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March 2010
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Other News

Healthcare CIOs Get New Certification
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives has launched a new certification program designed specifically for healthcare CIOs, according to InformationWeek.

IT in Rush to Meet Incentive Deadlines
Time constraints are an issue when it comes to reaching EHR deadlines, according to Computerworld.

Ask the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an e-mail to

A 50-year-old seen in follow-up for renal insufficiency had a renal biopsy that showed focal and segmental glomerular sclerosis. The patient was placed on Vasotec and then developed hyperkalemia, so the Vasotec was stopped. Diagnostic impression after lab work and physical: Focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis. ICD-9-CM code 582.1 was used. Is a V67.9 code needed for the follow-up?

Lela Delaney
Oxford, Miss.

According to the Official Coding Guidelines, “Follow-up codes are used to explain continuing surveillance following COMPLETED treatment of a disease, condition, or injury. They imply that the condition has been fully treated and NO LONGER EXISTS.” The guidelines further state that “should a condition be found to have recurred on the follow-up visit, then the diagnosis code should be used IN PLACE of the follow-up code.”

The conclusion is that there is no need to assign V code.
(For reference, page 50 of ICD-9-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting is available at

— Gail I. Smith, MA, RHIA, CCS-P, is director of the HIM program at the University of Cincinnati.

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Editor’s E-Note

It’s seemingly impossible to get through a conversation about healthcare today without mentioning meaningful use. Everyone’s favorite term is a lightning rod for debate.

Not to be left out in the cold, the HIM profession, not surprisingly, has a huge but understated role in helping healthcare organizations reach their stimulus targets. In this month’s E-News Exclusive, find out exactly what that role is.

After finishing this edition of the e-newsletter, check out For The Record on Facebook and become a fan of the magazine.

— Lee DeOrio, editor

E-News Exclusive

HIM and Meaningful Use
By David Yeager

Now that the notice of proposed rulemaking for meaningful EHR use has passed the comment period, it won’t be long before healthcare organizations know which benchmarks they’ll need to reach to qualify for meaningful use payments. As they work to meet those benchmarks, input from all departments will be crucial. And although it is sometimes overlooked, one area that will be particularly important is HIM.

“HIM professionals are uniquely qualified to either drive the change or support the workflow changes that will be necessary for the implementation of HIT in terms of the data flow, ensuring data integrity when it comes to interoperability of EHR modules or EHR systems, even leading the implementation efforts,” says Allison Viola, MBA, RHIA, director of federal relations for the AHIMA. “And I think oftentimes there’s so much focus on the IT perspective that there’s not much attention given to the need for HIM professionals when it comes to the actual data that’s housed in these EHRs.”

Full Story »

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No Better Time for Telehealth
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IT Vendor Negotiations in the ARRA Era
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Beat the Odds
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Industry Insight

Medical Coding ServicesQuality Systems Acquires Opus Healthcare Solutions

Quality Systems, Inc (QSI), a provider of healthcare information systems and connectivity solutions, has entered into an agreement to acquire Opus Healthcare Solutions, Inc. The acquisition complements and will be integrated with the assets of Sphere Health Systems, Inc, which were acquired in August 2009. Both companies are established developers of software and services for the inpatient market and will become part of NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc, QSI’s wholly owned subsidiary.

NextGen Healthcare will focus on providing solutions to hospitals with 100 beds or fewer, a marketplace that has been historically underserved and is in need of state-of-the-art systems.

Read more »

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