I work in the long term care setting and with upcoming changes to our payment system, the ICD-10-CM coding will be up front and center. So specific & accurate coding will be imperative. In our setting there is a clinical assessment which can only be signed off by an RN, I have always hoped that coding would follow that same requirement. Where the diagnoses added onto a claim, must be signed off by either an RHIT or RHIA. I have worked in LTC for some time and have seen some crazy inaccurate codes assigned by staff which were 'given' the duty of coding with little to no training. I am seeing now more denials based on inaccurate code assignment. Having that RHIT or RHIA audit those codes prior to the claim being submitted would provide that review from someone which has the training and understands, not only the book, but the coding guidelines and coding clinic references. I would love to see that within AHIMA's Vision for Transformation.
Shan Miller, RHIA
Sharon Hekimian, RHIT CCS
PH # 781-453-5215
HOME OFFICE # 617-312-9205
FAX # 781-453-5783 ATTN: SHARON
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No. I believe you dilute the value of certifications by having too many. Creating a certification just to "compete" with another organization isn't good use of finances. AHIMA now is becoming like AAPC, jack of all trades but master of NONE. Before, they were known for Inpatient/hospital coding. Now, since they have literally abandon the CCS to create new certifications, they are lagging. The pass rate is almost 80% which is way higher than when I took it in 2013 (passing rate was low 40%). So, instead of having the CCS certification that use to "mean something," they have CCS's now that cannot find jobs. So, I don't think extra certifications will help.AHIMA must create excitement and bring in young talent to run the organization under the direction of past directors. If we continue to vote the same people year after year after year without instilling fresh eyes and ears, it will continue to dwindle. We must think outside the box and not be afraid to color past the lines. For one, I think we have to work with other federal and private organizations such as OIG, AHIA, HCCA rather than being siloed. Recently, HCCA worked with OIG in creating a resource called "Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness: A Resource Guide." AHIA worked with HCCA on creating Whitepapers on Auditing and Monitoring Guidance. So, maybe AHIMA can work with CMS to come up with acceptable documentation standards? Or work with HCCA on Compliance guidance in a particular area? Right now, HCCA believes a coder should be AAPC certified. BUT, when majority of Compliance risks as identified by OIG are hospital based and DRG related, AAPC credentialed individual are for the most part useless. AHIMA credentials are best known for that (CCS, CDIP), not AAPC. If you were a compliance officer and did not know that, you would have hired someone with AAPC credentials because the HCCA said so. So, collaboration is imperative for growth.That is my soapbox for today. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!