AHIMA 2018 Roundup

“Inspiring Leadership, Influencing Change” rang out at every General Session and throughout all the Educational Tracks at the 90th Annual AHIMA Convention and Exhibit held September 22 – 26 in Miami, Florida.  Transforming HIM, revisiting processes and evaluating technological solutions were hot topics welcomed by convention participants.  Politics was also among the engaging sessions as Donna Brazile and Karl Rove entertained with Point/Counterpoint, highlighting Democratic and Republican views.  The drive toward optimization through best practices of CDI and Coding while encouraging physician inclusion in, “a day in the life of a coder” received a standing ovation.  Clinical validity with clinical insights from chart reviews, Risk Adjustment while improving quality measure through data abstraction proved to be of interest, leaving the participants wanting more.  Gaining efficiencies through the engagement of technology, with the consolidation of technical and professional coding practices shed light on the possibilities when thinking outside the box.  Exhibitors were better than ever, bringing their best ideas with shared steps toward implementation sure to inspire and influence positive change.  The giveaways were second to none; convention goers leaving the exhibit hall with bags loaded.  Accolades for all who presented, exhibited, planned and participated; can’t wait for Chicago 2019!!

global medical coding company

What Does ICD-11 Mean for Global Medical Coding Companies?

Global medical coding companies must keep up with industry technological and regulatory changes, and the recent announcement of ICD-11 is another change that we must adapt our processes to meet. But before we get into what the ICD-11 changes mean for medical coding companies, let’s remind ourselves of the purpose of ICD, and how essential it is to global medical coding. ICD, or the International Classification of Diseases, is a tool for reporting and grouping conditions and factors that influence health. The purpose of ICD is to allow for a standardized and systematic recording, analysis, interpretation, and comparison of medical data collected. Most useful to medical coders, ICD is used to translate diagnoses into alphanumeric codes which permit storage, retrieval, and analysis. Whenever the ICD is revised and updated, it means that global medical coding companies like ECLAT Health Solutions must take necessary measures to comply with its new structural changes.


According to World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent release, some major structural changes are set to be implemented under ICD-11. One of the key revisions is meant to simplify coding structure and electronic tooling, which is meant to allow health care professionals to more accurately record conditions. This means that for global medical coding companies, this new and simplified coding structure must be comprehensively understood by its professionals. Extensive training, research, and practice are all required for medical coding companies to ensure that coding quality and accuracy will not be lost amidst the ICD-11 transition. Also, the code structure itself is projected to be updated, so what many medical coders knew like the back of their hands will now need to be re-learned.

No need to panic

The preview of the ICD-11 transition, which is set to be released for adoption by member states of the WHO in May 2019, may seem like a daunting announcement to some. Medical coding companies and health care professionals as a whole have become so accustomed to ICD-10, that the thought of drastic system and structural changes involved in ICD-11 may cause stress and insecurity. However, NO NEED TO PANIC! ICD-11 is an exciting announcement, as it marks innovation and forward thinking in the world of disease classification. A lot has changed since ICD-10 was introduced, and the way we view certain diseases and disorders should evolve as well. Like with any new piece of technology or information, there is always a learning curve, however the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than ever, the health information management world will continue to improve its practices to promote patient transparency and reduce unnecessary hospital costs.

ECLAT Health Solutions is Ready for ICD-11

ICD-11 goes into effect January 1, 2022. The World Health Organization offices are still working on a global implementation plan to do this, and our team will be standing by to respond and take action to update our medical coding processes as necessary when the plan and final release is announced. As a leading global medical coding company, ECLAT Health Solutions is looking forward to ICD-11 and the impressive impact it will have on health care and how we classify diseases, disorders, and other health issues. To learn about the ECLAT Advantage, and what sets our medical coding company apart from others, contact us today!

new meaningful use program

How the New Meaningful Use Program Affects Hospitals and Healthcare Providers

Meaningful Use is defined by the use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology in a meaningful manner, ensuring that the certified EHR technology is connected in a manner that ultimately improved the quality of care. This concept of meaningful use was enacted with the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act (ARRA) in February of 2009; an effort led by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). There have been several updates to the rules surrounding meaningful use since it was made priority by CMS nearly 10 years ago, but the most recent announcement in April has a large effect on how hospitals and other providers process health information.

