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Conference Corner: Shipping out to Vegas!

If you’ve ever felt that your luggage always ends up too heavy, taking a trip down to the loading dock to see the pallets shipping out to the 10th annual ACDIS conference in Las Vegas would certainly make you feel better about your bag.

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Linnea Archibald (left) and Penny Richards (right) joining in on the packing fun.

Though we already extended our thanks to the internal staff who make the ACDIS conference possible, the team putting this conference together deserve another round of applause. On Tuesday, the office management team finished packing up the pallets to ship to the conference. CCDS Coordinator Penny Richards and ACDIS Editor Linnea Archibald ventured down to the loading dock to see the process in action and were thoroughly impressed.

On the dock were five pallets ready to go onto the truck – each wrapped in cellophane and jam packed with ACDIS supplies. Here are a few of the items making the trek to Vegas:

  • More than 2,000 tote bags with goodies included
  • More than 2,000 event agendas, exhibit hall floor plans, program guides, and exhibitor directories
  • Close to 50 signs and posters
  • Office and setup supplies such as batteries, clips, box cutters, calculators, envelopes, extension cords, first aid kits, pens, scissors, and more
  • More than 600 pieces of pre-con materials
  • Book store merchandise
  • The ACDIS Achievement Awards

There’s no way the ACDIS conference would be as spectacular without the many staff members working behind the scenes. When you arrive at the conference, look around and imagine packing all that in your roll-around suitcase!

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The pallets packed and ready to go!

Conference Corner: Thanks to our internal staff!

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Staff answer questions and work at the ACDIS booth

The days are winding down to the long awaited 10th annual ACDIS conference. Next week, more than 30 members of our HCPro and BLR teammates will make their way to the airport to support the ACDIS community during the largest conference we have ever conducted—with more than 1,500 paid attendees, 50 exhibitors, upwards of 300 exhibitor attendees, and more than 90 speakers and presenters.

In addition to the core ACDIS team, dozens of people lend their time, energy, and innumerable talents. When put all together, they produce the thriving conference we will experience in Las Vegas. We hope you’ll join us in thanking our staff members who make the conference possible.

While it would be nearly impossible to name every single person who contributed in some way, we’re going to give it our best shot:

Shannon Storella and the entire events team: Shannon is our fearless leader throughout the conference, from the planning stages to the live event. She keeps us all in line and helps the event run as smoothly as possible.

Kathy Wilson does an amazing job holding the entire event together working between the various departments as well as with the hotel staff and conference center management to ensure everything stays inline. The conference wouldn’t be as successful (or fun) without her!

Our conference presenters have gotten to know Wendy Walsh (or W2, as she sometimes signs her emails) very well over the past six to eight months. She is our conference producer, helping guide the speakers from the planning stages of their presentations through to execution at the actual conference. She keeps track of speakers’ presentations, makes sure their travel arrangements are set, ensures their presentations meet ANCC continuing education requirements, and a host of other tasks required to keep the sessions full of quality information. She helps prepare our room moderators to produce the best session experience possible.

Maggie Gagnon does a fantastic job both behind the scenes leading up to the conference and throughout the conference to generally ensure that the entire event runs smoothly.

Jess Carbone is the brain behind our ACDIS conference App, adds messaging, uploads materials, and trains the rest of the ACDIS staff on how to use the App. We love seeing the attendees interact through the app and post updates from the sessions.

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Staff working at the registration desks

Mary Ann Genovese, Kerry Neenan, Jennifer Hollis, and the rest of our exhibit hall support staff do a great job working with exhibitors and organizing floor plans, and assisting and directing attendees during the conference.

Andrea Kraynak, Stephen Andrews, Nicole Votta, Rebecca Hendren, Linnea Archibald, Sharme Brodie, Allen Frady, Shannon McCall, and Wendy Walsh: These lovely people will be our room moderators for our five session tracks, making sure the sessions ran as smoothly as possible. They’ll let you know where the bathrooms are, ask you to silence your cell phones, and remind you to use the microphones to ask your questions at the close of the session. They will keep the rest of the conference group updated via the App on interesting quotes and tidbits from each presentation as well.

Sheila McGrath, Erin Smith, Sarah Devlin, Melissa Varnavas, Penny Richards, and everyone in the ACDIS booth will be available to explain the various books, pocket guides, newsletters, and other products available to help CDI programs train their staff and grow. In between sessions, the booth will be open to attendees who wish to make a purchase or ask a question, and they will be ready and eager to help.

Mary Ann Genovese, Kerry Neenan, Jennifer Hollis, and the rest of our exhibit hall support staff do a great job working with exhibitors and organizing floor plans, and assisting and directing attendees during the conference.

