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Membership Update: ACDIS 2018 speaker proposal deadline extended

Join us in San Antonio!

Join us in San Antonio!

The Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) is currently seeking speakers to present at the 2018 ACDIS 11th Annual Conference, to be held May 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The deadline for submissions has been extended due to the devastation brought by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The new deadline is September 25. Click here to view and complete the speaker application.

We seek speakers to present on all aspects of clinical documentation improvement (CDI). Advanced CDI sessions geared for mature programs are particularly welcome and will receive additional consideration but the 2018 Conference Committee also seeks to meet the needs of those new to the profession and those at an intermediate level. Click here to meet the volunteers.

CDI and/or HIM/coding professionals typically present at ACDIS, but we also welcome practicing physicians, case management and quality personnel, healthcare auditors, lawyers, and other professionals with a tie to or an interest in CDI. Accepted speakers and co-presenters will have their admission fee waived.

Based on the learning needs identified by participants of the successful 2017 ACDIS Conference, several topics have emerged as areas of great interest within the ACDIS community, including two new tracks—outpatient CDI and pediatric CDI. Click here to read a full list of suggested sessions and tracks.

Symposium update: Early bird pricing ends today

outpatient early bird

Early bird pricing ends today!

Today is the last day to get the Early Bird price for the first ever ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI. Reserve your seat today, July 17, to take full advantage of the discount. The conference takes place from September 18-19 at the Hilton Oak Brook Resort and Conference Center in Oak Brook, Illinois.

ACDIS members receive a $100 discount on their conference tickets, bringing the price down to $805. [more]

Symposium Speaker Highlight: McCall demystifies outpatient coding


Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC-I, CCDS

Editor’s note: As we did with the 10th annual ACDIS conference in May, we’ll take some time leading up to the ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI to chat with a few of the speakers. The event takes place September 18-19 at the Hilton Oak Brook Resort & Conference Center in Oak Brook, Illinois. Today, we talked with Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPC-I, CCDS, the director of coding and HIM at HCPro in Middleton, Massachusetts. She manages the instructors of the Certified Coder Boot Camps and has extensive experience with coding for both physician and hospital services. She will be presenting “The Ins and Outs: Inpatient and Outpatient Coding” on Day 1 of the Symposium.

Q: There are so many differences between inpatient and outpatient coding! What would you say is the most difficult one(s) for those moving from the inpatient CDI world to wrap their minds around? (e.g., that words like probable, likely, suspected don’t count toward a diagnosis, that outpatient facilities not only use ICD-10 but also CP[SM] T, the different code sets each have their own set of guidelines and rules governing use?)

A: Documentation for outpatient encounters is much briefer than documentation for an inpatient admission so the application of the guidelines of only assigning codes for relevant diagnoses is important. Providers typically lack the documentation in their notes to clearly identify chronic conditions being clinically relevant in their decision making process. Since risk adjustment is based on diagnosis coding, the differences in procedure coding has no bearing.  [more]

Note from Associate Director: What to expect at the ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI


Associate Director Rebecca Hendren

By Rebecca Hendren

Outpatient CDI is a fast-growing area of focus for those working in the field. In a recent member poll, 33% of our audience reported that they either have an outpatient CDI program or they are planning to launch one within the next 12 months. The topic was a hot one at our 10th annual conference in May and many are looking for guidance regarding how to get started in outpatient CDI, including building a program, staffing, and determining return on investment.

Our new, two-day conference coming this September will answer many of these questions and help us kick-off our CDI Week celebrations. The ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI, being held September 18-19 in Oak Brook, Illinois, features presentations from organizations who have already built successful outpatient CDI programs and who will share their experiences in getting started and maintaining a program.


Note from the Associate Director: Thanks for the memories—see you in Chicago for Outpatient CDI!

By Rebecca Hendren

And just like that, three days of education, network, and frivolity have come to an end. This year’s ACDIS Conference was our biggest and best yet. We were excited to celebrate our 10th anniversary with some extra Vegas sparkle and a chance to reminisce over how ACDIS—and the whole CDI profession—has grown over the last 10 years.

Some of the highlights for me were, as always, meeting so many dedicated CDI professionals and seeing the amazing connections that developed between you all. It warms my heart to see folks pour out of a session and stand chatting in hallways about the information they just learned, or huddle over laptops on the floor as they share best practices.