Starting in 2019, hospitals will be required to have a patient’s electronic health records available on the day they leave the hospital, as well as better access to price information. Further, some regulatory burdens on hospitals will also be lifted. The new rules are meant to promote better interoperability between providers and for patients. At ECLAT, we embrace the EMR technology and include meaningful use concepts in our ongoing Revenue Cycle training program. Ensuring the abstracting and coding information is accurate, timely and complete is essential to meeting meaningful use strategies. While this announcement is exciting for patients, allowing for more price and information transparency, the new rules beg the question: how does this affect hospitals and healthcare providers?

  1. Reduces Unnecessary Redundancies

Hospitals spend billions every year on administrative duties related to regulatory compliance, totally $39 billion according to the American Hospital Association. Fortunately, CMS eliminated 25 total measures that will save hospitals over 2 million hours of work. Additionally, quality measurement will be more streamlined as a significant number of criteria acute care hospitals are currently required to report on will be eliminated.  The lift on these regulations will better assist with the receipt and exchange of documents among systems, which inherently allows medical coding companies like ECLAT to close accounts faster and enhance clinical documentation for more accurate reimbursement. In short, it removes unnecessary and redundant measures from a number of programs, ultimately saving hospitals time and money.

  1. Challenging ‘One Size Fits All’ Pricing Approach

While hospitals are welcoming reduced regulation with open arms, many are concerned by the CMS rule requiring them to post their prices. The goal of this is to promote more effective price transparency for patients, however, what individuals pay varies greatly depending on their insurance coverage. Nevertheless, this price transparency is meant to ultimately offer the best value to patients, where they reap the benefits associated with more choices and thus better health outcomes.

  1. Emphasizes Need for Accurate RCM, Medical Coding and Billing

Hospitals also now must make their patients’ EHR data available upon the day of discharge, which means hospitals must incorporate up-to-date technologies and processes to make this happen. This involved using up-to-date EHR technology beginning in 2019 in order to quality for incentive payments and avoid Medicare payment reductions. On top of this, it’s essential for hospitals and providers to ensure their revenue cycle management, coding and billing processes evolve with these new rules to ensure continued accuracy.

These new rules announced by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mark an interesting transition in healthcare information management, and while some of the rules require challenges for hospitals and other healthcare providers, these changes hope to ultimately improve efficiency, transparency, and accuracy. In these ever-changing times of healthcare regulation, it’s also important to have a revenue cycle management partner to help you keep up. Contact ECLAT Health Solutions today to learn more about our services, and how we can help hospitals save time and money with our 95% accuracy or greater guarantee.

ECLAT is Proud to Celebrate the 29th Annual HIP Week

The 29th Annual Health Information Professionals (HIP) Week runs from March 18 -24, and we are so excited to be a part of it! So many wonderful and talented HIP staff work for ECLAT, and we can’t wait to celebrate our talented team of medical coders and ICD-10 auditors and thank them for the incredible work they do every day. This year’s HIP Week theme, “Our Future is Bright,” accurately represents how we feel about working the critical role of revenue cycle management in the Health Information Management (HIM) industry. As Lou Ann Wiedemann MS, RHIA, CDIP, CHDA, CPEHR, and Fellow of the American Health Information Management Association (FAHIMA) says, “It is a great time to be in the HIM profession, and we believe our future is bright.” ECLAT is so excited to celebrate our HIPs as well as share great insights with other HIM professionals.


About HIP Week 2018

This year’s HIP week occurs during a very exciting time. AHIMA’s Advocacy Summit and Hill Day also takes place during this week. During these two events, AHIMA members received education about advocacy as they visit the Capitol Hill to inform others on the importance of advancing HIM. In today’s world, information governance (IG) and privacy and security are becoming increasingly crucial topics of discussion. As HIM professionals, we look forward to engaging in crucial industry discussions and sharing important insights with others about these topics.

During this week, health information professionals will also participate in focused activities to celebrate HIP week and raise awareness of our organization and expertise. This year, ECLAT will participate in sponsoring food goodies in celebration of this special annual event.


AHIMA’s Impact

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) represents more than 103,000 health information professionals in the United States and around the world. AHIMA is committed to promoting and advocating for high quality research, best practices and effective standards in health information and to actively contribute to the development and advancement of health information professionals worldwide. AHIMA is advancing informatics, data analytics, and information governance to achieve the goal of providing expertise to ensure trusted information for healthcare.


