Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Northwest Ohio Health Information Management Association: 15th Annual Symposium on February 9, 2017

What an event!  Over 140 HIM professionals attended the NWOHIMA 15th Annual Symposium!  Being a recent newcomer to the Toledo area, this was my first meeting to attend in the area.  I was so impressed with the caliber and content of the varied speakers.  They might have spoiled us with the hot chocolate buffet to celebrate the 15th annual meeting also….

I encourage everyone to attend their local association meetings.  Not only do you keep up with information, gain CE’s, meet new people, network and have good food – you might even win a prize.

What did we learn?

Barbara Roose, Christian women’s speaker, author and life coach who presented “Personal Development” asked the audience to ask themselves "How do you increase the quality of life of those around you, especially in the workplace?  And what can you do to make your team thrive and not dominate them.  Be kind and appreciative of those around you, so that people come alive when you walk into the room."  Her warmth and excitement to have a positive influence on those around her is contagious!

Lisa Conine from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation who presented “Ergonomics in HIM and How it Affects Your Workplace” showed how common posture and work space setup can negatively impact your muscles and tendons, causing pain.  Her office does free on-site workplace assessments to offer improvements, to significantly decrease the expenses and out-of-work costs associated with orthopedic conditions caused by poor ergonomics, for example by constantly turning your neck to one side to view your computer monitor instead of having it straight in front of you and at eye level.

Sandy Seabold from Cleveland Clinic presented “OHIMA Update” and spoke about her role as a member of OHIMA’s House of Delegates and hot topics in health information such as telemedicine, computer assisted coding, information governance and other emerging HIM roles.  I learned that anyone can volunteer to service this organization and have a grassroots influence on legislators, both on a state and national level, for HIM-related issues.

Marie Janes, Senior Lecturer from the University of Toledo College of Health & Human Services gave a talk titled “Shoot for the Stars: The History & Future of NWOHIMA” including how the organization has grown from humble beginnings to the active association it is now.  Marie and her colleagues in NWOHIMA demonstrate their enthusiasm for HIM by volunteering their time and talents so that others employed in the industry, like me, as well as students just getting exposed to HIM, can grow in our knowledge and have networking opportunities through meetings like this symposium.

ICD-10-CM and CPT Coding Roundtable led by Debby Mann and Jennifer Bash from ADVOCATE Radiology Billing started off with diagnosis code updates: When coding myocardial infarctions, if a non- ST elevation MI evolves to a ST elevated MI, code the latter.  Don't forget in ICD-10 when patients suffer a subsequent MI this is coded to I22.0 to I22.9 depending on the type or site of the additional infarction. Things really heated up with the CPT code practice for radiology cases!  For example, I learned what distinguishes a complete ultrasound of the abdomen 76700 (eight body parts are filmed including liver, spleen and pancreas) vs. 76705 limited study (less than all eight).  Debby and Jennifer were so informative! They said the trend in CPT code changes is that more codes are being bundled, eliminating the extra reimbursement compared to when the codes were unbundled previously.  Because I don't use CPT codes in my daily work, I had also forgotten the difference between non-selective catheterization (for interventional radiology) where the catheter is placed into the save vessel entered and selective, where the catheter is threaded into further vessel branches than where it entered and continuing to the "third order" (third branch). What an informative presentation!

I recommend future NWOHIMA symposiums to students as well as HIM educators who I met throughout the day, and HIM employees looking to keep up on the latest topics in our field.  Try to attend a future meeting, you'll be glad you did!  I know I am.

Cathy Larmer, B.S., CCS, CCDS
Cleveland Clinic Quality Education Coordinator for Coding

Interested in finding out more about Regional HIM Associations in your area?  Find your regional association on the OHIMA website!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Sandra Seabold
Cleveland Clinic
Current job title
Data Integrity Manager, Coding
Job duties and/or educational background
Currently working with the Coding Quality Education Coordinators; Coding reporting and appeals.  Education: RHIA and MBA

How did you progress to your current leadership position?
By willing to learn new skills and being open to different opportunities.  Always try to go over and above the requests and expectations. Have progressed from CDI to Project Management to Data Integrity Manager.  Each role has enhanced my skills to assist in the next role. 

What are ways that you motivate and inspire your team?  Please identify what type of team you are referring to (i.e. your direct reports at work, a committee, a different organization you are part of).

By letting the team know you are listening to their concerns and then will act on what you can influence and direct other concerns to the appropriate sources for resolution.  Working right alongside the team to help strategize for a solution or idea. Keeping the team updated with the current goals, status, and environmental impact, is important to engagement. I believe those activities all apply to work, committee and organizational development.
How do you select a mentor?  What traits do you look for?
I look for someone who exhibits the qualities I hold dear: integrity, motivated, accomplished, respected and passionate for their cause.  I want to learn from the best.  But, keep in mind that you can learn always learn something from anyone.