Melissa Ketelsen (in customer service in our Tennessee office), Shannon McCall, Dave Garvey (both onsite) and our registration folks make the registration process run so smoothly, and for answering attendee’s questions, fixing or replacing badges, and providing support throughout the conference.

Casey Thomas, Mike Mirabello, Matt Sharpe, Mollika Sun and AnnMarie Lemoine do a fantastic job organizing ALL of the pieces here in the office that gets shipped to the conference! Their efforts ensure that we have everything we need to run a successful event onsite.

The list goes on, and surely we’ve still left off a few names! It takes a huge group of people to make the conference as spectacular as it always is. The conference wouldn’t be what it is without the effort of each and every person on this team.

Note from the Associate Director: Learn from the best around in CDI

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Rebecca Hendren

By Rebecca Hendren

One of the tasks I enjoy most in my role as the ACDIS associate director of membership and product development is getting to interact with our book authors and CDI Boot Camp instructors. Many of these talented professionals have been involved in CDI longer than they’d care to admit, but through that experience have developed a keen insight into advancements in the industry along with a desire to share that knowledge with ACDIS and with the larger clinical documentation improvement community.

Once a year, at the ACDIS national conference, we also get to see their expertise in action as they share pearls of wisdom in one of three pre-conference events.

This year, CDI Education Director Laurie Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC, and Shannon McCall, RHIA, CPC, CCS, CCS-P, CPC-I, CCDS, CEMC, CRC, director of the HCPro suite of coding Boot Camps, bring a two-day version of their risk-adjustment record review and coding program.

If you never been in a class with these two, trust me, it’s a blast. I know. I know. As the associate director of membership and product development, I’m supposed to tell you that—but I mean it. As someone who comes from neither a clinical or coding background, diving into something as complex as coding guidelines’ application to CMS-Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) methodology is more than intimidating but these lovely ladies do a tremendous job of providing detailed instruction on the individual HCCs and opportunities for improved documentation with clinical scenarios to demonstrate how these concepts can be incorporated into CDI practice.

As an ACDIS staff member, I’m particularly lucky because I get to bounce around to a number of different sessions. So, I’m also looking forward to catching up with two of my favorite CDI people Richard Pinson, MD, CCS, and Cynthia Tang, RHIA, CCS, co-creators of the beloved CDI Pocket Guide. They’re teaching a pre-conference event designed to help CDI programs break down departmental silos into a collaborative, cohesive team. It’s called “Building a Best Practice CDI Team,” and throughout the program Pinson and Tang will explore the importance of understanding how your medical staff thinks and learns—and adjusting CDI efforts accordingly.

“A successful CDI team is based on engagement of medical staff obtained through effective communication,” says Pinson. “For example, physicians often respond to education using evidence-based literature and consensus guidelines. By collaborating with your team, you will find the methods that work.”

Over the course of the past year, I’ve also had the distinct pleasure of being able to work with Trey La Charité, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCDS, medical director of clinical documentation integrity and coding for UT Hospitalists at the University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC), as he crafted not one but two books—The CDI Companion for Physician Advisors and The CDI Field Guide to Denial Prevention and Audit Defense. That’s in addition to the volume, The Physician Advisor’s Guide to Clinical Documentation Improvement, that he co-wrote with James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CCDS, CDIP, president of CDIMD-Physician Champions.

I know how beloved both doctors La Charité and Kennedy are within our community and know how much people love their pre-conference deep-dive into essentially everything a CDI physician advisor needs to know to help CDI programs flourish. The second day of this preconference event includes a second track case study featuring Erica E. Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS, and Kelly Skorepa, BSN, RN, CCDS, corporate manager of clinical documentation integrity for University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland. I’ve heard Remer speak during ACDIS Radio programs, so I’m interested in learning more from her as well.

If you’re already signed up for one of these pre-conference events, I’m sure you’re as excited as we are. If you’re still on the fence about whether these extra courses will meet your CDI program’s educational needs, check out the agendas on the ACDIS website or feel free to reach out to me to learn more.

Editor’s note: Rebecca Hendren is the associate director of membership and product development at ACDIS. If you have any questions, please reach her at rhendren@acdis.org.

Conference Conversations: Fox helps make CDI programs “physician-friendly”

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Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE

Editor’s Note: The ACDIS Conference is only a little over two months away. Over the coming weeks, 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. Today, we talked to Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE, the medical director of pediatric trauma and CDI at Cooper University Health Care in Camden, New Jersey, who will be presenting “Playing to Win: How to Engage Physicians in Clinical Documentation Improvement.” Currently, Fox leads a team of 13 CDI specialists and achieved a 100% physician response rate to queries.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge you faced with physician engagement at your facility?

