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October 2018

President's Message

Hello everyone. I hope you all are having a great October so far.  I know for me it has been extremely busy.   
As you know, the national AHIMA conference was a few weeks ago in Miami. As mentioned in last month’s letter, House of Delegates was the place to be. The three main topics of discussion were House Relevancy, House Apportionment and HIM Reimagined. The delegates attended breakout sessions on each of these topics and we were able to voice our concerns and formulate suggestions that were brought back to the House for further consideration. 
The most impactful recommendation for HIM Reimagined was to move the specialty certifications to the Bachelor’s level and keep the Associate’s level as the fundamental base program for HIM. The House is in favor of this change as we believe the base knowledge in HIM is a must-have before breaking off into the specialty of Revenue Cycle or Operations.   

As for Relevancy of the House, a task force has been assigned to determine the future of the House and how we will proceed in the years to come. As of now the House governs the profession, but it is still unclear as to what that actually means. The world of HIM is changing at a rapid pace and the House does not want to sit back and accept the changes made without us. We want to be the driver of those changes as it is our industry being impacted.   
The HOT discussion for the day was House Apportionment. This has been a subject of much debate in years past and this proved to be the case in the 2018 HOD as well. After much discussion, the delegation from Mississippi pushed for a voting pole to determine the wishes of the House. Each state was allowed one vote to decide if the apportionment of the House should change or remain the same. The House is comprised of 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, which is a total of 52 votes. The end result was 48 votes to keep the House the same and not change apportionment. We believe this issue will come up again in the near future but we hope that the vote taken will hold as of now.  
Another topic includes the AHIMA strategic plan. Recently the AHIMA Board had scrapped the strategic plan and was in the works of developing a new one. The continuous theme for this is that AHIMA will be making some difficult decisions in the future, but no one could expound on what those decisions would include. The Board said they would be releasing the new strategic plan in November.  
MSHIMA is currently in the beginning stages of putting together educational opportunities for our membership. We hope to have some good news on this front very soon, so please stay tuned.  
Thank you so much for always expressing your opinions and being an active membership!
Lorie B Mills, RHIT, CCS

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Study: Matching Patient Health Records Remains Distant Goal

Patient matching is the first hurdle on the track to successfully exchanging health information among health providers. New research from Pew demonstrates that the ability to accurately link those records—even within a single organization—remains a rare capability. Failure to accurately link records results in overtesting and care delays. In some cases, patient safety is at risk. A handful of organizations have pioneered approaches to vastly improve the rate of records matching, but a standardized nationwide strategy, with coordination from EHR vendors and health care organizations, is a minimum requirement.

US Supreme Court To Review Medicare Payments Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review an appeals court ruling that HHS improperly altered its methods for calculating Medicare payments in 2012, according to a Law360 report.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after HHS sought review of a July 2017 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The appeals court ruled that HHS must conduct notice-and-comment rulemaking before instructing Medicare administrative contractors on disproportionate share hospital payments, which reimburse hospitals for care delivered to indigent patients.
Hospitals challenged the federal government's decision based on interpretation of a rule to include Part C enrollees with Part A enrollees when calculating DSH payments. They said the changes resulted in lower payments to hospitals and was done without notice-and-comment rulemaking.
HHS called on the U.S. Supreme Court to take another look at the appeals court decision because the agency contends it "creates a circuit split by holding that … notice-and-comment procedures apply to interpretive rules."

Top 4 Ways Data Governance Can Positively Impact Patient Care

Healthcare organizations are often told that the importance of a strong data governance plan cannot be overstated, especially as their big data assets grow exponentially in this primarily digital era.
With EHR data, lab data, the Internet of Things, patient-generated health data, socioeconomic and community data, performance data, financial information, and imaging studies all contributing to a murky, swirling pool of potential insights, providers that want to succeed with quality improvement may benefit from focusing on quality and integrity from the very beginning.
But putting a data governance framework in place is a major undertaking that requires complete cultural and organizational commitment – and many providers simply aren’t sure where to start.
The challenge is complicated by the fact that the idea of data governance may seem somewhat abstract for clinicians and other front-line staff, who may not see the direct connection between high-quality analytics on the back end and their daily priorities of patient care.
It is often difficult to motivate these key players to improve their data generation habits without concrete evidence that altering a workflow or spending extra time on ensuring complete documentation will measurably enhance some aspect of their day-to-day responsibilities.

6 Revenue Cycle Management Tips

Here are six revenue cycle management tips from experts, published by Becker's Hospital Review.
  1. Lyman Sornberger, president and CEO of consulting firm Lyman Health Care Solutions, said there are various best practices hospitals can use to maximize insurance collections. He recommended that hospitals "capture insurance coverage at the benefit level" and "invest in pre-service validation with the patient and insurance for high-end service."
  2. Jay Garmon, product manager of patient responsibility at Waystarsaid hospitals should establish programs to help patients pay their medical expenses. He gave the example of consistently offering cost estimates to patients before procedures, so they can financially plan for their out-of-pocket costs and seek financial assistance if needed.
  3. Jonathan Wiik, author of Healthcare Revolution: The Patient is the New Payer and principal for healthcare strategy at TransUnion Healthcaresaid hospitals should use technology to evaluate propensity to pay. "The key is to use this solution as early as possible in the account lifecycle, preferably on day one, to collect more, earlier and for less. Providers can streamline their collections process by using [propensity to pay] analytics to accurately classify accounts into the optimal payment workflow based on the patient's unique financial situation," he told Becker's.
  4. Paul Shorrosh, founder and CEO of AccuReg Softwaresaid standardizing and automating front-end processes, such as registration, helps eliminate revenue cycle errors. "Front-end automation technology provides patient access teams with the ability to detect and resolve financial risks" and patients with information and a better experience, he told Becker's. "It simplifies and standardizes complex processes, reduces payment risks and reduces the high cost of time-consuming manual processes in both the front and back-end of the [revenue] cycle."
  5. Paul Brient, CEO of PatientKeepersaid it's important that healthcare executives cultivate an atmosphere that fosters collaboration with physicians toward hospital goals. "If a physician sees a hospital giving them time back in their day by streamlining their workflow, that's a step in the right direction," Mr. Brient told Becker's. "If a physician feels they can practice medicine in the way they were trained, rather than conform to what the hospital EHR requires, that's another step in the right direction."
  6. David Shelton, CEO of PatientMatters, said hospitals should consider a patient's traits when establishing a payment plan. Establishing payment plans that include current credit information, payment history for financial obligations, residual income and other unique patient statistics should all be considered in the billing process, he said.

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!
MSHIMA Legal Manual
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