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WVHIMA President's Message

August 9, 2017

I am both honored and humbled to serve as your WVHIMA President for the 2017-2018 board term. We had an exciting and eventful year of “HIM Heroes” under Chris Metheny’s term as President, and looking forward to continuing on many of those initiatives for the upcoming year ahead. I am very fortunate to have a very talented and hardworking Board of Directors who are always up for an adventure. We are barely one month into the new board year and already have many exciting things underway for the upcoming term that I cannot wait to share with you.

The theme for this upcoming year will be all about “Getting Connected”. My goal for WVHIMA this year is to be better connected to the membership, our peers, and the industry. We want to be more accessible to our members and serve our members’ needs. We will be rolling out several new initiatives to meet some of these goals through the use of technology with on-demand webinars and social media.  We just rolled out a new on-demand webinar on “The Impact of Clinical Validation Denials and ICD-10 Coding Changes on Revenue Integrity” and hope to have more webinars available for you on a regular basis. Be sure to “Connect” with us on Twitter and Facebook for on-going updates, or you may subscribe to our e-blasts here, if you have not already done so.     

I invite each of you to join in and “Get Connected”, whether it’s “Getting Connected” to Industry trends and hot topics in HIM, connecting with education and credentials, re-connecting with old peers, or making new connections by volunteering or joining us at Fall Retreat!  Our Annual Fall Retreat is just around the corner, scheduled for Thursday, September 14th at Jackson’s Mill in Weston, WV. We would love to see you there!  Read on down further for more information on agenda and registration. If you are interested in volunteering at Fall Retreat, or with WVHIMA in general, please reach out! We are always looking for volunteers, and it is a great way to connect!

Speaking of conferences, the WVHIMA Delegates (Vickie Findley, President-Elect; Nelson Liston, VP; Chris Metheny, Past-President; and myself) recently traveled to Chicago, IL in mid-July to attend AHIMA’s CSA Leadership Symposium and connect with other state leaders. It was a two-day event with a jam-packed agenda to help prepare state leaders for their new roles in the upcoming board year. Topics included were: AHIMA Strategy and Strategic Planning, The Future of Healthcare and HIM, Thinking outside the Box, as well as breakout sessions on various leadership strategies for a successful year. We learned a lot of information in those two short days and are excited to bring that information back to our state and our membership.

As we move in to August, I want to remind you to VOTE in the AHIMA Election for the Board of Directors. Polls open on July 31 and will close on August 14th. We have had a great voting rate in years’ past, so let’s keep up that momentum. You may recognize some familiar faces running for the Board of Directors, such as our very own Christine Metheny, Past President, and Susan Carey, who has graciously presented at several of our Annual Conventions. Voting link is I encourage you to support these wonderful leaders of our industry and go vote!
Megan A. McDougal, MS, RHIA, CHTS-IM
WVHIMA President, 2017-2018

Reminder to Vote in the AHIMA Election, 7/31-8/14!

AHIMA Election Flyer

2017 WVHIMA Fall Retreat

It’s that time of year again! Our 2017 West Virginia Health Information Management Association’s Annual Fall Retreat will be held at WVU’s Jackson’s Mill located in Weston, WV.

Registration will be opening on July 13th. Early registration will run through August 25 and late registration will close on or before September 8th due to head counts.

Check out our agenda filled with six fantastic informational sessions and be sure to register early for a discounted rate! We hope to see you all there and be on the look out for more updates coming soon.

Thank you!

The Impact of Clinical Validation Denials and ICD-10 Coding Changes on Revenue Integrity

Online Education

The health care industry is currently undergoing monumental changes in the U.S. Transition from utilization-based to outcomes-based payment structures has resulted in declining net revenue for many healthcare organizations. Aggressive predictive analytics and extrapolation techniques are aimed at recouping money. In addition to traditional Medicare’s RA coding audits, the RAs, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and multiple third party payers are ramping up clinical validation audits. Coding and clinical documentation quality directly affects organizational financial performance.

Today, coders and clinical documentation specialists must understand multiple payment methodologies, including Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCCs), APR-DRGs and MS-DRGs. Each of these reimbursement models focus on disease burden. In order to reflect the level of care being provided, coders must to have a deep understanding of disease processes, surgical procedures and coding changes so that ICD-10-CM/PCS codes are applied accurately.

Coding compliance should be considered a top priority to protect net revenue on a continual basis. Benchmarking, monitoring, and continual coder education are crucial steps healthcare organizations can take to protect the bottom line. This presentation is designed to ensure that attendees are prepared to successfully mitigate predatory recoupment activities by all payers by identifying changes in coding and clinical documentation requirements.


Lynette Thom, BS, RHIT, CCS, CDIP
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