April 21, 2015 | | Comments 0
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Conference Update: Speaker Q&A

There is so much to learn from the annual ACDIS National Conference.

The annual ACDIS Conference is in 27 days.

We’re less than a month away from the annual conference! And to help you narrow down your final itinerary, we’re previewing a handful of speakers to help you get a feel for the sessions we’ll be offering. This week, we spoke with our keynote speaker, Donna Smith, RHIA, senior consultant for 3M Health Information Systems, who will present, “Analyzing the Realistic Impact of ICD-10 on APR-DRGs.”

Q: Why is it critical for CDI professionals to understand how ICD-10 will affect APR-DRGs?

A: Historically, the focus has been on MS-DRGs. But, as more states switch to the APR system for their Medicaid population, it’s important to understand how it works. I will review the classification and explain how a patient might advance from one risk of mortality (ROM) and severity of illness (SOI) to another. I’ll also talk about, overall, what kind of changes and shifts were are going to see and how that will affect individual programs.

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

A: Even if a state Medicaid program does not use APR-DRGS for payment, many organizations use the classification system to assess SOI/ROM. Most CDI specialists are interested in those scorings. Severity and risk are calculated a little differently with MS-DRGs. It changes how the case is paid and also indicates complexity of patient care. Both are interrelated and show how sick a patient is.

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

A: As a consultant, I see many different CDI programs. The best teams work as a group and have diverse backgrounds and experience in both nursing and coding. Personally, I bring the coding background. My clinical knowledge is good, and I can talk the talk. But the nurses are the ones who have the clinical understanding.

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

A: The number one thing is an interest in making sure that patients’ status or condition are accurately reported. That is their goal. They must interact and query physicians to get accurate documentation, so they can capture the clinical condition for a more accurate representation in either the MS or APR classification system.

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

A: I have been attending and speaking at the conference for a few years, and it has been really interesting to see the progression of ACDIS. CDI specialists can gain a lot of valuable information just by attending. I always enjoy going to the breakout sessions and finding out new information, and seeing how facilities are doing and how they are advancing their programs.

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

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