting of core measures.
In July 2002, the Joint Co....

Standard Terminology Helps Advance EHR

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


On July 1, 2003, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson announced a new agreement between the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) to license SNOMED-CT. This five-year agreement is seen as a significant advancement f....

E-mail Best Practices Maximize Efficiency

Author: Barron, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003


Can you imagine having to go to the fax machine every time you needed to send someone a message or document? Can you imagine if you had to write a letter and go through the process of “snail mailing” every time you wanted to reach out to someone professionally? True, the US Postal Se....

Gifts of Giving, Learning Help Association Grow

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2003



This year the Association took a look back through its archives, reflecting on the people, ideas, and issues that brought us to our 75th year. Grace Whiting Myers, the Association’s first president, wrote of the need to serve with tact and the ability to follow the rules. Edna K. Huf....

Taking the Lead: Volunteer Opportunities Abound

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


One of my favorite stories is “The Sense of a Goose,” a popular tale by an unknown author that is widely used in public presentations and circulated over the Internet. The story’s basic truths speak of sharing common direction, staying the course, taking turns, and supporting an....

Choosing Modalities for Carotid Stenosis

Author: Wiley, Sean

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: October 2003


One of the leading causes of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) is carotid artery disease (CAD). With technology changing at such a rapid rate, it is difficult for physicians to decide on the gold standard of care when it comes to visualizing carotid stenosis. This article will explain....

Redefining the Boundaries of HIM

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


Health information management is an extraordinarily versatile discipline. Our work force research confirms that the field currently spans nearly 40 different work settings and more than 100 unique job titles.1 In addition, AHIMA’s e-HIM task force identified new roles relating to manageme....

CPT Category III Codes Cover New, Emerging Technologies: New Codes Developed to Address Issues in Light of HIPAA

Author: Beebe, Michael

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: October 2003


In 1998, the American Medical Association (AMA) initiated the CPT-5 Project. This project was a broad-based and comprehensive effort to make needed and practical enhancements to the CPT code set that would address challenges presented by emerging user needs and HIPAA. One of the initiatives tha....

Risk Assessment: Doing More With Less

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


In an October 2002 Journal article, eight out of 10 HIM managers interviewed mentioned trying to keep up with the workload with fewer resources as a top concern.1 In this time of rapid changes in healthcare, how do we decide what to prioritize when everything we do seems to be high priority? T....

Long-term Acute Care: the Effect of PPS

Author: Smith, Pam

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


Just when I thought I’d seen and done it all in the HIM world, a new opportunity for coders appeared in long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs). HIM professionals have been employed in LTCHs since the inception of long-term acute care, but the change from cost-based reimbursement to inclus....

Clinical Resource Management: Driven by Data

Author: Treloar, R. William

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


Not only has my role in HIM changed dramatically in the last several years, my title has too: from director of case mix management to director of clinical resource management. And in my department, our role has moved from educating clinicians and staff about Medicare and DRGs to the facilitati....

Following Interests Yields Dynamic Career

Author: Squazzo, Jessica

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


If you don’t like it, you can always go back,” says Michelle Morgan, RHIA, about trying new roles in HIM. She would know—she’s jumped from a traditional HIM setting into the IS realm to the vendor world and back again.


Morgan is currently the director of cl....

Nontraditional Day in the Life

Author:

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003


Today, more than 60 percent of AHIMA members work in the hospital setting, but there's a growing contingent of "nontraditional" members who work in these facilities. And as healthcare diversifies, so will HIM. Here, HIM professionals from a long-term care hospital, a clinical resource managemen....

1990s: Visions of the Future

Author: Squazzo, Jessica

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: October 2003

For the American Medical Record Association (AMRA), the 1990s started at a fast pace and never slowed down. The decade saw a change in the Association's name, a change in credentials, a focus on technology, and the advent of HIPAA.

Internal Radiation Brings Hope to Prostate Cancer Patients: With Brachytherapy Treatment Come New HCPCS Codes

Author: Kostick, Karen M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: September 2003


In 2003, the American Cancer Society estimates that 220, 900 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the US, making it the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.1 Today in the US, patients with prostate cancer have access to less invasive surgical cancer treatment plans. This arti....

2003 Red Book Reveals Cost-saving Recommendations

Author: Prophet-Bowman, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


Although the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has already saved tax payers more than $12 million this year, it offers still more cost-saving recommendations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in its annual Red Book that hav....

Communities Connect Members Across Space, Time

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


Communities of practice are not a 21st century idea. From ancient cave dwellers of the American southwest to the guilds of the Middle Ages to today’s Silicon Valley denizens, members of communities have found value in community participation.1 In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world,....

Patients' Perspective: a Growing Information Gap

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


For a moment, forget that you are a health information manager. Instead, think of yourself as a person seeking healthcare. Are you frustrated when you have to repeat medical history information when you visit a specialist in your clinic? Do you search for lab results jotted on the back of an e....

Advances in Burn Reconstruction Complicate Coding: Get Familiar with Terminology, Techniques for Accurate Coding

Author: Erhardt, Walter L.; Medal, Diana

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: September 2003


Recent advances in the science of wound healing are making an impact on the treatment of burns. This is particularly evident not only in the way burn wounds are being managed initially, but also in how these wounds are being reconstructed. While these scientific advances make this field an exc....

HIM Professionals Key to Patient Safety

Author: Servais, Cheryl

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


In January 2003, the Joint Commission made 11 recommendations for patient safety. HIM professionals play critical and supporting roles in implementing these recommendations. This article will discuss some of the recommendations, with examples of their use in various aspects of an HIM departmen....

Are Ethics Guiding Your Workplace?

Author: Yokubaitis, Pamela R.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003



Sanctions under the HIPAA regulations mean serious financial consequences for healthcare professionals who release protected health information to others without following proper disclosure protocols. But HIM professionals should not be motivated by fear of financial consequences alone. Ou....

