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February 2022 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
For coding departments, having a strong technology platform can be the foundation of a smooth-running, efficient department. On occasion, coding managers can relax knowing that their staff is buttressed by such an advantage. However, as noted in this month’s E-News Exclusive, it is vital that any technology, namely computer-assisted coding, be kept up to date. Otherwise, the department can fall apart under its own weight with mistakes being compounded daily.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
The Importance of Keeping Your Coding & CAC Applications Up to Date
By Darice Grzybowski, MA, RHIA, FAHIMA

Clinical coding technology applications continue to advance at rapid rates within health care systems, hospitals, physician practices, and ambulatory and other outpatient environments. While all the platforms that house coding, demographic, and financial data are not necessarily fully interoperable, there is still significant use and sharing of reporting data. Of particular importance to mention is ICD 10-CM, ICD 10-PCS, and CPT/HCPCS code sets due to their significant role of codes in epidemiological historical research, insurance reimbursement, patient outcome statistics, and overall morbidity and mortality measurement processes for improving quality throughout the care provider environment.

Computer-assisted coding (CAC) encompasses tools to help professional coding staff assign these codes and includes software such as encoders, groupers, and national language processing applications. A number of software tools for CAC have become interwoven into the workflow of coding and continue to become more advanced and now integrate clinical documentation improvement and deficiency (incomplete record processing) functionality.

Full story »
Other News
Review the Health Data Defense Article Today
Mecklenburg County HR Sends E-Mail Identifying Workers Who Haven’t Given Proof of Vaccine
An e-mail regarding Mecklenburg County’s COVID testing policy intended for all employees was only sent to unvaccinated employees, thus identifying them; however, the error didn’t violate HIPAA, reports WCNC Charlotte.

New Software May Help Neurology Patients Capture Clinical Data With Their Own Smartphones
Human pose estimation software could help neurologists and their patients capture important clinical data with smartphones, according to a study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Products & Services
Speakers Announced for New Digital Health Get-Together
A star-studded line-up of speakers has signed on to contribute at ViVE, a new digital health event making its debut in Miami Beach, Florida, on March 6–9, 2022. These speakers are top executives and thought leaders from major health and technology corporations, including Google, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, the Mayo Clinic, UnitedHealth Group, and Adobe. They are directors at major government technology agencies such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. They are brilliant innovators in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and tech-driven medical treatments. And they are Black, white, Asian, American, international, and distributed across gender, race, and country of origin in a way that marks this event as a groundbreaking catalyst for what is transformative, what is exciting, and what makes a difference. ViVE is focused on change, a deliberate departure from traditional top-down, lecture-focused health care conferences. The brainchild of two leading organizations in digital health and innovation, ViVE merges the leadership of CHIME and the digital marketplace of HLTH to create a technology event focused on the business of transformation in health care. The event is designed to spark dialogue, creativity, and collaboration across sectors to drive the current revolution in digital health to its best outcomes for patients from all walks of life. Learn more »

MedStar Health Launches New Digital Tool
MedStar Health’s new patient-focused tool improves the patient experience and access to care. Using the platform through the app or website, patients can schedule appointments with primary care, urgent care, or telehealth providers 24/7; manage their calendar; access their records; see test results; view physician ratings; register online to save time at check-in; and more. Patients can also receive notifications like appointment scheduling and registration reminders. Also, a new digital wallet feature allows patients to store copies of their vaccine card, insurance card, ID, and other health-related documents in a single location they can readily access when needed. Learn more »

EHRA Releases Opioid Tapering Guide for EHRs
The HIMSS EHR Association has published its Opioid Tapering Implementation Guide for EHRs, a set of clinical practice guidelines that can be operationalized to improve opioid stewardship and opioid tapering in clinical practice. The guide is based on extensive research by the EHRA Opioid Crisis Task Force, which was formed in 2018 to explore and recommend ways EHR technology can help solve the complex opioid crisis puzzle. The association’s goal with this Opioid Tapering Guide is to enable an organization’s health IT team to implement tapering best practices more rapidly using EHR-based CDS tools. The EHR developer community can also use it to steer the future development of new or updated products and services that can help hospitals, physician practices, and other care environments implement these and other best practices. Learn more »

CHIME Launches Online Graduate Programs in Digital Health
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) announces the opening of a new degree-granting university for digital health professionals. Online classes have begun for CHIME University’s first graduate education programs: the new Master of Digital Healthcare and Doctor of Digital Healthcare degrees. Both programs will have rolling enrollment, allowing learners to start at any time throughout the year and proceed at their own pace. CHIME University’s programs, which are available completely online, will be open to learners in many US states as well as selected international locations. Program features include Case Studies, Scenario-Based Learning, Gamification, Course Test-Out Assessments, Optional Graduate Seminars with Faculty, and access to invitation-only, in-person CHIME events. Standard total tuition for each academic degree program will be $12,000, with a special member rate for CHIME members, CHIME Foundation members, and other CHIME-affiliated organizations. There are no additional fees or costs associated with the programs. Learn more »
In this e-Newsletter
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The X-Factor
With nonbinary birth certificates gaining more acceptance, HIM departments may have to reexamine certain practices. Read more »

Modernizing the Aggregation, Usability of Cancer Data
Still largely a manual process, data abstracting is nevertheless slowly but surely moving in the direction of automated data flows. Read more »
Industry Insight
AI Models Can Predict Individual Risk of Hospitalization for COVID Using HIE Data

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the necessity and the difficulty of using clinical data to inform state and national public health policymaking. In a new study, Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University researchers demonstrate that machine learning models trained using clinical data from a statewide health information exchange can predict, on a patient level, the likelihood of hospitalization of individuals with the virus.

“It has been quite challenging to bring the bread-and-butter data generated by health care systems together with public health decision-making—entities which have long been separate and distinct,” says study senior author Shaun Grannis, MD, MS, Regenstrief Institute vice president for data and analytics and professor of family medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. “Our work shows how you can build and employ AI [artificial intelligence] models to securely utilize the clinical information in a health information exchange to support public health needs such as predicting hospital utilization within one week and within six weeks of onset of COVID infection.

“When new circumstances requiring rapid response arise, such as emergence of Omicron or other new variants, once there are sufficient cases to train models, one can confidently access and plug clinical data into these readily available models to make accurate public health predictions and provide valuable insights into patient-level need for health care resource utilization,” Grannis says.

The researchers used clinical data from 96,026 individuals from all 957 zip codes in Indiana to train decision models that predicted healthcare resource utilization.

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