Northeast CDI and Coding Symposium a Great Success

By Walter Houlihan

The 3rd annual CDI and Coding Symposium held on August 11, 2017 in Newton, MA was a major success.  This was due to the great collaborative efforts by leaders from the MA state chapter of ACDIS, NYHIMA and MaHIMA who volunteered many hours over the past 6 months in developing the agenda, obtaining sponsorship and a suitable location.

The first 2 years attracted between 170-200 attendees and this year the event brought over 220 CDI and Coding professionals from the entire northeast region.  This demonstrates that the symposium brings many educational benefits to the attendees by not only enabling them to hear from informative healthcare speakers but also the ability to collaborate with physicians, CDI or health information management leaders and professional coders.

Dr. Jon Elion kicked off the event with the session titled….”Doc to Doc: How to Give the Talk”.  This provided great advice to everyone on how best to communicate with physicians in order to obtain accurate and complete documentation in the medical record.  Dr. Elion ended with not only addressing many questions but he provided a humorous and relevant song, while playing his guitar, and the audience loved it.

Cathy Farraher and Gina Mannion followed with an informative session on “CDI and Quality”. Their many years of experience was very beneficial and practical.  A panel of 4 professional and seasoned CDI nurses/leaders and an HIM leader followed Cathy and Gina.  This panel provided a robust discussion and Q&A interaction with the attendees, covering the best CDI and Coding practices and lessons learned at their facility.

After a very nice sponsored lunch by 3M, Donna Smith discussed the importance of “HCCs” (Hierarchical Condition Category). This CMS payment model is gaining more attention and possessing the skill set to understand this model and its impact on coding and payment is vital for all coders. The next and final session followed appropriately after HCCs and was titled “Outpatient CDI”.  We all heard of the benefits of CDI in the inpatient setting but Valerie Parent shared the importance of CDI in the outpatient setting. This is the new CDI frontier and Valerie provided CDI professionals and all attendees information on how best to set up an outpatient CDI program.

Hopefully this symposium will continue next year and provide educational benefits to even a greater number of CDI and Coding professionals from the northeast and beyond.