Friday, November 20, 2020

AHIMA House of Delegates 2020 Meeting; Synopsis on Strategic Pathfinder Session Public Health

by Clarice Warner, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, CHC
Watch my video blog about the AHIMA 2020 House of Delegates Meeting on Saturday, October 17, 2020:

About the Author

Clarice Warner, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, CHC is the Corporate Director of Corporate Responsibility for the Mercy Health Corporate Office in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is also the Founder and Education Director for the Professional Reimbursement Network. Clarice serves as a Board Director and Delegate on the OHIMA FY 2020-21 Board of Directors, overseeing Advocacy strategy. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

AHIMA House of Delegates 2020 Meeting; Synopsis on Strategic Pathfinder Session Health Equity

by Tonya Bates, RHIA

On October 17, 2020, AHIMA held its first virtual House of Delegates (HoD) Meeting.  There were just a few technical glitches, but for the most part all went well from that perspective.  The six hour long meeting did however run over by more than an hour.  Dr. Wylecia Wiggs Harris spoke and introduced ACCESS which stands for AHIMA Curated Communities to Enhance Success and Sustainability.  This will replace the current Engage platform.  This will be an avenue where members will go to build their Health Information and Professional networks.  It will be My Digital Health Community (myDHC).  You’ll have the opportunity to be a part of 8-10 groups at a time.  There will be ambassadors for each group.

There was also discussion about the Professional Enhancement Community (PEC).  The theme of PEC is “Health Information is Human Information”.  The goal is to articulate what Health Information Professionals do and develop a structured educational plan. AHIMA has three strategic outcomes that will be the focus.

Strategic Outcome #1  Advance and advocate for the creation and use of trusted information across the evolving health continuum.

Strategic Outcome #2
Shape the health information profession by growing the influence and competitiveness of health information skill sets.

Strategic Outcome #3
Drive strategic transformation and renewed growth as a great partner and place to work.

The remainder of the meeting was spent on discussing and voting on proposed changes to the Bylaws.  The two biggest points of discussion regarding the proposed changes was regarding Article IV, Sections 4.2-4.5 (membership).  The proposal was to change from the current five membership types to Professional and Student with both Emeritus and Honorary still being intact.  This proposal also included late fees for failure to pay membership dues on time.  This section required some clarification as Delegates were confused about the Emeritus status.  The second biggest discussion point was Article VII, Section 7.1 and 7.2.  This was a proposal to change the language of the section to ensure consistency.  Essentially, the proposal was to remove the word Management and change membership types Professional and Student.  There were heated comments regarding the removal of Management.  Delegates were calmed down once it was clarified that the organization is not removing Management from its title.  The proposal is just to remove the word management to be consistent with AHIMA’s purpose. After all discussions, all proposed Bylaws changes were approved. 

I attended the breakout session entitled: “The Role of The HI Professional Shaping Health Equity.” The discussion entailed how we as HI professionals can keep the profession intact. We discussed what barriers currently exist that keep us out stagnated.  The argument from the delegates was that our biggest barrier is HIPAA and its constraints.  There was arguments from both sides. The most compelling argument was that HIPAA has been in our lives for a while now and we’ve learned to adapt.  There is no reason that it should factor into us moving forward as a profession.

In order for the HI professional to ensure that health equity is achieved we must be a part of the educational process of individuals. We must educate the whole person. Educating the whole person means to have the ability to use clinical data as a part the process. Bring to the table how HI professionals can use their clinical knowledge to have a voice at the table with the “C” Suite.

Ultimately, the clinical knowledge we possess gives us an advantage over no HI professionals. This advantage needs to be exploited more. We have to make others know what are skillset is and what we can bring to organizations. To continue the growth of our professional we must train and educate current students afforded them the opportunity to take this profession to new heights. We have to be the stewards to change.

It was an interesting conversation.  We were unable to get through our entire discussion of hypothesis because conversations were a bit intense.

Having attended several HoD meetings in the past, I decided that an in-person meeting is much better. The 2020 AHIMA HoD Meeting was like no other that I have attended.  The fact that it was virtual is what made it so very different than previous years. The virtual  aspect took away from the interaction, networking and camaraderie. Despite, this we were able to accomplish a lot.

