April 19, 2012 | HOME

1. AHIMA Prepares ICD-10 Grassroots Campaign

With the formal ICD-10 proposal for a one-year delay included in the April 17, 2012, Federal Register, AHIMA is preparing its formal comments on the proposed delay and will again be calling upon members to submit comments supporting AHIMA’s position. Once our comments are complete, AHIMA will post a letter template and directions on how to formally send your comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS’s call for a compliance date delay, from October 1, 2013, to October 1, 2014, was included in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) “Administrative Simplification: Adoption of a Standard for a Unique Health Plan Identifier; Addition to the National Provider Identifier Requirements; and a Change to the Compliance Date for ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Medical Data Code Sets.”

2. AHIMA ICD-10 Summit Brings Out Record Number

More than 565 healthcare professionals and 26 exhibitors from across the country convened in Baltimore, MD, this week to discuss ICD-10 implementation and next steps toward the transition at AHIMA’s ICD-10 Summit. This was the largest turnout in the program’s four years.

In his keynote presentation, Dr. Doug Fridsma, director of the Office of Standards and Interoperability of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), said the nation’s healthcare system is accelerating its move toward EHR and the ability to be able to share medical information electronically. He cited ONC statistics showing that in the last two years, the number of primary care physicians using EHRs has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent. Since 2009, the number of hospitals with EHRs has more than doubled from 16 percent to 35 percent. More than 50 percent of doctors indicate they intend to take advantage of EHRs to get meaningful use incentives.

Of course, the proposed delay in the ICD-10 implementation deadline was top of mind for participants. AHIMA President/Chair Patty Thierry Sheridan, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA, encouraged AHIMA members to write letters to the Department of Health and Human Services to urge that any delay to ICD-10 be brief. AHIMA is in the process of preparing an online letter template for members; the link will be distributed in an upcoming issue of E-Alert.

CMS’ Denise Buenning, MsM, echoed Thierry Sheridan’s sentiment in Tuesday’s CMS ICD-10 “State of the Union.” “We read every comment, slice and dice them, and ensure all elements are included in the final rule,” Buenning said. “Your association is a respected voice. Now more than ever, it is time for proponents of ICD-10 to make their voice loud and clear.”

“AHIMA members are galvanized around ICD-10 and are eager to keep learning and preparing for implementation,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, FACHE. “The summit is one of the many avenues AHIMA has for leading the process and for helping different types of healthcare professionals get ready for the transition.”

To find more information on AHIMA’s position on an ICD-10 delay, click here.

Updated coverage from the summit, on these and other stories, is available on the Journal of AHIMA’s Summit Website.

3. Electronic Signatures Now Permitted for Social Security Applicants

Starting April 21, requests for medical records to obtain Social Security disability benefits may contain either wet (ink) or electronic signatures on the patient authorization. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has created a process that permits applicants to electronically sign Form SSA-827, "Authorization to Disclose Information to Social Security Administration." Individuals applying for Social Security disability will be given the option to electronically sign and submit the authorization form. AHIMA members are urged by the SSA to accept both signature formats.

More information on the new electronic signature process is available in an open letter from SSA, and on the AHIMA Website. For additional background, AHIMA also has a practice brief on electronic signatures.

4. Learn the Latest on Mobile Device Security

Tablets, smartphones, and flash drives have become a daily part of many people’s lives, from keeping in touch with colleagues, friends, and family, to researching the nearest restaurant when you're out and about. Most people don't think about the privacy and security implications for a lost phone or laptop. But for HIM professionals, portable devices present increasingly complex challenges and significantly increase the risk of a breach and unauthorized access. Read the full story.

5. Spring Cleaning Tips for Personal Data

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has published nine “Spring Cleaning Tips for Keeping Personal Data Safe.” The overarching message is that unlike cleaning out your garage, when it comes to documents and digital clutter, “tossing it out” could actually put sensitive data in harm’s way. Read these tips to find out how to destroy CDs and DVDs, wipe data from cell phones, and more.

