CHICAGO – Jan. 4, 2018 – From hot topics relating to cybersecurity and new privacy and security policies to an increasing demand for data analytics, health information management (HIM) professionals are predicting what they see as some of the biggest HIM stories in 2018.
In the article “Eight Predictions for ’18: Experts Prognosticate the Top HIM Topics for the Year Ahead, and Advise on How to Prepare,” experts from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) discuss in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of AHIMA the eight key areas of HIM they expect to make news in 2018.
“Health information management is an integral part of the healthcare industry,” said Pamela Lane, interim CEO of AHIMA. “At a time when the industry continues to be in flux, HIM professionals are qualified to address and help meet the challenges and changes that 2018 will bring.”
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Highlights from each key topic discussed in the article include:
1. Privacy and Security – While cybersecurity events will likely continue to make headlines in 2018, there are a number of policies related to privacy and security to watch for this year. This includes the issuing of “minimum necessary” requirements, guidance around mental health information and data sharing as required by the 21st Century Cures Act, Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and proposed rulemaking on the penalty sharing provision of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
2. Rules and Regulations – In addition to the 2018 budget affecting funding of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the forthcoming definition of “information blocking” defined by the 21st Century Cures Act will be a major story to look for due to its impact on a large portion of electronic health record users.
3. Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) – CDI specialists will continue to be deeply involved with claim denials in 2018 by helping to identify denials for coding and documentation that should be appealed as well as continue to expand to new and specialty areas of healthcare such as long-term care, home health, psychiatric units, and rehab facilities that call for high quality documentation.
4. Inpatient and Outpatient Coding – The four main issues impacting inpatient/outpatient coding in 2018 will be reimbursement, telemedicine, copy/paste and coding auditing. Also, starting in January, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) will require physicians to start reporting patient relationship modifiers.