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Privacy and Security: Are Two Hats Better Than One?

Author: Woloszyn, William

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2002



Who, me? Work as both a privacy officer and a security officer? It may seem impossible, but it can be done. While the roles of privacy officer and security officer are often presented as two distinct jobs in relation to HIPAA, if a lack of resources or personnel demand it, a daring HIM pro....

From Freshman to Leader Through Lifelong Learning

Author: Odom-Wesley, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2002


Remember being a “freshman?” Though the word may have a somewhat negative connotation, when put in the context of continuing education it becomes much more positive. As education spans the life cycle in the form of lifelong learning, we become freshmen again and again. As an HIM prof....

Get Serious About Paper Record Destruction

Author: Mead, Kevin

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2002


How serious are you about your document destruction processes? There are steps that you can take that ensure protection from liability and embarrassment after the records are tagged for disposal. Merely saying “we shred our old records” and “we have a certificate of destruction&....

Making a Commitment to Privacy Protection

Author: Hicks, Jewelle E

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2002


Debra Minzola, RHIA, knows quite a bit about privacy protection. As the director of information security and HIPAA compliance for MedQuist, she is responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring all aspects of the organization’s privacy and security program. That alone may seem li....

H&P Requirements Become More Uniform

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2002


Until recently, the Medicare Conditions of Participation required that histories and physicals (H&Ps) be performed no more than seven days prior to hospital admission. This particular requirement was much stricter than the Joint Commission’s, which allows H&Ps to be performed as m....

Is the FCA Effectively Fighting Healthcare Fraud?

Author: Prophet, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2002


How effective has the False Claims Act (FCA) been in reducing healthcare fraud? A recent six-month study conducted by New Directions for Policy for Taxpayers Against Fraud sought to determine just that.1 What the study found is that the FCA is very effective in fighting fraud and should not be....

Take Another Look: Proposed Changes to Privacy Rule

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2002


In late March, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed changes related to the HIPAA privacy standards. By the time you read this column, the 30-day comment period for these regulations will have already passed, although debate on these changes will still be in full....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Hjort, Beth M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2002


Q: Is there a standard or recommended source for abbreviations used in medical records?
Q: In light of HIPAA restrictions on protected health information, I’m concerned about our HIM department’s practice of accepting HIM students for professional practice experience. What shoul....

Leaping Ahead with Patient Safety

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002


These days Leapfrog is more than just a child’s game. Since 1998, the Leapfrog Group, made up of more than 90 Fortune 500 companies and other large private and public healthcare purchasers, has worked toward improving the safety of healthcare for US consumers.


A 1999 repor....

Megatrends Promise Transcription Changes

Author: Zernich, Gordon; DeVitt, Bill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002


HIM directors who are staying ahead of the curve can understand the effect that several megatrends will have on the transcription industry. These trends include increased volumes, use of third-party transcription services, new technology and increased expectations, standardized billing, and sh....

Coding on the Home Front

Author: Zeisset, Ann M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: April 2002


Recently, a group of coders participated in a survey about their day-to-day experiences as remote, or at-home coders. The survey asked a series of questions related to the positives and negatives of coding at home versus coding in the more traditional office setting. Below is a summary of the....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002


Q: The physician practice I work for often receives photocopies of health information sent in anticipation of a new patient consultation or appointment. If the individual never presents to the practice, how long must our practice retain this health information?
Q: My facility is bringing....

Becoming a New Voice in HIM

Author: Squazzo, Jessica

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002

“I became a strong advocate for HIM when I was a junior [in college],” she says. “I really wanted to give HIM a voice and create awareness for it.”
—Erin Blume, RHIA, director of quality management at The Ambassador Health System
Not too many recent college gradua....

Leadership Lessons Take Flight

Author: Odom-Wesley, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002


After deciding to write about leadership this month, I searched the works of several noted authors and reviewed the many principles of leadership. I decided to borrow an idea from “Lessons from Geese,” a leadership development article of unknown origin that has circulated on the Inte....

Advocating HIM Issues in an Election Year

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002



This column has often addressed the advocacy role of the HIM professional. This year, that role becomes even more important—it’s an election year. Elections call for citizen involvement, and HIM professionals are no exception.


This election year, 435 members of th....

