March 18, 2014

2014 AHIMA’s Hill Day Starts With Excitement

By

Angela Kennedy, PhD, RHIA; president of AHIMA; and Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA,RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA; CEO, AHIMA kicked off the 2014 Leadership and Advocacy Symposium amid a highly unusual March 17 snow storm which did not stop the constituents from meeting with their representatives and senators on March 18.

 

Forty-five (45) component state associations (CSAs) were represented, which this year included a member from Hawaii. The 2014 Leadership and Advocacy meeting was impacted by the Washington, D.C. snow day, with some panelists cancelling their appearance. Mr. Tom Wilbur, Digital Media Advisor, House Energy & Commerce Committee, and Dao Nguyen, Legislative Assistant for Representative Adam Schiff (CA), provided interesting insight on the “dos and don’ts” when speaking with the Congressional representatives and their staff. The “do” list includes: develop a social media campaign, think outside the box, relate how the issue impacts their constituents, use relevant hashtags when developing the social media campaign, and review the legislation for support. The “don’t” list is relatively small: don’t tweet in all capital letters; don’t use an angry tone when speaking with legislative staff, and don’t overestimate their knowledge.

The next discussion topic was Blue Button Initiative. The Blue Button Initiative highlights the importance of developing an online personal health record so that the information is available regardless of the location. Dr. Harry Greenspun, Senior Advisor, Health Care Transformation and Technology, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, provided a humorous talk on the importance of the future of healthcare and the role of the Health Information Manager professional. Another subject discussed was Information Governance, which will be the next BIG goal for AHIMA. As we adapt more technology, there is more data that is collected regarding your current medical status—Fitbit data, trends regarding your grocery store or pharmacy purchases, joining the gym, etc. Companies are using this data for marketing purposes, but will it stop there? Is it necessary to develop protocols regarding this data so that it is shared appropriately beyond the scope of patient care? AHIMA will continue to develop this subject.

On March 18, all 45 CSA representatives trekked through the snow to visit with their representatives and senators. ICD-10 (HR 1701/SB 972) and Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) audits (HR 1250/SB 1012) were topics that were discussed during these meetings. I found the contacts with whom I met to be knowledgeable on these subjects and have a willingness to hear the opinions of the association. I would like to thank the legislative staff who personally met with me: Mr. Daniel Martini (senior legislative assistant and counsel for Representative Charlie Dent); Mr. John Rizzo (press secretary for Senator Bob Casey); and Mr. Theo Merkel (staffer for Senator Patrick Toomey).

Don’t forget to celebrate National Health Information Professionals Week that continues now through March 22.

It certainly started with some excitement with the snowfall in Washington, D.C., but it did not deter the dedicated professionals in voicing their opinions to senators and representatives!

Laurie Johnson, MS, RHIA, CPC-H, FAHIMA, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

Laurie M. Johnson, MS, RHIA, FAHIMA is currently a senior healthcare consultant for Revenue Cycle Solutions based in Pittsburgh, Pa. Laurie is an AHIMA approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer. She has more than 35 years of experience in health information management and specializes in coding and related functions. She has been a featured speaker in over 40 conferences and will be speaking at 2017 AHIMA Coding Community Meeting in Los Angeles, Ca. Laurie has been a frequent guest on Talk Ten Tuesdays.