6. First Accountable Care Organizations Announced

CMS has announced the selection of the first 27 accountable care organizations (ACOs) to participate in the Medicare Shared Saving Program.  The selected organizations have agreed to be responsible for improving care for nearly 375,000 beneficiaries in 18 states through better coordination among providers. All ACOs that succeed against 33 quality measures may share in the savings to Medicare. Participation in an ACO is purely voluntary for providers, and those covered under Medicare retain their ability to seek treatment from the provider of their choice. For more information and a list of the participating ACOs, click here.

7. Winter Team Talks Materials Available in the CoP

During the March 26 Winter Team Talks in Washington, DC, attendees identified key trends, developed a value proposition, and worked on clarifying key questions regarding mission and goals. The flip chart notes from these work sessions are available and posted in the State Leader and House Community under the topic Winter Team Talks and Live Web Cast/Hill Day 2012. Check the resources for these documents as well as the Webcast from the sessions.

8. Meet Hill Day Advocates

Anthony Evans and Mallory Young
Anthony Evans and Mallory Young, seniors at the College of Saint Scholastica, set up materials for the Hill Day breakfast and HIP Week.

During Health Information Professionals (HIP) Week, March 25-31, AHIMA members gathered in Washington, DC, for Hill Day, to advocate for and educate their elected officials about the profession.

HIM professionals work in more than 40 different employer types and 120 different job functions throughout the healthcare industry, government and education system. AHIMA also works closely with nearly 300 programs in higher education institutions. A senior studying HIM at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, MN, Mallory Young, interned in AHIMA’s Advocacy & Policy business unit, and participated in Hill Day. Young said she believes “advocacy is important, not only for the public to become more aware of what HIM is, but also to be educated on how important certain topics such as ICD-10 or meaningful use are, and how HIM professionals truly have such a pull in assuring the deliverance of quality healthcare.”

Meet other HIM professionals who advocated at Hill Day, on YouTube.

9. Only One Day Left: Apply for AHIMA’s Student Advisory Council

AHIMA is recruiting new volunteers for the Student Advisory Council (SAC), representing AHIMA’s student population. This hard-working group is dedicated to planning enhancements to current student programs and initiating new activities to benefit student members. Sitting on the SAC is the first step toward becoming a future leader in the profession and the Association. Sound like a good professional path to start on? Then apply now, because tomorrow, Friday, April 20, is the LAST DAY to submit your application for this year’s SAC. If you have questions, e-mail Lisa Chernikoff.

10. HIRO Fund Now Accepting Assistance Applications

The Health Information Relief Operation (HIRO) Fund (pronounced “hero”) was established as an ongoing recovery source to assist HIM professionals whose lives and communities have been shattered by natural or man-made catastrophe. Through the generosity of AHIMA members and HIM’s greater professional community, and begun with a $10,000 donation by AHIMA, the HIRO Fund is able to provide financial relief to those whose professional practice has been shaken.

The AHIMA Foundation is accepting applications from members who meet the eligibility requirements in recently-declared disaster areas to receive up to $500 in assistance from the HIRO Fund, to aid their efforts to return to work while recovering from the disaster. For more information on the fund, to donate to the relief effort, or to download the assistance application, please visit the AHIMA Foundation HIRO Fund online.

11. Call for Abstracts

Health Information Innovation Leadership Conference (during the AHIMA 84th Convention & Exhibit) October 2-3, in Chicago, IL. Recognized leaders will convene at this conference to address innovation in the fields of health information technology, workforce development and education. Submit an abstract to be an Innovation presenter during this conference, on the theme, “Innovation that will Support the Transition to Healthcare Reform.” Abstracts may be submitted through April 30. E-mail Daniela Amendola with any questions.

