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May 3, 2021

Inside this Issue:

President’s Message

We are less than two months away from our annual conference, to be held June 23 - 25
As HIP week just ended and we look toward the annual conference, let us focus on the impact we make as health information professionals. A recent article in the Journal of AHIMA highlights the impact we can make on an organization.  It takes lessons learned from the Wizard of Oz and applies them in a most creative way.
Here is an excerpt but click the link at the end to read the rest. I promise you will enjoy it. 
“The challenge for today’s health information management (HIM) professionals is to think beyond the task at hand, to see the big picture of how their performance and expertise impacts the whole organization. Information is the currency of today’s healthcare ecosystem. The ability to gather, analyze, distribute, and apply data is essential for optimal patient care and the health of the organization. HIM professionals are data’s most critical gatekeepers, ensuring optimal accuracy, structure, and security.

However, hospitals and health systems have traditionally been siloed and fragmented organizations. Healthcare professionals focus on their sphere of influence to the exclusion of other areas, which often results in inefficiencies or a lack of harmonization among all departments in an organization.

How do the strengths of a clinical professional complement the strengths of an HIM professional or a revenue cycle team member, creating a stronger team than any one of them could create on their own?

Lessons from The Wizard of Oz

The Oz Principal, a book written by Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman, proposed the idea that each of us is already equipped with what we need to obtain higher results for our organizations.

In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her band of friends take the yellow brick road to the city of the eponymous wizard, who they believe is the answer to all their problems.

Powerless on their own, together our band of heroes brought out the best in themselves and each other, able to take charge of their own actions and destinies.

Taking this a step further and incorporating these ideas into the HIM world, let’s discuss how leaders can bring their employees to a place where they have the capacity to work for change and self-empowerment.”
Betty Gossell, BSB/CCS
Click here to read the full article.

Kory Hudson, MBA, RHIA, CPHIMS
MSHIMA President

Save the Date:

2021 MSHIMA Annual Convention
June 23-25 | Virtual

Click here to learn more and register. 

Be Sure to “Like” Us on Facebook

If you have not already had the opportunity to ‘Like’ the MSHIMA Facebook page, we encourage you to do so.  We often post engaging content and links to articles and events that may be of interest to you.

MSHIMA Recognizes HIM Professional

To celebrate last week’s HIP Week, we’re pleased to recognize Ashley Stanford in her new role. 
Ashley Stanford, RHIT served as a Medical Records Director for 6 years; and then left the traditional position and took the evolving new position of Revenue Integrity Analyst; both at Monroe Regional Hospital. She has served in this capacity for over a year now and has enjoyed expanding her career beyond the traditional HIM walls.

National Minortiy Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), a time to raise awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minority populations and encourage action through health education, early detection, and control of disease complications. 

History of NMHM

The 2021 NMHM theme is #VaccineReady. As recognized by the HHS Office of Minority Health, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minority communities and underscores the need for these vulnerable communities to get vaccinated as more vaccines become available. COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help us get back together with our families, communities, schools, and workplaces by preventing the spread of COVID-19 and bringing an end to the pandemic.

NIMHD joins other federal agencies to focus on empowering communities to get the facts to be #VaccineReady.

Click here for more information. 

CMS Adds 24 New Codes for Temporary Telehealth Coverage

CMS recently expanded its list of telehealth services covered during the COVID-19 pandemic to include 24 new audiology and speech-language pathology services.

CMS issued the updated list of codes March 30. The new services include diagnosis and treatment of swallowing problems, therapy for improving cognitive function and assessing speech-generating devices. 

