2020 ACDIS Conference

Bookmark and Share

2020 ACDIS Conference

Product Code: CDI--

Early Bird Rate!

* Required Fields

Availability: In stock

From: $950.00

To: $2,324.00

Your Price:

Add Items to Cart

Save now with Early Bird pricing!
Ends March 27, 2020.

ACDIS Members save $100!
Call Customer Service at 615-724-7200 to receive your Exclusive Member Discount.

Register five attendees for the price of four!
Your discount will automatically appear in your cart when you register your Team of Five.

13th Annual Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) Conference

Registration is now open for our 13th annual conference, to be held May 6-8 at The Mirage in Las Vegas, NV.

The annual ACDIS Conference features unparalleled networking, the ACDIS Achievement Awards, and six concurrent educational tracks with a diverse range of sessions, covering best practices for staff management, physician engagement, clinically focused chart reviews, and critical regulatory updates to improve every aspect of your CDI department.


  • CDI specialists 
  • CDI managers/directors 
  • HIM directors 
  • Case management directors/managers 
  • Revenue cycle directors 
  • Physician champions/advisors to CDI 
  • Quality improvement professionals 
  • Coding compliance specialists 
  • DRG coordinators 
  • Inpatient coders 
  • Coding managers/supervisors 
  • Chief medical officers 
  • Denials and appeals managers

Photography Disclaimer 

From time to time, ACDIS or its contractors record, photograph, and/or stream the various aspects and activities of the ACDIS Conference for both archival and promotional purposes. By attending the ACDIS Conference, attendees give ACDIS and its contractors permission to use any attendee’s voice and image in any such archival or promotional recording, photograph, or streaming activity without any compensation or credit to the attendee.


Typical educational sessions include roughly 45-50 minutes of presentation lecture style and 10-15 minutes of open question and answers with the audience. This year, ACDIS is diversifying its presentation style to allow a greater reflection of CDI perspectives and experiences, to share more CDI stories on the national stage. These offerings include:

  • Lightning Round: These dynamic sessions include three, 20-minute presentations offering different perspectives on a similar topic.
  • Split Sessions: These programs divide a session time in half to provide greater insight and case-study examples to illuminate take-home concepts and foundational knowledge.
  • Panel Discussions: These sessions bring together professionals of varying backgrounds and perspectives to illustrate the interconnected nature of CDI.

Day 1: Wednesday, May 6, 2020

7:00-7:45 a.m.: Breakfast

8:00-8:30 a.m.: Opening remarks

8:30-9:30 a.m.: Keynote Address:
Mike Rayburn presents “What if?” Every major invention, accomplishment and victory in human history began with the simple, almost childlike curiosity epitomized in the question, “What If…?” International artist Mike Rayburn will share three simple, powerful tools which helped him go from playing music in rag-tag clubs to headlining at Carnegie Hall. Rayburn is a two-time TED Talk presenter, an innovative entrepreneur and one of the youngest inductees into the Speakers Hall of Fame. He uses world-class guitar and comedy to teach change and innovation to audiences world-wide.

9:45-10:45 a.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding (Basic)
    James Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, and Kathryn DeVault MSL, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P, FAHIMA, present “CDI Pertinent Coding Clinic Updates.” Session attendees will learn the latest must-have advice to leverage the American Hospital Association’s Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS and coding fundamentals in daily record review practices.
  • Track 2: Management & Leadership (Intermediate)
    Staci L. Josten, RN, BSN, CCDS, presents “Mastering CDI Program Best Practices & Managing Your Time.” Session attendees will learn how to create action plans to strengthen their program and be able to develop strategies to master their time in evolving and challenging leadership roles. 
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic)
    Sam Antonios, MD, MMM, FACP, SFHM, FHIMSS, presents “What is Quality Measurement All About?” Session attendees will explore complex processes such as risk adjustment and quality measurement in a simplified, step-by-step fashion, highlighting the interconnection between documentation and quality.
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Basic)
    James Fee, MD, CCS, CCDS, presents “Deciphering Population Health: Buzzwords Galore.” Session attendees will obtain insight into the regulatory initiative of population health and learn how documentation integrity plays a role.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physical Engagement (Intermediate)
    Donald Blanton, MD, MS, FACEP, and Christopher Halleman, DO, FACOI, present “Documentation to Reduce Denials.” Session attendees will learn the clinical indicators that validate the most commonly denied conditions and be able to guide clinicians in providing documentation that’s simple, concise, powerful, and irrefutable.
  • Lightning Round Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient
    Join Nicole Cuellar, RN, BSN, CCDS, from Seattle Children’s Hospital as she shares insight into “Where to Begin in Pediatrics,” Rabia Jalal, MBBS, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, RHIA, from Marian Regional Medical Center as she discusses basic coding guidelines, terminology of some common pediatric illnesses, case studies, and query outcomes in “Frequent Focus Areas for CDI Concentration in the Pediatric Setting,” and Yasmeen Daud, MD, from St. Louis Children’s Hospital for a discussion on “Respiratory, Sepsis, and Malnutrition Concerns in the Pediatric Setting.”

