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Conference Conversations: What are ACDIS speakers looking forward to most?

ACDIS 2017

ACDIS 2017

“It’s in Vegas. Need I say more?” jokes William E. Haik, MD, FCCP, CDIP, who presents “Sepsis: 1, 2, 3—RAC Attack!” on Day 1, in Track 1, at 1:45 p.m.

Hardly a week goes by without a mention of sepsis in the medical literature, whether peer-reviewed scientific journals or non-peer-reviewed medical publications. Recently, more evidence has surfaced that seems to support the importance of Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) in the risk assessment of sepsis patients, according to a recent White Paper on the topic from the ACDIS Advisory Board. And there continues to be conflict between clinical language, coding language, and the language required by quality assessment programs. (Read the related White Paper on the topic on the ACDIS website.)

But Haik, a founding member of the ACDIS Advisory Board, has a knack for breaking complicated clinical and coding conditions into manageable pieces of information, providing concrete examples of what clinical indicators CDI specialists should look for in the medical record and how to best craft a query to convey the patient’s condition in codeable terminology. Just as he has a knack for a quick comeback and rich and hearty laughter.

“We arm wrestle during my talk,” he says. “Just kidding,” he adds. “In reality, I’m trying to get participants to think inside the box! I want to get everyone to think clinically as a physician would.”

Striking a serious tone, he adds that presentations on quality, hierarchical condition categories, and value-based purchasing represent topics of interest. “I’m really looking forward to expanding my knowledge,” he says.

He’s not alone. The 10th annual conference features many physician presentations including that of Ronald Hirsch, MD, vice president of the regulations and education group at AccretivePAS Clinical Solutions, who presents on Day 2, Track 4, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Hirsch knows how CMS’ regulations and guidance can confuse even the most astute clinician with its vague and often contradictory instructions. Nevertheless, these regulations affect everyone—doctor, patient, bedside nurse, case manager, CDI, billing and coding, even healthcare executives.

While his presentation “Medicare Regulation Update: Practical Application for CDI Professionals” promises to shed a light on this often opaque information, Hirsch is looking forward to learning just as much from his peers and other breakout sessions throughout the conference.

2016 pre-cons

2016 pre-cons

“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 physician advisor Boot Camp. It will be an honor to hear from Erica Remer and James Kennedy, two of the most renowned physicians in CDI,” Hirsch says.

Fellow physician, Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE, medical director of pediatric trauma and CDI at Cooper University Health Care in Camden, New Jersey “cannot wait to hear about other program’s successes,” she says.

Fox, who presents “Playing to Win: How to Engage Physicians in Clinical Documentation Improvement,” on Day 3, Track 3, from 11 a.m. to noon, says she’s particularly interested in ambulatory CDI as Cooper University plans for its next area of growth and expansion.

Just as Fox looks forward to hearing other people’s CDI success stories, she’s excited to share her own, too. “One of the strengths of our program is physician engagement,” she says. “Physicians are never taught how to document, so they struggle with this much-needed skill set and are often hesitant to ask for help.”

Cooper University’s CDI program, however, tracks a 100% response rate to its CDI department queries, a rate at least partially attributed to the peer-to-peer education Fox helped establish.

“I think one of the general challenges with physician engagement is not recognizing that the best way for physicians. There is no substitute for a practicing physician embedded in your CDI program who will proactively educate peers and handle any concerns that arise,” she says.

Cooper University also has a remote component to its CDI program. Past ACDIS Achievement Award winner Kara Masucci, RN, MSN, CCDS, and her manager Rebecca R. Willcutt, RN, BSN, CCS, CCDS who both work at Cooper University, join Boston Medical Center’s Lara M. Faustino, RN, BSN, CCDS for a panel discussion on Day 2, Track 2, at 9:15-10:15 a.m., for a panel discussion on remote CDI efforts.

General session networking

General session networking

Like Fox, Faustino’s looking forward to learning from industry experts and peers and, of course, “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.”

When Jeff Morris, RN, BSN, CCDS, now CDI supervisor at University of South Alabama Health System in Mobile, first started in the role it was as a liaison between coding and physician staff to provide documentation education related to ICD-10 specificity. With numerous ICD-10 delays, however, Morris transformed the program, added staff, and expanded into focus areas such as CDI in obstetrics and gynecology, which he’ll explore on Day 1, Track 5, at 3:45 p.m.

“I am most looking forward to the networking and collaboration that occurs between CDI professionals during these few days. I always leave the conference refreshed and full of new ideas to bring back and implement at my facility,” Morris says.

There’s a lot to get excited about this year, especially with the 10th anniversary festivities. What sessions are you looking forward to most? What’s your favorite part of the ACDIS conference every year?