50 Ways to Enhance Your Career

Author:

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002


Whether you're new to the HIM profession or a seasoned expert, you may be looking for a new challenge, increased recognition, or a change of career. With that in mind, the Journal of AHIMA has compiled a list of tips for success that you can use on the job or as part of your personal career pla....

Changing Face of Public Health Reporting

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: April 2002


In recent months, anthrax outbreaks and concern over bioterrorism threats have created a greater need for the US to have a system to monitor and report public health information in a timely manner. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are developing standards for a new approach....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


Q: Does the individual to whom a patient has granted durable power of attorney for financial matters have the right to access and authorize use or disclosure of the patient's protected health information (PHI) under HIPAA?


Q: We have a transcriptionist who picks up tapes, trans....

Target: Patient Safety

Author: Spath, Patrice L.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


The Joint Commission has raised and revised its patient safety standards. Is your facility ready to meet them?
Safety in healthcare is not a new concept. Even before the American College of Surgeons formed the Hospital Standardization Program in 1917, healthcare facilities had safety pro....

Hot Spots in the 2002 OIG Work Plan

Author: Prophet, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


Organizational compliance programs are never static. Rather, they must continually be refined and updated to respond to changes in healthcare delivery and system vulnerabilities. The 2002 Work Plan of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) pr....

March Madness: AHIMA Gears Up for Team Talks

Author: Odom-Wesley, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


Each year in March the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sponsors an elaborate tournament designed to identify the national basketball champions. Sixty-four teams begin the competition and after the first weekend of play, the “sweet sixteen” winners emerge. Then there i....

Implementing HIPAA One Step at a Time

Author: Bettendorf, Jim

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


Many in the healthcare industry are facing the difficulty of incorporating HIPAA into their organizations. As a newly appointed privacy officer for a healthcare clearinghouse, I, too, was presented with the challenge of assimilating HIPAA into our organization.

Always Ask Questions<....

Putting Together the Privacy Puzzle

Author: Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002

“With volunteering, I always get more back than I feel like I give. I’ve gotten to meet wonderful people and I’ve got a network that I can call on if I get stuck.”
—Rita Bowen, MA, RHIA, chief privacy officer, Erlanger Health System

How many of us are pursuin....

Transactions Delay Prompts Concern Among Covered Entities

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


AHIMA recently attended a meeting of healthcare providers, payers, and staff representatives of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Organized by the Association for Electronic Health Care Transactions, the meet....

Quality at the Core

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


Is your hospital getting ready for the Joint Commission’s core measures project? Some hospitals are already transmitting the necessary data as part of the pilot project. Here’s how they are handling the challenges and deriving benefits.
If you’re an HIM director, you prob....

Web-based System Improves Access

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


Does the idea of the paper medical record dying a natural death due to irrelevancy sound intriguing? This is the future of the paper medical record, according to Bruce Elkington, chief information officer of Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, WA. The strategy at Overlake has been to....

Look Back at Congressional Action 2001

Author: Asmonga, Donald D.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


Despite an eventful year, the AHIMA Policy and Government Relations team dedicated itself to advocating for AHIMA members and monitoring those issues that may impact the HIM profession. This article will provide you with a snapshot of AHIMA’s activities in 2001, Congressional activity and....

Mergers and Acquisitions: They Could Happen to You

Author: Pinder, Ray

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: March 2002


If you have never been involved in a merger or acquisition, be aware that it could happen to you. There is important information you need to know, including what steps to take to process medical records according to your state regulations, accreditation standards, payer requirements, condition....

First Step Toward Compliance: OCR Outreach

Author: Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


Though the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has played an active role in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since the early 1980s, it has only recently moved to the forefront of HIM professionals’ minds. Charged with enforcing the HIPAA privacy rule, OCR has become the leading....

Creatively Communicating: the Security Challenge

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


Like many HIM professionals specializing in information security, Kimberly Lawrence, MS, RHIT, spends most of her time designing and reviewing policies. But she relishes the part of her job that calls on her to be creative, too.


“We’re always trying to come up with be....

Best Practices for Medical Necessity Validation

Author: Scichilone, Rita A

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


To protect the Medicare Trust Fund from being drained, government health plans must provide coverage restrictions for unnecessary health services in vulnerable patient populations. One restriction mechanism is the provision of edits that look for valid reason-for-visit codes for selected servi....

