ArHIMA Delegate Reports

The Role of the HI Professional in Shaping Health Equity – Lisa Daniels
Discussion was held regarding the social determinates that affect the health equalities and how COVID has helped force the progression of facing a lot of the determinates that the social economy face. The delegates also discussed things to improve and programs that are being started to help in health equity such as programs of community outreach, hospital case management improvements post discharge, and patient education.

Public Health and Ethics and Health Information – Tina Cikanek
The delegates discussed and voted on the following two hypotheses:

  1. If public health data is reported accurately, the COVID-19 data will be valid and trustworthy, which will allow federal, state, and local health officials to safely and   appropriately make decisions on opening businesses, schools, etc. (17 votes)
  2. If public health data is not reported accurately, the COVID-19 data will be invalid and untrustworthy, which will inhibit federal, state, and local health officials from safely and  appropriately making decisions on opening businesses, schools, etc. (12 votes) Discussion was held by the delegates as to which hypothesis are you seeing as most likely and why. The problem with COVID reporting tools being changed and the public not trusting the data to be accurate or consistent were points made. The following questions were also addressed: What can HI professionals be doing now for public health and ethics and health information? Build trust and put forth the elevator message that we are the data stewards. What are we missing? Message from AHIMA touching on top so push out using your own words. Public trust – knowledge of what HIM professionals represent. We are missing a consistent message to dissuade the inaccuracies. Sounds like we need a shared “elevator speech.”

Revenue Cycle Challenges for Health Information – Chris Merle    
The delegates discussed and voted on the following two hypotheses:

1. As revenue cycle management becomes more complex and challenging, the HI professionals’ role will become even more critical in identifying the data to capture,  training providers and staff, and coordinating the patient’s story from beginning to end.
2. As revenue cycle management becomes more complex and challenging with the incorporation of NLP and AI, the HI professionals’ role will need to transform.

Most attendees selected hypothesis #1 because of the human factors required to have an efficient and effective revenue cycle, although all recognized that as NLP and AI become more widespread. HI professionals must become knowledgeable to use their expertise in this area.

The delegates were provided the following articles to review prior to discussion:

Seven New Opportunities for a Sustainable Revenue Cycle, Crystal Clack https://journal.ahima.org/seven-new-opportunities-for-a-sustainable-revenue-cycle/  HIM Plays a Big Role in the Clinically Integrated Revenue Cycle, Geoff New https://journal.ahima.org/him-plays-a-big-role-in-the-clinically-integrated-revenue-cycle-sponsored/

Practice Brief: Evolving Roles in Clinical Documentation Integrity: A Provider’s Guide to the Art of Documentation
https://journal.ahima.org/practice-brief-evolving-roles-in-clinical-documentation-integrity-aproviders-guide-to-the-art-of-documentation/

Natural language processing: A catalyst driving revenue cycle transformation https://journal.ahima.org/?s=Natural+language+processing%3A+A+catalyst+driving+revenue+cycle+transformation

The delegates voted on six action items regarding AHIMA Bylaws changes as follows:

1. Action Item: Article III, 3.1; Article VII, 7.2

a. Motion from TN to add verbiage back to the bylaws regarding the mission of  AHIMA. FAILED.
b. Change bylaws of mission statement to reflect actual mission of AHIMA. Previous verbiage in bylaws was “Its mission is to lead the health informatics  and information management community to advance professional practice  and standards.” The proposal was to change to “Its mission is empowering people to impact health.” The reason for the change is to mirror the actual mission of AHIMA, which is determined by the AHIMA board and the mission of AHIMA was changed by the board in March. PASSED. 

2. Action Item: Article IV Members, 4.8-4.10

a. 4.8 Annual Meeting of the Member
Added verbiage to allow for remote meetings as follows: “Members may participate in the annual meeting, or any other membership meeting, by means of conference telephone or by other means by which all members participating are able to simultaneously hear each other and be heard during the meeting, and such participation shall constitute presence in person at the meeting.”
b. 4.9 Special Meetings of the Members
Deleted verbiage “Notice shall be provided stating the time and place of the meeting and the purpose or purposed for which the meeting is called.” For notice of meetings, a new section specific to notice of meetings was proposed as section 4.10.
c. 4.10 Notice
Motion from TN to change dates of special meeting notification from 5 days to 7 business days. PASSED.
Section 4.10 Notice now reads, “Written notice stating the place, day, and hour of the meeting and, in the case of a special meeting, the purpose or purposes for which the meeting is called, shall be delivered not less than seven (7) business days nor more than sixty (60) days before the date of the meeting, to each member of record entitled to vote at such meeting.”

