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Note from the Associate Editorial Director: Join us on the ACDIS stage

Join us in San Antonio!

Join us in San Antonio!

by Melissa Varnavas

We started small, with just a handful of members. Their excitement, infectious. Soon ACDIS Director Brian Murphy organized a conference, nearly 200 people attended. There were just 13 speakers at that event.

Not a day goes by that we don’t marvel at the growth of the clinical documentation improvement profession. With the 10th annual ACDIS conference in the books and ACDIS’ 10th birthday coming up in October, we can’t help but see the association’s trajectory as an extension of that growth.

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Symposium Update: Early bird hotel discount ends August 17

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The ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI is currently sold out!

There are only a couple more days left to get a discounted hotel room rate for the ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI. Reserve your room by Thursday, August 17 to take full advantage of the discount. The symposium takes place from September 18-19 at the Hilton Oak Brook Resort and Conference Center in Oak Brook, Illinois.

When you book your hotel room by August 17, you’ll get the discounted room rate at the Hilton Oak Brook Resort and Conference Center for $159 (tax and fees not included). To book by phone, call 866-275-6295 and mention ACDIS.

Please note that the Outpatient Symposium is sold out. If you have registered and know you won’t be able to attend, please notify customer service to allow others into the event.

 

Symposium Speaker Highlight: Whitley shares story of ambulatory success

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The ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI takes place Sept. 18-19

Editor’s note: There are only 45 more days left until the first ever ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI, September 18-19, in Oak Brook, Illinois. Last week, we brought you a Q&A with Laurie L. Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC, in CDI Strategies, but she’s not the only Symposium speaker we got to know recently. Today, we spoke with Yvonne Whitley, RN, BSN, CRCC, CPC, CRC, the supervisor for Novant Health Medical Group’s Ambulatory CDI team, who will present “Novant Health ambulatory CDI—How we’ve grown!” at the event. Please note that this event is filling up fast with limited seats remaining.

Q: Can you explain why you use the term “ambulatory” rather than “outpatient?”

A: The simple answer is that “outpatient” refers more to facilities such as wound care, same day surgery, infusion centers, etc. “Ambulatory,” on the other hand, refers to the provider clinics. Currently we only focus on the ambulatory setting.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you encountered during the implementation of your ambulatory CDI program?

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Note from the ACDIS Director: It’s time for outpatient CDI to step out on its own

ACDIS Director, Brian Murphy

ACDIS Director, Brian Murphy

By Brian Murphy

We knew it was going to happen.

Eventually, the ACDIS Conference was going to get so big that we couldn’t give every CDI topic justice or the full coverage it deserved. Outpatient CDI was one of those topics. There is so much going on between Medicare Advantage and Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs), the complexities of patients admitted versus treated in observation, to outpatient opportunities in the emergency department and in the physician office setting, that the time had come to give outpatient CDI its own event.

Enter the ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI.

This all-new ACDIS event will be held September 18-19 at the Hilton Oak Brook Resort & Conference Center, located just outside of Chicago.

Back when inpatient CDI was still relatively new in 2007, we received large numbers of basic questions, and there was an overwhelming need for nuts and bolts “how to get started” ideas and education. Because we anticipate the same kinds of concerns at the ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI we are accommodating with three specific ideas:

  1. Case studies of how programs have implemented successful outpatient CDI programs. Hear from Cooper University Health Care, Novant Health, Mount Carmel Health System, and others about how they got started, their challenges and their successes.
  2. A “Morning Ideas: Lightning Round” general session on Day 1. This innovative one-hour session combines four to five quick-hit, “here was a problem we had and a solution that worked/here is a process that worked for us and might work for you” ideas from your peers that have worked in the field. This will get your brain working overtime!
  3. A dedicated Q&A panel session to conclude the program. Ask your top questions at this session—and listen to your peers’ questions. Chances are you might have the same questions.

Just like the ACDIS Conference, the Symposium will feature plenty of networking opportunities and idea-sharing over our breakfasts and lunches (food, including breaks, is provided with registration) as well as in our exhibit hall. Come see the many innovative outpatient CDI solutions several vendors are offering in this space.

There is far more on the agenda than I could mention here—sessions on the nuts and bolts of evaluation and management coding (E/M) and how to improve physician E/M billing, a session on the key differences between inpatient and outpatient coding (as taught by our top coding instructor Shannon McCall, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, COC, CPC-I, CEMC, CRC, CCDS), and much more.

In short, I hope you can make our inaugural ACDIS Symposium. To learn more or to register, please click here.

Editor’s note: If you have specific questions about the Symposium’s content, please send them to ACDIS Associate Director of Membership and Product Development Rebecca Hendren at rhendren@acdis.org. Murphy is the director of ACDIS. Contact him at bmurphy@acdis.org.

TBT: 2017 Conference Committee member shares session insight

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Faisal Hussain, MD, CCDS, CDIP

By Faisal Hussain, MD, CCDS, CDIP

It was a real privilege to serve on the 2017 ACDIS Conference Committee, even though it involved a lot of hard work, and tough decisions regarding the selection of speakers and award winners.

One of the sessions that caught the interest of the entire committee concerned objectively measuring providers’ clinical engagement. What made this session even more special was the fact that the presenter, Nicole Draper, RN, BN, MHA, DH-C, was responsible for putting together one of the first CDI programs in Australia.

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Symposium Speaker Highlight: McCall demystifies outpatient coding

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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 the Associate Editorial Director: Setting the outpatient CDI table

outpatient CDI table

Join us for the ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI!

By Melissa Varnavas

The stew’s been simmering in the pot for a while now. All the separate ingredients are melding and the overwhelming aroma in the room is enticing. The stew is outpatient CDI. Its ingredients are multitudinous, varied.

  • Pinch of evaluation and management (E/M) coding
  • Few cups of hierarchical condition category (HCC) groupings
  • Sampling of risk adjustment methodology
  • An awareness of current procedural terminology (CPT) codes
  • Knowledge of ICD-10-CM/PCS Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting
  • Several specks of physician practice business savvy

And that’s not a comprehensive list of ingredients by any stretch of the imagination. Each cook in this CDI kitchen (just as in the inpatient world) follows its own recipe—drawing from its unique set of programmatic goals and overarching system mission and focus.

Yet, we have a basic recipe to follow thanks to those taste-testing the mixture over the past few years and sharing their samplings with rest of the CDI community. Now all we need to do is set the table and invite others to join us.

The ACDIS Symposium: Outpatient CDI invites you to the feast. Hope to see you there.

Editor’s note: Varnavas is the Associate Editorial Director for ACDIS and has worked with its parent company for nearly 12 years. Contact her at mvarnavas@acdis.org.

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

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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.

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Conference Committee Insights: Getting to the Heart of Accurately Defining Cardiac Ischemic Syndromes

conference committee

Apply by June 20, 2017

By Deidre Barnett, MHCL, BSN, RN, CCDS

Editor’s note: Barnett is a CDI specialist at MedPartners HIM in Tampa, Florida. She was one of the 12 member 2017 Conference Committee. For more information regarding the conference committee and to apply for the 2018 committee, click here.

With CMS piloting the bundled payment for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), CDI efforts in clarifying cardiac conditions is a very hot topic right now so I was glad to attend “Getting to the Heart of Accurately Defining Cardiac Ischemia,” presented by Christopher M. Huff, MD, FACC, and Garry L. Huff, MD, CCS, CCDS. The discussion also ties right in with the recent Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting which call for the assignment of a code Type 2 MI as an NSTEMI without needing this documentation from the provider—we used to have to query.

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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 rhendren@acdis.org