Lunchtime catch-ups

Local Chapter Update: New York regions begin CDI outreach

New York regions set networking plans.

New York regions set networking plans.

Three different regions in New York started CDI networking outreach in the last month—Westchester (County), Central (regional near Syracuse), and Champlain Valley (connecting CDI professionals on both side of the great lake in Vermont and New York).

In the Champlain Valley their hope is to “start with quarterly telephonic (GoToMeetings) sessions as a means of getting acquainted, exploring CDI educational needs/desires, and networking,” says Kellie B. Halsted, MSN/MHA, RN, CCM, CDI specialist at the University of Vermont Medical Center. (Contact her at

In Central New York, the group’s first successful meeting took place in Syracuse with great attendance both on site and via conference call, according to Dawn Burr, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDI specialist at Crouse Hospital (contact her at  Burr says the open discussions were “both informative and timely considering the importance of CDI and coder collaboration,” and that they illustrated an opportunity for the group to continue to share tips and invite both team members to the subsequent meetings tentatively slated for April 2017.

In Westchester, more than two dozen CDI professionals joined at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, for a roundtable discussion of CDI productivity/metrics, types of reviews, types of units covered and staffing, use of query templates, and issues as pertaining to query response and varying escalation policies from site to site. The group plans to meet again in January/February. For more information, contact Kerry Seekircher at

  • The next Maine ACDIS Chapter meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 8, from noon-4 p.m., at St. Mary’s in Lewiston. For information, email Valerie Parent, at
  • The next St. Louis Missouri ACDIS Chapter meeting takes place Wednesday, January 18, 6:30- 8 p.m., at DePaul Health Center. Kay Piper, inpatient coding educator and member of the AHA Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS advisory board will present. For information, contact
  • The Massachusetts ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, January 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The agenda includes Litsa Georgakilas, RD, LDN, CNSC Clinical Dietician II, who will discuss malnutrition risk and assessment tools and Maureen Lira, RN, BSN, CWCN, CHI, who will discuss pressure ulcer staging and progression. Pizza/soda will be provided, however, RSVPs required to as space is limited.

Chapter meetings offer insight, networking, fun

Since most ACDIS chapters hold their meetings quarterly it makes sense that networking opportunities in April and May flourished this year. I was particularly blessed to attend a number these in person. On April 1, I headed into Boston to join with two dozen CDI professionals at Mass General Hospital for a discussion about altered mental status. On April 16, I headed north to New Hampshire where roughly 20 professionals gathered to hear about the CDI program at Catholic Medical Center, review the 2013 Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice, and discuss each others’ query best practices.

NYC 005

The room at NYU Langone was nearly filled to capacity during the April 30, NYC5B ACDIS meeting

This past Thursday, April 30, I packed up the car and took to the highways once again. This time, my tires spun toward New York City for its NYC5B (five boroughs) meeting at New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center. The lords of spring shone on us. The weather was perfect and NYC’s cherry and pear trees blossomed as nearly 50 CDI professionals made their way into the meeting after completing their typical day’s work.

Meeting hosts Mary McGrady, MSN, RN, CCDS and Bringham “Briggs” Strelow, MD, CCDS, offered their guests an amazing catered dinner of chicken, steak, and grilled summer vegetables with all the fixings including salad, bread, and dessert.

A video chat meeting with Hollie Shaner-McRae, DNP, RN, FAAN, and her CDI team from the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington featured the topic “Collaborating with Providers: Creative Ideas for Building Relationships that Advance Optimal Documentation.” During the presentation, each staff member shared a portion of the spotlight (or video camera screen, rather) explaining their CDI process and offering insight into the effectiveness of their process.

For my part, I reviewed the history of our Association and shared a few news tips with the group regarding ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation and the incorporation of additional quality measures within the Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule.

NYC 004

Mary McGrady and Bringham “Briggs” Strelow call out winners for the chapter’s raffle items.

Before concluding, McGrady and Strelow raffled off a couple of bottles of wine donated by CDI Search Group and a number of ACDIS-related items such as a glass water bottle, The Physician Queries Handbook, an ACDIS tote bag, and several other books and products.

One of the amazing things for me personally was the warmth with which I was received. As I nervously entered the large hospital campus, a member of the CDI team warmly welcomed me and walked me to the meeting room. Inside, I recognized a number of annual ACDIS conference attendees whom I’ve gotten to know personally over the years and we were all “hugs” and “hullos.”

Following the meeting the CDI staff at NYU Langone quickly cleaned the area and we all posed for photos together acting a little goofy and letting off steam. My hosts even graciously offered to spend additional time with me that evening! Since the meeting ran until 8:30 p.m., I opted for a quiet picnic dinner in my hotel room, though.