Health Information Integrity Summit: The Quest for Safe, Usable, Quality Data in Electronic Health Records (EHRs),November 8-9, in Chicago, IL. An expansion of AHIMA’s Legal EHR Summits, this meeting will explore legal and compliance issues and invite a new vision for effective health information management (HIM) to address a variety of emerging issues in response to changes occurring in the healthcare system. Abstracts may be submitted through May 18. For more information, or to submit an abstract, click here.

12. Four Chances to Shape the HIT Future of LTPAC

The Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) Health Information Technology (HIT) Collaborative invites you to help shape the future of HIT within LTPAC, in the following four ways:

1) Comment on the NEW 2012–2014 Roadmap for HIT in Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (currently under construction).

2) Attend the LTPAC HIT Summit, June 18–19, in Baltimore, MD. Highlights will include: the release of the new 2012–2014 Roadmap, real-world implementation successes, a spotlight on certified LTPAC electronic health records, and a pre-summit educational session June 17, Connections between LTPAC and the EHR Meaningful Use Program—Closing the Gap.

3) Participate in the LTPAC Interoperability & Innovation Showcase at the summit, featuring demonstrations on health IT interoperability for shared care, transfer of care, personal health and e-prescribing. Complete the application before May 4 and return to Sarah.Lawler@ahima.org.

4) Present a poster abstract at the summit. All LTPAC HIT Summit co-sponsors, strategic partners, researchers, and attendees are invited to submit poster abstracts of successful case studies or research related to the use of HIT in LTPAC settings. Submit abstracts to Greg Alexander by May 1. Authors will be notified of peer-reviewed decisions by May 15.

13. Celebrating Privacy and Security: Releasing PHI

The release of protected health information (PHI) remains a core and critical task of the HIM profession. It is imperative HIM professionals maintain awareness of any and all changes impacting the appropriate, timely and secure release of PHI. AHIMA is committed to providing timely and current resources and tools for ensuring compliance. Take advantage of this month’s special, valid until May 11. Enter coupon code CP00166 and save 15% off the E-Learning course, "Best Practices in Release of Information." For all online courses related to privacy and security click here.

14. Satisfy CCHIIM ICD10 Training Requirements at this Year’s AOE Symposium

Plan now to join more than 400 faculty and staff members from across the nation for the 2012 Assembly on Education Symposium/Faculty Development Institute (AOE/FDI). And, if you haven’t earned your mandatory ICD-10 CE hours yet, attend the special sessions on ICD-10 and receive four hours of “Awareness” training and three hours of “Use” training for a total of seven hours.

AHIMA certified professionals are required by the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) to participate in a predetermined number of mandatory baseline educational experiences specific to ICD-10-CM/PCS. These ICD-10-CM/PCS specific continuing education units will count as part of all AHIMA certificants’ total CEU requirements for the purpose of recertification. The total number of ICD-10-CM/PCS CEUs required by AHIMA credential is as follows: RHIT–six, RHIA–six, CCS-P–12, and CCS–18.

Certified AHIMA professionals can begin earning ICD-10-CM/PCS specific CEUs during the period of January 1, 2011 thru December 31, 2013. All AHIMA certified professionals who completed AHIMA’s Academy for ICD-10 prior to January 1, 2011, will be allowed to use those CEU hours to fulfill the ICD-10-CM/PCS CE requirement. Learn more.

15. ICD-10 Online Readiness Assessments, Foundation and Focus Training Courses

Now is a good time to gauge skills and refresh knowledge with AHIMA’s online readiness assessments and medical science focus training courses.  A solid foundation is key to a smooth ICD-10 transition. Know where you stand.