Consumer-based Records Create HIM Opportunity

Author: Friedman, Beth

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


The power of the Internet combined with our evolution toward e-HIM is driving HIM toward the next plateau—providers connecting with consumers on the Internet through consumer-based health information. This article will discuss the consumer-based health record and its place in the future o....

Online Records Serve Patients, Clinicians, and HIM

Author: Foster, Erica; Martin, Holly; Partin, Mary; Lockshaw, Jim; Fogelman, Adam; Folz-Murphy, Nancy; Harris, C Martin

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


Patients want online access to their health information but clinicians and HIM professionals don’t need any more work. The solution? An online medical record driven by the EHR. Here’s one organization’s success story.

If your own increasing Internet usage isn’t p....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions (9/03)

Author: Quinsey, Carol Ann

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


Q: Under HIPAA, how should covered entities respond to requests from public health officials who state that they need protected health information (PHI) to carry out their duties?

Q: Does HIPAA prohibit physicians from using cell phones to dictate reports?

Carol Quinsey....

Provider-Patient E-mail: With Benefits Come Risks

Author: Baker, Dixie B.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


If you've ever played phone tag with your doctor, you can appreciate the benefits of e-mail. But for all its advantages, provider-patient e-mail is not without challenges. Here's how to protect your organization.
The majority of Americans now consider e-mail and instant messaging preferred....

Growing Influence

Author: Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


Implementing an electronic health (EHR) record doesn’t happen overnight, Pamela Haines, RHIA, will tell you. In fact, it may take a few years. But Haines has made big progress in the five years since she started as the only HIM professional at Operation PAR, a multi-site behavioral healthc....

AHIMA Supports Patient Friendly Billing Project

Author: Squazzo, Jessica

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2003


Joining the American Hospital Association, the Medical Group Management Association, and others, AHIMA announced its endorsement of the Patient Friendly Billing Project. Led by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the project was established in 2000 to help create a more pat....

1970s: We Must Be Able to Talk Both Languages

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003

The 1970s brought a new name for the Association and a new credential name. The decade also witnessed landmark privacy legislation, and medical record practitioners discovered a need to understand the language of technology as well as that of medicine.

Documentation Coordinators Put it All Together

Author: Squazzo, Jessica

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


There are very few medical records departments that have a position as unique as mine,” says Karen Santoro, documentation coordinator at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, AZ. The fact that many organizations don’t have a documentation coordinator position on their roster....

Make the Most of Professional Mentoring

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


In classical mythology, the image of a mentor is based on the vision of Odysseus, who entrusted the care of his son to his friend. Mentor was a wise and faithful friend, a counselor, and advisor.


The attributes associated with mentorship come from this classical vision. Today,....

From Coder to Knowledge Engineer

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003

“Find a job that really holds your interest and one that will challenge you. If you’re not challenged daily, there’s something wrong.” —Judy Sample, RHIT, CCS, knowledge engineer
at Inference Systems International, Inc.
Combining her interests in coding and tec....

Saving Time: A Physician's Perspective

Author: Pezzulich, Robert

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


Thanks to the benefits technology brings to quality healthcare and operational efficiency, most healthcare organizations are finding themselves progressing deeper into the electronic environment. Besides the obvious technological challenges, this evolution involves the human factor, including....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions (7/03)

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


Q: When is a new history and physical (H&P) needed when moving a patient between an acute care bed to a swing bed?

Q: How can I find the Medicare manuals, program memorandums, and the Conditions of Participation on the new CMS Web site?
Michelle Dougherty (michelle. dougher....

Stealth Software Deters PHI Theft

Author: Kawles, Terrance L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


As the leading edge of digital portability advances, the protections afforded the “portability” portion of HIPAA become strained. Under the final security standards, covered entities (CEs) must establish procedures and mechanisms to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availab....

Clinical Coding: Part of the HIM Mosaic

Author: Kloss, Linda L

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2003


Many in healthcare today understand coding only in the context of billing, not recognizing that the very same coded data are used for important healthcare operations, policy, epidemiology, and many other uses. For 75 years, AHIMA has been the professional forum to advance the quality of health....

Association Benefits from Collaborative Dialogue

Author: Siegel, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2003


One hundred years ago, Guglielmo Marconi used Morse code to initiate “a dialogue that seemed like pure magic” between President Theodore Roosevelt and England’s King Edward VII.1 Marconi’s efforts paved the way for wireless communication, including AHIMA’s Communities....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions (6/03)

Author: Hjort, Beth M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2003


Q: Under the privacy rule, how should a physician’s office handle a request from parents for a written statement recommending limitation of their child’s activities at school?

Q: What are a covered entity’s legal responsibilities when a former employee breaches confiden....

New Job? More Money? Negotiating Pays Off

Author: Kaplan-Quinn, Genia

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2003


It’s true: everything is negotiable. How do you get your kids to eat their broccoli or your spouse to pick up his or her dirty socks? These everyday victories are achieved through the process of negotiation: we decide what we want, we plan the best way to approach the situation, we ask fo....

Plenty to Learn, but Plenty of Guidance, Too

Author: Manger, Barbara J.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2003


Climbing the career ladder is a sign of success. Many new HIM professionals begin their employment on one of the bottom rungs in a non-supervisory position while attending school or immediately after graduation. These positions give new graduates an advantage when a supervisory position in the....

Mining Diamonds in the Rough: How to Hire New Graduates

Author: Parker, Susan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2003


As a busy manager, you know exactly what you want when you post a job ad or inform your human resources department of a vacancy. You do not have time to sift through piles of resumes to find the person you need. But after weeks of searching, you may begin to wonder—is there anybody out th....

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