Several other local chapters held meetings last week, too. The Philadelphia ACDIS Chapter met on April 30th, at 8 a.m., at Jefferson Health System’s Kimmel Cancer Research Center to hear Eileen Garrity, RN, MBA, FAHM, CCDS, offer a preview of her ACDIS 2015 presentation “PSI-90 A Deep Dive into Patient Safety and Quality of Care.”

On Friday, May 1, CDI Boot Camp Instructor Cheryl Ericson spent the day with the South Carolina ACDIS Chapter members offering the group an amended version of the ICD-10 for CDI Boot Camp. Maine and Oregon ACDIS chapters met that Friday, too. And the Ohio ACDIS group met on May 1 for the first time as the newly formed state-wide group, unifying three previously regionally segmented networking groups.

It is so good to get out and meet people face-to-face and to hear what they’re doing and how they’re overcoming their trouble spots. I hope you have the opportunity to attend a session or two in the coming months. For additional information about what’s going on in your region of the country visit our website and click on the Local Chapters page.

Left to right. Kathy Brady-Weisler, Denise Stephens, Greg Palmer, Lisa McLuckie

Left to right the new leaders of the Ohio ACDIS Chapter are
Kathy Brady-Weisler, Denise Stephens, Greg Palmer, and  Lisa McLuckie

Upcoming ACDIS Chapter meetings

The Florida ACDIS Chapter meets Saturday, March 21, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Health Central Hospital in Ocoee. The agenda includes:

  • “Types of Anemia with focus on Acute Blood Loss Anemia,” by Mickey Liao, MD
  • “Chronic Kidney Disease,” by Banji Awosika, MD
  • “Sepsis,” by Antonio Velardi, MD
  • “ICD-10,” by MedPartners CDI
  • Roundtable discussion and Q&A

For more information, or to RSVP by March 6, contact Cynthia Knight at

The Hawaii ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, March 18, noon to 2 p.m., at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu. For information, contact Shun No Chan by phone at 808-522-4978 or email

The first Iowa ACDIS Chapter meeting will be held Friday, March 20, 1-3:30 p.m., at Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison. The group will discuss:

  •  ICD-10 implementation
  • Physician involvement
  • Administration support

For additional information, and to RSVP, contact meeting host Sherry Morreau at 712-265-2549or email

The next Georgia ACDIS Chapter meeting will be held Friday, March 20, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta. Agenda includes:

  • Development of physician liaisons
  • Use of clinical evidence queries for performance indicators, tips, tricks, and caveats

For information, or reservations email

New York
The Suffolk County (Long Island) ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, March 27, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Stony Brook Hospital. The agenda includes:

  • “Revitalizing a CDI program for physician engagement,” by Karen Chase, RN, BSN
  • “A unique collaboration of residency program, the Sim Lab, and CDI to educate new residents,” by Eileen Finnin, RN, BS

RSVP by Friday, March 20, Patti McKenna at or call 631-447-3001. Admission is $3. Breakfast will be provided.

California encompases more than 150,000 square miles.

California encompasses more than 150,000 square miles.

The CA ACDIS Chapter meets online to discuss “CDI update from the case management world,” on Wednesday, March 25, 9-10 a.m. For more information, contact Emily Emmons at 858-677-6813 or email

The MN ACDIS Chapter meets for its monthly call on Wednesday, March 25, 1-2 p.m., via telephone conference line. The group will review the ACDIS/HCPro webcast “Outpatient CDI: Implement an Effective Program,” and feature a panel discussion with Mayo Clinic Health System speakers Kristy Olson, RN, Kris Lindblom, RN, and Jenny Schoenecker. For additional information, contact Teresa L. Hegard at 507-538-0945 or email

The Mass. ACDIS Chapter April 1 meeting has filled up. There are no more open slots to attend this meeting. For information, or to be added to the Massachusetts roster please fill out this brief online form.

