April 15, 2015 | | Comments 0
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Conference Update: Speaker Q&A

Brown, Kyra

Kyra Brown, RHIA, CCS

The annual conference is just 34 days away. But don’t panic. We’re here to help you plan your schedule. As the countdown continues, we’ve spoken with Kyra Brown, RHIA, CCS, for a preview of her presentation “Coding of Complications: Past, Present, and Future.”

Q:  Why is coding complications relevant?    

A: Complications have become a “hot topic” in healthcare. You have to look back at the past in order to understand the present situation and the future of coding and documentation of complications. By looking at what’s previously been done, we can identify opportunities to improve and gain an understanding of why older data might incorrectly reflect higher complication rates.

Q: How is your topic important for everyone in the CDI role, regardless of professional background?  

A: One of the reasons I created this presentation was to provide thought-provoking content to lay the groundwork for dialogue between coders and CDI specialists. Coders and CDI specialists need to discuss the challenge of coding complications and the difficulties in obtaining documentation that supports code assignment.

Q: As an RHIA and CCS, how does your perspective differ from other professionals performing the CDI role?  

A: I started as an inpatient coder, an RHIT, then started teaching an RHIT program fulltime. In 2002, I started a CDI program, and since then have been one of the first Revenue Integrity auditors for my facility, and a corporate educator and auditor. Currently, I am a CDI manager and educator. My career path gives me a unique perspective, due to that diversity of working in many different roles. Each role provided me opportunities to learn and grow.

Q: How did you become interested in CDI? 

A: For me, it seemed like a natural progression. Even in my first role as an inpatient coder, we queried physicians and, as I progressed to teaching a DRG class that focused on coding and DRG assignment, to the next logical step was working with physicians to understand coding and documentation as it relates to reimbursement, severity of illness (SOI) and risk of mortality (ROM).

Q:  What do you think is the most important quality for a CDI professional to have?

A: The most important quality of a CDI professional is a passion to make a difference. Versatility and attention to detail are also important.

Q:  Why do you think attending the ACDIS conference is important?

A: This will be my fourth ACDIS conference and it is my educational event of choice. I always look forward to the sessions and learning something new.

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Katherine Rushlau About the Author: Katherine "Katy" Rushlau is the CDI Editor for ACDIS at HCPro.

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