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Editor's e-Note
Wouldn’t it be great if there were definitive dos and don’ts for adopting ICD-10? Health care experts have a reasonably good idea on how best to make the transition, but there are just too many extentuating factors to consider any plan fail-safe. After all, it’s the first time for everyone.

Nevertheless, this month’s E-News Exclusive points out several areas, namely education and winning talent, expected to be key to any successful ICD-10 project.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
What’s the Best Prescription for ICD-10?
By Cheryl Bowling, RHIT, CCS, CHC, C-CDI

Despite several delays, the October 1, 2014, deadline now is firmly set. The countdown clock is ticking, and health care providers are mere months away from all the realities—and challenges—of an ICD-10 environment.

The transition to ICD-10 CM/PCS exerts complex pressures on health care organizations already stretched for bandwidth and budgets—from acute care facilities to large health care systems. With the need to meet ICD-10 requirements in the midst of major initiatives such as meaningful use, health care leaders face significant challenges to driving productivity, meeting compliance, and minimizing costs—all while delivering quality patient care.

According to HIMSS, health care organizations may feel the following impacts due to ICD-10:

Full Story »
Industry Insight
Hawaii to Receive EHR Funding Boost

Hawaii Gov Neil Abercrombie recently announced the release of more than $21.7 million for capital improvement projects that will upgrade and improve state hospital facilities and services.

“The majority of these ... funds will go toward modernizing medical record information systems at Hawaii Health Systems Corporation facilities,” Abercrombie says. “Funds will also facilitate other improvements and replace outdated equipment statewide, improving access to quality health care for the people of Hawaii.”

The governor approved fund allotments for the projects, including $14,321,000 for a statewide information/EMR system. The funds are for system equipment that will support acute care, long term care, ambulatory, and critical access hospitals and will automate clinical and financial processes; allow for a substantial degree of standardization across regions; and be compliant with the HITECH Act and privacy and confidentiality mandates.

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
Other News
Medical Ethics Overtaken by Technology
A columnist for the Toronto Star laments the loss of patient control over medical records.

Colorado's Memorial Hospital
Debuts $30 Million EMR

Memorial Hospital has launched its new EMR system, which connects it with University of Colorado Health facilities, reports FOX21 News.
Recently in For The Record
Warning: Productivity Loss Ahead
An ICD-10 damage protection plan can help health care organizations limit the carnage. Read more »

When Dictators Fail
Dictation errors are inevitable, but there are ways to improve the chances of them getting caught. Read more »

Data Governance 101
AHIMA’s 2014 curriculum maps pay special attention to the role of data stewards. Read more »

Movin’ on Up
Several factors have led to the cloud becoming a popular landing spot for health care data. Read more »
Gift Shop
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HIMSS Conference News
For The Record wishes all health information professionals the best for HIP Week 2014. Thanks to our sponsors for their support of health information professionals all year long.

For 25 years, it's been our mission to keep HIM professionals informed, up-to-date and on top of everything going on in the industry so, for HIP Week, we're offering a 15% discount off any subscription or renewal to For The Record ordered today through Saturday, March 22.

Subscribe or renew now »
HIMSS Conference News
HIMSS Helps Attendees Engage Patients
By Heather Hogstrom

Patient engagement is an important issue, but organizations must ask themselves if they’re looking at it as a way to simply meet meaningful use requirements or to improve the way they do business. Since patients won’t use the technology if it’s not valuable to them, organizations need to come to patients on their own terms and integrate into what they are already doing.

Several HIMSS sessions covered this concept, including “Engaging Patients Through a Compelling Web Experience,” presented by Joel Arker, director of strategic technology services at PinnacleHealth, and Stephen Roth, vice president and CIO of PinnacleHealth. They defined patient engagement as patients taking responsibility for their health and looking to the physician as a resource and support system to help them be as healthy as possible. They further described engaged patients as those who are educated, set goals for themselves, seek out assistance to meet those goals, and make treatment decisions based on the information they receive.

Full Story »
AAPC Conference Preview
AAPC’s Health Conference Connects the Business of Health Care

AAPC’s HEALTHCON, which will be held from April 13 to 16 in Nashville, Tennessee, will offer education and networking opportunities to a wide spectrum of medical professionals, from entry level to expert understanding. This national event will advance all those involved in health care, including coders, billers, payers, practice managers, attorneys, and physicians.

With more than 50 educational sessions (up to 18 CEUs), specialty ICD-10 training, and the ever-popular Anatomy Expo, this year’s event is shaping up to be AAPC’s biggest national conference yet. Also, HEALTHCON will introduce the Business of Healthcare Expo, which features information on financial management, compliance, marketing, and human resources.

Full Story »
Tech & Tools
Mobile Heartbeat CURE
Mobile Heartbeat has introduced Mobile Heartbeat CURE (Clinical Urgent REsponse), a HIPAA-compliant smartphone application enabling secure mobile clinical communications. Mobile Heartbeat CURE lets all patient care team members know who else is on the team and view their availability, and provides access to pertinent patient information and lab data. The app’s consolidated communication includes secure texting, voice, caregiver-specific alarms and alerts, easy integration with EMRs, and integration with a facility’s cloud infrastructure. Care team members can use their own smartphone or instantly access a shared phone using their hospital ID badge. Learn more »

Technology Connects Apps to Health Care Organizations
Validic has launched Validic Labs to connect app and device developers with the health care system in an effort to foster faster, more productive health care innovation. Health companies need unfiltered access to the data provided by startups and early-stage companies as well as well-established corporations. App and device developers also need a platform that enables them to easily and efficiently push data to health care companies to better meet their consumers’ needs. Validic Labs provides the platform for data producers and consumers to select the amount and type of data they want to distribute or access. Validic Labs was developed to relieve health companies of the time-consuming and expensive evaluation and integration process as well as help new technologies gain visibility within a large marketplace. By allowing health companies the ability to leverage data from both the well-known apps and devices as well as the newest innovations, Validic Labs empowers HIT to more accurately track patient habits, vitals, and progress. Learn more »
Ak the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an e-mail to

This month’s selection:
What’s the proper way to select the J code for a drug when the dosage administered is smaller than the drug vial? For example, my facility has a patient who received a Depo-Medrol injection. The NDC (0009-0306-02) matches up to CPT code J1040 (Injection, methylprednisolone acetate, 80 mg). However, the patient received only 40 mg of the multidose vial. Should we bill the CPT code that matches up to the NDC or should we bill the HCPCS code that reflects the dosage administered? I should note that the remainder in the vial was not wasted; it could be saved for another patient.

Different Internet articles provide varying guidance on such a matter. Medicare and most payers state that it’s appropriate to bill under J1040 if the remainder of the vial was wasted and could not be used, but what if the remainder is salvaged?

Cristy Donaldson, CPC, CPMA
Coding Manager
Knoxville, Tennessee

Report the lowest dose (as in the description) and don’t worry about the vial that has less than the amount in the HCPCS description.

— 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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