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Carrie Arens, RHIT, MHIIM
President’s Message

Hello and Happy Spring! They say that April showers bring May flowers, and I hope all of you who attended the IaHIMA Annual Meeting in April got a lot of good information showered on you from our sessions to help you blossom in May and throughout the year! I enjoyed our time on the Kirkwood campus and hope you did too. We look forward to seeing everyone next year in Des Moines for the 2018 Annual Meeting.

As we transition from spring to summer, we also transition positions on the IaHIMA Board of Directors. Betty Haar will take over as President; I am sure she will go a great job leading the organization. Michele Flattery will transition from First Year Director to Second Year Director, so if you have suggestions for speakers at the Annual Meeting, please get in touch with her. Liz Mayer, Tina Hughes and Tina Gray will be ending their terms on the Board, we wish them well, thank them for their service, and hope they will consider serving again in the future. We will also be welcoming new board members, please see below for information on election results! I would encourage anyone who has an interest in being on the Board to please contact any of the Board Members and talk with them about positions. I would like to thank the organization for my time as President and look forward to continued work on the Board as Past-President and Legislative Liaison.

As President and Legislative Liaison I traveled to Washington D.C. with Betty Haar and Tina Gray. We lobbied on the Hill for a unique patient identification number and for the HIM profession. We each got to meet with our Representative and aids from the Senator’s offices. All in all our message was well received!

I look forward to the summer and spending time with friends and family, and hope everyone gets some relaxing time to enjoy the sunshine!

2017 Election Results

IaHIMA welcomes the following members to the Board of Directors:
  • President - Elect Jacinda Barth
  • Director - Shari Good
  • Secretary - Patricia Keller
  • Nomination - Committee Jill Manning

Health Information Management Reimagined (HIMR)

AHIMA brought together a small group of interested persons and the Council for Excellence in Education (CEE) to look at the future of the HIM profession. The results of this group’s work was presented during the AHIMA House of Delegates meeting in October 2016. Since then the group has continued to work on a plan, to gather input from a variety of stakeholders, and to share the message of HIMR. 
In the article which follows, the purpose of the HIMR and a summary of the primary recommendations and the rationale for these changes are outlined in a fairly easy to read format. Additional information is available in the Engage Communities online, in the HIMR Whitepaper available here, in a video and infographic available on the AHIMA homepage, in the May 2017 Journal of AHIMA, and through discussions with educators, Board members, and AHIMA Leaders. Become informed of the direction our profession is moving for the future.

To ensure current and future professionals are prepared for the future of HIM in the rapidly changing environment resulting from changes in healthcare, technology, and education.
Summary of Recommendations, Rationale, and Timeline
Recommendations and Rationale:
  1. Increase the number of AHIMA members who hold relevant graduate degrees (HIM, Health Informatics, MBA, MD, M.Ed., etc.) to 20% of total membership within 10 years.
    • Increase funding of academic scholarships to foster access to higher levels of HIM education to members.
    • Increase the number of faculty qualified to teach HIM and related graduate education.
    • Implement graduate-level health informatics curriculum competencies to improve the value of and increase demand for health informatics graduate education.These competencies have been developed and will be adopted by schools to assist in supporting this goal.
  2. In collaboration with other health and health-related organizations, in the public and private sectors, build a mechanism to ensure availability of research that supports health informatics and information management.
    • Provide competitive research grants on an annual basis aimed at promoting health informatics and information management practice.
    • Provide dissertation scholarships to health information management and health informatics professionals conducting research in doctoral programs.
    • Focus on research to support the value of HIM skills and the need for data analytics to manage and massage data for strategic, fiscal, and population health purposes.
  3. Increase the opportunities for specialization across all levels of the HIM academic spectrum through curricula revision, while retaining a broad foundation in health information management and analytics.
    • Curriculum revisions to support specialization at the associate level.
      • Condensed HIM core at the associate level and incorporate specialization opportunities at student and program level.The core will include content from all domains, and the number of competencies in the non-specialty content area is to be significantly reduced.
      • Align HIM accredited academic specialties with future HIM-related credentials; consider and encourage higher level education to achieve higher salaries.
      • Focus effort on creating tracks at two-year program level based on emerging specialties as indicated by employers need.Program accreditation continues as does the associate level degree, but it is based on a condensed set of HIM core content and deeper specialty content.Each school determines an appropriate specialty track or the appropriate number of tracks for their program and their regional market needs.
  4. RHIA credential recognized as the standard for HIM generalist practice and the RHIT (+Specialty) as the technical level of practice.
    • Transition the RHIT credential to a specialty focused associate level over a multi-year, multi-phased approach.
      • January 2017 – July 2021 – Current and new RHITs permanently retain the RHIT credential.
      • Ongoing transition support for RHITs who want to transition to the RHIA credential will be provided (2017-2017).
      • August 2021 – December 2026 – Transition of RHIT credential from RHIT to RHIT+ (Specialty designation).
        1. Develop and distribute materials to communicate this transition to the market.
    • Ensure clear pathways exist between associate and baccalaureate HIM programs to encourage existing HIM professionals and new entrants to the HIM profession to earn a baccalaureate degree and an RHIA credential
      • Increase from the existing 26 percent to a 40 percent of the current technical level membership will advance to a minimum of baccalaureate degree by 2027.
      • Curriculum must be designed to allow seamless transitions from the associate level to the baccalaureate and from the baccalaureate level to master’s degrees.
    • Align certification processes with industry and education needs.
      • Ensure certification examination process supports the ability of HIM to me more quickly aligned with future industry needs.
      • Align CEU requirements with future-focused employer needs that ensure the recognition of the HIM profession.
  • White Paper available on AHIMA website.
  • Market assessment teams will determine specialties
  • RFP research firm engaged/pilot survey
  • Begin curriculum competency development last quarter of 2017 focusing on HIM core content (New curriculum development at all three levels of academia.)
  • Core competencies available for comment December 2017.
  • Non-core specialty content to be developed in early 2018 and credentials aligned with new curriculum.
  • Competencies released to schools for curriculum development
  • Programs begin converting to new curriculum Fall 2019, although not required until 2021.
  • New credential certification exams available.
AHIMA Webinar, HIM Reimagined,
AHIMA HIMR White Paper
AHIMA Engage Community, Assembly on Education, House Leaders and Delegates.
Health Information Management Reimagined

Indian Hills Community College Becomes First PCAP Approved Coding Program in Iowa

We are pleased to announce the approval of the Indian Hills Community College Medical/Insurance Coding Program by the Professional Certificate Approval Program (PCAP) Council, through April 2020. The PCAP Council commends IHCC for their commitment to the development of an outstanding coding certificate program. According to the AHIMA PCAP approved school directory, IHCC is the first PCAP Approved coding program located in Iowa.

A&P Refresher

Need A Refresher of A&P Inside Out?  Check out the IaHIMA webinar series. This also qualifies for ICD-10-CM/PCS CEU’s.

Legal Handbook

Need a refresher of the Legal Handbook? Now for purchase is the IaHIMA Legal Handbook.


Looking for a Volunteer Opportunity, ask about the positions we have on the IaHIMA Board Ballot.

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