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Industry Insight

New ICD-10 Codes Designated for Dravet Syndrome

In honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month, the Dravet Syndrome Foundation (DSF) is pleased to announce that the National Center for Health Statistics has designated specific ICD-10 codes for Dravet syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder. The designation of the ICD-10 codes resulted from a combined effort from DSF and their medical advisory board, made up of specialists in the field of Dravet syndrome. The new ICD-10 codes took effect on October 1.

Dedicated ICD-10 codes for Dravet syndrome will make it easier for the field to conduct epidemiologic research and retrospective studies, determine true prevalence and morbidity and mortality rates, recruit patients for clinical trials, track outcomes of clinical interventions, and develop protocols for standard of care. Until this point, Dravet syndrome was included in the ICD-10 code G40.8 Other epilepsy and recurrent seizures, which contained a broad group of epileptic disorders with different causes and treatment strategies that are not specific to Dravet syndrome.

“We truly appreciate the work of our Medical Advisory Board members who contributed their extensive expertise, as well as the other community stakeholders who supported DSF in applying for and receiving these ICD-10 codes,” says Mary Anne Meskis, executive director of DSF. “Having these unique codes will lead to improved clinical care for our patient community and will help health care professionals to better understand the lifelong impact of Dravet syndrome and associated health issues.”

Dravet Syndrome is a catastrophic form of epilepsy that begins in infancy. It is a debilitating lifelong condition. Patients experience frequent seizures, poor seizure control, developmental delays, and other associated health issues.

Dravet syndrome has received three new ICD-10 codes: G40.83 Dravet syndrome; G40.833 Dravet syndrome, intractable with status epilepticus; and G40.834 Dravet syndrome, intractable, without status epilepticus. Health care providers should now begin utilizing these codes when caring for an individual with Dravet syndrome; the patient community can spread awareness by ensuring their providers know about these new codes at their next visit.

Veronica Hood, PhD, DSF research coordinator, says, “These ICD-10 codes have the potential to improve outcomes for individual patients and broadly increase our overall medical and scientific knowledge of Dravet syndrome. This represents an important step in the process of increasing awareness and improving treatments for patients with Dravet syndrome.”

— Source: Dravet Syndrome Foundation


Nebraska Health Information Exchange Expands SDOH Platform

Unite Us, a technology company building coordinated care networks nationwide, announces that it is expanding its partnership with the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NEHII), a health information exchange, to six additional states: Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, and Minnesota. This growing partnership aims to break down existing obstacles between clinical and social service providers to allow for comprehensive, whole-person care with trackable outcomes and data.

Beyond the clinical care a person receives, 80% of an individual’s health and quality of life is affected by their social determinants of health (SDOH), conditions in the environment where people are born, live, work, play, and worship. It is critical that health care providers have access to this full picture of their patients’ lives beyond the clinic and hospital walls in order to identify and help eliminate potential barriers to their health and well-being.

NEHII is committed to helping organizations addressing SDOH improve their workflows, track results and metrics, avoid wasteful and repeated care, and create sustainable long-term models for care. NEHII will utilize Unite Us’ person-centric platform to provide transparency, accountability, and outcomes data to providers, and to incorporate community-based social care into state ecosystems, particularly in rural areas with geographic variations in access to critical services. This expansion and continued partnership paves the way for additional collaborations with other health information exchanges, multiple health systems, and state Medicaid departments as they collectively move towards systems change.

“NEHII is thrilled to be expanding our partnership with Unite Us into six new states, to enable better support and health outcomes for all Americans,” says Jaime Bland, president and CEO of NEHII. “We know patients don’t seek care in a single institution, let alone a single state, especially along our borders. Statewide infrastructures for health and social care are more crucial than ever as COVID-19 continues to devastate the nation. We’re eager to help additional states combine their clinical and social care data in one secure location to provide patients and providers a more comprehensive view of their longitudinal health record.”

“Our ultimate goal is to help all Americans lead healthier lives, and this extended partnership with NEHII enables providers to better address whole-person needs, including nonmedical issues and social determinants of health,” says Taylor Justice, president of Unite Us. “We continue to lead on bringing social care to the same level of priority as traditional health care, at a time when it has never been more important to build this infrastructure. While much of the national response to COVID-19 so far has been in the clinical realm, our social support systems are seeing an unprecedented strain due to high demand.”

— Source: Unite Us


2020 AHDI Integrity Award Winners Announced

The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), in honor of its professional programs, standards, and best practices, conducts an annual awards program to acknowledge the significant contributions of its members and other individuals and organizations that have made an impact on the health care documentation sector over the previous year. The association is proud to promote and honor those who have supported the professional practice standards and goals that AHDI has developed for advancing the profession and positioning this sector for continued relevance in the future of health care delivery.

Congratulations to all of these dedicated members. Award winners were announced during AHDI’s Healthcare Documentation Integrity Virtual Conference.

