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ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals is thrilled to welcome you to HIM Insider: Blogs, part of our Healthcare POV: Blog and Forum Community from ADVANCE. Our blog community offers interactive blogs written by professionals in the HIM field and our editorial staff. We look forward to hearing more about the HIM field from your point of view. Blogs will discuss issues related to the field, current events and other fun and candid observations. We have provided a comment section so you can voice your opinions and submit feedback. Happy blogging!

By Ryan Sandefer, chair of the Health Informatics and Information Management at The College of St. Scholastica

Health Information Management is often cited as one of this decade's 'Hot Jobs' and journalists love to single it out as a growth area everyone should be considering. It's easy to see why they pick out our profession.

The authors of a recent study published in the journal Industrial Relations ...

February 17, 2014 11:07 AM by Elsevier of Preparing a Successful ICD-10 Transition

"The need to prepare for ICD-10 and the Affordable Care Act and to achieve so-called meaningful use of electronic health records all at once could overwhelm computer staffs throughout the healthcare industry."

This quote from a recent New York Times article ("Roughed Up by an Orca? There's a Code for That") should get the attention of those who (1) still believe the transition to the new coding system ...


By Pam Wirth, RHIA

When it comes to ICD-10, many think the 10 months remaining until the transition deadline provides ample time to get coders fully training on the complex new code set. Not only is that unrealistic, but those that haven't already locked in their on-site training programs may find themselves out of luck.

Escalating demand is quickly creating a shortage of qualified instructors, ...

November 15, 2013 12:34 PM by Elsevier of Preparing a Successful ICD-10 Transition

Reflecting on our time at the AHIMA Convention & Exhibit in Atlanta, obviously there was a lot of focus on ICD-10. In addition to the usual interest in the upcoming implementation, there was also increased concern regarding the challenges of planning for the transition.

A few of the issues we heard most often included:

  • Is my organization moving fast enough to make the transition ...

October 17, 2013 9:18 AM by Elsevier of Preparing a Successful ICD-10 Transition

With less than two weeks to go, do you have your AHIMA game plan figured out? As always, there's a lot to do - and learn - so it requires a bit of forethought. 

ICD-10 likely will be top of mind for many, and participants will be looking for tips and tools to make their next move or fill in the gaps on preparation and training. As to the latter, here are some key questions you may want to ask yourself:

  • Do ...

October 7, 2013 2:12 PM by Mark Dominesey of CDI: Just Tell Me What to Say

According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, query is a transitive verb. It requires one or more objects. To "query" someone is to ask questions in order to resolve a doubt or obtain authoritative information. CDI specialists (CDIS) and clinical coders query physicians every day to clarify documentation and achieve accurate code assignments.

In fact, 38 percent of facilities have a set query quota (amount ...


By Ryan Sandefer

We recently returned from an exciting few days at the American Health Information Management Association's (AHIMA) Assembly on Education Symposium and Faculty Development Institute in Baltimore. A mouthful for sure, but it was great insight into what will be driving Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) over the coming academic year. The key takeaway? It's all about data, ...


We recently addressed the importance of confidence building in transitioning to ICD-10. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than with your experienced coders. For these folks, this means not only instilling confidence that they're up to the task, but also confidence that they have your support and respect.

Taking action now can help you retain your experienced medical coders - those who will be the most ...


By Margaret Czart, DrPH

Historically, health insurers relied on information technology mainly to automate reimbursement procedures and crunch numbers for actuarial tables. They collected the historical claims data for a patient, while the provider collected the clinical data - two very different kinds of health information, used in very different ways by two groups with very different goals. Insurers focused ...


When something is as potentially overwhelming as ICD-10 implementation, it can feel like a flood roaring past, with no obvious place for you to jump in or way to take control. The good news is that, if it's done correctly, there will be no flood in the first place, and the occasional eddies can be navigated safely.
It begins with finding out what you don't know, with an assessment that takes the guesswork out ...


By Ryan Sandefer, chair of the department of health informatics and information management, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minn.

One of the most important aspects of the modern health information revolution is the ability to connect and share data across healthcare disciplines. Healthcare decision-making needs good information, and that has to come from multiple departments - the ...

June 18, 2013 11:56 AM by Lisa Brzezicki of The Politics of Healthcare

(Editor's Note: This guest blog was written by Michael LaMagna, a Partner at Helwig, Henderson, Ryan, LaMagna and Spinola, LLP.)

When people ask me why I enjoy healthcare law and all of its related fields, I always answer that healthcare relates to everything. At first glance, the immigration debates seem very separate from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and it is not apparent how they are ...

June 10, 2013 1:51 PM by Lisa Brzezicki of The Politics of Healthcare

(Editor's Note: This guest blog was written by Michael LaMagna.)

In what certainly can be touted as good news, the Medicare Trustees reported in their annual report that the Medicare Trust Fund, which holds all of our payroll deductions, is scheduled to remain solvent until the year 2026. This is two years greater than reported last year. The main considerations for the brief extension were the improving ...