Side Note: TN also wanted to add verbiage to allow for access and voting for seven (7) business days after a remote meeting (such as the HoD this year) for persons who, while during a remote meeting, had “technical issues” and couldn’t participate during the live session. This was not voted on, because the attorney and parliamentarian felt that this was a separate issue and members would have needed more notice of this addition prior to the meeting.

3. Action Item: Article VII, House of Delegates 7.1-7.2

a. Change of purpose of the House of Delegates
The purpose of the HoD was previously “to govern the profession of health information management by providing a forum for membership and professional issues and to establish and maintain professional standards of the membership.” The proposal was to change it to: “The House of Delegates shall exist to govern the profession of health information by providing a forum for membership and to discuss, review, enhance profession-related issues and to establish and maintain professional standards of the membership.” PASSED

4. Action Item: Article IV Members, 4.3-4.5

a. Change membership types from five categories (Active, Student, Honorary,  Emeritus, and Global) to two categories (Professional & Student). PASSED.
b. Addition of a late fee to members who fail to pay their dues/fees on time. Late fee applies to any payment within 30 days of the due date, then member is subject to expulsion. PASSED.

5. Action Item: Article VII Members, 7.7

a. Deletion of the word “management” from certain places in the bylaws. PASSED. 6. Action Item: Article IV Members, 4.2

6. Action Item: Article IV Members, 4.2

a. Motion from TN to allow members with addresses outside the US to select a CSA. FAILED.
b. Change bylaws to state the following: “Members with a preferred mailing address within the United States will be included as a member of a Component State Association. Members with a preferred mailing address outside the United States will not be assigned to a Component State Association and will  be entitled to digital membership privileges.” PASSED.

The Future of Patient Identification and Matching – James Davis
The delegates discussed and voted on the following two hypotheses:

1.  If the Federal Government repeals the ban on the Labor, Health and Human Services,  Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill around patient identification, then the industry is free to discuss what a national patient matching strategy looks like and how public and private sectors can work together to develop approaches to solve the  patient identification problem.

If the Federal Government doesn’t repeal the ban on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill around patient identification, then the private sector must tackle the issue of patient identification by investing in the development and widespread adoption of new, affordable  technology.

The group consensus appeared to be the most likely option was the first hypothesis. The delegates were asked to list 5 to 6 words of why this would be the mostly likely of the two to happen. Popular descriptors included: costs, progress, efficiency, security, standardization. They were then asked to discuss how we can do more now to reduce duplication rates. The most popular answer was front end education and to sign the naming convention pledge. The delegates then looked at where we would be 5 years from now. This question was flipped to suggest we look backwards to see what works or does not going into the next 5 years.

Taking the Lead in Data Governance – Bryce Miller

The delegates discussed and voted on the following two hypotheses:

  1. If HI professionals are involved in the data governance program as part of a collaborative team, the integrity of health data will be maintained throughout healthcare and the data lifecycle.
  2. If HI professionals are not involved in the data governance program the integrity of the health data collected, analyzed, and used is at-risk.

Bryce’s groups poll showed that if HI professionals are not involved in the data governance program the integrity of the health data collected, analyzed, and used is at-risk. Within their discussion they determined that HI professional could be doing the following to get involved in or take the lead in data governance: Show why we should be at the table concerning data governance, Invite yourself – show up and don’t wait, and Back up your word and expertise by getting involved.

The thought leaders felt that they were missing excitement, opportunities, education, and ways to market ourselves. Collectively, the delegates see the view in 5 years as larger and more critical. The group felt that there will be a huge need for accurate data and professionals that know how to compile the data. They discussed the importance of being more involved with IT and collaboratively working with teams made up of IT/IS, compliance, legal, informatics, enterprise data warehouse team, the CMIO, and of course decision support.