What professional organizations are you associated with?  Has your participation in these organizations enhanced your leadership capabilities?  If so, how?
Of course, the local, state and National HIM associations. Was also involved with the CDI associations and HIMSS during those phases of my career which had direct correlation to those activities.  Joining those organizations was beneficial for those roles, as the opportunities were expanded during that time. You never know when the contacts you make may impact you at a later time. 

What advice would you give someone aspiring to be a leader?
Education is key and can be as simple as observing other leaders, reading articles/books, attending courses, participating in activities/committees that move you to grow outside of you comfort zone, and furthering formal education to have an understanding of the different styles of leadership and what will work best for you.  Most important is to care about your team and making a positive difference for your team.

Contact Information
Sandra Seabold, MBA, RHIA

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Melvina M. Washington
AHIMA Credentials
MedPartners / Infinity Health Information Management / School
Current job title
Owner/President of Infinity Health Information Management School (Infinity HIM School), Health Information Management (HIM) Consultant
Job duties and/or educational background
Melvina has more than 10 years of expertise in the Health Information Management arena. She has worked for several hospitals across the United States from Level 1, teaching facilities, trauma and critical care units and many more. She specializes in Emergency Department Professional and Facility coding. Melvina also acquired a passion for coding and auditing Evaluation and Management charts for all disciplines Inpatient, Observations, Consults, Clinics and more. Melvina is infatuated with validating all coding assignments, modifiers and diagnosis to ensure compliance with Outpatients Prospective Payment Systems (OPPS), basically she loves solving Correct Initiative edits (CCI edits) for Federal, State and payer-specific regulations. Melvina has proven to be a person that collaborates with physicians to improve documentations to obtain the upmost reimbursement for the healthcare facility. In addition to coding, auditing, and compliance assignments, she is an excellent communicator, motivator and team player who fully completes her projects and assignments with the highest confidentially and accuracy possible. 

In addition to her working, Melvina is the proud owner of Infinity HIM and Infinity HIM School, where she has implemented an eight-week medical coding program for any potential persons who would like to break into the field of coding. Melvina is changing the paradigm, by teaching medical coding and its tools needed BUT also by focusing on a specific type of coding to create subject matter experts for faster turnaround of employment for the students.

Melvina has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelors Degree in Computer Information Systems and Associates Degree in Health Information Technology. She is a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) with American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). She is also a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

How did you progress to your current leadership position?
After years of working in the HIM industry, giving advice, accepting change on demand, being overly confident on subject matters, being extremely determined to make a difference, and most of all not accepting the status quo. Melvina decided to start her own business and make a difference with Infinity HIM School. 

What are ways that you motivate and inspire your team? Please identify what type of team you are referring to (i.e. your direct reports at work, a committee, a different organization you are part of). 

Melvina motivates her team members; some of which are aspiring HIM professionals, and some are already HIM Professionals – they are part of AAPC or AHIMA organizations. Melvina communicates effectively with individuals, explaining the challenges and ways to overcome them. Melvina is very candid and direct with the unlimited earnings that one can acquire from HIM professions. She encourages her team members to believe the infinite possibilities. Because she believes if you believe it, dream it and work very hard at it, it will happen – nothing stops you BUT yourself. Melvina motivational speeches commands your attention and has throughout the years. She explains her accomplishments and shows that she knows what it takes to make things a reality.

How do you select a mentor? What traits do you look for?
Melvina’s mentor must be a person with greater experience than herself. Her mentor must have a strong track record of success in what he or she does. Her mentor will encourage and be direct, straight forward when needs to be about my professional goals or the direction she is moving in. They must be a good listener and not afraid to thoroughly explain their thought process because Melvina is going to challenge them. Melvina’s mentor traits are a person who is analytical, detail-oriented, excellent communicator, intellectual, professional, quite successful financially and most of all, believes in infinite possibilities. 

What professional organizations are you associated with? Has your participation in these organizations enhanced your leadership capabilities? If so, how? 

Melvina is a member of Georgia American Health Information Management Association (GAHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Attending meetings and networking with these organizations has enabled Melvina to correspond with other leaders in the industry. It has help obtain feedback for professional growth and facilitated with her direction for her own business.
What advice would you give someone aspiring to be a leader?
Melvina’s advice - be true to yourself and clear about what you want professional, within this HIM industry. Be very straight-forward and acknowledge that it will not be easy to climb to the top and stay there (if it was - we all would be there already). Do not be afraid of changing the paradigm, make your own rules and follow them. To be a leader means to lead however it doesn’t mean you don’t have listen to others – so listen but decide and own your decisions. Always have a backup plan, and expect the unexpectant. And remember to always give back and help others to grow and develop into what you have just become – a leader within the HIM arena. Melvina’s advice be yourself, dream big, work very hard and believe in infinite possibilities.

Contact Information
Melvina M. Washington, MBA, RHIT, CPC
Owner/President of Infinity HIM School
1230 Peachtree Street North East, 19th floor
Promenade II
Atlanta, Georgia 30309 

Phone: (678) 824-4162