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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.

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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.

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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