Thank you to the individuals who participated in the various focus groups held during the conference. The conversations had in those rooms and the perspectives shared will be considered over the next weeks and months and result in process improvements or new product development. A direct result of us coming together for four days of learning.

It wouldn’t be the ACDIS conference without plenty of laughs. Laurie Prescott and Shannon McCall did not disappoint as they reenacted the Family Feud gameshow to teach us the value of interdepartmental communication and not a few solid tips for both new and seasoned CDI professionals. We all had a chuckle at Brian Murphy’s cheesy jokes during the Meet ACDIS session where we discussed all the things ACDIS does and the many benefits of membership.

And all of you made me laugh every day with the good humor with which you tackle such complicated topics that have incredibly important results. ACDIS attendees have the most positive attitudes and can-do spirit of any group of professionals I’ve ever engaged with. It is heartening and inspiring and I know you are all returning to your workplaces with renewed pep and vigor, just like I am.

Finally, I hope to see many of you in Chicago in September for our inaugural ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI. Join us for two days of education and networking dedicated to the fastest growing area of CDI: the outpatient setting. We’ll have two concurrent tracks with diverse sessions for both leaders/managers and clinical chart reviewers, including how to get started in the ambulatory setting, query techniques and nuances, metrics and analytics, staffing training, and demonstrating return on investment.

We hope you join us for two days of actionable strategies and unparalleled networking. All with the distinct ACDIS flair that you know and love!

Editor’s note: Hendren is the Associate Director of Product Development and Membership for ACDIS. Contact her at




Conference Corner: Thanks to our exhibitors and sponsors

ACDIS would like to take a few moments to recognize and thank all our sponsors and exhibitors of the 2017 10th annual ACDIS conference. Every year, our sponsors and exhibitors help us make the conference memorable. Thank you for helping us make the 10th annual conference the best yet!

The following is a comprehensive list of all our sponsors:

  • Title sponsor: MedPartners
  • Diamond sponsors: Optum360 (also sponsor of the 10th anniversary photo booth), Enjoin, TrustHCS, UASI
  • Platinum sponsors: 3M, Iodine, Sound Physicians Advisory Services
  • Conference specific sponsors: ChartWise, tote bag sponsor; Elsevier, welcome reception sponsor; HCTec, water bottle sponsor, The Claro Group, app sponsor; Harmony Healthcare, door cling sponsor

The following is a comprehensive list of all our exhibitors (in alphabetical order):

ACDIS Lee Health
Administrative Consulting Service (ACS) Libman Education
Addison Group M*Modal
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Managed Resources Inc.
Altegra Health Solutions Maxim Healthcare Services
American Medical Association MedeAnalytics
BRG Healthcare nThrive
Brundage Medical Group Nuance
Caban Resources Ovation Healthcare Technology
CDI Search Group Oxford Healthcare Technology
CDIMD-ePreOP Peak Health Solutions
Chartwise Medical Systems, Inc. Pinson & Tang
ClinIntell, Inc. RecordsOne, LLC
ComforceHealth Saince, Inc.
Dolbey SCL Health
e4 SoftScript Transcription
Elite Medical Staffing Sound Physicians
ezDI Inc. Streamline Health Solutions
Feel Good Inc. Tenet Healthcare
GeBBS Healthcare Solutions Universal Coding Solutions
H3.Group Vincari
HCTec VitalWare
Huron Consulting Washington & West, LLC

Conference Corner: ACDIS honors achievement award winners at annual conference

ACDIS honored the nation’s top CDI professionals at its 10th annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 10, including:

  • Nicole Kosiba, RN, BSN, CDI specialist at Advocate Health Care – Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago, with the Rookie of the Year award


    Nicole Kosiba, RN, BSN

  • Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE, medical director of CDI and of pediatric trauma at Cooper University Health System in Camden, New Jersey, with the Excellence in Provider Engagement award


    Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE

  • Fran Jurcak, MSN, RN, CCDS, director of clinical innovations at Iodine Software in Austin, Texas, with the Recognition of CDI Professional Achievement award


    Fran Jurcak, MSN, RN, CCDS

  • Rita Fields, BSN, RN, CCDS, regional CDI manager at Baptist Health in Louisville, Kentucky, with the 2017 CDI Professional of the Year award


    Rita Fields, BSN, RN, CCDS

ACDIS Director Brian Murphy presented the four awards in the morning’s general session to kick off the 10th annual conference. The awards were presented in front of an audience of more than 2,000 of the winner’s peers.

