RSSAuthor Archive for Linnea Archibald

Linnea Archibald

Linnea Archibald is the CDI editor for the Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS). In this role, she helps out with the website, blog, social media, newsletter, and the CDI Journal. If you have any questions, feel free to email her.

Note from ACDIS Director: What’s new at the ACDIS 10th annual conference? A lot.

ACDIS Director, Brian Murphy

ACDIS Director, Brian Murphy

Editor’s Note: This note originally appeared in the February 9, 2017, edition of CDI Strategies. Click here to see the original article.

Three months from now the ACDIS team will head to our biggest event of the year—our national conference. And in case you haven’t heard it’s a milestone…our 10th. A big number and once again we are bringing the networking, the learning, and the fun.

It’s hard for me to focus in on even as few as four or five sessions that I’m most excited about, but instead of reprinting the entire agenda I thought I’d focus in on my personal top 10 speakers at the 2017 ACDIS conference. Cue the drum roll…

  1. “AHA Coding Clinic update,” with Nelly Leon Chisen, RHIA: Get the latest updates critical to CDI directly from the source: Chisen is the Director of Coding and Classification for the American Hospital Association, publisher of Coding Clinic. You don’t get much more authoritative than this.
  2. “Denials and CDI: A Recovery Auditor’s Perspective,” with Barbara Brant, MPA, RN, CDIP, CCDS, CCS and Timothy J. Garrett, MD, MBA, FACEP, FACHE, CHCQM, CIC. Hear straight talk from an actual auditor and what they see in the industry from a denials perspective: Brant and Garrett are from Cotiviti Healthcare. I give these guys credit for coming out to inform and take a little heat!
  3. “Sepsis: 1, 2, 3—RAC Attack! Respiratory Failure: Definition and Sequencing Guidelines,” with William Haik, MD, CDIP.  This session by the dynamic Dr. Haik includes the evolving definitions of sepsis and acute respiratory failure, including calculation of P/F ratio. Even more important now that Sepsis-3 will be the new criteria for the Surviving Sepsis Campaign.
  4. “ACDIS Advisory Board panel: Past, Present and Future of CDI.” This session with representatives of the ACDIS Advisory Board offers an insider’s look at the CDI profession, including where it presently stands and how it must evolve. OK, a bit of nepotism here as I’ll be on panel :). But seriously, we’re up to a lot!
  5. “The Post-Acute Care Setting: Integrating CDI into Multiple Outpatient Settings,” with Kathy DeVault, MSL, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, FAHIMA and Beth Wolf, MD, CCDS, CPC. This session examines specific outpatient settings such as home health, hospice, outpatient infusion centers, and clinics with employed providers, each with inter-related requirements for documentation, coding, and billing. They have some great ideas on how to expand your CDI department beyond the acute-care hospital setting.
  6. “A breakdown of the AHIMA clinical validation brief,” with Tammy Combs, RN, MSN, CDIP, CCS, CDIP and Melanie Endicott, MBA/HCM, RHIA, CHDA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P. Clinical validation can be a challenging task for both CDI and coding professionals, and representatives who contributed to the 2016 AHIMA practice brief “Clinical Validation: The Next Level of CDI,” will no doubt add some clarity for CDI professionals on this topic. I’m honored to have official AHIMA representation on our podium!
  7. “Clinical Validation and Denials Management/Appeals: An ALJ’s Perspective,” with Alicia Kutzer, BS, Esq. LLM. Hear from an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and former QIC employee who was integral in developing training materials and presentations for proper adjudication of Medicare appeals and defended claim denials at the reconsideration and ALJ levels of appeals. I expect an interesting look “inside the courtroom” if you will.
  8. “Measuring Clinician Engagement Utilizing a Validated and Reliable Survey Instrument Developed by a Professional Doctorate Candidate,” with Nicole Draper, RN, BN, MHA. Attendees will be inspired to develop or adopt the validated and reliable survey instrument presented during this presentation to assess clinician engagement in their CDI program. Data and results will be shared from this speaker flying in from Australia to present!
  9. “Getting to the Heart of Accurately Defining Cardiac Ischemic Syndromes,” with Garry Huff, MD, CCS, CCDS and Christopher M. Huff, MD. This session is presented by two physicians including a board-certified cardiologist who completed a fellowship in advanced interventional cardiology at The Cleveland Clinic. Getting real clinical while having some fun!
  10. (TIE!) Our Two Inspirational Keynotes—“Healthcare, Remixed,” with Zubin Damania, MD (aka., ZDoggMD) and “Josie’s Story: Family-Centered Approaches to Patient Safety,” with Sorrel King. Sorrel King is pure inspiration and has a tragic, real-life story to motivate you to make a change in your own life. Her message on patient safety will resonate with any CDI specialist who reviews Patient Safety Indicators or refers an issue to quality. As for ZDogg… the man is a legend and there is no one more “Vegas” than him. Get ready for Healthcare… Remixed.

