01/20/2016 Arkansans Earned 54 AHIMA Credentials in 2015

ArHIMA congratulates the newly credentialed individuals who successfully completed the certification exams during the past year. Each newly credentialed individual offers professional expertise and commitment to the health information management industry. Please join us in acknowledging their accomplishments. The breakdown is as follows:
 Credential Number
 CCA 10
CCS 22

For more detail, go to

01/19/2016 AHIMA Offers IG Boot Camp in Dallas, TX

TxHIMA is hosting an Information Governance (IG) Boot Camp on March 11, 2016 in Dallas, Texas for $549. The IG Boot Camp is a fast-paced, intense, exercise-based application that includes comprehensive exercises to provide attendees with functional education and the expertise to lead an IG program. The session is focused on ensuring participants are positioned for success with IG in their organization. Attendees will leave the boot camp with extensive understanding of how to apply and implement information governance at their organizations. For more information go to

09/22/2015  ICD-10 Implementation Just a Few Days Away!

The long-awaited go-live date for implementation of ICD-10 is just eight days away. It's not too late to communicate to your providers the documentation that is needed to assign accurate, complete codes. Use this guide from AHIMA to help!

05/02/2015  CMS Requests Information to be Shared

CMS is actively promoting the review period for the Open Payments Program, which began on April 6 and lasts for 45 days until May 20. They ask that you register as soon as possible, review your data and provide feedback to CMS at They included two documents for review and further information. Find them here: Open Payments Program Increases Transparency in Healthcare and CMS Blog Open Payments and Data Review.

04/27/2015  HIMSS Annual Conference Free to ArHIMA Members 

The Arkansas HIMSS annual conference and golf tournament will be held May 20-21, 2015 at the Convention Center in Hot Springs. ArHIMA has partnered with ArHIMSS to provide HIM educational tracks on Wednesday afternoon, and registration is free! More information and the registration form are available at 

04/17/2015   Officers and Committee Chairs for 2015-2016 Announced at Luncheon

New officers and committee chairs for ArHIMA will take office on July 1, 2015. The executive board members are listed here. Check back in July for a full list of officers and committee chairs with their contact information. 

President: Dana Williams
President Elect: Tracie Vaughn
First-Year Director: Marilynn Frazier
Second-Year Director: Melinda Wilkins
Treasurer: Cara Kirby
Secretary: Debby Hunt

04/13/2015   It's Not Too Late to Register for Convention!

The ArHIMA convention and exhibits begins on Wednesday with sessions on Legal Issues in HIM - don't miss it! Go to the Convention page to get registration information and the complete program. We hope to see you there!

03/16/2015   Vote for your ArHIMA Leaders

The ArHIMA 2015 election voting is NOW open - please vote today! Instructions for you to cast your vote are as follows:

Log in to the myAHIMA Member Login and click on the “Voting Ballot” link. The link will be available only during the election period. Contact Mindy Wilkins at for assistance.

The official voting period begins at 12 a.m. on March 16, 2015 and continues until 11: 59 p.m. on March 28, 2015 11:59 p.m.

All ballots will be verified and tallied.  Election results will be announced at the ArHIMA state meeting in April at Fort Smith.

03/05/2015 Advocacy Action Alert

It has come to the attention of the AHIMA Washington DC staff that Chairman Pete Sessions is looking to draft language to delay ICD-10 and is seeking support from his colleagues in Congress. Call the legislators listed below today and voice your support for ICD-10 in 2015. Members can also contact them via the AHIMA Advocacy Assistant: Just click on the "Take Action" button in the Action Alert box. 

Chairman Pete Sessions                            TX-32                                      (202) 225-2231              

Rep. Virginia Foxx                                       NC 5                                        (202) 225-2071

Rep. Tom Cole                                             OK 4                                        (202) 225-6165

Rep. Rob Woodall                                       GA-7                                       (202) 225-4272

Rep. Steve Stivers                                       OH-15                                     (202) 225-2015

02/13/2015 ArHIMA Convention Information Updated

The ArHIMA convention is right around the corner! Make plans to attend this exciting and educational conference April 15-17 in beautiful downtown Fort Smith. The program has been posted, along with the registration form and information about the Silent Auction. Go to the Convention page to get all the details!

1/09/15  Serve AHIMA in 2016

The 2015 Nominating Committee is seeking qualified individuals for the 2015 AHIMA ballot for positions of AHIMA President/Chair-elect, three Directors for the Board of Directors, two Commissioners for the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information management (CCHIIM) and one Speaker-elect to the House of Delegates. Find more information about these positions in the Application to Serve. All nominations are due on March 31, 2015. Consider giving back to your association. For additional information, contact
12/12/2014  ArHIMA is Looking for Volunteers

It's time for the Nominating Committee to develop a ballot for the ArHIMA. If you've always wanted to be a part of managing the association, now's your chance! There are opportunities for elected positions (board members/delegates), as well as appointed positions (committees). If you're interested, contact anyone on the nominating committee. Find them at

12/12/2014  ICD-10 Advocacy Needed!