Advocate of the Year Award: Laura Bryan, MS, MT(ASCP), CHDS, AHDI-F
Bryan has served in key roles on critical committees, drafting important standards papers, speaking and presenting across the association year-round, training and teaching our members on the evolution of technology, and supporting AHDI staff with technical expertise. She serves as the AHDI representative on the HIMSS Health Story Leadership Council and was particularly recognized for the work she’s done and the leadership she’s provided as chair of the Book of Style & Standards for Clinical Documentation, 4th Edition development team. She is a true professional in every sense of the word, gifted in her ability to teach, and undeniably dedicated to everything she takes on. Past integrity awards Bryan received include the Advocate of the Year award in 2009, Lifetime Achievement award in 2011, and the Distinguished Service award in 2019.

The Advocate of the Year award recognizes an individual for outstanding advocacy activities related to advancement of the health care documentation profession.

Educator of the Year Award: Heather Ramsay, BA, Med, RHN
Ramsay has been an educator for 16 years and is an enthusiastic lifelong learner, having earned a Master of Education degree while teaching full-time in the Medical Support Services program. She also became a certified peer review for MERLOT—Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching—and takes part in as many professional development opportunities as possible, to include a five-week Technology-Enabled Learning certificate from Athabasca University and the Commonwealth of Learning, attending the first annual AHDI virtual conference in August 2019, and finishing a six-session webinar series on iridology while she works toward her board certification as a holistic wellness practitioner. These experiences and other professional and personal development opportunities positively affect her teaching and interactions with students and other professionals.

The Educator of the Year award recognizes an individual professional member who has demonstrated excellence in health care documentation education as a program instructor or coordinator, a contributor to AHDI educational programs, or an instructor of continuing education programs for the health care documentation community.

Employer of the Year Award: Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic exhibited strength in their adherence to its values statement—they put the patient first through honoring and cherishing respect, integrity, compassion, healing, teamwork, innovation, excellence, and stewardship. Mayo Clinic demonstrated its values system by providing extra work for its employed health care documentation specialists (HDS) when the workload diminished due to COVID-19 by forming special projects that expanded the skillset of HDS and introduced them to other HIM functions, as well as encouraged they take formal internal courses on Microsoft products and to undergo systematic problem-solving training and obtain quality certification.

The Employer of the Year Award is presented to an AHDI corporate or individual professional member employer who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of our workforce and support of AHDI’s professional practice, credentialing, and continuing education goals.

Member of the Year Award: Julia Dyviniak, CHDS, AHDI-F
Dyviniak has been a very active volunteer over her many years as a member on both the component and national levels. Most recently, she has been instrumental in leading the Webinar Education Task Force and has served on the Welcome Team. She also is newly elected to the Board of Directors. Her leadership style is encouraging and motivates others to step outside their comfort zone, try new things, and follow through with their commitments. She is an active listener and leads by example.

The Member of the Year award serves to recognize an individual for outstanding contribution to the AHDI through relevant service and activities that have advanced the mission, goals, and objectives of the association.

Rising Star Award: Brandy Unruh
In honor of educator Marilyn Craddock, the Rising Star Award recognizes an outstanding industry student for a contemplative and informed response to the association’s annual essay contest. This year’s essay topic was “Breaking Boundaries—How High Will You Soar?” Judging was based on clarity of content, organization, creativity, spelling, and grammar.

Distinguished Service Award: Colleen Chapman of CanScribe Career College
Chapman’s contributions over the years have been numerous and AHDI wants to recognize some of the many ways she has shown her support of AHDI. Her company has sponsored and/or exhibited at almost every annual conference since 2005. They have been a supporter of the Building Futures program, which continues to allow students to reap the benefits of AHDI membership at no cost to them.

Her company requires their instructors to hold AHDI credentials and encourages them to get involved with AHDI. Not only has our award nominee served on many committees and task forces over the years, but many of her staff and students have as well. We congratulate her for setting her students up for success by always providing access to AHDI’s Book of Style.

The Distinguished Service Award serves to recognize an individual or organization that has demonstrated consistent support of the association, its goals and objectives, and the profession through services rendered to the industry, sponsorship of AHDI events and projects, and/or contribution of content expertise and leadership in key AHDI initiatives. This honor is awarded by the AHDI National Leadership Board.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Sandy Shumaker, CMT, AHDI-F
Shumaker’s contributions over the years have been numerous, as she has always been a strong supporter of AHDI’s mission, goals, and objectives. Not only has she touched the lives of so many health care documentation professionals over the years, but her contributions to AHDI have had a resounding and lasting impact. Her company often sponsored and supported employees in continuing educational opportunities, and she also provided leadership and guidance to the Orange County chapter of AHDI, AHDI-West, and AHDI. Shumaker is admired, respected, and loved by many for her distinguished lifetime commitment to our industry and to AHDI.

The Lifetime Achievement Award serves to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to the association and industry over the course of his/her professional career and has left a resonating footprint on the association and its members. This is the highest honor bestowed by AHDI and is awarded by the AHDI National Leadership Board.

— Source: The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity