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Editor's e-Note
California has always been known as a state that marches to the beat of its own drum. A land of opportunity where new ideas that buck societal norms are welcomed with open arms. It’s the perfect place for aggressive thinkers and idealists such as Governor Jerry Brown.

The state has often taken the lead in promoting social programs and forward-thinking initiatives. This month’s E-News Exclusive examines the consequences of California once again stepping out from the other 49 states when it issued a controversial privacy act that could have far-reaching implications.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
California’s New Privacy Law Will Impact Health Care Across the Country
By David Holtzman, JD, CIPP/G

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CaCPA) will affect almost all health care companies processing personal information of California residents beginning January 1, 2020. Conceived and signed into law in about one week’s time under threat of the certification of a well-financed and popular ballot initiative, CaCPA had little public debate and is poorly drafted to the extent that many key terms were left undefined or appear to have contradictory applications within the statute. However, CaCPA also creates new enforcement mechanisms whose penalties could cripple many businesses.

CaCPA requires “businesses” that have some role in the “processing” of California “consumers’” “personal information” to provide a long list of privacy rights, including a notice of privacy policies, the right to request an accounting of disclosures, the right of access to their personal information, and the right to have their personal information deleted. Legal experts agree that CaCPA defines these terms very broadly and that the act will apply to organizations across health care that are processing these data throughout the United States and the world.

Full Story »
AHDI 2018: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Present, Shaping the Future
By Leigh Anne Frame, CHDS, AHDI-F

I can't imagine a better way to end my term as president than to recap the 2018 Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) Conference and 40th Anniversary Celebration, held August 16–18 in Orlando, Florida. Honoring the past. Celebrating the present. Shaping the future. We certainly did that! In two unforgettable days, we came together to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, celebrate our successes, share our knowledge, and tell 40 years' worth of stories. Forty years! That’s a lot of mumbling, stammering, dangling participles, nonsensical sentences, unintelligible phrases, involuntary body noises, unforgettable friendships, and everlasting memories.

The National Leadership Board had their only face-to-face board meeting of the year on Thursday before the Welcome Reception. We recapped the year and talked about what lies in front of us, namely the multifaceted governance restructure of AHDI. We also honored the board members leaving us: Kirk Calabrese, CMT, MA, and Lynette Shipp, RHIT, CHDS, AHDI-F, and welcomed incoming board members Cyndi Sandusky, CHDS, AHDI-F; Daysha Weller, RHDS, AHDI-F; and Brenda Wynn, RHIT, CMT, AHDI-F. Elections were held for new National Leadership Board officers. Congratulations to President-elect Patt King, Secretary Sandusky, and Treasurer Karen Fox-Acosta, CHDS, AHDI-F. Joyce Smith, AHDI-F, takes over as president on September 1, and I become immediate past president.

Read more »
Industry Insight
UCSF to Use Dignity Health Digital Platform to Increase Health Access

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a state-of-the-art digital engagement platform that will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

The platform, which ultimately aims to serve as a model for health systems nationwide, will be hosted by Dignity Health. The two health care organizations will leverage technological expertise and cloud-based infrastructure that Dignity Health has developed for its 40 hospitals. As one of the nation’s top-ranked academic medical centers, UCSF Health will contribute its extensive knowledge of the patient experience in specialty care.

The two health care organizations will develop a trusted path of digital access across the patient journey using the proprietary cloud-based platform of Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems.

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Products & Services
Texas Health Information Legal Manual Published
The Texas Health Information Management Association Board of Directors announces the publication of the Texas Health Information Legal Manual for its members and the health care industry in Texas. Topics covered in the manual include consent, authorization, and notice of privacy practices; personal representatives; patient rights with respect to information access; disclosures for legal proceedings; breach notification rule; general rules for release of information; and protected health information of decedents. The manual has been published as an online resource and is available for purchase as a subscription. Learn more »

Canon and Nuance Introduce eCopy ShareScan Services
With the demand to digitize information and assist companies with their compliance efforts growing in vertical markets, Canon U.S.A., Inc, and Nuance Communications introduce eCopy ShareScan Services for Healthcare and eCopy ShareScan Services for Legal to help organizations leverage their current investments in iManage and Epic software, respectively, and connect compatible Canon solutions that support eCopy via the content connectors. The content connectors, which require only a compatible multifunction printer (MFP) that supports eCopy, service, and the eCopy software to work, allow health care and legal employers to utilize index data rather than manually name documents and can therefore help organizations with their potential HIPAA and General Data Protection Regulation compliance efforts. The ability to easily find, share, collaborate, retain, and delete information quickly is helpful for companies' compliance efforts. Organizations can scan and index their files from the compatible MFP and send them directly into their iManage and Epic systems to save time, scanning steps, and to potentially reduce the risk of manual errors, ultimately improving time spent on patient and client experiences. Learn more »
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Why Physician Practices Need Coders
To avoid compliance risks and boost revenue, smart physician practices will keep a coder on the payroll. Read more »

A Look at the Proposed 2019 ICD-10 Codes
Here's hoping coders have mastered 2018's coding changes, because the 2019 batch is arriving sooner than you think. Read more »

Print and Save This Article — You May Not Be Able to After Ransomware Strikes
A ransomware attack is bound to cause at least some panic. What happens following the initial shock will determine how an organization emerges from the ordeal. Read more »

Can TEFCA Ensure Interoperability on a National Scale?
Instead of following the path set by the recently released Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, it might be a better idea to approach interoperability from a different angle. Read more »
Other News
Chattanooga Catches the Telehealth Bug
Use of telehealth is growing in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as the city invests in community broadband, reports Government Technology.

Man Convicted for Hacking Hospital Computer Network
A Massachusetts hacktivist was convicted for attacking Boston Children's Hospital’s computer network, according to the Boston Herald.

Lawsuit Mulled in Second UnityPoint Health Data Breach This Year
UnityPoint Health recently notified its patients of a phishing attack for a second time this year, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Ask the Expert
Have a coding or documentation question? Get an expert answer by sending an email to

This month’s selection:
Can you offer some guidance on the new 2018 CPT code 38222, Diagnostic bone marrow; biopsy(ies) and aspiration(s)?

In the examples below, would you code 38222-53 or just for the aspiration (38220)? The planned services were for both the biopsy and aspiration; are we coding what was planned or what was completed?

Read more »
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