HIA Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Health Information Associates celebrates milestone at Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Virginia
In August 2012, Health Information Associates celebrated their 20th anniversary in high style at the Ritz-Carlton Resort, in Amelia Island, FL. Co-founder and CEO of HIA, Betsy Bailey, stood before 60 devoted employees and their guests, raised her glass and proudly proclaimed her vision for the future of the healthcare consulting company.
“This is my pledge: we will continue to grow – slowly and steadily – to meet the needs of our clients and to embrace the changes our industry is heading towards. We will keep in place our selective hiring practices to ensure HIA is truly the best in our industry. And most importantly, HIA will continue to provide you with a secure place to work and an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation for all you have committed to this company and its success. This alone is why I believe HIA has been so successful. No one of us is as smart as all of us are together!”
In five short years, Betsy’s vision has indeed become reality. The company has already expanded by 80 percent.
In March, HIA commemorated their 25th anniversary with a record 108 employees at the Salamander Resort, a 340-acre property nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid Virginia’s famed horse and wine country.
Due to an unusual Southeastern snow storm, HIA’s 100+ employees finally arrived at the opulent resort after a long day of travel delays. Eager to see their colleagues and friends, they quickly checked-in to their country estate designed rooms and reunited at the Equestrian Center for heavy hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and fellowship. The lively evening concluded with S’mores and Stories around the fire.
The second day’s agenda was even more full and entertaining as the one before. After a breakfast meeting including presentations by two nationally renowned motivational speakers, HIA staffers were divided into small groups according to their choice of Salamander’s unique team-building activities such as, “Tree Top Zip Tour,” “Equispective,” “Ultimate Falconry Experience,” Clay Shooting, “Survival 101,” “Brushes and Bellinis,” and a cooking competition similar to the reality TV series “Chopped.” Betsy challenged her people to “stretch themselves” by participating in an activity they had never tried before.
Later that evening, “the people behind the numbers” ate, laughed and shared their rewarding team building experiences. A local bluegrass band played lively music while everyone enjoyed a buffet dinner of regional cuisine.
After dinner, the Marketing team presented a sentimental video they produced which highlighted the evolution of the company (see below for video or click here).
To conclude the night’s events, Angie Christian, VP of Operations presented their visionary CEO with an album of hand-written thank-you letters from all the HIA staff.
Betsy was overwhelmed by the gesture. With tears in her eyes, she humbly thanked her loyal “work family” as well as her Father, co-founder of HIA, Deane Beamer, whom she thought was looking proudly down from Heaven at how their company had flourished.
Many of the corporate staff based in Pawleys Island, SC, were delighted to find a blanket of fresh snow covering the ground when they awoke the next morning.
It’s not a sight they often see at the beach. Anticipations were high for the scheduled downtime to sled and play in the snow.
That evening, the team got all dressed up for the grand finale of the anniversary celebration: an elegant five-course dinner and wine tasting overlooking the vineyards of Stone Tower Winery.
Between courses, Joel Shealy, VP of Business Development and Angie Christen both of whom have dedicated over 20 years to HIA, gave a moving speech and invited “the people behind the numbers” to raise their glasses in admiration of their passionate leader. They toasted not only to a quarter century milestone but also to the core values at the heart of HIA’s growth and success: Education, Experience, Integrity, and Commitment.
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We have finished with the step-by-step coding tidbits on coding of spinal fusions. If you were not able to catch Parts 1-13 of this series focused on spinal fusions, please visit hiacode.com/topics/series/spinal-fusion-coding/.
In Part 12, we focused on intra-operative peripheral neuro monitoring used during spinal fusion surgery. In Part 13, we are going to focus on harvesting of autograft and is it coded. Remember in Part 6, we learned that autograft is bone from the patient.
In Part 11, we focused on identifying the computer assisted navigation used during spinal fusion surgery. In Part 12, we are going to focus on intra-operative peripheral neuro monitoring.
In Part 10, we focused on identifying whether or not hardware from a previous spinal fusion is coded. In Part 11, we are going to discuss computer assisted navigation.
In Part 9, we focused on identifying if decompression was also performed and if so, on which body part. In Part 10, we are going to focus on identifying if hardware was removed from a previous fusion site.
In Part 8, we focused on identifying if a discectomy was performed, and if so, if it was a partial or a total discectomy. In Part 9, we are going to focus on identifying if a decompression was performed, and if so, was it of the spinal cord, spinal nerves or both?
In Part 7, we focused on identifying any instrumentation that may be used during a spinal fusion. In Part 8, we are going to focus on identifying if a discectomy is performed and if this is an excision or a resection of the disc.
In Part 6, we focused on identifying the type of bone graft product used for the spinal fusion. In Part 7, we are going to focus on identifying any instrumentation or device used.
