AHIMA is recognizing the contributions being made by healthcare information professionals throughout the country this week.

The American Health Information Association (AHIMA) is celebrating health information professionals during the 29th annual Health Information Professionals (HIP) this week (March 18–24, 2018).

Each year, HIP Week provides a platform to celebrate the profession’s advancement in clinical and financial data, information governance, data management and other tools that improve all aspects of healthcare. This year’s theme is “Our Future Is Bright.”

To further address the theme of healthcare information management’s (HIM) future, HIP Week 2018 coincides with AHIMA’s annual Advocacy Summit. The Summit includes events and materials to educate AHIMA members on advocacy issues important to the industry. Members will visit Capitol Hill to share important knowledge to advance HIM. In particular, members will focus on two key issues facing the industry:

  1. Patient Matching Efforts: AHIMA will call on Congress to support the omission of language set in 1999 that will enable the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with industry in a much-needed effort to advance a nationwide patient matching strategy. AHIMA has previously advocated for a patient matching strategy having pushed for a unique national patient identifier during its Advocacy Summit in 2016. AHIMA continued to focus on patient identification issues in 2017 calling for a lift in the current funding ban, which prohibits HHS’ collaboration with industry to identify and determine a patient matching strategy.
  1. Privacy Laws to Combat the Opioid Epidemic: AHIMA will also request Congressional support and co-sponsor H.R. 3545, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act. This will align 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA for treatment, payment and operations (TPO) and strengthen protection around the use of substance abuse disorder records. This change will help ensure healthcare professionals have access to their patients’ entire medical histories – a move that could help address the opioid crisis in the United States while maintaining the privacy and security of patient information.

During HIP Week, health information management professionals will engage in focused activities within their organizations and the community to raise awareness about the important work they perform. Some of the activities include lunchtime learning sessions, displays in facility lobbies and break rooms, tours for elected officials, community seminars and local media coverage. Facilities may recognize the accomplishments of their HIM team during HIP Week.

HIM professionals can download the Planning Catalog to get ideas on ways to celebrate, share articles about the health information profession and browse the official merchandise.

AHIMA is also asking members and other professionals in the field to engage in their own healthcare communities by spreading the message of awareness and pride in the profession.

Healthcare professionals can also follow AHIMA on social media to engage further in HIP Week, through tracking the hashtag #HIPWEEK18.

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Melanie Endicott, MBA/HCM, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, FAHIMA, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

Melanie Endicott, MBA/HCM, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, FAHIMA, is senior director of HIM Practice Excellence for AHIMA. In her role she provides professional practice expertise to AHIMA members, the media and outside organizations on coding and clinical documentation improvement (CDI) practice issues. She authors material for and supports AHIMA online ICD-10 coding education platforms. She also serves as faculty for the AHIMA ICD-10-CM/PCS Academies and CDIP Exam Preps. In addition, Ms. Endicott is a technical advisor for the Association on ICD-10-CM/PCS, ICD-9-CM, CPT coding and CDI publications.

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