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April meetings offer info on infectious disease, palliative care, sample physician queries

Northern California

Dexter D’Costa, MD, will present material regarding documentation for comfort/palliative care, and its impact on risk of mortality and severity of illness data during the next meeting on Tuesday, April 13, at 10 a.m. For information, contact Becky Mann, RN, CDS, at 707/337-3779, ext. 3593 or by e-mail at

Central Indiana

The 2nd meeting of the Central Indiana Chapter of ACDIS takes place on April 14, 10 a.m. to noon, at Bloomington (IN)  Hospital. The key topic for this meeting is forms, and participants are asked to bring a sampling of their organizations’ queries, worksheets, or other templates they use regularly, along with a list of the top 10 reasons to query a physician.

For information, contact meeting host meeting Wendy Wilson at Bloomington Hospital 812/353-4868.

New England

The next Northeast Regional CDS meeting will be held at South Shore Hospital, Thursday,  April 29, 1:30-3:30 p.m., featuring guest speaker Todd Ellerin, MD, regarding infectious disease.

To suggest items for the agenda or to be added to the list of local chapter participants, contact Patty Spry, RN, Clinical Documentation Specialist at Emerson Hospital  in Concord, MA.

California meeting Wednesday

The California-state ACDIS Chapter holds a teleconference meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 9 a.m., featuring a presentation regarding CDI data capture and reporting, benchmarking indicators, systems being used across CDI programs by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Supervisor, Clinical Documentation and Coding Compliance,Colleen Stalvey, RHIT.

Registration is requested. Contact Dexter D’Costa MBBS, MHA, CPHIMS, Manager, Clinical Documentation Program, Quality, Patient Safety & Effectiveness,  at 650/723-5343 or by e-mail at dd’

California ACDIS meetings underway

California encompases more than 150,000 square miles.

California encompases more than 150,000 square miles.

California (163,696 square miles) contains nearly 60 counties and no less than 12 “regions,” according to the state park Web site, whose motto is “Discover the many states of California.”

It’s wise advice. For the past few months a number of ACDIS members worked diligently behind the scenes to organize local CDI gatherings in what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger calls “The Great State of California.” Initially, some said the state was just “too big” geographically for networking to work. After all, San Bernadeno County alone contains three million acres. The city of Los Angeles has the fourth largest economy in the United States.

This is a big state.

Fortunately, CDI professionals are not easily deterred. On Wednesday, October 23 the Central California ACDIS Chapter held its first meeting. Next week, on Tuesday, November 10, at 1 p.m., the Northern California ACDIS Chapter will meet.  Plans for a Southern California ACDIS Chapter meeting are underway.

Sure, it’s true some states are more geographically challenging than others. But we’re seeing groups in Washington (71,342 square miles), New York (54,556 square miles), and yes, Texas (268,820 square miles) too. In New York City it can take more than an hour to drive from one borough to the next. But a drive from the tip of Long Island to the center of Manhattan takes just under two and a half hours (I’ll post more about developments in the Big Apple tomorrow). In California, too, they throw away the mileage measure in favor of the traffic report and the hour count.

Just as each geographic area presents unique meeting challenges, each area also presents unique clinical documentation improvement challenges.  Payment methodologies and intensity of government scrutiny is not the same in Oregon as it is in Kansas. Such difficulties are one of the primary reasons we believe local networking is so important.

Even if a first meeting starts with five CDI specialists sitting  in a restaurant talking about the difficulties of their day it helps! The primary intention of ACDIS chapters is to foster networking opportunities for CDI professionals, to establish a community of peers a CDI specialist can turn to, to talk about fears and concerns.

Ultimately, California CDI specialists decided to start with a single overarching California ACDIS group that will provide regular “virtual” meetings and three so-called “local” groups for the aforementioned areas. We expect and quite honestly hope that other, even more local, groups will soon grow to meet the diverse needs of CDI in the state.

We are so proud to be able to announce the formation of the California ACDIS Chapter.

For information contact:

Adriana van der Graaf, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CHP, National Director, Healthcare Reform Services at Integrated Revenue Management, who hosted the first Central CA ACDIS Chapter and will help organize the state-wide meetings. Contact her by phone at 760/448-1063 or by e-mail at

SheRee P. Garcia , RHIA, CHP, director, Health Information Management Services at UCSF Medical Center, who volunteered to host the first Northern CA ACDIS meeting. Contact her by phone at 415/353-2885 or by e-mail at

Gloria S. Noell, RN, CCM, HCQM, CPUM, director of care management at Providence Little Company of Mary joins Wendy De Vreugd, RN, BSN, PHN, FNP, CCDS, senior director case management at Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division, West Region to gather CDI for a Southern CA ACDIS session. Contact Noell by phone at 310/500-6272 or by e-mail at Contact De Vreugd by phone at 714/899-5020 or by e-mail at