A: Actually one of the strengths of our program is physician engagement. We have a 100% response rate to our CDI queries. I think one of the general challenges with physician engagement is not recognizing that the best way for physicians to receive information is peer-to-peer. There is no substitute for a practicing physician embedded in your CDI program who will proactively educate peers and handle any concerns that arise. Physicians are never taught how to document, so they struggle with this much-needed skill set and are often hesitant to ask for help. But, they respond most effectively to one of their peers.

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

A: Attendees can expect an interactive, dynamic presentation. They will have tangible “take-aways” to help make their CDI program physician friendly. They also will have tools to handle difficult physicians.

Q:  What one tool can CDI professionals not live without?

A: An engaged medical director for their program.

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

A: This session challenges non-physicians to see CDI from a physician’s perspective and really evaluate their own program to determine whether or not they are set up for success in terms of physician engagement.

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

A: I cannot wait to hear about other program’s successes, particularly with ambulatory CDI which is our next area of growth and expansion.

Q: Fun question: what’s your favorite breakfast food?

A: An egg white burrito with quinoa and black beans. It’s awesome with tomatillo sauce. They make a great one at the Wynn Hotel café in Vegas, so try one while you are out at the ACDIS conference.

 

Conference Update: Things to do in Las Vegas, part 2

ACDIS Conference Corner

ACDIS Conference Corner

Last week on the blog, we provided readers with a list of fun indoor activities to keep you busy when you’re not in the conference. If hiking and adventuring are more your speed, though, the Las Vegas area offers a wide range of attractions for you as well.

Below is a list of suggested activities for the outdoor enthusiast. Enjoy!

To read our list of indoor activities, click here.

  1. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located 20 miles from Las Vegas Strip, allows visitors to hike, picnic, and view plant and animal life under 3,000-foot-high red rock formations. It’s open daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn more at http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/.
  1. Valley of Fire: The Valley of Fire is a 35,000-square-mile state park, named for the magnificent red sandstone formations formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs more than 150 million years ago (Mesozoic Era). These brilliant sandstone formations can appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. It is located in the Mojave Desert approximately 58 miles northeast of the Las Vegas. Learn more at valley-of-fire.com/.
  1. Boulder City: Boulder City is located about 20 miles outside Las Vegas (and on the way to the Hoover Dam). You’ll find great restaurants, shopping, and antique stores. Learn more at bcnv.com.
  1. Hoover Dam: No trip to the area is complete without a stop at the Hoover Dam. The damn holds back the waters of Lake Mead and straddles the border between Nevada and Arizona. You can take a bus tour from the Strip. Learn more at vegas.com/attractions/near-las-vegas/hoover-dam/.
  1. Ghost towns: There is a way to step back into the Silver State’s astonishing past. Dotting the vast landscape of Nevada are countless ghost towns, and while indecipherable ruins and tumbleweeds mark some, others are surprisingly intact. Either way, these remarkable places are portals into a Nevada of old and certainly worth a wander. Learn more at lvlg.com/lasvegas/attracts/ghstwns.htm.

 

Conference Update: Things to do in Las Vegas, part 1

ACDIS Conference Corner

ACDIS Conference Corner

Yes, the ACDIS 2017 Conference is sure to keep you busy, provide valuable education, and great networking opportunities, but make sure you leave some time to enjoy the Las Vegas area.

When you first think of a week in Las Vegas, you likely think of slot machines, shows, and parties. But, a number of alternative activities in the area are real crowd pleasers, too. Below is a list of some excellent museums and indoor attractions in the Vegas area.

Make sure to check back on the blog next week for some outdoor activities, as well

  1. Neon Museum: The Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying, and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. The Neon Museum campus includes the outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard. Learn more at neonmuseum.org.
  1. The Mob Museum: The Mob Museum presents a bold and authentic view of organized crime’s effect on Las Vegas history, as well as its unique imprint on America. It presents real stories and actual events of mob history via interactive and engaging exhibits that reveal all sides of the story about the role of organized crime in the U.S. Learn more at themobmuseum.org.
  1. The Linq and the High Roller: The Linq is a hotel and outdoor shopping district featuring a curated array of unique shops, restaurants, bars, and entertainment experiences, anchored by the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation Ferris wheel. Learn more at https://www.caesars.com/linq.
  1. The National Atomic Testing Museum: The National Atomic Testing Museum is a science, history, and educational museum focused on the story of America’s nuclear weapons testing program at the Nevada Test site. Located only 1.7 miles from the strip, it’s a quick trip to this history focused museum. Learn more at http://nationalatomictestingmuseum.org/.
  1. Madame Tussauds: No list of Vegas activities would be complete without a reference to Madame Tussauds. It is one of the most famous wax museums in the country for good reason. It’s located less than a mile from the strip and there is a public transport bus that will take you straight there if you want. Learn more at https://www.madametussauds.com/las-vegas/en/.