South Carolina
The SC ACDIS Chapter hosts an ICD-10 for CDI Boot Camp on May 1 at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in lieu of its regularly scheduled meeting. Reservations required by April 1. For information, email PJ Floyd at

The Arizona ACDIS Chapter Desert Documenters meets Wednesday, April 1, 5:15-8 p.m., at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. Glenn Krauss, BBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, CPUR, FCS, PCS, CCDS, C-CDI, C-DAM, Executive Director of the Foundation for Physician Documentation Integrity presents “Clinical Documentation Improvement Programs: Reinvention is the Key to Longevity.” For more information, email Brenda Pierce at or Judy Schade at

The next N. Illinois ACDIS Chapter meeting takes place Wednesday, April 15, noon to 4 p.m., at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. For more information, contact Colleen M. Stukenberg at

The TN ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, April 24, at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga. To volunteer to present or participate, contact members of the Core Leadership Team: Sherri Clark, Kristie Perry, James Kennedy, and Judy Rochelle

New York
The Five Borough New York City Chapter of ACDIS meets Thursday, April 30, 5:15 p.m., at New York University Langone Medical Center. For more information, email Visit the chapter at Blogspot:

The ME ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, May 1, from noon to 4 p.m., at the Alfond Center in Augusta. For information, contact Cathy Seluke at

Florida ACDIS Chapter has Renewed Energy

Attendees at the November Florida ACDIS Chapter meeting

Attendees at the November Florida ACDIS Chapter meeting

After attending her first ACDIS national conference, Kimberly Richart returned to her CDI program energized. “I knew we had to get our state of Florida involved,” she says.

So Richart called surrounding hospitals asking to talk with CDI staff. Most didn’t know what CDI meant, few had a team in place. Nevertheless, she found enough interested people to hold a meeting. It had 17 attendees.

Today, the chapter has nearly 200 members and typically more than 30 attendees at each quarterly meeting. Shortly after its first meeting, the Florida ACDIS Chapter formalized its agreement with ACDIS National, elected a president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer. The team developed by-laws and created a state logo. Since that first meeting at Morton Plant Mease Healthcare, the chapter has met in all corners of the state from the Pensacola to Miami and those unable to travel attend virtually via webinar and teleconferencing when available.

“It is extremely important to keep up to date with the ever-changing information related to CDI and government healthcare reimbursement initiatives,” says Richart who stepped down from her leadership role following the Chapter’s meeting and election earlier this month.

“Our goal has always been to provide a cohesive bond between between CDI specialists professionals from the diverse clinical settings throughout Florida; to provide advocacy for the CDI role. This support is just so important.”

We want to thank outgoing Florida ACDIS Chapter leaders Richart, Edie Brown, and Jamie Dugan and welcome incoming leaders (pictured below) Colleen McComas, Cynthia Knight, Deb Dallos, and Joannie Crotts.


Incoming FL ACDIS Chapter leaders.

Incoming FL ACDIS Chapter leaders.

Michigan ACDIS plans fall blowout; fall meetings planned


Join the Michigan ACDIS Chapter in Grand Rapids!

Local ACDIS Chapters function in a wide-range of formats and meeting styles; some are more formal than others with sophisticated agenda, schedules, and rotations. In that regard, we have to tip our hat to the Michigan ACDIS Chapter this month which pulled out all the stops for its upcoming event Saturday, October 25, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the JW Marriot in Grand Rapids (discounted room rates expire October 5).

Just take a look at the agenda:

  • Jon Elion, MD, FACC, founder and CEO of ChartWise Medical Systems, in Providence, R.I., offers the keynote address “Challenges in Clinical Documentation: Stories from the Front Line.”
  • Kathleen Luther of Accretive health discusses “Population Health/Risk Adjustment via HCC Methodology: The Difference CDI Can Make.”
  • Michael Putkovich and Carrie Horn of Spectrum Health present “Successful Outcomes: CDI Processes at Spectrum Health.”
  • Angela Jacobson and Patty Vitasinski of UASI discuss “Travel CDI: Rewards and Challenges.”
  • Jennifer Lesnek from Anthelio discusses “Pediatric CDI.”
  • Fran Jurcak from Huron Consulting offers an “Intro to APR-DRG and Medicaid CDI in OB/Babies.”

Chapter leaders Sue Haley and Patti Nemeth know, however, that all work and no play isn’t any way to conduct an all-day affair so they’ve interspersed the event with great food—including breakfast complete with bacon, eggs, and caramelized onions and roasted potatoes, a “Taste of the Mediterranean Buffet” for lunch, and snacks like pretzels, popcorn, chips throughout the afternoon. For those who will be traveling for the event and arriving Friday, they’ve even set up a pre-conference gathering at the Grand Rapids Brewing Co., within walking distance of the hotel.

And that’s not all…

Patti and Sue also challenged attendees to an essay contest. Attendees are asked to write three to four paragraphs (no more than 1,000 words) in response to the following prompts:

  • What makes me get out of bed and drive an hour to work?
  • I get to work and then do “______________________”and I know it’s going to be an awesome day!
  • I “______” my job.
  • This is how my manager motivates me. This is how I motivate myself.
  • Recall a time you were fully engaged in any activity, work-related or otherwise… describe it (elaborate as fully as you like). What elements of that experience still resonate with you today?

