HMT: AHIMA board update, ICD 10 impact, ACO analysis, and more
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January 9, 2014
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In this issue:

AHIMA announces 2014 Board President/Chair, new board members

Survey: most providers, health plans haven't fully determined ICD-10 impact

Analysis of early accountable care organizations defines patient, structural, cost, and quality-of-care characteristics

ECRI Institute releases free top 10 technology watch list for the hospital C-suite

AHIMA announces 2014 Board President/Chair, new board members

Angela Kennedy elected to serve as President/Chair

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) members elected Angela Kennedy, EdD, MBA, RHIA, as President/Chair of the 2014 Board of Directors. Her official one-year term began Jan. 1, 2014. Dr. Kennedy has been serving in this role since June 29, 2013, following the passing of President/Chair Kathleen A. Frawley, JD, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA.

In her role, Dr. Kennedy will work with the board and CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA, to provide strategic direction to AHIMA, the preeminent nonprofit association for health information management (HIM) professionals who are responsible for protecting the accuracy of patient health information as well as safeguarding and preserving its privacy. The association has more than 71,000 members.

Dr. Kennedy is a professor and chair of the department of health informatics and information management at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. Her professional experience includes working in health information, cancer registry, medical staff services as well as quality management and quality and project management consulting for rural health information systems implementation. She has 14 years of higher education experience in areas of instruction, administration and research.

Dr. Kennedy served two terms as president of the Louisiana Health Information Management Association and most recently as chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Dr. Kennedy previously served on the AHIMA Board of Directors and in 2007 chaired its business and audit team. She is a recipient of an AHIMA Triumph Award for mentoring. “At this pivotal time in healthcare, Angela’s dedication and professional experience will benefit AHIMA, its members and the Board as we strive to continue to ensure the integrity, privacy and security of health information and patient access to their information,” Thomas Gordon said. “Angela’s expertise and personal passion for HIM will be an asset to AHIMA.”

“It is a great honor to lead the Board,” Dr. Kennedy said. “I look forward to working with Lynne, board members and the AHIMA staff to continue AHIMA’s important work advocating for patients, the HIM profession and improving the quality of health information to improve the quality of care.”

In addition to Dr. Kennedy’s appointment, members elected a President/Chair-Elect, Speaker of the House and three members of the board of directors (who each will serve a three-year term):

  • President/Chair Elect: Cassi Birnbaum, MS, RHIA, CPHQ, FAHIMA, San Diego, vice president of health information management at Peak Health Solutions Inc. Birnbaum specializes in providing remote coding, auditing, data collection and analysis, clinical documentation improvement, ICD-10 transition and HIM resource planning services. An adjunct faculty member at San Diego Mesa College since 1993, Birnbaum developed its ONC Workforce Program and its online quality management course. Birnbaum served as a Director of the AHIMA Board from 2009 – 2012; she is the Past President for California Health Information Association from 2006 – 2008, and received its prestigious Distinguished Member Award in 2009. She was the Co-Chair of the CCHIT Privacy and Compliance Workgroup, and Co-Chair of the California Healthcare Association’s Health Care Informatics and Information Technology Group.
  • Speaker of the House: Jennifer McManis, RHIT, Bozeman, Mont., consultant in the Healthcare Practice Division of Crowley Fleck Attorneys, PLLP. McManis has more than 19 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including acute care hospital and private physician practice settings. She is an AHIMA certified ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, and an American Institute of Healthcare Compliance (AIHC) Certified HIPAA Compliance Officer (CHCO). McManis is also a published author and speaker regarding compliance, privacy and coding issues. As Speaker of the House, she serves one year on the AHIMA Board.
  • Director: Zinethia Clemmons, MBA, MHA, RHIA, PMP, Washington, D.C. senior health information privacy specialist for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. Clemmons is the advocacy project manager for the District of Columbia Health Information Management Association and serves on the mayoral-appointed Statewide Health Coordinating Council for the District of Columbia. She is an adjunct professor at University of Maryland University College, in the health informatics administration and an advisory committee member in the HIM division at the Northern Virginia Community College. Clemmons is a past member of the Florida Health Information Management Association and the Greater Atlanta Health Information Management Association.
  • Director: Virginia Evans, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA, Atlanta, business analyst, revenue cycle development at Emory Healthcare. Evans has more than 30 years of experience in the HIM profession. Evans served on the Georgia Health Information Management Association (GHIMA) Board of Directors, including two terms as President. Evans also served in the AHIMA House of Delegates, Chair of the AHIMA Nominating Committee, and most recently the Fellowship Committee and AHIMA Foundation Board of Directors. She received the 2011 AHIMA Mentor Award and earned several honors from the GHIMA including the 1996 and 2008 Distinguished Member Awards.
  • Director: Colleen Goethals, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA, Belvidere, Ill. HIM consultant for Midwest Medical Records Association, Inc. and Cardone Record Services, Inc. Goethals served as AHIMA’s State Advocacy Workgroup chair and was a member of the Consumer Practice Council, Personal Health Record Practice Council, House of Delegates Work Group, CSA Task Force and Consumer Education Committee. She served as Illinois Health Information Management Association President, Delegate, Director of Legislation and Advocacy and Community Education Coordinator. Goethals is the recipient of the Chicago Area HIMA Distinguished Member, Illinois HIMA (ILHIMA) Professional Achievement Award and Literary Award. She is National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) certified in federal records management and is a frequent lecturer and author on topics related to HIM.