There were rumors circulating regarding language to delay ICD-10 in the legislature, which didn't materialize...this time. However, we cannot let up on our advocacy efforts; we need to continue to vocalize our support for the code sets. Keep up the good work in communicating with our senators and representatives. We can move forward!!

10/01/2014 ICD-10 Implementation is Only One Year Away!!

There were no new codes added to the ICD-10 code sets, but there are some ICD-10-CM guideline changes and text changes in the ICD-10-PCS set. See for yourself at

09/04/2014 CMS Restarts RAC Program
As of August 28, 2014, a contract modification, allowing the current Recovery Auditors to restart some reviews, has now been completed for all regions. Most reviews will be done on an automated basis, but a limited number will be complex reviews of topics selected by CMS. For more information, go to the Recovery Audit Program page on the CMS website.

08/04/2014 CMS Publishes IPPS Final Rule

The final rule issued on August 4 by CMS adopts improvements in the quality of care that limit payment for hospital acquired conditions (HACs) and readmissions. The rule, which updates Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) for FY 2015, builds on the administration’s efforts for better hospital patient outcomes and slowing the long-term health care cost growth. See the entire final rule here.

07/31/2014  CMS Announces Official ICD-10 Implementation Date

It's official! The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a rule today finalizing October 1, 2015 as the new compliance date for health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses to transition to ICD-10, the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases.  Read more @

07/31/14  CAHIIM Relaunches the CCS Exam Beginning August 1, 2014

The Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM) announced that the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) examination will be available again beginning August 1. Although the questions have changed, the exam content has not and will still map back to the same job analysis performed in 2012 to develop it. The exam will be in beta form, which means immediate scoring will not be available; results will be available in approximately 10 to 12 weeks. The CCS exam will continue testing on ICD-9-CM until a new coding classification system is officially implemented.
07/18/14  CMS Launches Next Phase of Quality Improvement Program

CMS awarded the contract for the second phase of of QIO restructuring for the region including Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas to the Texas Medical Foundation (TMF). The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care partnered with TMF on its bid as a prime subcontractor and will likely continue working with hospitals in the state. CMS will introduce program changes with the beginning of its five-year 11th Statement of Work on August 1, 2014. For more information, see the press release at: 

07/07/14  AHIMA Launches Study to Determine the Future of HIM

In an effort to ensure the health information management workforce stays on track and continues to move into the jobs of the near future, AHIMA has launched a research study that aims to determine the education and credentials that will be needed by health informatics and information management professionals (HIIM) 10 to 20 years from now. The association is actively soliciting HIIM participants from all settings to take part in the study and subsequent survey. For more information, go to

05/27/14  CMS Exploring Alternative Payment Method for Short Stay Admissions

The CMS payment methodology for inpatients is up for review! The IPPS Proposed Rule for 2015 (28169) included the following:

Medicare Payment for Short Inpatient Hospital Stays
Some members of the hospital community have expressed suppor
t for the general concept of an alternative payment methodology under the Medicare program for short inpatient hospital stays. We are interested in public comments on such a payment methodology, specifically how it might be designed.

Let your voice be heard: To be assured consideration, comments must be received by CMS no later than 5 p.m. EDT on June 30, 2014. See the Proposed Rule for details.
05/01/14 CMS ICD-10 Update

The Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning October 1, 2015. The rule will also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015.

04/26/14  Complete ArHIMA Convention Evaluation

If you attended the 2014 ArHIMA convention, you should have gotten an email asking you to complete an evaluation. If you did not get this email, contact Melinda Wilkins at We value your opinion and will use the information in an effort to make the next convention even better than the last!

04/14/14   2015 ArHIMA Annual Convention Dates Announced

The 2014 ArHIMA convention was an unqualified success with over 160 attendees, 14 CEs available, and the "after convention" event at Oaklawn! Mark your calendar today for next year's event, to be held in Ft. Smith from April 15-17, 2015!

04/09/14  ArHIMA Annual Convention Begins Today!

The annual convention and exhibits for 2014 begins at 1:00 p.m. today with Dr. Kevin Atkinson and "Managing Your Way to Success." The educational sessions continue all day Thursday, then end on Friday at noon. There's still time to come - register at the door for all three days or for individual days as your schedule permits!