“The stories we share tell us important things about our values and ways of working,” they wrote in their email invitation. Through telling and sharing these stories “we also discover our strengths, those unique talents and skills that allow us to persevere and flourish in our work.”

The Michigan ACDIS Chapter leaders told attendees not to worry too much about the grammar and mechanics of the essay but to focus on sharing something spectacular about the CDI experience. They’ll collect content entries until midnight October 17, pick five finalists, and pass them over to independent judge Kathy Luther to select the prize winner. The winner gets a collection of Vera Bradley totes and bags.

We can’t wait to read some of the entries!

There’s also going to be raffle items, giveaways, a panel discussion, Q&A period, and… phew! We’re getting tired just talking about the planning!

If you’re a CDI specialist in Michigan Grand Rapids is the place to be. Just RSVP ASAP to ensure your spot! The deadline to register is October 6!

Kudos to Sue and Patti! For more information contact them via email at and

Additional meetings coming up this month include:


The Arizona ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, October 15, 5:30-8 p.m., at Mimi’s Café at Desert Ridge in Phoenix. Debra Beisel-Denton and Diane Adrignola have gathered examples of denials and will discuss how CDI departments are involved in the denials process and clinical indicators needed to RAC proof charts. For information, or to RSVP by October 10, email Carlena Forsha at


The Alabama ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, October 17, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Huntsville Hospital, featuring a speaker from Huff DRG Review, Inc., continental breakfast and lunch.  RSVP to Margaret Stephens at 256-658-6113 or by October 14.


The ACDIS NW chapter will meet Friday, October 31, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Salem (Oregon) Health System. It’s Halloween and costumes are encouraged (but optional). The agenda includes:

  • 7:30-8:30: Registration, Continental Breakfast Provided
  • 8:30–9:15: Business Meeting and Elections, ACDIS NW Chapter Members and Board
  • 9:15–9:30: Break (Basket Raffle)
  • 9:30–9:45: CDI Search Group Presentation, Devon Santoro and Scott Ettinger
  • 9:45–10:45: How to Talk to Doctors About CDI, Dr. Claire Norton, Internal Medicine
  • 10:45–11:45: Diabetic Complications, Dr. Cort Garrison, Internal Medicine
  • 11:45-12:00: Halloween Costume Contest (Judged by honored speaker Dr. Garrison)
  • 12:00-1:00: Lunch (Basket Raffle)
  • 1:00-2:00: Renal Failure, Dr. Lance M. Dicker, Nephrology
  •  2:00-3:00: Heart Failure, A-Fib After Heart Surgery, Dr. Priya Kansal, Cardiology and Mary Bedell, Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • 3:00–3:15: Break (Basket Raffle)
  • 3:15–4:15: Encephalopathy, Dr. David Tate, Internal Medicine
  • 4:15–4:45: Wrap – Up (Final Basket Raffle)

Meeting cost is $30 for chapter members, $40 for non-members. Pay at the meeting, cash or check only. Reservations by October 6, please. Email Eileen Pracz at

The Florida ACDIS Chapter meets November 8 in Margate (north of Ft. Lauderdale). Save-the-date; the agenda will include this year’s election of officers. For information, contact Kimberly Reichert at; or vice president Jamie Dugan at

South Carolina

Save the date: The next South Carolina ACDIS Chapter meets at Baptist Hospital in Easley, SC on January 16. For information, email PJ Floyd,

Local Events: May and June meetings offered

Don't get lost on the road to success. The CDI Roadmap Committee will offer direction for new programs.

Where will your local chapter education take you?


The Minnesota ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, May 28, 1-2 p.m., at North Memorial Hospital

Hosted by North Memorial Hospital in Minneapolis. A dial-in number will be available for those unable to attend in person. The agenda includes:

  • Focus on malnutrition with discussion of guidelines, physician education strategy, and denials and appeals
  • Obesity hypoventilation query opportunities
  • Laparoscopic vertical (sleeve) gastrectomy

For information, contact Tracy Boldt at

South Carolina

The South Carolina ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, May 30, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Gazes Auditorium, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston.

