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Editor's e-Note
When it comes to internships, some are better than others. Deciding what’s the right fit can be difficult for up-and-coming HIM students.

This month’s E-News Exclusive offers advice on how to make that decision. What’s more, the article details how to make the entire experience worthwhile.

Also in this issue is a recap of two notable sessions at the recently concluded AHIMA national conference.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Making the Most of Your Internship
By Margaret Ledda

Health information administration is a high-growth field, one that is full of potential. Tapping into that potential, however, requires not only the right credentials obtained through higher education but also a positive internship and industry experience.

Success starts with carefully researching and selecting the right internship for you. Look for an interesting, challenging site. Be thoughtful about what kind of environment would most allow you to try new skills, stretch yourself, provide knowledge and experiences to round out your education, or allow you to work with a great team or mentor.

If your internship position is too similar to your current role, it’s not a relevant learning experience. It doesn’t stretch you or reward you professionally to work with a preceptor with whom you have worked previously. Some preceptors (or perhaps other staff members) might view your movement toward your next career step as a threat. Even among the best teams, doing something you know how to do well already won’t excite you or help you build your skill set and résumé. It might be easy and comfortable, but this is the time for professional challenges and new experiences.

Full Story »
ICD-11, Release of Information Covered at National Conference
By Heather Hogstrom

AHIMA recently held its 90th Annual Convention and Exhibit in Miami. Hot topics ranged from patient identification to managing HIM implementation projects.

One key topic for coders was the eventual transition to ICD-11. The session “Looking to the Future: What ICD-11 Has in Store for HIM” by Kathy Giannangelo, MA, RHIA, CCS, CPHIMS, FAHIMA, an HIM consultant at Kathy Giannangelo Consulting LLC, covered how ICD-11 will be different from ICD-10.

ICD-11, which will feature five new chapters, will allow searching via coding tool or tabular list. New features include precoordination and stem codes, postcoordination, sanctioning rules, multiple parenting, and linearizations. Additionally, cluster coding will allow a backslash between two stem codes or an ampersand between a code and an extension.

Read more »
Tweets From #MGMA18Annual

The Medical Group Management Association Annual Conference was recently held in Boston. Attendees had plenty to say about the sessions, including the presentations by keynote speakers Robin Farmanfarmaian and Mel Robbins.

@Robinff3 delivered an incredible general session this morning! She shared the innovations in health care technology that allowed her to take back her own health along with the tech that we’ll be seeing in the future.

AI is a game changer in #healthcare. By 2020, AI will impact patient engagement, physician notes, communication, imaging & more. Tech leaders have committed to remove barriers for adoption & interoperability. @Robinff3 #MGMA18Annual

Read more »
Industry Insight
New York Nonprofit Hit With Hefty HIPAA Fine

Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood, JD, recently announced a settlement with The Arc of Erie County, a Buffalo-based nonprofit that provides services to people with developmental disabilities and their families, after finding that the company exposed clients’ sensitive personal information on the internet for years. The settlement requires The Arc of Erie County to conduct a thorough risk analysis of security risks and vulnerabilities of all electronic equipment and data systems, review its policies and procedures, and pay a $200,000 penalty.

“The Arc of Erie County’s work serves our most vulnerable New Yorkers—and that comes with the responsibility to protect them and their sensitive personal information,” Underwood says. “This settlement should provide a model to all charities in protecting their communities’ personal information online.”

Read more »
Products & Services
Ciox Launches HealthSource Gym to Train and Assess Medical Coders
Ciox recently announced the launch of Ciox HealthSource Gym, a comprehensive platform designed to help assess, train, and develop medical coders within health care organizations and academia. The software as a service platform is a robust, engaging learning environment that provides data-rich training and practice scenarios to optimize coding performance. The module sits on top of Ciox’s HealthSource, a clinical data platform that uses the latest interoperability and artificial intelligence technology to improve clinical data exchange and transform the flow of health care information. HealthSource Gym offers a hands-on learning approach that will initially serve health care providers and academic coding programs. In the future, Ciox plans to extend the platform’s use to key sectors such as risk adjustment coding, CDI training, and denials prevention. Learn more »

New Sensor Could Help Doctors Monitor Patient Progress From a Distance
A self-powered sensor developed at the University of Waterloo could allow doctors to remotely monitor the recovery of surgical patients. The small, tubelike device is designed to be fitted to braces after joint surgery to wirelessly send information to computers, smartphones, or smartwatches to track range of motion and other indicators of improvement. A prototype built and tested by the researchers combines electromagnetism and triboelectricity. The aim was to develop a sensor that works without having a battery attached to it, which makes the device well suited for applications that put a premium on reliability and where it would be difficult or expensive to replace worn-out batteries. The sensors are about 6 cm long and 1 cm wide; research is now focused on making them smaller and more sensitive using triboelectricity alone. Learn more »

Brief on the Value of Data Governance in Health Care Released
eHealth Initiative Foundation, in conjunction with the Health Care division of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, has released “The Value of Data Governance in Healthcare.” The information brief provides perspectives from health care industry executives, shared at a roundtable on the subject, while also defining data governance, data stewardship and access, and their role in health care. It delves into the challenges around interoperability, standards and regulations, data size and type, patient-matching, and access and workflow necessary to implement data governance. The brief also discusses the importance of moving beyond simple record keeping and investing time, money, and resources in a data governance strategy to realize long-term benefits. Key takeaways include solving patient matching and identification issues, supporting patient engagement and access to their health information, improving the timing and precision of information delivery, and building a more complete picture of the patient through clinical, social determinant, and claims data. The brief is available for download in the eHealth Resource Center and on the LexisNexis Risk Solutions website.
In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Are Auditors Playing Fair?
Experts offer advice on how health care organizations can avoid abuse from contractors and payers. Read more »

Assessing Documentation Quality
Despite the presence of best practices, many organizations and vendors have their own ideas about what is quality documentation. Read more »

Medical Device Security
Determined hackers are expanding their horizons by breaching medical devices in an effort to access networks. Read more »

Battle Lines Drawn
The Office for Civil Rights plans to draft a new rule to inform patients about who has accessed their protected health information. Read more »
Other News
IT Vendor’s Actions Questioned in Connection With Security Probe
A former systems analyst at Integrated Health Information Systems found an alleged security loophole in Allscripts’ EMR, but then e-mailed this information to Epic, reports The Straits Times.

Fear of Denials Could Be Pushing More Joint Procedures Into Outpatient Setting
In an effort to avoid audits, knee replacement surgeries are being performed in the less expensive outpatient setting, according to Modern Healthcare.
Ask the Expert
Have a coding or documentation question? Get an expert answer by sending an email to

This month’s selection:
I’m wondering what code to use to show that the patient is currently wearing a Life Vest.

A Certified Coding Specialist in Pennsylvania

Presence of or attention to an external automatic cardiac defibrillator (Life Vest) would be assigned using the presence (of), device (external), heart assist Z95.811.

Nichole Hunt is CEO of Coding Concepts.
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