AHIMA ICD-10-CM Coder Readiness Assessment


AHIMA ICD-10-PCS Coder Readiness Assessment


ICD-10-CM A&P Focus Assessment: Neoplasms


ICD-10-CM A&P Focus Assessment: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium


ICD-10-CM A&P Focus Assessment: Respiratory System


ICD-10-CM/PCS A&P Focus Assessment: Circulatory System


ICD-10-PCS A&P Focus Assessment: Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems


ICD-10-PCS A&P Focus Assessment: Musculoskeletal System



Focus  Training


Anatomy and Physiology




Medical Terminology


ICD-10-CM A&P Focus Course: Neoplasms


ICD-10-CM A&P Focus Course: Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Puerperium


ICD-10-CM A&P Focus Course: Respiratory System


ICD-10-CM/PCS A&P Focus Course: Circulatory System


ICD-10-PCS A&P Focus Course: Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems


ICD-10-PCS A&P Focus Course: Musculoskeletal System


For more information and to order, go to ahima.org/icd10training.

16. CHPS Exam Prep Workshop June Date Added

Due to an overwhelming response, the first session of the CHPS (Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security) Exam Prep Workshop has sold out. AHIMA is pleased to announce a second session, June 25-26 in Chicago, IL

This two-day in-person meeting focuses on in-class in-depth examples and exercises while modeling training techniques to prepare the HIM professional to sit for the examination. The workshop will review the 5 domains covered in the exam: Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Issues; Program Management and Administration; Information Technology/Physical and Technical Safeguards; External Environmental Assessment and Investigation, Compliance and Enforcement; and Customer/Client/Patient Services.

If you want to advance your career in the privacy and security area or are looking to move into another area, consider the CHPS credential. Save $50 by ordering your book and exam when you register for the meeting. For more information on the workshop and requirements to sit for the CHPS exam, visit ahima.org/events.

17. Data is King

Healthcare initiatives such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, ICD-10, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have placed a high premium on data analysis skills. Increase your knowledge of terminologies and classifications by attending AHIMA’s Clinical Data Analysis and Mapping Institute, June 19 in Chicago. Health information management professionals and others with current knowledge of terminologies and classifications will learn to apply best practice in clinical data analysis and mapping principles using examples from ICD-10-CM/PCS, SNOMED-CT, and other coding systems. Earn 6 CEUs. As with all AHIMA meetings, members receive special pricing. Register by June 8 for early bird savings.

18. CHDA Exam Prep Workshop

Quality healthcare stems from quality data. With the industry moving forward with HITECH defining measures for meaningful use, classification systems transitioning to ICD-10-CM/PCS, and industry initiatives such as accountable care organizations and health information exchange, the need for data analysts with the ability to understand how data is collected, managed, analyzed, and reported is greater than ever. 

If you are interested in advancing your career focus and becoming a certified health data analyst (CHDA), join AHIMA September 29-30, in Chicago, for the CHDA Exam Prep Workshop. After successful completion of the meeting, attendees may apply to sit for the CHDA exam immediately. Save $50 by taking advantage of the CHDA package bundle consisting of the workshop, book, and exam. For more information, click here.

19. AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS Online Coding Overview Courses

As part of the ICD-10 coder training pathway curriculum, AHIMA has released the 2012 versions of ICD-10-CM Overview: Deciphering the Code, and ICD-10-PCS Overview: Deciphering the Code courses— two courses that will help prepare coders for the transition to the new ICD-10 coding system. Each 6-hour course identifies the differences between the respective ICD-9 and ICD-10 classification systems. Individuals will learn about the format, conventions and new features of ICD-10 within each system.

The ICD-10-CM Overview course is beneficial to coders in all settings and is included as part of Stage II on the AHIMA ICD-10 Training Pathway for Acute Care and Specialty Setting coders. The ICD-10-PCS Overview course is for coders in the hospital inpatient setting and is included in Stage III of the AHIMA Acute Care Training Pathway. Earn six CEUs per course. Find out more and order at ahima.org/icd10training.

Price per course: $195
Member Price: $160

20. Upcoming Audio Seminars

Bundle up and save. Register for a Live + Web Replay bundle for just $40 more than the price of the live seminar, and you can attend the live seminar and access and share its Web replay version for future use at your facility. For more information and a list of upcoming 2012 audio seminars, click here.

