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June 2019 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
Ever been stuck in the middle of a merger? For employees, a million thoughts swirl: Should I stay? If so, how will my role change? What changes are in store?

From an organization perspective, the considerations are even more formidable. This month’s E-News Exclusive explores ideas of how to make the transition run smoothly, including workforce solutions.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Health Care Industry Consolidation: Focus Needed on Workforce Challenges
By Dan White

A major challenge in every health care industry merger is integrating, managing, and optimizing the newly consolidated organization’s workforce. Success in this endeavor is critical; it directly affects patient experience and outcomes and the organization’s biggest expenditures. The workforce accounts for more than one-half of operating budgets for hospitals, health systems, and other health care facilities.

The common belief is that consolidation results in economies of scale, allowing the new organization to do more with less. But that isn’t always the case—or a given—when it comes to the health care workforce, which is usually stretched thin.

Most health care organizations are already experiencing shortages of professionals ranging from nurses and physicians to coders. Consolidation won’t help solve these problems, and in fact may make them worse if none of the enterprises has expertise in effective workforce solutions. A merger of two health care organizations facing workforce shortages and other staffing problems may mean double the problems without these solutions.

Importantly, workforce challenges will likely get worse for health care organizations as they consolidate. Demand for health care services is rising in the United States, driven by an aging populace that utilizes approximately three times more care than the general population, and an improving economy where more people have jobs with health care benefits. Consolidation doesn’t alter the upward trend in demand; a newly combined workforce faces challenges from both integration and extra demand for services.

Full story »
An Invigorating Exchange of Ideas at ACDIS 2019
By Jennifer Cavagnac, CCDS, and Walter Houlihan, FAHIMA

The 12th annual Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) Conference took place May 20–23, 2019, in Orlando, Florida, and as always, this gathering of clinical documentation professionals were not disappointed. The well-organized event featured hundreds of sessions, most led by clinical documentation improvement (CDI) professionals.

Each year, Baystate Health sends a team to this event, mixing rookies and veterans and even making sure physician champions are represented. The team takes a divide-and-conquer approach to make sure attendees can cover all the key sessions, and then facilitates information sharing afterward.

For the 2019 event, Baystate’s primary goal was to learn more about innovations in communicating with providers, and in particular in documentation clarification. The Baystate team was also interested in learning more about how other hospitals are handling the documentation challenges of multidisciplinary rounds. And of course, as at every ACDIS Conference, the team was eager to see and discuss with peers the latest International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) proposed rule changes.

Read more »
HFMA Preview
Be Bold at HFMA
By Cate Hayes

This year’s Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Annual Conference will take place from June 23 to 26 in Orlando, Florida. Through a combination of both general sessions and small group cohorts, the HFMA conference aims to inspire attendees to spark change and become leaders in the industry, while also educating on the transformations that health care is facing today.

Breakout sessions for this conference will focus on the following topics:
  • accounting, financial management, budgeting, and capital investments;
  • bending the cost curve;
  • business intelligence, data management, and analytics;
  • industry updates and compliance;
  • leadership, change management, and organizational capability;
  • patient accessibility, engagement, and experience;
  • payment trends and models; and
  • revenue cycle process improvement.
Read more »
Products & Services
Pivot Point Consulting Launches New Quality-Driven HIM Services
Pivot Point Consulting launches new quality-driven HIM services to provide trusted, end-to-end support to meet the demands of revenue cycle functions. Coding services include coding support to integrate with your team and comprehensive assessment and skills testing. Advisory services include coding and compliance services (eg, denial management, coding audits and education, and Hierarchical Condition Category audits and education); technology assessments, selection, implementation, and optimization; operational and workflow assessments for HIM, coding, and clinical documentation improvement (CDI); release of information strategy to support regulatory compliance; and legal health record and record retention strategy. Talent solutions include coding (facility and professional services), CDI, HIM (all functional areas), cancer registry, trauma registry, and interim management (HIM, coding, and CDI). Learn more »