About the Author 

Tonya L. Bates, RHIA is the currently Board Past President & Delegate Coordinator on the OHIMA FY 2020-21 Board of Directors. She is Compliance Manager at Enjoin. She can be reached at

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

AHIMA House of Delegates 2020 Meeting: Synopsis on Strategic Pathfinder Session The Future of Patient Matching

 by Shelia Robertson, RHIA

The 74th House of Delegates meeting was nothing less than exciting this year!  In my session, The Future of Patient Matching, facilitated by Melany Merryman, MSL, RHIA and Lauren Riplinger, JD, we discussed various ways how to propel AHIMA to the forefront of patient matching. Some asked the question, "Why AHIMA?" Our response was, "Why not AHIMA!?" We are a global organization that represents over 1 billion health information professionals.  We have to take a proactive approach and advocate at an organization, local and state level.  We examined what we as health information professionals can be doing now to better identify our patients and lower our duplication record rates. We determined that working with the EHR developers; having a voice, performing regular system clean-up, educating organizations and getting PAS and Registration involved would be a terrific start. We discussed how educating the front-line staff is critical. We determined that what we were missing was financing, having a seat at the table with EHR developers, data steward positions, that we must be agile, and innovative. We also felt that if we could show how harmful this is to patients our facilities would invite us to the table. In five years, the future of Patient Matching looks like EHR standardization but we must look back and learn from the past. We should look into patients registering themselves and what that training would look like. Bio Scanning is also another area, which I personally feel is the way to the future we should explore. 

For more information, visit 
Patient ID Now. A coalition of leading healthcare organizations, including AHIMA, have created the Patient ID Now to help move this initiative forward through Congress. Patient ID Now, a coalition of leading healthcare organizations,


About the Author 

Shelia Robertson, RHIA is the currently a 2nd Year Delegate on the OHIMA FY 2020-21 Board of Directors.  Shelia is a Supervisor in the Release of Information department at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.

Monday, November 2, 2020

AHIMA House of Delegates 2020 Meeting, Synopsis on Strategic Pathfinder Session Revenue Cycle

by Megan Patton, MEd, RHIA

This year at the 2020 House of Delegates meeting, I had an opportunity to join a strategic pathfinder breakout session on the Revenue Cycle.  It was interesting to hear the insights of the delegates representing a variety of states and healthcare settings.  The revenue cycle has been and continues to be one of the hot topics in the Health Information Management (HIM) field.  Some of the revenue cycle challenges identified were decreased operating income from declining reimbursement, increasing revenue costs due to denials and revenue leakage, increased business intelligence to support technology challenges, more complicated compliance issues, and staffing issues caused by higher-skilled workers who are harder to attract and retain.

Two statements were presented that we had an extensive discussion about in our group.  One statement focused on HIM professional’s role in the revenue cycle as those who identify the data to capture, train providers and staff, and coordinate a patient’s story from beginning to end.  Many comments from the delegates were that this described where we currently are in our roles. One comment highlighted the significant role we have played in the data capture for COVID-19 related information.  Some of the keywords that stood out for delegates were educators, trainers, coordinators, subject matter experts, applicability across all settings, and leaders.  

Another statement centered around revenue cycle management becoming more complex and challenging with the incorporation of natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) and how the role of HIM professionals will transform.  A great discussion occurred about this statement as well.  One great comment about this statement from the Nevada delegate was that we should be leading the change, and change should not be dragging us along.  Another delegate suggested that HIM professionals need to get ahead in AI and not to chase it.  Discussion followed that said we should get ahead on this transformation so that we have a seat at the table. Some of the keywords discussed about this statement were change management, employee resistance, pioneering, efficiency, and technology relevance.  

There were also many key points made that these two statements really are both applicable.  We have to be the coordinators so that we understand the revenue cycle process from start to finish, but we also have to be on top of potential technologies that could change our roles.  There is certainly more to come with where our profession is going in terms of the Revenue Cycle.  

About the Author

Megan Patton, M.Ed., RHIA is the currently a 1st Year Delegate on the OHIMA FY 2020-21 Board of Directors. Megan is Assistant Professor at the University of Cincinnati.