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Compliance is Everything, Everything is Compliance

Author: Brow, Julie A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




Everything, when reduced to its basic components, is a compliance issue," says Dorothy Wagg, JD, RHIA, vice president of HIM/compliance at Applied Management Systems in Burlington, MA. "It may seem pernicious to be thinking all the time, `how will this look under the microscope?' but....

Trends to Watch in Home Health Compliance

Author: Abraham, Prinny

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




The implementation of the Home Health Prospective Payment System (PPS) on October 1, 2001, has presented some unique compliance risks for HIM and billing managers. This article will briefly describe some of the compliance-related issues on the OIG's agenda that are of interest to HIM....

Hard-line Approach to Compliance Pays Off

Author: Morris, Lewis

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




While the landscape will continue to change, most observers agree that the healthcare industry finds itself in a very different environment from a decade ago. The reasons for the evolution are numerous, but a significant factor has been the growing influence of compliance initiatives....

Release of Information: the Basics

Author: Yaggie, Elaine

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




Whether you're new to the HIM profession or a long-time expert, release of information presents perennial challenges-especially in light of HIPAA. This article brings you the basics and the latest updates.
Release of health information has been a hot topic for years. Today, more....

Compliance: A Critical Yet Costly Commitment

Author: Roach, Daniel R.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




In the 1970s, the defense budget consumed the largest share of the federal budget. Concerns about both the size and efficiency of the defense bureaucracy triggered a massive crackdown on federal contractors who had either intentionally or inadvertently failed to follow the Department....

AHIMA Advocates for Physician Query Forms

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




The Medicare program's reluctance to accept physician query forms has been fermenting for several years. Recently, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have argued that facilities u....

Compliance Programs: Beyond Billing and Coding

Author: Guyton, Odell

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




Ensuring the success of your compliance program means keeping your eye on more than billing and coding. The author highlights some issues on the horizon for compliance officers.


As a compliance officer of your healthcare organization, you've established your formal....

Working Smarter with APCs

Author: Thoman, Deborah J.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




Are HIM professionals ready to make the most of APCs? This article suggests some strategies to improve the way we work with APCs, focus on complete and accurate coding, and improve our expertise.
Are HIM professionals ready for the next step in APCs? Are we ready to use APC data....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: May 2001




Q: I understand that inexpensive password recovery software can allow an unauthorized user to recover or crack someone else's password. If passwords are that easy to crack, are they worthwhile?



Q: Does the new HIPAA privacy rule require hospitals to obtain patient....

Keeping Her Wits During HIPAA Hysteria

Author: Zender, Anne

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001




Donna Bowers, JD, RHIA, knows that implementing HIPAA is an imposing assignment. But she's keeping her cool.

"Everyone needs to calm down about HIPAA," says Bowers, who is vice president of Baylor University Medical Center and responsible for HIPAA implementation systemwid....

Winding Road to the Privacy Rule

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001




We have a privacy rule. After years of effort from AHIMA members, the first national privacy standards were allowed to go into effect by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, with pressure from the White House.

It's time for HIM professi....

Team Talks: An Eye to the Future

Author: Fuller, Barbara P.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001




This winter's Team Talks gave members a glimpse of an exciting new member benefit: Communities of Practice (CoP). When members saw a demonstration of CoP in action, there was a universally enthusiastic response about the opportunities this new feature will provide. Currently in beta....

Harnessing the Power of E-mail

Author: Gray, Chris

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001





Without e-mail, Holly Ballam’s duties as privacy officer and physician liaison director for Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA, would be nearly impossible to manage. Working from home on maternity leave, Ballam, an RHIA, is responsible for suspending physicians wh....

Radiology Moves to the CPR

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001




As HIM professionals move toward paperless health records, our colleagues in radiology are making the transition to filmless records.

Those in predominantly paper-based ambulatory care environments know how challenging it is to make sure each patient record contains all th....

On the Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001



Q: Are there new Joint Commission hospital standards that address patient safety?


Q: What are the Joint Commission definitions of a sentinel event and root cause analysis?


Q: Where can I find information on completion of the medical record statistics form to det....

Another Career Avenue for HIM: Coding Compliance

Author: Lemire, Diane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001




If you're armed with a background in coding and management, a position in coding compliance may be an exciting next step in your HIM career. When I applied for coding compliance manager positions, many positions had been open for a year because facilities could not find individuals w....

Distance Learning: Getting Closer all the Time

Author: Lane, Laura

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001




In recent years, distance learning has become an increasingly viable option, and HIM students have benefitted. How does this new way of learning work, and is it working for students? Some instructors and students tell their success stories.
Five years ago, the concept of dista....

Members Test Drive Communities of Practice

Author: Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001




Your facility needs a procedure for reducing the number of delinquent records. Feel like reinventing the wheel? Probably not. After AHIMA's annual convention in October, you'll be able to log into AHIMA's Communities of Practice (CoP) to learn how other HIM professionals have tackled....

Coding Under the HIPAA Umbrella

Author: Russo, Ruthann

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: June 2001





Although coding professionals are not ultimately responsible for ensuring appropriate release of patient-protected information, it is important that they understand that coded data is not only one of the most desired pieces of information in the patient’s record, it is also the....

Help Wanted: Privacy Officer

Author: AHIMA

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: June 2001

Sample Position Description




Position Title: (Chief) Privacy Officer1
Immediate Supervisor: Chief Executive Officer, Senior Executive, or Health Information Management (HIM) Department Head2
General Purpose: The privacy officer oversees all ongoing activities related....