Coding for the Nervous System in ICD-10-CM
April 24
Faculty: Victoria A Weinert, RHIT, CCS
Strengthen coding skills and organizational performance with this expert overview of ICD-10-CM Chapter 6 and best practices related to the nervous system. Attendees will be presented with an analysis of chapter categories, explanation of terminology, and discussion of guidelines that affect coding assignment. To enhance learning, a demonstration of nervous system anatomy and pathophysiology terms will show how to use these concepts in conjunction with ICD-10-CM coding for neurological conditions.

Coding for the Nervous System in ICD-10-PCS
April 26
Faculty: Victoria A Weinert, RHIT, CCS
Prepare for the ICD-10 transition by attending this audio seminar on ICD-10-PCS coding for nervous system procedures. In this audio seminar, we review the structure of ICD-10-PCS codes, demonstrate proper assignment for these codes, review pertinent coding guidelines, and provide case scenarios for coding practice of common nervous system procedures.

21. Featured Publication

Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) Exam Preparation
By Patricia Shaw, MEd, RHIA, FAHIMA, and Darcy Carter, MHA, RHIA

(For exam administered October 2011–September 2012)

Confidently prepare for the RHIA exam. Nearly 1,000 multiple choice questions effectively simulate the exam, including three complete practice exams based on the RHIA competency statements. Whether you’re still learning or ready to test your skills immediately, RHIA Exam Preparation will help prepare you for exam day.

The practice exams and practice questions are organized by the following RHIA domains:

  • Domain 1: Health Data Management
  • Domain 2: Health Statistics and Research Support
  • Domain 3: Information Technology and Systems
  • Domain 4: Organization and Management
  • Domain 5: Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality
  • Domain 6: Legal and Regulatory Standards

Key Features:

  • Three complete practice exams
  • More than 450 additional practice questions organized by the RHIA domains
  • Answers include rationales and references
  • 4,500 HIM e-flashcards on CD-ROM

CD-ROM includes:

  • Three timed, self-scoring practice exams
  • 450+ additional practice questions organized by RHIA domains and competencies
  • Answers include rationales and references
  • 3,500 HIM e-flashcards
  • Formulas for commonly computed healthcare rates and percentages

Price: $68.95
Member Price: $54.95






April 24
Coding for the Nervous System in ICD-10-CM
Audio Seminar

April 26
Coding for the Nervous System in ICD-10-PCS
Audio seminar

May 3
Coding for Postoperative Complications: Flowing from ICD-9 to ICD-10
Audio seminar

May 21–23
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Charlotte, NC

June 1–3
AHIMA Coder Workforce Training for ICD-10
Nashville, TN

June 1–3
AHIMA Coder Workforce Training for ICD-10
St. Louis, MO

June 13–15
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Omaha, NE

June 14–16
AHIMA Academy for ICD-10-CM/PCS: Building Expert Trainers in Diagnosis and Procedure Coding
Dallas, TX

June 18-19
2012 Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Health IT Summit
Baltimore, MD

July 21-25
Assembly on Education Symposium/Faculty Development Institute
Orlando, FL

July 25-26
CHPS (Certified in Healthcare Privacy & Security) Exam Prep Workshop
Chicago, IL

Upcoming AHIMA Convention & Exhibit Dates and Locations

September 29-
October 4
Chicago, IL

View a complete listing of all AHIMA events and audio seminars/webinars


The Communities of Practice is a benefit of AHIMA membership. If you are already a member, click here. For information on becoming a member, click here.

AHIMA announces a new award, named for our founder, Grace Whiting Myers, for outstanding and innovative approaches to health information management. Nominate your employer.

Grace W. Myers Award

Look for AHIMA's new ad campaign in industry publications. Learn more at ahima.org/WhyAHIMA.

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