June 5, 2013 2:47 PM by Alice Zentner of CDI: Just Tell Me What to Say

According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, society is always taken by surprise by any new example of common sense. Such is the case with the recently released survey of nearly 300 HIM professionals regarding the state of ICD-10.

The survey was conducted jointly by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and TrustHCS in the fall of 2012. For those who are in-the-know about ICD-10, the survey ...


(This sponsored blog was written by Tom Ormondroyd, vice president/general manager, Precyse Learning Solutions.)

Here is a continuation of some common ICD-10 myths, from my previous blog Dispelling Some Myths About ICD-10. These are common ICD-10 myths that continue to plague all of our efforts to obtain ...

May 30, 2013 5:17 PM by Lisa Brzezicki of The Politics of Healthcare

(Editor's Note: This guest blog was written by Michael LaMagna.)

We usually associate summer with BBQs, pool parties and the like, but brace yourself because this summer we will be barraged with Obamacare commercials. The White House is just starting their campaign throughout the U.S. urging people to buy health insurance when it becomes available Oct. 1, 2013 (just four months away). In ...

May 28, 2013 4:03 PM by Lisa Brzezicki of The Politics of Healthcare

(Editor's Note: This guest blog was written by Michael LaMagna.)

If there is one thing that many of us are guilty of, it's neglecting our own health and focusing on our children and their needs. I am sure that most of us are aware that our health plans are now required to keep young adult children on their parent's health plans until they reach age 26, but many people, including the plan ...


(This sponsored blog was written by Lee Ann Bryant, associate product manager, HealthStream.)

If you work in any healthcare environment, you know how inundated we have become with information around ICD-10 - most of it leaning toward the negative end of the spectrum. Yes, there is a lot to learn. Yes, there are time and financial burdens involved. Yes, it ...

May 15, 2013 6:48 AM by Lisa Brzezicki of The Politics of Healthcare

Earlier this week, Vermont legislature became the first legislative body in the nation to approve death-with-dignity legislation, with Gov. Peter Shumlin vowing to sign the bill into law.

In a press release issued by end-of-life choice advocacy group


(This sponsored blog was written by Lee Ann Bryant, associate product manager, HealthStream.)

According to a recent survey conducted by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), an industry leader on the use of healthcare IT to improve the exchange of healthcare information, healthcare facilities as a whole are not on track for a smooth transition to ICD-10 Oct. 1, 2014. Close to 1,000 industry ...


(This sponsored blog was written by Lee Ann Bryant, associate product manager, HealthStream.)

Many think ICD-10 is only a coding problem, but the true challenge of ICD-10 is the need for increasing specificity and granularity in documentation in order to receive optimal reimbursement, meet all reporting requirements, and most accurately reflect the level of care provided.

The term "clinical ...

April 30, 2013 2:19 PM by Lisa Brzezicki of The Politics of Healthcare

(Editor's Note: This guest blog was written by Michael LaMagna.)

With all of the talk regarding the sequester and budget cuts, I decided to focus on what the fiscal 2014 budget would mean to the 54 million+ Medicare beneficiaries, if the budget was passed in its current state. Currently, the 2014 proposed fiscal budget contains $4 trillion in cost savings, with almost $400 billion in Medicare spending ...


(This sponsored blog was written by Lee Ann Bryant, associate product manager, HealthStream.)

With small and medium practices in mind, CMS has put together the following checklist of ICD-10 tasks, including estimated timeframes for each task. Depending on your organization, many of these tasks can be performed on a compressed timeline or performed ...


By Stephen McClure, marketing manager-content, HealthStream

As the healthcare industry draws closer to the go-live date, ICD-10 remains a polarizing topic among healthcare professionals. While some healthcare organizations are actively preparing for a strategic rollout, others are, more or less, bracing for impact.

In April 2012, CMS extended the ICD-10 implementation deadline to Oct. ...

March 18, 2013 2:17 PM by Lisa Brzezicki of The Politics of Healthcare

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today in a press release that about 71 million Americans in private health insurance plans received coverage for at least one free preventive health care service, such as a mammogram or flu shot, in 2011 and 2012 because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Additionally, an estimated 34 million Americans in traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage ...



The Politics of Healthcare covers the latest developments in healthcare policy and legislation.

We will explore how CDI impacts the transition to ICD-10 and the issues that clinicians will face. www.trusthcs.com

HIM & Heard: A blog echoing today's Health Information Management industry.  At a time of rapid technology growth and constant change, HIM professionals are as valued for their ability to learn as their experience to date.  Action taken at HIM level resonates in cash flow and compliance.  This blog provides a platform for thought on topics that matter most to these professionals and our nation's health care communities.

The blog will address various aspects of financial issues that may impact the healthcare industry as well as taxes that may impact companies and individuals as a result of the ongoing changes.

Learn the different ways to use training as the solution for the ICD-10 transition challenge.

This blog will discuss ways HIM professionals can develop and expand their skills sets, in order to keep pace in the rapidly expanding healthcare information field.