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Editor's e-Note
These days, hardly anything in the health care industry is straightforward. That includes how health care organizations release information. In this month’s E-News Exclusive, two leading experts help to untangle the mess by offering pointers on how to avoid security risks during the release of information process.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Seven Strategies to Mitigate Privacy and Security Risks
During the ROI Process

By Rita Bowen, MA, RHIA, CHPS, SSGB, and Scott Ruthe

As health care data breaches continue to put patient information at risk, organizations must make disclosure management practices top priority—a vital part of policies and procedures. For HIM professionals, this means balancing a growing list of stewardship responsibilities: privacy and security, transparency and availability, compliance, and overall information integrity to support quality of care.

The Ponemon Institute’s Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data sponsored by ID Experts shows 91% of health care organizations had at least one data breach and 40% had more than five data breaches over the past two years. Criminal attacks are cited as the new leading cause of data breach in health care, with more breaches being attributed to trusted insiders.

Full Story »
Industry Insight
Digital Health Tool Helps COPD Patients

Early intervention facilitated by a digital health application for reporting symptoms of COPD provides key benefits for patients, according to the results of a two-year clinical study.

COPD is a serious chronic respiratory disease that is often characterized by flare-ups, called acute exacerbations, in which the patient may experience increased coughing, mucus, shortness of breath, wheezing, and a feeling of tightness in their chest. If exacerbation symptoms are not detected and treated in a timely fashion, they can escalate, leading to repeated trips to the emergency department, hospitalizations, disability, and a diminished quality of life.

The Pennsylvania Study of COPD Exacerbations (PA-SCOPE), led by Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP, founding chair of the department of thoracic medicine and surgery at Temple University School of Medicine, and director of the Temple Lung Center, revealed that COPD patients who used a digital health application to report their daily symptoms and received same-day treatment recommendations from their health care provider experienced fewer and less severe COPD exacerbation symptoms, which led to an improvement in daily symptom control, lung function, and activity status.

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Get at the Heart of Clinical Information
More health care organizations are using EHR data to discover how they may better serve patients. Read more »

Together Again
In a sort-of old-school move, two HIM departments have taken a hands-on approach with their physician staff. Read more »

Transcription's Outsourcing Conundrum
A recent white paper addresses the perceptions associated with scrapping in-house programs. Read more »

The Evolution of ECM
Enterprise content management has developed to the point where it's now a key component of fully integrated EHR adoption. Read more »
Other News
Telemedicine Expands Despite
Uncertain Financial Prospects

Even though telemedicine can be cheaper than in-person care and theoretically could save money, that’s not what’s happening, according to Kaiser Health News.

Use of Medical Scribes Spurs Debate
About Costs, Difficulties of EHRs

While scribes can take care of clerical tasks for lower costs than physicians, some say they are a crutch for cumbersome EHRs and excessive administrative work, according to The Hospitalist.
Featured Jobs
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!

Remote & Traveling Inpatient Coders—M*Modal
Coders/Coding Consultants—Amphion Medical, FT/PT, Home-based
MLS/Speech Understanding Editors—Amphion Medical, FT/PT, Home-based
Director of HIM—Hospital for Special Care
Certified Coder (FT)—Oak Valley Hospital District
Emergency Room Physician Coders—DuvaSawko
Certified Coders (I & II)—Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
Ak the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an e-mail to

This Month’s Selection:
Would it be appropriate to add a code for the facial nerve monitoring done during a procedure removing a parotid tumor? ICD-10-PCS manual notes under the Measurement and Monitoring Section: “If a device used to perform the measurement is inserted and left in, then insertion of the device is coded as a separate Medical and Surgical procedure.”

There is no device left in for the monitoring after procedure completion, so are we correct to assume this would not be an added surgical procedure code?

Colleen Braun, CCS
Toms River, New Jersey

Use of PCS devices is explained fully in the ICD-10-PCS Reference Manual. It is recommended that a coder should ask him- or herself, “Is this material central to achieving the objective of the procedure, or does it only support the performance of the procedure?”

The monitoring device would not be assigned an ICD-10-PCS code.

— 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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Coming up in our November issue is our Technology & Software Showcase. Contact sales for more information. is the premier online resource to recruit HIM professionals. Post your open positions, view résumés and showcase your facility's offerings all at!
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AHIMA Conference News
AHIMA Conference Enjoys ICD-10 Fruition
By Heather Hogstrom

After years of anticipation, preparation, and procrastination, ICD-10 is finally here. Naturally, ICD-10 conversion was one of the focal points of this year’s AHIMA conference. In Monday’s General Session, AHIMA President Cassi Birnbaum, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA, CPHQ, compared the multiple delays of ICD-10 to living in the movie Groundhog Day, adding that she’s had to wait 36 years to realize this vision. Illustrating the conference’s theme of “HIM Without Walls: Realizing Our Vision,” “Fight Song” played as Birnbaum walked onstage to commend the audience for fighting all barriers that came their way. AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA, also encouraged attendees to consider how they react to challenges, sharing an illustration in which carrots, eggs, and coffee were placed in boiling water. Despite facing the same challenge, each reacted differently: the carrots became weak, the eggs became firm, and the coffee became delicious.

Full Story »
Tech & Tools
UnitedHealthcare Mobile App
UnitedHealthcare’s Health4Me mobile app is now available to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries in 17 states: Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The app enables people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medicaid plans to more easily manage their health benefits and navigate the health system, including accessing personal coverage health details, including a digital ID card, plan summary, and member handbook; reviewing their care history; tracking processed claims; locating nearby physicians, hospitals, and medical facilities; and obtaining health information from a nurse. Learn more »

New Technology Studies Public Health Data
A paper copublished by University of North Carolina at Charlotte College of Health and Human Services faculty is demonstrating the capability of new technology that allows in-depth analysis of health outcomes amongst different groups. Published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the research outlines a novel approach to studying public health data. The technology lets researchers look at distinct populations experiencing high levels of a health problem in a more detailed manner than was possible using previous methods. Learn more »
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