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Industry Insight

RTI International to Develop Road Map for HIT Safety Center

As part of an effort to advance the safety and safe use of HIT, RTI International has been awarded a contract from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to create a road map for the development of a national HIT safety center.

The road map will aim to define the focus, functions, governance, and value of a new national HIT safety center. Prior work by government, industry, and academia has envisioned this new center as a public-private entity that provides engagement, evidence, and education around HIT safety.

“Health IT is creating novel opportunities for patients and providers, while also raising new and important safety concerns,” says Doug Johnston, director of HIT policy in RTI’s Center for the Advancement of Health Information Technology, and the project director. “As a first step, the road map will define a path for creating a new center that helps gather information and share learning about the safety and safe use of health IT.”

To develop this road map, RTI will convene a task force of public-private stakeholders including safety researchers, patient advocates, providers, HIT vendors, medical liability and health insurers, and government officials, which will provide recommendations and help build a shared awareness about safety best practices and risks involved in HIT.

— Source: RTI International


Auditing and Coding Experts Names Karla Lovaasen
Director of Coding

Karla Lovaasen, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, has been named director of coding at Auditing and Coding Experts; previously Lovaasen served as director of coding quality assurance for MedStar Health. In her new position, Lovaasen will manage coder development, assessment, and ongoing training.

With more than 35 years of HIM experience, Lovaasen brings extensive knowledge of APR-DRG, MS-DRG, and ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS coding systems to Auditing and Coding Experts. She is an AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, and has coauthored two coding textbooks/workbooks, ICD-9-CM Coding Theory and Practice and ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding Theory and Practice. Lovaasen has also worked as an educator and mentored many coders in ICD-9-CM coding and reimbursement.

Auditing and Coding Experts is a privately owned Maryland company, providing comprehensive auditing, accurate coding, interim management, and training to hospitals, trauma centers, surgical centers, and physician groups throughout the United States since 2001, according to the company. All coders and auditors are fully credentialed by AHIMA and/or AAPC.

— Source: Auditing and Coding Experts


MiraMed Global to Increase Headcount at Ajuba Solutions

The US-based health care business process outsourcing group MiraMed Global Services is planning to acquire small, niche companies in the United States and Britain for growth, while increasing its headcount in India and Philippines, according to a group official. The group’s Indian outfit Ajuba Solutions India will be expanding its operations and increasing its headcount by 2015, he says.

“In the US the group is looking at small companies operating in the health care payer vertical [insurers]. We are looking at companies with a turnover of around $5 million. The group already has good experience in the health care provider [hospitals] space,” says Ganesh Kumar, director of operations for Ajuba Solutions, which offers revenue cycle management services (billing to collections) for the US hospitals.

According to Kumar the group is exploring the UK market and looking at all possible growth avenues—organic as well as inorganic.

He says the group is focusing on big data analytics in the US market. Kumar says the group has developed an analytical tool, which will be first offered to the clients and later sold in the market as a product.

Kumar says the health care reforms in the United States brought in by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare) and the increased private delivery of health care in the United Kingdom offers good business potential for the group. Under Obamacare, more Americans will acquire health care insurance protection, which augurs well for the players in the industry.

Kumar says the implementation of ICD-10 offers good business in the coding space in the United States for the group. “Our approximately 1,000 experienced coders and nurses in India and Manila have received the highest level of training in anticipation of the ICD-10 rollout in 2015,” Tony Mira, president and CEO of MiraMed and founder of Ajuba Solutions said in a recent statement.

Globally, the health care vertical of MiraMed group has a head count of around 4,000, which is expected to go up by 1,000 next year. In India, Ajuba Solutions will increase its headcount by 500 to 600 to take the total to around 3,500 next year, Kumar said.

“We are also looking at other Indian cities for expansion. That will be decided next year. Our monthly attrition rate is around 3%,” says Hema Parikh, director of human resources.

— Source: Business Standard