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Inside this Issue:

President’s Message

Hello Everyone,

Usually I find it very easy to write these messages but today that is not the case. My heart is broken for my industry, my friends and everyone who is being affected by the pandemic. As with everything in our lives, we shall overcome this, but I do believe this is going to be one of the hardest things we will ever face in our lifetime. With that being said it is with great sadness that I announce we will not have a face-to-face conference this year. The Board has decided it would be best for our membership to not chance a huge group meeting at this time. We also know many members may have been furloughed or had to use their PTO to make it through this tough time and are asking for additional days to attend educational events, which may put a hardship on our members. You are our most important resource, and at this time it is of utmost importance to protect that resource.

With the cancellation of the face-to-face meeting, we are planning on a different format to offer CEUs. Tom Giles, the Keynote, Kory Hudson, incoming President, and myself will present a live session on a day to be determined during the original dates of the conference. All other presentations will be on-demand. We are going to give our vendors a platform that will help benefit them but also help support our association. We should have the new registration information available very soon. If you have already registered for the face-to-face, we will be making refunds and adjustments for attendees. We are not going to make any award presentations this year but we will give the scholarships. I would also like to point out we are not losing this contract but are having to push it back so it looks like we will be in Jackson for the 2021 show. Please be mindful of the situation when expressing any dissatisfaction about our location next year. Please be looking for more information to come.

There are many things I have heard over the last few weeks that have upset me as an HIM professional. The one thing I am hearing from many sources is that healthcare providers are coding COVID-19 for additional reimbursement. People are confusing death certificate reporting and the reporting for reimbursement and it is causing some blemish on the coding profession. I have reached out to AHIMA through multiple avenues and I have been told this is not something they want to get involved with. I have had a past AHIMA President and a past Speaker of the House tell me we need to educate people as we hear this and take the high road. I must say I am a little more than disappointed in this response but will do all I can to educate misinformed individuals. I ask the same from you. If you hear people making uninformed statements please address it or send them to me, or one of the other members that can address the education. I hope you all are staying safe, and if you lost hours or were furloughed, you will soon be back working. We as an association may be able to help with some of your needs, so please reach out to us. Personally, I will help anyone, if I can. Please stay in touch and know that I am going to miss seeing you all in June.

Lorie B Mills, RHIT, CCS

Google Cloud Aims to Boost Health System Interoperability, Data Analytics with API Release: 5 Details

Google Cloud made the Cloud Healthcare API available to the entire healthcare industry, allowing organizations to ingest and manage key healthcare data.

Five things to know:

1. The API applies analytics and machine learning in real time and at scale to help organizations understand data inputs. Users can also interact with the data through web-friendly endpoints so health plans can transition to a cloud-based FHIR server with the needed capabilities for implementing and scaling interoperability initiatives.

Read more here.

CMS Recommendations Released April 19, 2020 in Response to Trump’s 'Opening Up America Again' Guidelines

The United States is experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare facilities in some areas are stretched to their limits of capacity, and surge areas have been needed to augment care for patients with COVID-19. To expand capacity to care for these patients and to conserve adequate staff and supplies, especially personal protective equipment (PPE), on March 18 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recommended limiting non-essential care and expanding surge capacity into ambulatory surgical centers and other areas. However, CMS recognizes that at this time many areas have a low, or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19, and that it is important to be flexible and allow facilities to provide care for patients needing non-emergent, non-COVID-19 healthcare.

Click here to read more. 

New and Expanded Flexibilities for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE)

This MLN Matters® Special Edition Article is for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.

Read the full article here.

Pearson Vue Allows for AHIMA Certifications During COVID-19

Pearson Vue has recently extended their Essential Services Testing from medical and first responders to medical support services. This includes all AHIMA certifications. Locations and availability are limited. Pearson Vue has implemented social distancing measures and additional hygienic and disinfecting processes at these locations. Find more information here.

HITAC Sets Up COVID Task Force to Focus on Tech Issues Impeding Frontline Clinicians

The Health IT Advisory Committee is standing up a coronavirus task force to tackle privacy and interoperability issues that are impeding frontline clinicians as they combat the growing outbreak.
HITAC co-chairs said during a meeting Thursday they plan to convene the task force in the coming weeks and would determine definitive charges for the group. The task force will begin soliciting participation early next week.

Click here for more information. 

New Eyes on HIM

It isn’t always easy to say goodbye, and for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), parting with therapy minutes as the primary driver of payment has been easier for some facilities than others. Prior to October 1, 2019, SNFs received a per-diem payment rate along with additional reimbursement based on the number of therapy minutes and/or nursing services provided to each patient. However, under the new patient-driven payment model (PDPM), ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes take center stage, driving everything from admission to care planning to payment. This radical departure from how SNFs were paid previously is why many owners and operators are starting to lean on health information management (HIM) professionals for guidance.

Learn more here

Scholarship Awards

MSHIMA is pleased to award deserving students with scholarships to offset the cost of advancing their careers. If you are a student deserving of such an award, or if you know of an HIM student in one of Mississippi's certified HIM programs deserving of a scholarship, please submit.

To apply, a student should submit:

(1) a typed essay that includes: why he/she chose a career in HIM and why he/she should be considered for the scholarship

(2) proof of AHIMA student membership with MS being listed as state of residence

(3) a letter of reference from the program director or an instructor that includes the student’s achievements, student’s GPA (which must be a minimum of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) and verification that the student plans to maintain enrollment in HIT/HIM related courses during the next academic year, and

(4) a resume to include education, work/volunteer experience, honors/awards, and organizational memberships.

Documentation should be sent to by May 10, 2020.

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 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 Now Available

The latest edition of the MSHIMA Legal Manual is now 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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