We’re looking forward to a fun HIP week here at ECLAT. Be sure to follow us on social media and share how you celebrate HIP week with the hashtag #HIPWeek18!

Highlights and Trends from AHIMA 2017

The feeling of absolute exhilaration was in the air lining up to receive pre-registration packets at the AHIMA 2017 Convention and Exhibit in “the city of angels”, Los Angeles.   For many of us, it had been a year since we had seen colleagues, reconnected with prior co-workers and reunited with friends in the health information profession.  Flipping through the agenda, the hard work of all the sponsors and contributors was evident; this would be a convention to remember!

Pre-conference meetings and events as well as post-conference meetings and events were available.  Saturday and Sunday were packed with the Clinical Coding Meetings.  Truly there was something of interest for everyone.  AHIMA celebrated another year of “go green” with limited printings, replaced with easy to follow download links to access all the conference handouts.

Clinical Coding Meetings

Highlights of the Clinical Coding Meetings include FY 2018 ICD-10 CM and ICD-10 PCS code and guideline modifications as well as inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) changes that impact coding and documentation were presented by Sue Bowman, MA, RHIA, CCS, FAHIMA and Anita Rapier, RHIT, CCS.  New codes were discussed including the types of acute myocardial infarction and pulmonary hypertension.  Garry L. Huff, MD, CCS, CCDS held a separate session that further defined acute myocardial infarction and the types of myocardial infarctions, acute coronary ischemia and demand ischemia.    Bowman and Rapier continued with clarification regarding the word “with” or “in” to be interpreted to mean, “associated with” or “due to” when it appears in a code title, the Alphabetic Index, or an instructional note in the Tabular List was discussed.  The exception was further clarified to be “unless the documentation clearly states the conditions are unrelated or when another guideline exists that specifically requires a documented linkage between two conditions (e.g., sepsis guideline for “acute organ dysfunction that is not clearly associated with the sepsis”).   Procedure Coding System (PCS) codes were revised and deleted to mostly simplify certain body part values or to correct clinical discrepancies and add new devices.    There were a few DRG shifts that coders need to be familiar with when grouping discharges from October 1, 2017 forward.

Audit was a hot topic during the sessions, highlighting the need for auditing, what and why to audit and what to do with the data being analyzed as a result of an audit.  Frequency and volume of auditing was also discussed.  Data analytics, revenue integrity adventures, coaching the team, goal setting and risks were all included in sessions.  There were physician tracks, HIT, coding and CDI tracks as well as international sessions, population health, workforce development, payment reform and information governance.

AHIMA General Session

General Session was certainly a highlight with Dr. Don Rucker, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Barbara Boxer, former U. S. Senator, and Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives.  AHIMA Triumph Awards, AHIMA Grace Award and the Presidential address set the tone for the 2017 Convention themed, Inspire, Innovate, Lead.

Exhibitors were armed with the latest in technology, practice and support.  This was one of the most enjoyable events with demonstrations, prizes and entertainment, not to mention all the wonderful giveaways to assist in recalling the name and number of the vendor when the need arises.  The AHIMA Foundation Silent Auction is always a fun event and this year was no exception.  The paper auction was replaced with an APP that provided on-the-spot notification when your bid was overtaken, allowing an up-bid to take place with the touch of a button.

AHIMA Gala to Remember

Time to dress for the red carpet came on Tuesday evening at the AHIMA Appreciation Celebration:  Lights! Camera! ACTION! Gala.   This was the event of all events as guests were met with a real-life feel of celebrity, cameras flashing upon entering.  Delicious food, drinks, entertainment, picture-taking with Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice-in-Wonderland, Dinosaurs, a candy bar, dancing to a live band and entertainment by the Star Wars Storm Troopers.   A great time was had by all!

Wrapping up the 2017 AHIMA Convention was the inspiring Viola Davis, followed by sessions for Coding, Consumer Engagement, HIM Practice Standards, Hot Topics, Information Governance, Innovation, Privacy and Security, Quality Measures  and Leadership.  On my way back home, I was filled with new ideas and renewed spirit of success.  I’m already planning my trip to Miami, Florida September 22 – 27, 2018 for the AHIMA 90th Convention & Exhibit, “Inspiring Leadership – Influencing Change”.