Solution Delivers Compliant Retention and Disposal of Health Records
Iron Mountain Incorporated, a leader in storage and information management services, has enhanced its Custodial Records Solution. Developed for physician practices, clinics, and hospitals that are closing their facilities, this solution ensures compliance with records retention and destruction requirements as well as privacy and security requirements though a HIPAA-compliant digital and physical medical records solution. Iron Mountain’s prepaid Custodial Records Solution indexes and stores physical and electronic records in a highly secure, HIPAA-compliant manner. Physical records are stored in secure facilities that provide 24/7 central monitoring, while electronic records are stored utilizing Iron Mountain’s Iron Cloud storage solution. When patient records are needed, they are released to patients or authorized requesters in accordance with industry regulations and privacy and security standards. Once the retention requirements are met, all records are securely and defensibly destroyed. Learn more »

Clinical Trials Planned for Iris Recognition-Based Patient Identification Software
Patientory Inc. and United Kingdom-based IrisGuard are collaborating to combine leading iris biometric technology and health care focused PTOYNet blockchain network for enhanced security measures. The HIPAA-compliant Patientory App, which already adheres to strict security requirements, will utilize the benefits of iris-recognition software to add another layer of authorization on the blockchain to help eliminate health care inefficiencies. Because IrisGuard’s EyePay mobile technology is blockchain-ready to authenticate and authorize patient identification and information in under three seconds, there’s great potential to expand the technology into health care on the Patientory, Inc software, which is powered by the PTOYNet blockchain. This technology can help providers identify an individual with unparalleled accuracy, through iris-recognition and data matching. And because it’s verified on the blockchain, it’s scalable without sacrificing data security. Patientory, Inc. plans to roll out the technology first in pharmaceutical clinical trials this year. Learn more »
Gift Shop
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
All-In for All-Payer CDI
For years, clinical documentation improvement initiatives have spent the majority of their time focused on government programs. Today, more hospitals are making room for all payers. Read more »

Nebulous Notes Hinder Cancer Research
The fact that data contained in medical records and a cancer registry do not have the same level of specificity makes it more difficult for researchers to make progress. Read more »

Unlocking the Social Determinants of Health
UnitedHealthcare and the American Medical Association are supporting the creation of nearly two dozen new ICD-10 codes related to SDOH. Read more »

Emerging Voices
An EHR voice assistant project at Vanderbilt University Medical Center highlights how natural language processing is changing the landscape of heath care. Read more »
Other News
For Dying Patients, Early Plans Can Improve Quality of Life
Earlier end-of-life documentation leads to fewer hospitalizations, according to a study from The Ohio State University.

Identifying Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Through EHRs
In order to gather more specific statistics, a study used EHR data to differentiate between diabetes types, reports MD Magazine.
Tweets From the National Cancer Registrars Association 45th Annual Conference

Great presentations and speakers Day 1 at NCRA conference on evolution of cancer care, future of cancer programs, update on genetics and precision medicine, abstracting and automation. #NCRAConf2019

“You can’t be afraid to move, we’ve got to move!” — Dr. Lisa Richardson #NCRA19 #NCRANews #NCRAConf2019 #WETakeOnCancer #WTOC

My favorite shirt at #ncra45 #ncraconf2019 #lovewhereyouwork #lovewhatyoudo #samstaff

There is always going to be a need for curated data collected by CTR. — Dr. Lynne Penberthy from SEEr speaking at NCRA 45th Annual Conference. #NCRAConf2019

NCRA thanks Janet Reynolds for her leadership as president and looks forward to Paulette Zinkann as NCRA’s new president. #NCRAConf2019 #ncra45
Industry Insight
AHIMA Foundation Launches New Department of Labor-Recognized Apprenticeship Role: Inpatient Coding Auditor

The AHIMA Foundation is pleased to announce the expansion of its registered apprenticeship program to include an Inpatient Coding Auditor role based on recent employer feedback. Registered apprenticeship, a proven strategy, ensures quality workforce readiness training by combining on-the-job learning with hands-on instruction to prepare exceptional workers for American industry. The process of apprenticeship program registration is designed to ensure that working apprentices, program employers, and the public can gain a clear understanding of the training content and that measures that are in place to ensure ongoing quality.

The increase in regulatory audits, downgrading Medicare Severity Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRGs) under ICD-10 and an increase in denials are drivers of impacting the growing need for this role. Inpatient coding auditors bring knowledge of code validation and accurate MS-DRG assignment, classification of coding and denial issues, and the ability to analyze audit results in order to track and trend overall improvement and resolution. Employers can now choose inpatient coding auditor from the six available roles helping to build a stronger and more experienced health information workforce.

Read more »
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