Home  |   Subscribe  |   Resources  |   Reprints  |   Writers' Guidelines

Industry Insight

AHIMA Member Named California Deputy Secretary of the Health Information Exchange

Gov Edmund G. Brown, Jr has appointed Pamela Lane, RHIA, MS, CPHIMS, of Fairfield, California, as deputy secretary of the health information exchange at the California Health and Human Services Agency.
An active member of AHIMA for 25 years, Lane, a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War, has been vice president of health informatics at the California Hospital Association since 2007. She has also served as senior director of revenue cycle management at NorthBay, director of business operations and HIM at Lompoc Healthcare District, a senior installation specialist at Quadramed Corporation, and director of HIM at the Westerly Hospital.

— Source: AHIMA


NHHIMA Joins Barry Libman’s Medical Coders Affiliate Program

The New Hampshire Health Information Management Association (NHHIMA) has joined Barry Libman Inc’s medical coders affiliate program. NHHIMA is the fourth healthcare membership organization—along with the Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts HIM associations—to partner with Barry Libman Inc to offer the online course “Anatomy & Physiology for Coders” to its members.

This affiliate program provides an annuity revenue stream that includes everything associations need to promote the course to their members. When someone signs up for the course, affiliates automatically receive a commission. Affiliates can use the program to augment existing on-premise seminars, webinars, and audio training programs.

“Anatomy & Physiology for Coders” was developed to educate medical record coders preparing for the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS. The 12-week course provides a comprehensive and complete review of the major body systems as well as coverage of common diseases and disorders, frequently prescribed drugs, and common laboratory tests.

The course uses the textbook and supplemental CD Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology by Donald Rizzo. Also included are lesson notes, multimedia videos, interactive educational games, and full-color anatomical drawings to amplify course content. Multiple quizzes and comprehensive weekly assessments assure mastery of the material.

The course has received prior approval for 24 continuing education units (CEUs) from AHIMA and 12 CEUs from AAPC.

— Source: New Hampshire Health Information Management Association


Wireless Remote Monitoring Device Market Seeing Rapid Growth

Devices that can transmit a patient’s vital signs across a hospital building or connect a patient’s home with a provider’s office are the fastest-growing medical devices in terms of revenue earned, according to market research firm Kalorama Information.

Revenues for these wireless patient-monitoring devices have doubled in the last four years and are expected to double again in the next four, according to Kalorama’s recent report “Remote and Wireless Patient Monitoring Markets.” With a growth rate of 23% between 2008 and 2010, these devices saw greater growth than what Kalorama had estimated for minimally invasive surgical devices, specialty catheters, and defibrillators—devices that have drawn attention in recent years.

“It is unusual to see over 20% growth in the tight, volume-buy medical device market,” says Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “The new wireless patient monitoring systems aren’t facing these obstacles because they appeal both to the need of payers to cut hospital stays and to the need of providers to deal with reduced staff.”

According to the report, the aging of the US and world populations is a growth driver. The percentage of the population that was aged 65 or older reached 13% in 2010, and it is expected to reach 20.7% by 2050. This, in turn, is expected to increase cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes, among the top conditions requiring monitoring. The success of these systems in cutting costs is another growth driver. Kalorama’s report details cases where new patient monitoring technologies resulted in a need for fewer personnel, increased coverage by existing personnel, and a reduction in errors.

A third driver is EMRs. Almost all of these devices can provide information directly to an EMR system to make a useful health record.

— Source: Kalorama Information


AHIMA Backs Meaningful Use Extension

AHIMA applauds Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ intent to make it easier for physicians to adopt HIT.

Currently, healthcare providers who participated in the Medicare EHR incentive program in 2011 will have to meet ICD-10 standards by 2013. However, under the new rule, healthcare providers who did not participate in the program prior to 2012 will have an extension until 2014 to comply with the new ICD-10 standards.

“It is essential for healthcare providers to move toward ICD-10, so it aligns with the meaningful use incentive program as well as value-based reimbursement,” says AHIMA’s CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, RHIA, FACHE. “We support the HHS in their decision to provide an extension so all healthcare providers can make the transition to ICD-10. Not only will this save the hospital money in the long run, but patients will get better, more accurate care.”

“To fully achieve meaningful use of electronic health records, the healthcare industry must utilize a more modern, clinically rich classification system,” says AHIMA Director of Coding Policy and Compliance Sue Bowman, RHIA, CCS. “The transition to the ICD-10 classification systems will provide greater specificity and clinical detail that will improve the quality of healthcare data.” 

ICD-10-CM and some terminologies are expected to be part of meaningful use stage 2, and the delay will allow vendors to ensure good mapping with the stage 2 EHR requirements.

— Source: AHIMA