Here is the list of the 24 new CPT codes that will be covered when delivered via telehealth through the remainder of the pandemic: 

         Audiology CPT codes: 
  1. 92550: Tympanometry and reflex threshold measurements
  2. 92552: Pure tone audiometry (threshold); air only
  3. 92553: Pure tone audiometry (threshold); air and bone
  4. 92555: Speech audiometry threshold
  5. 92556: Speech audiometry threshold; with speech recognition
  6. 92557: Comprehensive audiometry threshold evaluation and speech recognition
  7. 92563: Tone decay test
  8. 92565: Stenger test, pure tone
  9. 92567: Tympanometry (impedance testing)
  10. 92568: Acoustic reflex testing, threshold
  11. 92570: Acoustic immittance testing, includes tympanometry (impedance testing), acoustic reflex threshold testing, and acoustic reflex decay testing
  12. 92587: Distortion product evoked otoacoustic emissions; limited evaluation (to confirm the presence or absence of hearing disorder, 3-6 frequencies) or transient evoked otoacoustic emissions, with interpretation and report
  13. 92625, Assessment of tinnitus (includes pitch, loudness matching, and masking)
  14. 92626, Evaluation of auditory function for surgically implanted device(s) candidacy or postoperative status of a surgically implanted device(s); first hour
  15. 92627, Evaluation of auditory function for surgically implanted device(s) candidacy or postoperative status of a surgically implanted device(s); each additional 15 minutes.

    Speech-language pathology CPT codes: 
  16. 92526: Treatment of swallowing dysfunction and/or oral function for feeding
  17. 92607: Evaluation for prescription for speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication device, face-to-face with the patient; first hour
  18. 92608: Evaluation for prescription for speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication device, face-to-face with the patient; each additional 30 minutes
  19. 92609: Therapeutic services for the use of speech-generating device, including programming and modification
  20. 92610: Evaluation of oral and pharyngeal swallowing function
  21. 96105: Assessment of aphasia (includes assessment of expressive and receptive speech and language function, language comprehension, speech production ability, reading, spelling, writing, e.g., by Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination) with interpretation and report, per hour
  22. 96125: Standardized cognitive performance testing (e.g., Ross Information Processing Assessment) per hour of a qualified health care professional's time, both face-to-face time administering tests to the patient and time interpreting these test results and preparing the report
  23. 97129: Therapeutic interventions that focus on cognitive function (e.g., attention, memory, reasoning, executive function, problem solving, and/or pragmatic functioning) and compensatory strategies to manage the performance of an activity (e.g., managing time or schedules, initiating, organizing, and sequencing tasks), direct (one-on-one) patient contact; initial 15 minutes
  24. 97130: Therapeutic interventions that focus on cognitive function (e.g., attention, memory, reasoning, executive function, problem solving, and/or pragmatic functioning) and compensatory strategies to manage the performance of an activity (e.g., managing time or schedules, initiating, organizing, and sequencing tasks), direct (one-on-one) patient contact; each additional 15 minutes (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure).

CMS Proposes Modifications to the Promoting Interoperability Program

The agency is floating new requirements for hospitals to report on syndromic surveillance, immunization registries, electronic case reporting and electronic reportable laboratory results. It also has new plans for quality reporting.

As part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' proposed rules this week around Medicare fee-for-service payment rates and policies for hospitals and long-term facilities – changes that  could boost FY 2022 hospital payments by $2.8% – there are several provisions focused on technology, information exchange and patient access.


Most notably, there are a series of proposed changes to CMS' Promoting Interoperability Program – the successor to meaningful use – designed to bolster the response to public health emergencies such as COVID-19.

The agency plans to amend program stipulations for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals – broadening requirements focused on public health and clinical data exchange.

The proposed rule would make it mandatory for hospitals to report on four measures, rather than allowing a pick-and-choose approach, as had been the case before:
  • Syndromic Surveillance Reporting.
  • Immunization Registry Reporting.
  • Electronic Case Reporting.
  • Electronic Reportable Laboratory Result Reporting.
"Requiring hospitals to report these four measures would help to prepare public health agencies to respond to future health threats and a long-term COVID-19 recovery by strengthening public health functions, including early warning surveillance, case surveillance and vaccine uptake, which will increase the information available to help hospitals better serve their patients," said CMS officials.