Sure, this list is subjective but I know you won’t be disappointed with any of them. Keep in mind my list of favorites just scratches the surface! We have more than 50 sessions to pick from.

As for the location…I’m a big Vegas fan and I’ve been very impressed with the MGM Grand. It’s big (the largest single hotel in the United States with 6,852 rooms) it’s new (built in 1993, constantly refurbished, as recently as 2012) with outdoor pools, rivers, waterfalls, and home to a number of entertainment venues, nightly shows, and world-class restaurants. And it’s located right on the strip.

Yes, there is a walk to the conference space—that’s inevitable with spaces this big and conferences this size—but I can tell you that the walk is MUCH shorter than you may have experienced in 2016 in Atlanta. I hope you enjoy the warm weather and the unforgettable sights and sounds of one of the most memorable places on earth.

So please come on out to this big 10th anniversary celebration of our association, and:

  1. Be inspired
  2. Learn
  3. Network
  4. Grow
  5. Have fun

Just make sure to sign up prior to March 7, 2017 to take advantage of our early bird ($100 off) and ACDIS membership (additional $100 off) discounts.

The team and I hope to see you on the strip!

Brian Murphy

Director, ACDIS

Conference Q&A: Ericson sheds light on alternative payment models


Cheryl Ericson, MS, RN, CCDS, CDIP

Editor’s note: Over the coming weeks leading up to the conference, we’ll take some time to introduce members to a few of this year’s speakers. The conference takes place May 9-12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. For today’s Q&A, we caught up with Cheryl Ericson, MS, RN, CCDS, CDIP, the manager of clinical documentation services with DHG Healthcare, who will present “Leveraging CDI to Improve Performance under Alternative Payment Model Methodology.” Ericson is recognized as a CDI subject matter expert for her body of work which includes many speaking engagements and publications for a variety of industry associations. She currently serves on the advisory board for ACDIS and its credentialing committee (CCDS).

Q: Could you tell me a bit about what makes Alternative Payment Models (APM) different for CDI?

A: Participation in voluntary APMs is very complex and requires a high level of commitment from the healthcare organization. More than 800 hospitals, however, are required to participate in the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model (CJR) and an additional 1,100 or more hospitals will be required to participate in the episode payment for AMI and coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG). Because participation is based on randomly selected Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) many hospitals may be unprepared for the impact. These models are retrospective so the hospital is paid as usual under the applicable MS-DRG, but following the completion of the performance year the hospital may be required to return some of their payment to Medicare or they may receive an additional payment. This type of model, like many of the outcome measures included in the mandatory value-based methodologies, require CDI specialists to look beyond the current episode of care. The mandatory quality programs, however, only use a 30-day timeframe. In comparison, an episode of care in the APMs extends 90 days beyond hospital discharge or the date of surgery.

Q: What are three things attendees can expect from your session?

