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May 2017 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
When it comes to landing your first job, getting your foot in the door can result in severe ankle pain, not to mention a bruised ego. Still, there are strategies that can be adopted to make the journey somewhat smoother.

This month’s E-News Exclusive offers tips on how neophyte coders can break through to join the ranks of the gainfully employed.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Cracking the Code to Your First Coding Job
By Andrew Moberg

After students have selected a program, completed coursework, and graduated with a diploma or degree in Medical Billing and Coding (MBC), the final, most significant, challenge remains: landing an MBC job.

Even in a booming field and with the right qualifications, it still can be nerve-wracking to interview. As a school focused on the allied health care professions, including MBC, Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) has helped thousands of students graduate and successfully navigate the hiring process.

Along the way, we offer students key tips and considerations for landing that first position.

Full Story »
Three Lessons Learned at HEALTHCON2017
By Steve Robinson, MS-HSM, PA-O, RN, SSBB, CDIP

AAPC’s 25th national conference delivers important insights for HIM leadership.

Clinical coding and clinical documentation improvement (CDI) are cottage industries. In the grand scheme of health care, these two functions remain obscure and misunderstood. However, in early May both professions gathered in Las Vegas, our nation’s most glaring and garish city.

Exposure was in the air for AAPC and the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS). Both conferences were held during the same week and in the same city.

While Las Vegas offered plenty of gambling, shows, and shopping, the conferences included their share of education, networking, and products and services. This article summarizes three key takeaways from the nation’s largest gathering of outpatient and physician practice clinical coders—AAPC’s 25th National Conference, HEALTHCON2017.

Read more »
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Digging Deep for Revenue
Using data analytics to increase reimbursement sounds enticing, but the process has several hurdles to clear. Read more »

Huddle Up
Study findings suggest daily staff gatherings can curtail EHR safety issues. Read more »

How to Avoid CDI Snares
Periodic check-ups can help keep clinical documentation improvement initiatives on track. Read more »

Is Speech Recognition Viable in the ED?
Industry experts weigh in on a small study that measured the incidence and types of errors occurring in emergency departments. Read more »
Other News
Death by a Thousand Clicks:
Doctors Decry EMRs

Most EMRs create extra work, thanks to endless prompts, inapplicable multiple choice answers, and countless clicks, reports WBUR.

Paging Dr. Siri
Smartphone apps will revolutionize health care, reducing costs and saving lives, according to RealClearHealth.
CAPD Top of Mind in Vegas
By Jon Elion, MD, FACC

On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, the annual conference of the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists, held in Las Vegas May 9–12, boasted record attendance.

One topic that received plenty of attention was “CAPD 2017: An Early Look,” the newly released KLAS report, which describes the various product offerings in computer-assisted physician documentation (CAPD). It has been interesting to see this field develop. An early collaboration several years ago was a technological success but a marketing failure, as two major companies combined their efforts to come up with a system that interrupted physician dictation to make suggestions on how to clarify one point or another. It turns out that physicians do not take kindly to being interrupted during their dictation, leading to the marketing failure and the subsequent dissolution of the fledgling partnership.

Read more »
Industry Insight
Partnership to Use Artificial Intelligence to Combat Breast Cancer

Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, and PathAI, a company that develops artificial intelligence technology for pathology, are collaborating with the aim to develop solutions that improve the precision and accuracy of routine diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. The partnership aims to build deep learning applications in computational pathology, enabling this form of artificial intelligence to be applied to massive pathology data sets to better inform diagnostic and treatment decisions. The initial focus of this effort is on developing applications to automatically detect and quantify cancerous lesions in breast cancer tissue.

The accurate quantitative assessment of cancer involvement and scale is a central and challenging task for pathologists. This task, while critical to diagnosis and treatment, is very time-consuming and can place increased pressure on pathologists to conduct slide readings and analysis faster. Historically, pathologists have manually reviewed and analyzed tumor tissue slides using a microscope, but the rising shortage of pathologists and the increase in cancer caseloads require digital pathology solutions and smart image analysis software that reduce pathologists’ routine workload, improve diagnostic accuracy and precision, and reduce error rates.

Read more »
Ask the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an email to

This month’s selection:
I am hoping you can assist me with procedure code assignment for an ileostomy revision due to a small bowel obstruction due to an ileostomy stricture. As per the operative report, the procedure was performed as follows: “A circular incision was made with a 15 blade around the old ostomy site for about 1 inch, and cautery was used for the subcutaneous tissue. This was taken down for about an inch and brought across, dividing the stoma, bringing us to the mucosa that was available. This mucosa was then split open and sewn to the side of the dermis with multiple interrupted sutures holding the ostomy open for about an inch.” The pathology report indicated a wedge of coarsely wrinkled skin. As no bowel was removed, bowel resection was not appropriate. It was not a stoma closure, so abdominal wall repair does not seem correct either, as repair denotes restoring a body part to its normal anatomic structure and function.

Dawn Zimmerman, RN, CCS

Read more »
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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!

Coders, FT/PT—Hendrick Health System, Alibene, TX
Tech & Tools Launches HIPAA-Compliant
HIT Package

The HIPAA Compliance Package is designed to arm hospitals, doctors’ offices, and health care service providers with secure ways to meet complex compliance regulations, protect patient privacy, establish and improve telehealth and telemedicine services, and adeptly address critical HIT requirements. This integrated solution ensures patient and employee data are safe, while enabling multilocation doctors’ practices to connect their offices, quickly transfer EMRs and files, improve telemedicine capabilities, and ensure the utmost in security and reliability. Learn more »

HITRUST Introduces Threat Catalogue
HITRUST announces a Threat Catalogue to aid health care organizations in improving their information security posture by better aligning cyber threats with HITRUST CSF risk factors and controls, thereby providing greater visibility into areas representing the greatest risk exposure. HITRUST undertook this initiative to improve organizational visibility into threats posed against health information and to afford organizations the ability to prioritize their security program’s activities based on a greater understanding of their risks. Under the guidance of a new HITRUST Working Group, the HITRUST Threat Catalogue will mature over time and will subsequently focus its initial efforts on the following four principal tasks: identify and leverage an existing threat taxonomy for common adversarial and nonadversarial threats to electronic protected health information (ePHI), enumerate all reasonably anticipated threats to ePHI for a general health care organization, map HITRUST CSF control requirements to the enumerated threats, and identify any additional information needed in future iterations of the HITRUST Threat Catalogue to help meet its objectives. Learn more »

Elsevier to Offer HFMA Courses
Through Its Healthcare eLearning System

Elsevier will offer multiple Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) courses, from understanding the business side of health care to communicating with patients. “The Business of Healthcare” is a six-course, online program for those who want a better understanding of how health care is evolving, including new models for payment and care delivery, the importance of financial and clinical alignment, basic health care accounting principles, and the flow of payment for health care services. “Patient Financial Communications” is a complete training solution based on HFMA best-practice guidelines. It provides online scenario-based practice sessions to help staff with topics such as identifying and addressing sensitive financial communications with patients in a range of care settings, confidently engaging patients in understanding their financial obligations, and exploring constructive solutions for resolving self-payment challenges. Elsevier will offer additional HFMA courses throughout the year, including topics such as compliance and billing. Learn more »
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