The new requirements would enable nationwide syndromic surveillance that could help provide early notices of emerging disease outbreaks, according to CMS. 

Additionally, automated case and lab reporting would speed response times for public health agencies, while broader and more granular visibility into immunization uptake patterns would help these agencies tailor their vaccine distribution plans.

As outlined on the CMS proposed rule fact sheet, these Promoting Interoperability Program changes are proposed for eligible hospitals and CAHs:
  • Continue the EHR reporting period of a minimum of any continuous 90-day period for new and returning eligible hospitals and CAHs for CY 2023, and increase the EHR reporting period to a minimum of any continuous 180-day period for new and returning eligible hospitals and CAHs for CY 2024.
  • Maintain the Electronic Prescribing Objective’s Query of PDMP measure as optional, while increasing its available bonus from 5 points to 10 points.
  • Modify technical specifications of the Provide Patients Electronic Access to Their Health Information measure to include establishing a data availability requirement.
  • Add a new HIE Bi-Directional Exchange measure as a yes/no attestation, beginning in CY 2022, to the HIE objective as an optional alternative to the two existing measures.
  • Require reporting “yes” on four of the existing Public Health and Clinical Data Exchange Objective measures (Syndromic Surveillance Reporting, Immunization Registry Reporting, Electronic Case Reporting and Electronic Reportable Laboratory Result Reporting), or requesting applicable exclusion(s).
  • Attest to having completed an annual assessment of all nine guides in the SAFER Guides measure, under the Protect Patient Health Information objective.
  • Remove attestation statements 2 and 3 from the Promoting Interoperability Program’s prevention of information blocking attestation requirement.
  • Increase the minimum required score for the objectives and measures from 50 points to 60 points (out of 100 points) to be considered a meaningful EHR user.
  • Adopt two new eCQMs to the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program’s eCQM measure set, beginning with the reporting period in CY 2023, in addition to removing four eCQMs from the measure set beginning with the reporting period in CY 2024 (in alignment with proposals for the Hospital IQR Program).


In other changes, CMS is proposing an extension for the New COVID-19 Treatments Add-on Payment it established this past November. The proposed rule would extend the NCTAP for "certain eligible technologies through the end of the fiscal year" in which the public health emergency ends.

The agency also wants to improve public health response by "leveraging meaningful measures for quality programs."

CMS wants to require hospitals to report COVID-19 vaccinations of workers in their facilities via the COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Measure. 

"This proposed measure is designed to assess whether hospitals are taking steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 among their workforce, reduce the risk of transmission within their facilities, help sustain the ability of hospitals to continue serving their communities through the public health emergency, and assess the nation’s long-term recovery and readiness efforts," said officials.

Additionally, CMS wants public comments on its  plans to modernize the quality measurement program. As described in the fact sheet, its proposals include:
  • Clarifying the definition of digital-quality measures.
  • Using the FHIR standard for eCQMs that are currently in the various quality programs.
  • Standardizing data required for quality measures for collection via FHIR-based APIs.
  • Leveraging technological opportunities to facilitate digital quality measurement.
  • Better supporting data aggregation.
  • Developing a common portfolio of measures for potential alignment across CMS-regulated programs, federal programs and agencies, and the private sector.


"Hospitals are often the backbone of rural communities – but the COVID-19 pandemic has hit rural hospitals hard, and too many are struggling to stay afloat,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, in a statement.

"This rule will give hospitals more relief and additional tools to care for COVID-19 patients, and it will also bolster the health care workforce in rural and underserved communities."

MSHIMA Job Board

The MSHIMA website contains a job board available for those seeking employment and those looking to hire qualified HIM professionals in Mississippi. The job board is free to use for all MSHIMA members. Click here to access this great membership tool.

MSHIMA Legal Manual

The MSHIMA Legal Manual is available for purchase and download. This manual includes state and federal guidelines and policies for health information management.  Stay up-to-date on the latest updates on policy and download your copy today!
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