Agenda includes:

  • “The Importance of Leadership,” by Barton Sachs, MD, MBA, PhD, Professor, Chair of Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA) CDI Committee
  • “CDI is more than Reimbursement: Partnering with quality and analytic to increase CMI, improve mortality risk scores, and review patient safety indicators,” by Priscilla Browder, RN , PCCN, CDI specialist, Jackie Robinson, RN, MSN, CDI specialist, Danielle Scheurer, MD, medical director of quality and safety, and Amy Wilson, PhD, director of enterprise analytics
  • “Integration of the CDI Specialist into the Care Team: A process and outcome review,” by Eric Kimchi, MD, associate professor, department of surgery, Marsha Cisa, RN, CCDS, and Becky Green, RN, CCDS, MUHA CDI Committee
  • “Lunch and Learn,” featuring Brian Miller, RHIA, MBA, client relationship executive, 3M Health Information Systems, Inc.
  • “Obtaining Physician Buy in for CDI: A private hospital’s perspective,” by Johanne Brautigam, RN, BSN, CCDS, manager Roper St. Francis Hospital, Cynthia Flynn, RN, second level reviewer; Beth Wolf, MD, CDI physician champion
  • “Before the Bill Drops: Retrospective reviews and query follow-up, are they worth the time and FTE?” Pam Parris, RN, BSN, CCDS, MUHA CDI Committee
  • “The Role of CDI in ICD 10 Education,” Cindy Kicklighter, RN, MSN, PJ Floyd, RN, BSN, MBA, NE-BE, CCA, director of HIS/CDI MUHA
  • “A Joint Strategy: Developing teamwork between CDI and Coding,” by Christine Lewis, MHA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, Manager, Health information Services, MUHA

Cost is $10 for chapter members and $25 for non-members. Registration is limited to 75. Call 843-792-8136 or email Staying overnight? Contact Guest Services at MUSC for discount hotel reservations (first come, first serve) at 843-876-8456. Identify yourself as a member of the MUSC ACDIS conference.


The Wisconsin ACDIS Chapter meets Saturday, May 31, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Wheaton Franciscan Wauwatosa Campus in Wauwatosa. The spring meeting’s theme is “Maintaining Relevance to the Practice of CDI,” featuring:

  • “Thinking like a Clinician: Understanding the physician’s clinical thought processes and medical decision-making in developing an assessment and plan,” by Mitch Hulbert, MD, from Columbia St-Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee.
  • “Clinical Documentation for Medical Necessity,” by Glenn Krauss, Manager, Accretive Health, in Milwaukee.
  • “Querying under ICD-10,” attendees will break into small groups to work on and develop query templates for common clinical scenarios taking into the clinical specificity required under ICD-10.
  • “Updates from the National ACDIS Conference.”

For information, contact Diane Draize at, or Glenn Krauss


Maine ACDIS Chapter meets Thursday, June 5, 12-4 p.m., at the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta. For information, call 207-248-5093 or email


The Massachusetts ACDIS Chapter will meet on Tuesday, June 10, 1-3 p.m., at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I. For information, contact Sarah Eby at, or visit


The Philadelphia/Southern NJ Chapter ACDIS meets Tuesday, June 17, 8-10 a.m. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, N.J.. For information, contact Mary Ellen Moakes at


The Evergreen Washington ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, June 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Capital Medical Center in Olympia. For information, contact Susan Browne at


The MD ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, June 20, 1:30-3:30 P.M., at the Maryland Hospital Association in Elkridge. For information, email Andrea Norris at


The Phoenix Arizona ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, July 16, 5:30-8 p.m., at Autumn Court (Chinese food restaurant), on East Indian School Road in Phoenix. For information, contact Carlena Forsha

Conference Update: Read what previous attendees enjoyed most

Conference networking is one of the greatest benefits as these 2013 pre-conference no doubt would agree. During a lunch break they decided to venture out, enjoy the day, and talk shop about what they learned during the morning session.

Conference networking is one of the greatest benefits as these 2013 pre-conference no doubt would agree. During a lunch break they decided to venture out, enjoy the day, and talk shop about what they learned during the morning session.

We’re nearly down to the wire–there’s little more than a month left before the 7th Annual ACDIS Conference and pre-conference events. The ACDIS team begins to arrive on Saturday and Sunday and the Physician Advisor and ICD-10 for CDI Boot Camp sessions start first thing Monday morning, May 5. The main event kicks off Tuesday evening, May 6, with the award reception and welcome networking event with dozens of sessions, exhibitors, poster presentations, after hours activities, and other events taking place throughout the remainder of the conference May 7-9.

More than 900 attendees already signed up and we’re excited to welcome new CDI professionals and to network with those individuals we’ve come to regard as friends as we’ve met and networked at the conference over the past six years. While we like to think we’ve done our very best to make the conference a welcoming, informative event, it’s the past attendees who typically say it best. So we’ve gathered a few comments and thought we’d share them here.