In Part 5, we focused on identifying the approach being used for the spinal fusion. In Part 6, we are going to focus on identifying the type of bone graft used for the spinal fusion.
In Part 4, we focused on determining the spinal column being fused. In Part 5, we are going to focus on identifying what approach is being used to complete the spinal fusion (anterior, posterior or both).
This past year, HIA implemented “Buddy Up,” a program designed to help the new hire have a smooth transition into their new HIA roles with the assistance of a “buddy.” What is a Buddy? The Buddy is simply a peer who can guide the new hire in order to make them feel more comfortable. We are very proud of this program and have many success stories that we would like to share. Take a look at the wonderful feedback we have received below.
In Part 3, we focused on determining the level of the fusion(s) and how to determine the number of vertebrae fused. In Part 4, we are going to focus on identifying which column is being fused (anterior, posterior or both).
Part 3: Spinal Fusion Coding — Determine the Level(s) or Region of Fusion and Number of Vertebrae Fused
In Part 1, we learned the diagnoses associated with the need for spinal fusions, and in Part 2 the need to identify if the fusion is an initial or refusion of the vertebrae. In Part 3, we are going to focus on determining the level(s) of fusion, as well as the number of vertebrae fused.
In Part 2, we are going to look at the differences between initial fusion and a refusion. In ICD-9, there were specific codes to show if the fusion was an initial fusion, or if it was a refusion. In ICD-10-PCS, initial fusions and refusion procedures are coded to the same root operation “fusion.”
This is Part 1 of a 14 part series focusing on education for spinal fusions. Spinal fusion coding is a tough job for coders. There are so many diseases/disorders that result in the need for spinal fusion, and even more choices in reporting the ICD-10-PCS codes.
The official definition from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) states that a Medicare overpayment is a payment that exceeds amounts properly payable under Medicare statutes and regulations. When Medicare identifies an overpayment, the amount becomes a debt you owe the Federal government.
The question asked in a physician query may be the most important element of the document. Query questions need to be as simple and concise as possible. The physician should have no doubt what the coder is asking.
Coding complications of transplanted organs has always been a coding dilemma. With the implementation of ICD-10-CM that didn’t change. However, coders have multiple directives to help in determining what a complication of the transplant is vs. non-transplant conditions and diseases.
We interviewed our most productive coders, reviewers and members of our education team, asking them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them. This week, we talked with Beth Martilik, MA, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, Assistant Director of Education, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
With the implementation of ICD-10-CM came more codes for reporting many different conditions and diseases, and atrial fibrillation is one of those. For many years there was only one code available for reporting this condition, even when the physician further specified the type of atrial fibrillation that the patient had. In ICD-10-CM, there are four codes to report atrial fibrillation.
We have a case where the physician removes mucoid casts found during bronchoscopy. We have also seen mucus plugs removed during bronchoscopy. The MD performs bronchial washings then removes a large amount of tenacious and thick mucoid casts via bronchoscopy. Is this coded drainage, extirpation or excision? What body part is used?
The key to making the query process more efficient is to look for words or documentation while reviewing the record that may signal a potential query opportunity and to note the finding at that time. By the time a coder reaches the end of a record, documentation may have been found to eliminate the need for the query.
Question: This patient is noted to have “Lymphangitic carcinomatosis of lungs with mediastinal lymph nodes.” How would I code the diagnosis? Would I code metastatic cancer to the lung (C78.01) or metastatic cancer to the lymph nodes (C77.1)?
This would be considered a “mechanical” complication of the stent graft since the MD states it is a fracture of the endograft and it is folded over on itself. I would change T82.898A TO T82.598A for Other mechanical complication of other cardiac and vascular devices and implants, initial encounter. I did not use “displacement” because the surgeon did not state that the graft was displaced, only that it collapsed upon itself causing obstruction.
We interviewed our most productive coders and reviewers, asking them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them. This week, we talked with Valerie Abney, CDIP, RHIT, CCS, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Osteoporosis alone is responsible for over a million fractures every year. Stress fractures are not as common but they do occur. There are more than 1 million total joint replacements in the U.S. each year, so there was a need to create codes for injuries that occur around or near the prosthesis. These are called “periprosthetic” fractures.
Back in April, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published a report detailing its findings from a review of two groups of high-risk diagnosis codes, acute stroke and major depressive disorder. The objective was to determine whether selected diagnosis codes submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for use in CMS’s risk adjustment program complied with Federal requirements.
There seems to be differences of opinions on the issue of a 40w0day gestation Can you clarify if P08.21 should be assigned for 40w0day infant or if it would not be assigned unless the infant’s gestation age was 40w1day or greater?
Coders may find situations where a patient is documented as meeting SIRS or sepsis criteria, or has some clinical indicators reflective of possible sepsis, but the physician never documents sepsis as a diagnosis. Should the coder always query for sepsis in these instances?