Solving the E/M Conundrum: a Special Report

Author: Scichilone, Rita A

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


Evaluation and Management (E/M) codes, introduced in 1992 for reporting physician visit services, are linked to a number of perplexing questions for coders. In different settings, they are used differently and with varying sets of criteria. Given the numerous coding and compliance issues relate....

Crossing the Terrain Between You and Your Goals

Author: Hughes, Gwen

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001




As you look into the future of your career anticipating praise and frequent promotions, keep in mind your own contributions to personal success. Although AHIMA is working to expand HIM professionals' career horizons, one of the major forces behind this effort must come from you-in th....

Update on Joint Commission Core Measures

Author: Smith, Cheryl M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001




When the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations initiated its ORYX project in 1997, its objective in collecting performance measurement data was to provide a more data-driven accreditation process. Hospitals were among the first Joint Commission-accredited heal....

Danger, Danger: Compliance Documentation as a Weapon

Author: Snell, Roy

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001




Remember that old TV show, "Lost In Space"? It was about a group of people lost in space with their "pet" robot. Whenever the robot got a hunch that there was trouble coming, he would make odd noises, spin his head around, and flail his arms. He would cap off this....

E/M Options in the Outpatient Arena

Author: Jones, Lolita M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


Under the Medicare ambulatory payment classification (APC) system, hospitals must establish criteria for mapping the medical care rendered in the emergency department and hospital-based outpatient settings to appropriate CPT medical visit codes. Do you know how to establish a sound rationale f....

Can You Manage Managed Care?

Author: Willner, Sue

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


HIM professionals’ data management skills make them a hot property in many settings, but none more so than managed care. In this second installment of the Journal of AHIMA’s special series on managed care, the author describes the ways managed care organizations use data and how HIM....

Navigating the Physician Services Maze

Author: Skurka, Margaret A.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


As HIM professionals know, accurate and complete documentation is critical for providing care and supporting reimbursement. This is particularly true-and yet particularly problematic-in the area of E/M coding. Medical practices report and are paid for their services using E/M coding, yet there....

Know Your APCs: Data Analysis Made Simple

Author: Stegman, Melinda

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001



You’ve adapted processes to the APC system, but do you really understand the financial impact of APCs on your organization? The author shows you how to analyze your billing data to assess the impact of APCs on your facility’s bottom line.



Since the implement....

Image Marketing: Be Part of the Solution

Author: Fuller, Barbara P.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001




When asked to describe your role as an HIM professional, how do you respond? Do you answer enthusiastically and with a clear and succinct description of your responsibilities? Do you convey how important you are to the overall operation of your workplace? Do you mention something cur....

AHIMA Testifies in Support of ICD-10

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


The "replacement [of ICD-9-CM, Volume 3] with a new procedural coding system for inpatient services is absolutely necessary and ICD-10-PCS meets the criteria for such a replacement system," said Linda Kloss, MA, RHIA, AHIMA's executive vice president and CEO. Kloss also argued that &q....

SNOMED Takes the Next Step

Author: Kudla, Karen M.; Blakemore, Margo

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


Healthcare terminologies SNOMED and the Read Codes have been around for a long time. Now, a new terminology combining the two promises to take the industry one step closer to realizing the vision of an electronic patient record. Here’s a sneak peek at SNOMED® CT.
As technology e....

Tackling Backlogs and Hurdles

Author: Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001




Not only did Kim Schwartz, RHIA, tackle a payment backlog of more than two years, she did it entirely on her own, without a predecessor or peers to guide her.

Schwartz is the insurance coordinator for the athletic training department at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. Th....

On The Line: Professional Practice Solutions

Author: Hjort, Beth M.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: July 2001


Q: It's difficult to research and write organizational policies because of the myriad external forces governing the same healthcare issues. Do you have guidelines to help ensure we don't miss any mandates?

Q: How does a healthcare organization deal with conflicting directives betwee....

It's No Secret: Privacy Training is Here

Author: Jeffries, Jane

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2001




Thanks to HIPAA, HIM professionals have an exciting career opportunity before them. The final privacy rule requires that covered providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses designate a privacy officer to oversee the development and implementation of privacy policies and pro....

Measuring Up to IM Standards a Team Effort

Author: Hilterbrand, Cynthia

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2001




Ensuring compliance to the Joint Commission IM standards across a multi-facility system requires more than a handbook-it takes a team effort, communication, and education for all staff. Here's how one system has tackled this task.
For HIM professionals preparing for a Joint Com....

E-assistance for Coding Professionals

Author: Uppena, Mary

Source: Journal of AHIMA - Coding Notes

Publication Date: September 2001




Is the Web a part of your work day? Make sure it is. From purchasing products to distance learning to online coding, coding professionals can find all kinds of resources online to meet their needs.

A Look at the Future

In a recent survey, health system CEOs were ask....

Meeting HIM Needs Through Advocacy Efforts

Author: Rode, Dan

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2001




One of the major benefits of association membership is the opportunity to participate in advocacy efforts on national and local levels. At AHIMA, volunteer leaders, members, and staff work in a variety of ways to promote certain policies and standards within the healthcare industry an....

Growth in Every Direction

Author: Fuller, Barbara P.

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2001




Growth is almost always a positive term. It is a term we like to hear associated with things like our salaries, our portfolios, our savings, the stock market, and, of course, our children.

Today's environment often requires that growth be measured quantitatively. It is not di....

Do You Need an ASP ASAP?

Author: Sheridan, Colin

Source: Journal of AHIMA

Publication Date: September 2001

Is your organization looking at the possibility of using an application service provider (ASP)? If so, here are some things you should know about making that decision, selecting a provider, and negotiating a contract.
Is your organization working to improve its financial position by reducing e....

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