  • “The conference gives attendees time to connect and network with others and recharges your batteries. There is just such a great level of excitement here.” Robin Jones
  • I have been to the conference three times and [the 2013 event] was by far the best one. The speakers were all great and the material is so relevant and helpful in my day-to-day work. Where else can we get such a wealth of CDI information in a few days? It’s fabulous.” Laura Bohls
  • “This was my first conference and the speakers were excellent and the material covered was relevant. It was a great conference.” Alex Gilman
  • I have been involved in CDI since October 2007 and ACDIS has always been my ‘go to’ resource. As programs across the country mature, I believe seasoned CDI specialists would appreciate a greater number of advanced presentations.” Kimberly Mineroldi
  • “Great conference!! Loved the opportunity and will be back next year!! Networking in our field of expertise is priceless. There is no better way to achieve this than here at the conference. Thanks to all who pulled this together.” Kimberly Ogle

Have you registered yet? #Vegasbaby! #ACDIS2014

Local Chapter Events: Winter warms up with networking opportunities


Don’t the winter weather give you the seasonal blues. Get out there and network with your CDI peers.

The following ACDIS chapters are planning upcoming networking events. For additional information visit the Local Chapter page of the ACDIS website or visit the ACDIS Blog and click on the “Local Chapters” category.

Arizona: The Arizona ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, January 15, at 6 p.m., at Lucille’s BBQ, in Tempe. The group will discuss transition of leadership, naming the chapter, the May 2014 conference, and questions for April meeting speaker. For reservations, contact Gloria Richardson at or, or call 602-316-6415.

New York: The New York City Five Boroughs (NYC5B) ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, January 15, 6-8 p.m., at the Hospital for Special Surgery on E. 70th Street. Food will be provided. Agenda includes:

  • Final bylaws and member fee(s)/structure
  • Welcome and overview of CDI at the Hospital for Special Surgery
  • “Medicare’s Bundled Payment Initiative: A Look at Value-Based Purchasing and Meaningful Use,” by Judith Cashman, RN, CPHQ
  • Q&A
  • Survey for future meeting topics

For information and reservations email or

Texas: The Austin/San Antonio ACDIS Chapter meets Saturday, January 18, 9:30 a.m. to noon, at Nix Hospital, on Navarro Street in San Antonio. Nephrologist Srinath K. Tamirisa, MD, will discuss on renal failure clinical indicators and query opportunities. For information, contact Tessa Robinson at or 210-579-3121 or Shirley Alkire at or 210-297-5718.

Massachusetts: The Massachusetts ACDIS Chapter meets Tuesday, January 21, 1-3 p.m., in the Allen Riddle Building at Newton Wellesley Hospital. For additional information and to RSVP visit the chapter website

Missouri: The Missouri ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, January 22, 2:30-4:30 p.m., at North Kansas City Hospital, Skyview Room, in Kansas City. Agenda items, discussion topics, and RSVP to Joan Agin at

Florida: The Florida ACDIS Chapter meets Saturday, January 25, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne. The agenda focuses on ICD-10 concerns related to:

  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Renal diseases
  • Challenges of CDI related to ICD-10

For information and reservations contact Kimberly Richert at The meeting is free for chapter members and $10 for non-members.

South Carolina: The South Carolina ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, January 31, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Providence Hospital in Columbia. For information and reservations contact Ali Williams at Cost is $10 for members, $20 for non-chapter members. Chapter membership is $25 per year.

The Houston ACDIS Chapter meets Thursday, February 13, at noon. Location TBD. Discussion will include query forms and worksheets. For additional information, contact Pat Spooner at

Illinois: The Northern Illinois Chapter meets Tuesday, February 18, at noon at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park. The agenda topic is “The Oncology/Hematology Service Line and CDI: The Game Show.” For reservations and information, contact or 708-216-5943

The SW Ohio ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, March 12, at Miami Valley Hospital, on Wyoming Street, Dayton. Additional details are pending but the meeting focus will be on I-10 education tools for CDI. For information, contact Kay Huber at

Seven groups set to meet in October, more sessions slated for November

Oregon: The ACDIS NW Chapter holds its annual conference Friday, October 11, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the St. Charles Health System, in Bend. The agenda includes:


  • 8:30 a.m., Registration and continental breakfast
  • 9 a.m., Introduction by meeting host Charonne Sutherland
  • 9:15 a.m., NW Chapter business meeting
  • 9:30 a.m., CDI Search Group sponsor recognition
  • 10 a.m., Aaron Askew, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon
  • 11 a.m., Bev Jackson, ICD 10 Ambassador
  • 12:30 p.m., Lunch provided with live music by Bill Keale
  • 1:30 p.m., John Blizzard, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon
  • 2:30 p.m., Break
  • 2:45 p.m., Mathew Hegewald, MD, Pulmonologist/Intensivist
  • 3:45 p.m., Kenneth Goode, RN, Orthopedic Specialty Coordinator
  • 4:30 p.m., Door prize (must be present to win)
To register, contact Eileen Pracz at

