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Editor's e-Note
It's pretty straightfoward: Now is a great time to be an HIT professional. As the industry tussles with numerous and onerous federal regulations, many health care organizations yearn for qualified experts to help guide them through these turbulent times.

This month’s E-News Exclusive examines the challenges hospitals face while looking to fill these crucial spots with talented and reliable employees.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
New Regulations Generating Demand for HIT Skills
By Bowen Hopper

When patients enter a hospital today, chances are they’re entering the hospital of tomorrow, a world where sophisticated EMR systems enable digitized health information to follow patients everywhere they go. Practitioners view patients’ complete histories, enabling their well-orchestrated care. Gone are the paper charts that were prone to mistakes.

Credit the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for this recordkeeping transformation, including financing many of the new systems. A survey last July found that 89% of critical access hospitals were using an EHR system, and most of the other 11% planned to install such a system within a year.

But the changes, along with new government regulations, are altering the landscape for HIT personnel. New IT experts are emerging and already are in high demand, while some traditional IT roles wither as legacy medical records systems vanish.

For instance, with the strong growth in electronic recordkeeping has come the need for medical records technicians, which isn’t a surprise since one hospital visit can lead to 100 codes being entered into a patient’s record for products and services employed. This also sparks the need for supply-chain management talent, including IT personnel skilled in it.

Full Story »
Industry Insight
Transition to ICD-10 May Mean Financial, Data Loss for Pediatricians

Pediatricians may lose money or data during the mandated conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10, according a study by University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) researchers published in Pediatrics.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provides a conversion key called a general equivalent mapping code translation system, but it’s complex and often difficult to interpret. While some codes map easily to the new code, others have convoluted mappings that can be inconsistent.

Researchers have reviewed commonly used codes to predict how the transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM likely will affect pediatricians’ practices. Some studies estimate that ICD-10 implementation will cost between $83,000 and $2 million per practice, depending on size.

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
Other News
New York Health Care Team
to Help Jamaica

An EHR system plays a key role in Jamaica’s efforts to curb HIV, reports the University at Buffalo.

Freestanding ED to Open
in Place of Hospital

Freestanding emergency departments are opening around the country, a trend that fills an important void in areas without full hospitals, reports The New York Times.
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HFMA Conference News
Report From Vegas: Can’t Afford to Take a Crapshoot
With the Bottom Line

By Paul Weygandt, MD, JD

This year’s Healthcare Financial Management Association ANI conference was held in Las Vegas, and the irony of the location choice wasn’t lost on attendees. With frequent regulatory changes, it seems as though health care administrative teams have been forced into a card game—and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Over the last three years, I’ve seen some hospitals hold and others fold. Despite the tumult, this year’s conference revealed a renewed sense of purpose, and participants were prepared with a laser focus on finding the right knowledge, strategies, and approaches for their distinct organizational needs and challenges.

Full Story »
AHDI Conference Preview
Go All in at ACE 2014
By Heather Hogstrom

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity’s annual conference will take place from July 23 to 26 in Las Vegas, but attendees can rest assured that what they learn in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. The conference provides encouragement, motivation, and inspiration for health care documentation specialists and other HIM professionals, and offers opportunities to learn about trends and discuss important issues in the health care documentation field, earn continuing education credits, meet with recruiters about employment opportunities, and visit with exhibitors to see the latest tools, technology, and services.

Full Story »
Tech & Tools
CathMaps+ App
CathMaps+ is a HIPAA-compliant mobile application for people with an elevated risk of a cardiac incident—particularly those with a history of cardiac issues—that integrates critical health history and medical records with an interactive map of catheterization facilities throughout the world. The app ensures that patients quickly locate and are directed to a medical facility with a catheterization lab. Learn more »

Do One Thing App, Website
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has launched a mobile app and website to help people adopt healthier habits that can reduce their risk of developing cancer. The campaign encourages people to pick one healthy change and do it every day until it becomes a habit. App users can select habits such as eating breakfast every day, drinking water, flossing, going to bed at a regular time, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, from a preexisting library, create their own habits, share their new habits with friends, set daily reminders, and track their progress. Learn more »

App Detects Mood Swings via Voice Analysis
University of Michigan researchers are developing a smartphone app that monitors subtle qualities of a person’s voice during everyday phone conversations to detect early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder. The app runs in the background on a smartphone and automatically monitors the patients’ voice patterns during any calls made as well as during weekly conversations with a member of the patient’s care team. The computer program analyzes many characteristics of the sounds and silences of each conversation. Mood states can be detected by analyzing broad features and properties of speech, without violating the privacy of the conversations. To be eligible for the app study, patients must first enroll in the long-term study of bipolar disorder, which accepts adults with and without bipolar disorder. Learn more »
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Ak the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an e-mail to

This month’s selection:
Can you tell me the appropriate diagnosis code for a 6-month-old who had an ultrasound exam to check for dysplasia of the hips after breech presentation? Someone suggested V82.3. Would this be correct? There are doctors in my area having babies who were born breech checked for hip dysplasia every two months. They say the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting these follow-ups, and we will be getting more and more of these cases to code.

Margaret Rigsby, RHIT, CCA
Shady Spring, West Virginia

The V82.3 would be the appropriate code for the screening exam and to support medical necessity.

— Gail I. Smith, MA, RHIA, CCS-P, is president of Gail I. Smith Consulting and an AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer.
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The nation's top employers and recruiters of HIM talent advertise in For The Record magazine and post their job openings on Check out the most recent opportunities that have been submitted by employers across the country!

Coder Level II
Ministry Door County Med., Sturgeon Bay, US
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Qualcode, New York, US
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