The AHIMA Board is responsible for setting long-term strategy and direction, governing the association’s activities, and fulfilling the organization’s fiduciary responsibility. To further AHIMA’s position as an industry leader, the 2014 Board will provide strategic guidance on information governance, informatics, leadership, innovation and advocating for the public good. The AHIMA Board is composed of 13 elected members—including the president/chair, president/chair-elect, past president/chair, speaker of the house and nine directors at large—as well as the association’s CEO, who serves in an ex-officio capacity. This year, due to the passing of Kathleen Frawley, the Past President/Chair position will remain open.

Read more here

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Survey: most providers, health plans haven't fully determined ICD-10 impact

Most healthcare providers and health plans haven't properly determined how the transition to ICD-10 will affect them, according to a poll conducted by audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG.

KPMG polled health plans and healthcare providers from October to December 2013 and found 76 percent of those surveyed had completed an ICD-10 impact assessment. Additionally, 72 percent had allocated budget toward efforts to prepare for the transition, and 42 percent reported carrying out system testing. Thirty-three percent said they do end-to-end testing, while another 28 percent said they don't but plan to do so.

However, 50 percent didn't know the estimated cash flow impact of the transition in the fourth quarter of 2014, and 38 percent were unsure where their organization stood with regard to external testing with payers, providers and trading entities, according to the survey.

Furthermore, 45 percent of those polled said they hadn't calculated the projected permanent productivity decrease for their coders as a result of the switch to ICD-10, and 41 percent hadn't calculated the transition's expected impact on days in accounts receivable. When asked if their organizations had implemented any enhanced CDI strategies for the transition, 48 percent were unsure of the answer.

Wayne Cafran, a principal with KPMG's healthcare advisory practice, says the lack of preparation in these areas is likely the result of conflicting priorities, such as developing accountable care organizations and achieving meaningful use of electronic health records.

"ICD-10 wasn't top-of-mind," Mr. Cafran says. He says he has observed during recent months that providers are realizing they need to make preparing for the transition a priority.

Read the full Becker’s Hospital Review article here

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Analysis of early accountable care organizations defines patient, structural, cost, and quality-of-care characteristics

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) in Medicare are up and running, but little is known about the initial participants in these programs. After analyzing the baseline characteristics of early adopters, researchers found that patients enrolled in the ACOs were more likely than nonenrolled patients to be older than 80 and to have higher incomes. Fewer than half the ACOs included a participating hospital. At baseline, there was little difference between these hospitals and non-ACO hospitals in performance on quality metrics.

To improve health care quality and curb costs, the Affordable Care Act established programs designed to change the way care is delivered and providers are paid. Two Medicare initiatives—the Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer ACO Initiative—will work toward these goals by working with accountable care organizations (ACOs). In an ACO, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers agree to collectively care for a group of patients. In return, the providers can share in any savings resulting from the improved coordination of care. In some instances, ACO participants may also be financially responsible if costs run over budget. ACOs also need to meet certain quality-of-care standards.

There is strong enthusiasm for ACOs among policymakers and some health industry leaders, but there is little information available about the early entrants in these still very young programs. This study identified ACOs that had joined the Medicare programs as of fall 2012 to collect baseline information about their patient populations, quality, hospitals, and costs.

Read the full Commonwealth Fund article here

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ECRI Institute releases free top 10 technology watch list for the hospital C-suite

Each year, hospital leaders are bombarded with new technologies whose makers claim to improve outcomes and control costs. And with that comes mounting pressure from clinicians, vendors, and patients to adopt technologies or infrastructure changes that could profoundly impact the way healthcare providers deliver care and spend money.

Given that, how can hospital leaders make the right decisions when there is so much technology and a weak reimbursement climate? The short answer is “evidence and informed judgment.”

ECRI Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to researching the best approaches to patient care, announces the release of its 2014 Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List, an evidence-based, straight-talk reference guide on upcoming noteworthy health technologies or health systems issues. It is available as a no-cost public service.

“This is not a list of ‘must-haves,’ but rather a ‘must think carefully about’ list,” states Diane Robertson, director, health technology assessment information service, ECRI Institute. “We don’t profess to have all the answers, but the unbiased evidence that we present about these 10 technologies and infrastructure issues will get healthcare leaders off to a steady start on their often rocky journey of acquiring new technologies or making system-wide changes in 2014 and beyond.”

Read the full ECRI Institute article here

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