 

 

 

Conference Q&A: Faustino shares her remote CDI experiences

Lara Faustino

Lara Faustino, RN, BSN, CCDS

Editor’s note: So we’re getting close to conference time!  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. Today, we caught up with Lara Faustino, RN, BSN, CCDS, a CDI s specialist at Boston Medical Center (BMC), who will present “A Visibly Invisible CDI Team.” She has 10 years of clinical experience in three large, academic medical centers in New England and extensive knowledge in both CDI and quality enterprises. During her career, Faustino developed best practice provider education for documentation, helped with her facility’s EMR transition, and developed training strategies and tools for the ICD-10 transition. Additionally, she was nominated by peers to the Massachusetts Regional Leadership Co-Chair status (2016) and served as the national 2015 BMC representative at the ACDIS national conference.

 

Q: How does your remote CDI position give you a unique perspective on the field as a whole?

A: I believe as technology advances, specifically the integration of the electronic health record (EHR) and tele health, I view a new angle on healthcare delivery (not just the field of CDI) as a whole. As the future state of virtual physical assessment evolves using iPads/iPhones from a remote setting, a successful CDI program will adapt to the same methods of communication to enhance the physician relationship.

 

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

A: Attendees can expect to learn about decisions that prompted the program to go remote; how to identify key strategies that support the success of a remote CDI Program; and the work/life balance.

 

Q: What one tool can CDI professionals not live without?

A: Specifically, from a remote CDI perspective, an excellent internet connection to an electronic health record!

 

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

A: My session will challenge CDI professionals to think outside the “walls” of a hospital setting – self-discipline, autonomy, and confidence and how to maintain harmony will all be discussed.

 

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

A: Networking! I always enjoy learning from a variety of CDI professionals from across the nation and it always amazes me how very similar we are, or how vastly different we approach the same types of challenges.

 

Q: Fun question: Do you have pets and if so, what are their names?

A: I do! I have a dynamic duo of dogs that keep my days exciting (my office mates!). Their names are Max (Beagle) and Oliver (Golden Retriever), but we call them “Ham & Cheese!”

 

Conference Update: Attendance proposal for the 10th annual ACDIS conference

Editor’s Note: CDI professionals wishing to earn support from program administrators to attend the ACDIS 10th Annual Conference may adapt the following proposal.

To whom it may concern:

I would like to attend the ACDIS conference in Las Vegas, May 9-12, 2017.

Understanding the limitation of our CDI program professional development budget, I want to outline why attendance represents a worthy expense.

The acdis conference offers a diverse range of sessions on the latest trends and techniques to enhance not just my own professional skills, but will afford me education I can bring back to our facility to share with our entire CDI program. The 2017 conference features more than two full days of training and education and networking opportunities, with five concurrent tracks featuring a diverse range of topics including best practices for staff management, physician engagement, clinically focused chart reviews, and critical regulatory updates to improve every aspect of our CDI department.

Here is a link to the conference webpage, which includes the complete agenda.

ACDIS always offers pre-conference events that we may also want consider including  a Risk Adjustment Documentation and Coding Boot Camp, another on Building a Best Practice CDI Team, and a third on The Physician Advisor Role in CDI.

The conference offers us an opportunity to meet and problem-solve with CDI experts. We can learn first-hand from the experiences of others which makes this an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.

 

Specifically, I want to attend the conference to get information or help with:

  1. <Fill in>
  2. <Fill in>
  3. <Fill in>

Here is an estimation of the cost to send me to the ACDIS Conference. The cost of conference includes the cost of some breakfasts and lunches:

Hotel: Three nights at $199*, for a total of $597 (hotels fill quickly so we should reserve as soon as possible).

*The hotel is charging a mandatory daily resort fee of $30 which includes access to the fitness center, Wi-Fi in the room, a daily newspaper, local and toll free numbered calls, and limited access to the business center including notary services and boarding pass printing.

Registration: $1,005 (early-bird discount is $905); ACDIS member $905 (early bird $805)

Airfare/travel is a cost I haven’t estimated.

I am requesting approval so we can take advantage of the early-bird registration rate of only $805 (if we’re ACDIS members) if we register before March 7, 2017. If we send the team, the fifth person registers for free (which we may wish to take advantage of).

If we are approved, we can further discuss which sessions might be best to attend to benefit our overall program. And, of course, we’ll meet after the conference to discuss significant takeaways, tips, and recommended actions to maximize our investment in our CDI program. I will also share relevant information with the team and other staff.

Thank you for considering this request. Again, if I get approval now, then we can save up to $200 on the registration, and keep our total investment to about $2,000. I look forward to your reply.

Thank you!

[Name]

 

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

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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

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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: http://app.keysurvey.com/f/1095184/5e51/