Dilemma of Psychotherapy Notes and HIPAA

Author: Nicholson, Ruby E.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


For HIM professionals in behavioral health settings, the HIPAA privacy regulations pose a downright dilemma. Here’s why.


The privacy rule defines psychotherapy notes as:


Notes recorded in any medium by a mental health professional documenting or analyzing....

2002: Positioning HIM for Future Challenges

Author: Odom-Wesley, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


Each Association year builds on past achievements. In 2001, the AHIMA and FORE Boards of Directors, in consultation with many volunteer groups, adopted new mission, vision, and values statements. The mission and value statements serve as a touchstone keeping us focused on what we are charged w....

HIPAA Compliance Extension Postpones Simplification Benefits

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002



Under the terms of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, February 2002 would mark the second anniversary of administrative simplification for all but the smallest of health plans, and one year of rules related to claims attachments. Instead, Congress just approve....

Medical Necessity under OPPS: a Look at the Challenges

Author: Carter, Darren

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


The outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) has dramatically changed claims processing by introducing an automated system. Medical necessity validation has also been automated as a result, leaving hospitals with increased rejections. This article explores how OPPS impacts the medical nece....

Addressing HIPAA Across the Continuum

Author:

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


HIPAA is an issue in hospitals across the nation, but what about other kinds of facilities—such as long-term care, behavioral health, or home care organizations? They, too, need to address HIPAA. We asked three HIM professionals who work in these settings to briefly address how HIPAA is ch....

Handling a Security Breach: Lessons Learned

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


Consider this: your facility just received a call from a reporter asking for a comment. He’s writing an article on a hacker who accessed your network, downloaded patient medical information, and distributed copies to the press.


If your facility experienced a security inci....

Countdown to Compliance: Privacy

Author: Ingram-Muhammad, Sybil

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: February 2002


How far along the road to compliance with the HIPAA privacy regulation is your organization? This article tells you the steps you should be taking to get in compliance by the April 2003 deadline.

It is February 2002—14 months before your organization has to be compliant with th....

We are AHIMA; We are Family

Author: Odom-Wesley, Barbara

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


I think we can all agree on the importance of family and its influence on the person each of us becomes. However, there are many types of families. Sometimes we have friends that are like family. Our recent national tragedy brought America closer together as an extended family. In the 73 years....

Taking a Second Look at Joint Commission Standards

Author: Clark, Jean S.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


HIM professionals are well aware of the challenge of meeting Joint Commission standards. Now, however, a recently established review committee has the opportunity to recommend changes to the standards—and may even be able to reduce the burden of compliance.


That’s the....

Closer Look at All-Patient Refined DRGs

Author: Averill, Richard F.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


Are you fluent in DRG? This article takes a look at the evolution of the three distinct DRG systems and spotlights the most recent iteration, All-Patient Refined DRGs. It also sheds light on how this system, when codes are properly applied, can help an organization study morbidity and mortalit....

What's Your HIPAA ETA? (HIPAA on the Job)

Author: Amatayakul, Margret

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


If you are thinking about HIPAA’s privacy compliance date of April 14, 2003, think again! Privacy compliance is about ongoing learning: education, training, and awareness (ETA).

While it is true that the final privacy rule only calls for work force training on hire and when th....

Power of Cancer Data

Author: Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


HIM professionals know that every piece of patient data collected is valuable. Cancer registrars like Linda Mulvihill, RHIT, CTR, can watch the patient data they collect become cancer screening tools, public health dollars, and the disease statistics found every day in the newspaper.

Make Clinical Research Top Priority

Author: Prophet, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


Whenever biomedical or behavioral research is conducted and supported by government agencies, it’s critical to comply with federal regulations designed to protect human subjects. For compliance officers, this means understanding and constantly monitoring a number of federal laws, regulati....

Accreditation: the First Layer of the Quality Floor

Author: Carol, Ruth

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


Employers find data valuable, but still seek other measures. In this article, experts assess the uneasy relationship between the business community, healthcare organizations, and accreditation.
Stirring in the healthcare arena is an alphabet soup of accrediting bodies. There’s the....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


Q: A couple were on vacation in my city when the husband suddenly became ill and died in our facility. The wife requested copies of the record to take home with her. She had listed herself as next of kin. Was it correct to give her a copy of the record?