A: Attendees can expect to learn:

  1. The difference between the mandatory value-based programs such as HVBP, HRRP, HACRP, and mandatory APMs
  2. A better understanding of the mandatory bundled/episode based payment methodologies
  3. Strategies to incorporate into the CDI process to accurately reflect organizational performance under the mandatory bundled/episode payment methodology

Q: What is one tool CDI professionals cannot live without?

A: A grouper that supports risk-adjustment efforts.

Q: In what ways does your session challenge CDI professionals to think outside the box?

A: As the fee-for-service population decreases, which was reliant on CC and MCC capture, CDI specialists need to understand and modify their efforts to reflect modern CMS reimbursement strategies to support organizational financial health.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s conference?

A: Like most, I enjoy reconnecting with friends. I have the added bonus of reconnecting with former ACDIS Boot Camp participants. It’s great to learn how people have advanced in their career as the CDI profession continues to grow!

Q: Fun question: What is your favorite candy?

A: Dove Promises dark chocolate with almonds. Yum!


Conference Update: ACDIS achievement awards nomination deadline extended

achievement awards

ACDIS Achievement Awards

Every year, the ACDIS Achievement Awards are presented at the annual ACDIS conference. There’s still time to nominate someone! The deadline has been extended to Friday, February 17, 2017, to allow more nominations.

Please nominate a colleague who has made significant contributions to the CDI field, who makes a difference in the profession, or is an outspoken advocate of CDI. We are still accepting nominations in the following categories. Click on the links to view each award’s criteria.

All nominations will be reviewed and voted on by the ACDIS Conference Committee in conjunction with ACDIS administration. You may upload supporting material with your nomination. Only one document upload is permitted per nomination. There are three question fields relating to attaching supporting material and if you want to upload files for multiple fields, please combine them into one document or zip them together.

Please fill out the nomination form by Friday, February 17, 2017. Click here:

Conference Q&A: Hirsch offers insight into CDI utilization review contributions


Ronald Hirsch, MD

Editor’s Note: Over the comings weeks, we’ll take some time to introduce members to a few of this year’s ACDIS conference speakers. The conference takes place May 9-12, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Today, we’ve reached out to Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP, CHCQM-PHYADV, vice president of the regulations and education group at AccretivePAS Clinical Solutions, who will present “Medicare Regulation Update: Practical Application for CDI Professionals.” Hirsch is certified in Health Care Quality and Management by the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians and serves on the Advisory Board of the American College of Physician Advisors. He is the co-author of The Hospital Guide to Contemporary Utilization Review, published in 2015.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered related to implementing Medicare regulations?
Regulations and guidance from CMS are often vague and occasionally contradictory. These regulations affect everyone, including the doctor, the patient, the bedside nurse, the case managers, CDI staff, the billing and coding staff, and the C-suite (those working in upper administrative roles). Understanding the regulations and implementing them compliantly across the many affected groups is a challenge for hospitals.

Q: What are three things attendees can expect from your session?
Let me just list some of these out:

  1. To hear a simple explanation of the two-midnight rule
  2. To understand the practical application of medical necessity guidelines for CDI professionals
  3. To be familiarized with the required patient notifications

Q: What is one tool CDI professionals cannot live without?
A: If they learn the two-midnight rule as I teach it, they will become the hero of their institution.

Q: In what ways does your session challenge CDI professionals to think outside the box?
A: CDI professionals work hand in hand with case managers but often do not understand their work. Gaining an understanding of that work makes them a more indispensable part of the team.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s conference?
A: As a physician advisor expert, my CDI knowledge is quite cursory. With the breadth of courses available at the conference. I expect to walk out with a much deeper understanding of CDI. I can’t wait for the pre-conference Boot Camp for physician advisors. It will be an honor to hear from Erica Remer, MD, and James Kennedy, MD, two of the most renowned physicians in CDI.

Q: Fun question: Do you have any pets?
My wife and I just got a new kitten three weeks ago. Leopold is a little wild thing during the day between naps but he loves to cuddle with us at night in bed.