The Rookie of the Year award (a 2016 addition) recognizes the rapid growth of the CDI profession by awarding an outstanding CDI professional on the job less than two years at the time of nomination. The Excellence in Provider Engagement award (a 2016 addition) recognizes a professional who has made measurable impacts engaging providers (physicians, nurses, and others) in the need for accurate and complete documentation in the health record. The Recognition of CDI Professional Achievement award recognizes a professional who has made outstanding achievements within his or her facility, and the CDI Professional of the Year award is ACDIS’ top honor, given to a CDI professional who has made significant contributions within his or her organization and to the broader CDI community.

“We had a very impressive pool of candidates this year. The 2017 Conference Committee had some difficult decisions to make. But in the end they selected four winners who exemplify all the qualities that make for great CDI professionals—the initiative to step outside their comfort zones and advance the profession, the ability to lead others and lead by example, the willingness to work as part of a team with HIM/coding professionals, physicians, and others, and above all a passion for what they do and the CDI profession as a whole,” says ACDIS Director Brian Murphy.

“The hardest thing was that each of the nominees had done such tremendous work in their own respect, but there could only be one winner for each category. […] Just to be on that nominee list, you must have done something wonderful, but I’m very, very confident that people will agree with our choices. The work the winners have done has been stellar, to say the least,” says Faisal Hussain, MD, a member of the 2017 Conference Committee.

“It was really difficult, but I think the process went pretty smoothly. All of the nominees were excellent. It’s very difficult to choose because you hate to have to say no to anyone when they’re all so close to the top of the list. It was great to see the number of nominations, though. The people who supported the nominees put in so much work to do that!” adds Jeanne O’Connor, RN, MS, CCDS, another member of the 2017 Conference Committee.

To read more about the ACDIS Achievement Awards criteria, award descriptions, and selection process, click here.

Conference Corner: How to use the new ACDIS bookstore booth

Those who’ve attended multiple conferences may recall the previous ACDIS bookstore booth as a pretty hectic place, both for the attendees and the staff involved. With those memories in mind, the ACDIS team worked to redesign the booth for this year’s conference.

The booth has three distinct areas: one for browsing and asking questions, one for purchasing your books, and one to demo our e-learning courses and chat with our sales staff. This layout will streamline the experience of shopping at the booth for everyone involved.

Please take a few moments to review the following steps to ensure you know how the booth setup works.

  1. First, head over to the tables at the booth to browse the book and product selections. ACDIS team members will be present to answer any questions you might have.

    step 1

    Step 1: Choose your books

  1. After you’ve selected which books to purchase, head over to the checkout area. Once there, tell the staff member which book(s) you’d like. They’ll retrieve them from the bookshelves and you can pay right there.

    step 2

    Step 2: Make your purchase

  1. To demo a CDI e-learning course or chat with one of our sales reps, head on over to the final area of the booth.

    step 3

    Step 3: Chat with a sales rep and demo our e-learning

If you have any questions about the booth setup while at the conference, head on over. The staff is happy to help walk you through the process.


Note from the Director: ACDIS conference turns 10


ACDIS Director Brian Murphy

By Brian D. Murphy

Wow, ACDIS is turning 10. Sometimes I still find it hard to wrap my head around that fact.

We’ve managed to accomplish a lot in our first decade, growing from little more than an idea in 2006, to launch in October 2007, to more than 5,400 members nationwide.

What am I most proud of? That we’ve brought so many people together. That’s what we do. Here is just a sample:

  • 40 local chapters under the banner of ACDIS
  • Thousands on our membership conference calls and ACDIS Radio
  • Thousands more in the classrooms of our boot camps
  • And tens of thousands of CDI specialists from around the country, here at our national conference

That’s what ACDIS is all about—fellowship, networking, and learning from each other. The plan is, 10 years from now we’ll still be bringing people together. Because in the end, that is what CDI is all about. It’s the ultimate team sport. What do I mean by that?