03/31/14  Senate Vote Delays ICD-10 Implementation

The implementation of ICD-10 has been delayed until at least October 1, 2015 by a vote of 64 to 35 in the senate today, passing H.R. 4302, a "patch" for the sustainable growth rate. See more at

3/31/2014  CCS Exam Suspended
Effective immediately, the Commission on Certification for Health Informatics and Information Management (CCHIIM) is suspending administration of AHIMA's Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) examination in all U.S. and Global Pearson Professional Centers. This action has been taken due to concerns over exam security and will continue until such time as the security and integrity of the exam is ensured.

3/6/14  CMS Publishes Interactive eHealth Timeline

The CMS has made available an interactive eHealth initiative time to include EHR (Meaningful Use), Quality Measurements, Administrative Simplification, and Patient Outcomes/Payment Reform deadlines and milestones. Check it out at

3/4/14  CMS Puts Recovery Audit Contractor Program on Hold

On February 18, the CMS made several announcements concerning the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program that put the program on hold until new vendor contracts are awarded. The following deadlines should be noted:
  • February 21: Last day Recovery Auditors may send postpayment additional documentation requrests (ADR)
  • February 28: Last day MACs may send prepayment ADRs for the Recovery Auditor prepayment review determination.
  • June 1: Last day Recovery Auditors may send improper payment files to the MACs for adjustment.


2/19/14  ArHIMA to Offer CCS Prep in early March

This will be the last CCS prep that we offer before the AHIMA CCS is changed to reflect ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS content in April 2014! This workshop is scheduled for March 7 - 8 (Friday afternoon & Saturday) in Fort Smith and will help you prepare for the CCS exam prior to April 1, 2014. Click here for more information and the registration form.

1/31/14  OIG Publishes 2014 Workplan

In 101 pages, the OIG outlines the upcoming focus of their workplan, to include ACA reviews and Recovery Act Reviews. Download the 2014 workplan here: 

1/19/14  CMS Hosted Open-Door Forum and National Provider Call on 2-Midnight Rule

On December 19, 2013 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted an Open Door Forum to provide more information regarding the new "2-midnight rule" for determining inpatient status, followed by a National Provider Call on January 17, 2014 . Presentation slides are available on the CMS website for both, but recordings and transcripts are not yet available for either. Extensive FAQs are available, and more National Provider Calls are expected to address issues in the near future. For the most up-to-date information, go to

11/27/13 OPPS Final Rule Released

On November 27, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Calendar Year (CY) 2014 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (PPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Policy Changes and Payment Rates final rule with comment period. The rule will be published December 10. Comments are due January 27, 2014.

11/04/13  Be aware of the CCHIIM ICD-10 Exam Launch Timeline

AHIMA credentialing exams will be updated with ICD-10 content as follows:
  • CCA - late March 2014
  • RHIA, RHIT, CCS, CCS-P – April 2014
  • CDIP – July 2014
  • CHPA & CHDA – January 2015

           GET ENGAGED!! The AHIMA has launched a new community to give members a place to interact. Click on the engage logo to get started.

10/24/2013 CMS Announces Changes to Processing ESRD Claims in 2014

CMS updated the Medicare claims processing manual for ESRD; chapter 11 received numerous additions and clarifications. Read the CodeWrite article here:

9/15/2013 Recognition Weeks for Health IT and CDI

National Health IT Week and Clinical Documentation Improvement Week both take place this week (September 16-20, 2013). Be extra appreciative of the work they do in order to have more complete, secure, and accessible health information!

9/15/2013 - ICD-10 Workshops to be Held in 2014

Administrative Consultant Service, based in Shawnee, Oklahoma will be conducting ICD-10-CM/PCS workshops in Paragould, Magnolia, and Harrison, Arkansas next year. For dates and pricing, click here.

8/2/2013 - CMS Publishes FY14 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule updating fiscal year (FY) 2014 Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient stays at general acute care and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs). The rule improves value and quality in hospital care and provides clarification about when a patient should be admitted to the hospital and responds to recent concerns about extended Medicare beneficiary stays in the hospital outpatient department. For more information, see the August 19, 2013 issue of the Federal Register.


Thank you all for joining us at the ArHIMA Convention 2013 in North Little Rock.

Our next convention will be held at the Embassy Suites in Hot Springs from April 9th - 11th, 2014.  More information will be provided as the time draws near. Save the date!


ArHIMA was represented by Melinda Wilkins, PhD, RHIA and Jaime Jester, RHIT, CCS in Washington D.C. Our members were seen conversing with U.S. Congress Representative, 3rd District, Steve Womack.

Check out
Mr. Womack's Newsletter

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