Q: I am a manager of several d....

Another Look at LOINC

Author: Herbst, Maida Reavis

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


We have all heard Logical Observation and Identifier Codes (LOINC) mentioned in the same breath with standards or medical vocabularies, but what are they exactly?

What Is LOINC?


LOINC is a niche vocabulary useful in reporting laboratory and clinical observations. The....

Provider's Eye-View of PDAs

Author: Burrington-Brown, Jill

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are becoming a more common sight in healthcare settings, but how are providers using them? We asked three experts to describe their experiences.

K. Meg Morrison, MD, ABFP, is the associate director of the Mount Carmel Family Practice Residency in....

How Bioterrorism Became an HIM Issue

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


Bioterrorism is not a subject that people would normally relate to HIM. Yet, since the first anthrax letter was discovered on October 4, 2001, there have been discussions around the country that will directly affect HIM for many years to come.


Bioterrorism spotlighted public he....

Here Comes Rehab PPS!

Author: Grzybowski, Darice; Draper, Skeeter

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


Just when you thought it was safe to come up for air.


After Medicare’s introduction of the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (PPS, which brought us APCs), the Home Health PPS (with its HHRGs), and Skilled Nursing Facility PPS (with RUGS), another new reimbursement syst....

Anthrax: What Every Coder Should Know

Author: Stanfill, Mary H

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: January 2002


The inhalation anthrax identified by a Florida physician in October 2001, during the recent series of bioterrorist attacks, was the first case of reported inhalation anthrax in the United States in more than 25 years.1 With the threat of anthrax as a biological weapon, correct coding could be....

Sizing up HEDIS: Experts Take System's Measure

Author: Rollins, Gina

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: January 2002


NCQA’s performance measurement system is well established in the industry. But is it really addressing the questions that matter? In this article, industry experts discuss how HEDIS has made its mark.
The managed care industry and large employers have embraced the Health Plan Employ....

CPT Changes for 2002

Author: O'Hara, Karen

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: January 2002


Coders need to keep their resources current—including updating the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes every year with the annual CPT book. This article provides a brief summary of the changes made to the CPT 2002 code set. The complete list of changes can be found in Appendix B of....

Call for Preparedness and Political Activism

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001




As I read and heard stories about the emergency support and rescue efforts after September's terrorist attacks, three things came to mind. First, I thought about our medical systems' preparedness. Those in hospitals and other healthcare facilities often go through disaster preparednes....

Statewide Data Systems: Entering a New Era

Author: Love, Denise

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001




Statewide data systems are the mainstay of many state and federal data systems and of many quality assessment, research, and policy initiatives. The author gives an overview of the different kinds of systems available and looks at opportunities for growth in the future, as well as for....

2001 Triumph Awards Winners

Author:

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001


The Triumph Awards are national awards designed to recognize those special individuals who make a difference in the HIM profession. This awards program was developed as part of the Foundation of Research and Education (FORE) campaign to forecast future trends in HIM, envision HIM roles in....

Driving Quality through Data Management: Three Stories

Author:

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001


In the past few issues, the Journal of AHIMA has presented a special series on opportunities for HIM in the managed care arena. In the final article of the series, we focus on quality improvement (QI) initiatives.

HIM professionals are vitally important to QI initiatives, particularly....

What's New in Clinical Data Repositories?

Author: Soule, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001




Clinical data repository (CDR) technology may have dropped off your radar screen,  but new developments are giving a second generation of CDRs a renewed role. This article offers an overview of the latest developments and a look at how CDRs can benefit healthcare.


....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Dougherty, Michelle

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001


Q: Where can I find the updated data elements and data definitions for the Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set (UHDDS)?

Q: Where can I find an easy-to-use glossary for terms in the HIPAA regulations?

Michelle Dougherty (michelle.dougherty@ahima.org) is an HIM practice manager....

AHIMA Offers Tips, Tools for Auditing in Long-term Care

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: November 2001


Once upon a time, the role of the medical records department in a long-term care (LTC) facility was to file and assemble discharge records. Those days are long gone. Today, it is critical for HIM practitioners to focus on the content and quality of the documentation in the medical record.
....

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