Michigan: Meets Saturday, October 12, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at North Central Michigan College (NCMC) in


Petoskey. The agenda includes:

  • 7:30 a.m., Continental breakfast
  • 7:45 a.m., Welcome and introductions
  • 8 a.m., Nancy Ballinger, Ballinger Coaching and Consulting, keynote address
  • 9 a.m., Kitty Kremer, BA, RHIT, director of coding education at Anthelio Healthcare Solutions, “ICD-10-CM/PCS Basics”
  • 10:15 a.m., Amy Rector, RN, CCDS, CDIP, director of CDI at Anthelio Healthcare Solutions, “Documentation and the Query Process”
  • 11:15 a.m., Dan Gerard, RPh, pharmacist for critical care services at McLaren Northern Michigan, “Sepsis: Clinical Indicators and Treatment Modalities”
  • 12:15 p.m., Lunch
  • 1 p.m., Debbie Rough, president of Namson Change Consulting, “Accountability”
  • 2 p.m., Fran Jurcak, RN, MSN, CCDS, senior director at Huron Healthcare, “Ensuring Quality through Accurate Documentation: Going beyond the low hanging fruit”
  • 3:15 p.m., Kathleen Luther-Huff, RHIT, director of Accretive Health, Beaumont, “The Building Blocks of Effective Queries”

For information, contact Sue Haley at or Patti Nemeth at

Florida: Meets Saturday October 12, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Halifax Health, Daytona Beach. The theme is “Trauma and CDI.” The agenda includes:

  • 8 a.m., Registration and breakfast (provided)
  • 8:30 a.m.,  Welcome and introductions, Betty Garard, Director HIM
  •  8:45 a.m., Scott Klioze, MD, Interventional Radiologist, “Fat Metabolism in Obese Related Trauma”
  • 9:45 a.m., Kevin Captain, RN, trauma program manager, “Your Community’s Trauma Team: Ready in a FLmoment’s notice”
  • 10:45 a.m., Break and raffle drawings
  • 11 a.m., Michelle Dragut, MD, CCS, CDIP, physician advisor, Florida Hospital Association, “Multi-Trauma & ICD 10” Part One
  • Noon, Lunch and raffle drawings
  • 1 p.m., Dragut, “Multi-Trauma & ICD 10” Part Two
  • 2 p.m., Kathy Jowers, RN, CWON, “Treatment of Trauma Wounds”
  • 3 p.m., Round table discussion and adjournment

For information, contact Donna 386-848-6555 or Dorie 386-631-5021.

Arizona: The Phoenix ACDIS Chapter meets Wednesday, October 16, 6-8 p.m., at Mimis Café in Desert Ridge. For information, contact Gloria Richardson at 602-316-6415, or email

Maryland: Meets Friday, October 18, 1:30–3 p.m. at the Maryland Hospital Association Headquarters in Elkridge. Agenda includes:

  • MedLearn presentation
  • MD ACDIS dues update
  • ACDIS presentation: “Fostering Physician Involvement and Education Under ICD-10”md
  • CDI certification: Weighing options, determining the right time
  • 2-midnight benchmark for inpatient hospital admissions
  • New physician orientation – how do you access new physicians?
  • CMI vs. MHACs: Change of CDI focus
  • Physician pushback: Escalation policies and EHR concerns
  • Discussion: Physician education and ICD-10
For information, contact Andrea Norris at

North Carolina: Early registration for the NC ACDIS Chapter upcoming meeting is Friday, October 18. The event takes place Friday, November 1, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Moore Regional Hospital, in Pinehurst. Admission is $40 for chapter members, $45 for non-members, $50 at the door. For information, contact Leah Taylor at 704-878-7436 or email

Ohio: The Southwest Ohio ACDIS Chapter meets, Thursday, October 24, 3:30-5:30 p.m., at the Atrium Medical Center, in Middletown. The event features a physician discussing clinical indicators for acute renal failure followed by a discussion and case studies of how to code for conditions in ICD-9 and ICD-10. For information, contact Kay Huber at

New Jersey: The NJ ACDIS Chapter meets Friday, November 8, 1:30-4:30 p.m., at Reimbursement Review Associates, Inc., in New Brunswick. Deborah Gardner-Brown, RHIT, CCS, C-CDI, CI-CDI, CDIP, and Sandra Phillips Sperry, RN, MPA, APC, CMC, FACHE, present on ICD-10-CM/PCS guidelines and risks and opportunities for CDI programs. For information, contact Gardner-Brown at

Texas: The Houston ACDIS Chapter meets Thursday, November 14, location TBD. For information, email or