Patient registration, up front, doing their job so the process of review can begin.

All the efforts of the query go nowhere without an HIM/coding professional applying the code which he or she believes is supported by the documentation.

All those efforts go for naught without billing professionals submitting the claim on the back end.

And of course, CDI is completely hamstrung without an engaged physician willing to put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard. Or just to listen.

It’s a team, all working together, to move an object that can seem very heavy.

And CDI is the tie that binds all this together. CDI is the glue, the jet fuel that makes this engine run. How many more clichés can I spout? You get the idea. Every day you accomplish amazing things in your pursuit of the integrity of the medical record.

CDI specialists move that heavy object every day, meeting regulatory burdens head-on and marrying administrative codes to clinical practice.

And I like to think we at ACDIS have played a part, taking a turn and shouldering some of the burden right alongside you.

So, thank you for 10 years of ACDIS.

For 10 years of crossing the country to come to our conferences, 10 years of learning from us while we learn from you.

For 10 years of memories, and many fond meetings.

Team ACDIS is looking forward to the next 10!


Conference Corner: Getting from place-to-place in Las Vegas

The 10th annual ACDIS conference starts this week. To help you prepare for your travel to Las Vegas, we’ve put together a few transportation options from McCarran International Airport to the MGM Grand Hotel, the location of the conference. While ACDIS does not provide attendees with transportation to and from the conference, we did want to provide a resource to help you find the options in one place.

Taxi and car services

The MGM Grand is actually only a little more than two miles away from the airport itself. There are five different taxi cab services from the airport to hotels in Vegas, some of which are cash only. It’s recommended that passengers ask prior to getting into the cab whether or not they accept credit cards. There is also a $2.00 additional charge on all taxi fares originating at the airport.

The taxis are available outside Terminals 1 and 3 and at the Rent-A-Car Center at the airport. For more information regarding the taxi services provided from McCarran airport, click here.

In addition to the taxicabs, there are four different limousine car services operating out of the airport if you want to travel in a bit more luxury for those two miles. For information on this option, click here.

The MGM Grand also has a town car service through Executive Transportation. For more information about the hotel’s service, click here.

Airport shuttles

While the hotel does not provide a free shuttle to guests, there are a number of affordable options for airport shuttles.

The first option is through Executive Transportation, working with the MGM Grand. A one way-ticket to or from the airport on this shuttle is $7.00 per person. To make a reservation from the airport, contact Executive Transportation at 702-646-4661 or To make a reservation back to the airport at the end of the conference, simply see the MGM Grand Concierge.

BellTrans Charter Shuttle also operates between the airport and the MGM Grand. Each shuttle holds up to 24 passengers and makes three to five stops at various hotels. Their rates are $14-$17, round trip, depending on the hotel destination. To book a spot, visit their website by clicking here.

SuperShuttle also offers an airport shuttle to any destination on the Vegas Strip. If you’re traveling in a group, you can book transportation at a group price. To make a reservation, contact them at 800-258-3826. For information about group transportation, click here.

Ride Share

Uber and Lyft ride sharing also provide service to and from McCarran airport. Like the taxi services, the ride share vehicle operate out of Terminals 1 and 3. To make a reservation, download either app to your smart phone and request a ride. For more information about Uber, click here. For more information about Lyft, click here.

The MGM Grand also offers a discount for guests who choose Uber. By using the promo cod “MGMGRAND2,” you’ll get your first ride (up to $20) for free.


For those of you who live locally or are driving from the airport, make sure to use the address 3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109.

The McCarran Rent-A-Car center is located at 7135 Gilespie Street. An airport shuttle bus departs approximately every five minutes from Terminal 3 to the rental center. Due to road construction, the shuttle bus takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the rental center.


Hourly self-parking rates at the hotel are as follows:

  • 1-2 hours: $7
  • 2-4 hours: $10
  • 4-24 hours: $12
  • Over 24 hours: $12 per additional day or fraction thereof

Hourly valet parking rates at the hotel are as follows:

  • 0-4 hours: $15
  • 4-24 hours: $20
  • Over 24 hours: $20 per additional day or fraction thereof

Editor’s note: For additional transportation from the airport and around Las Vegas, please visit the MGM Grand Hotel’s website.