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding: (Intermediate)
    Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, CPE, and Rebecca Willcutt, BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS, CRC present “Living on the Edge: CDI for the Critically Ill and Injured Patient.” Session attendees will learn how CDI can assist with documentation accuracy of quality metrics, mortality reviews, and charge capture through the trauma activation fee.
  • Lightning Round Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Intermediate)
    Mary Elizabeth (M.E.) VanGelder, RN, BSN, MREd, CCDS, RHIT, and Lee Anne Landon BSN, CCMC, CCDS present “Striving for Excellence: A Roadmap to a Standardized CDI Orientation Process,” Johanne “Jo” Brautigam, BSN, RN, CCDS and Joseph Lintz, RN, BSN, BS, CCDS, present “The Success of a Tailored Orientation Program,” and Kelly Sutton, RN, CCDS, SCRN, and Robin Jones, RN, BSN, MHA/Ed, CCDS, present “Just like that!  I’m a CDI Educator.” Session attendees will hear three different perspectives on effective training strategies for new CDI professionals and be able to leverage educator involvement in their own ongoing CDI training efforts.
  • Split Session Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic)
    Join Cheryl Ericson, RN, CDIP, CCDS, for “A CDI Perspective on Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs)” and Kari Thie, RN, BSN, CCDS, and Maureen Bucci BSN, RN, CCDS, for “PSIs: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees.” Session attendees will learn how to recognize AHRQ PSIs inclusions, exclusions, and documentation challenges and how to leverage PSI decision trees to facilitate an effective, quick review of the record.
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Intermediate)
    Michelle Wieczorek, CCDS-O, RN, RHIT, CPHQ, and Angie Comfort, MBA, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, present “Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced Model: Implications for the CDI Enterprise.” Session attendees will learn about the BPCI Advanced Model and develop additional competencies in CDI for HCC risk adjustment capabilities.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physician Engagement: (Intermediate) 
    Elisa Sninchak, MEd, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, Dana Walker, BSN, CCDS,  and Alissa Brown, RN, CCDS, Andrea Eastwood, RHIA, BAS, Judy Moreau, RN, MBA, present a split session on “CDI Educator and Audit Team: A Partnership for Actionable Education,” and “Implementing a Concurrent CDI Secondary Review Process: Beating Denials Before they Beat You!” Session attendees will learn how the CDI educator and CDI audit roles work together to identify educational opportunities. Attendees will also learn how to develop a concurrent secondary review process, including potential workflow challenges.
  • Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient: (Intermediate)
    Kim Smith, MSN, RN, and Yasmeen Daud, MD, present “Invigorate: Four Methods to Strengthen Your Pediatric Program.” Session attendees will learn how to tailor a CDI orientation program to streamline reviews for common diagnoses, customize education, and analyze provider metrics to uncover barriers to success.

1:45-2:45 p.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding (Intermediate)
    Laurie Prescott, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, presents "Its Critical: Applying Critical Thought to CDI Practice.” Session attendees will learn that despite technological tools, CDI staff’s best instrument is their critical thinking skills and through the presentation will obtain additional methods to further hone them to support record review efforts.
  • Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Intermediate)
    Hassan Rao, MD, presents “DIY CDI Metrics: Revenue Cycle and Beyond.” Session attendees will learn an efficient system of tracking and reporting to identify highly accurate financial and quality metrics with an eye toward how these metrics can be developed and tracked without the need for sophisticated CDI software.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic)
    Lynn-Marie Wozniak, MS, RHIT, CDIP, FAHIMA presents “Documenting, Coding, and Reporting Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) and Hospital Acquired Conditions.” Session attendees will learn how ICD-10-CM/PCS and present on admission codes are used in CMS’ HAC reduction program and how the CDC criteria determines which HIAs should be reported. 
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Intermediate)
    Madhulika Subherwal, MHA, MBBS, CCDS, and Priyank Shah present “CDI and the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM): The New Frontier?” Session attendees will learn about how recent changes to payment methods for skilled nursing facilities (SNF)—the PDPM—is leading to CDI expansion into this unique setting. Session speakers will share their experiences at Torrance Memorial SNF CDI program.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physician Engagement: (Advanced)
    Denise Wilson, MS, RN, RRT, presents “Assessing the Possibility of Appeal Success of Clinical Validation Denials.” Session attendees will learn how to develop a reliable appeal success rating system that can be used to determine which appeals are worthy of the attention of stretched resources.
  • Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient:(Basic)
    Karen Bridgeman, MSN, RN, CCDS, presents “Lucky 13: 13 Tips for Neonatal CDI Specialists.” Session attendees will learn key terminology and coding guidelines specific to neonates and gain insights, tips, and strategies to enhance their neonatal review processes.

3:30-4:30 p.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding: (Intermediate)
    Verona Lodholz, CCDS, CCS, MT(ASCP), DC, presents “Examining Laboratory Values and Their Role in CDI Laboratory.” Session attendees will learn how results from laboratory tests provides vast quantities of information regarding a patient's status. Exploring the results that go beyond the basics can provide CDI staff with tools to write queries with targeted indicators leading to better choices for the provider.
  • Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Intermediate)
    Fran Jurcak, MSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O presents “Shifting the Query Paradigm:  Penalty or Prompt?” Session attendees will learn how to change the philosophy behind queries and help physicians see that queries can be a prompt for accurate and compliant documentation. This session is designed to take a step back from the traditional thoughts around querying and the query process and asks attendees to think about the intention of queries and can the perception by the physician be changed.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic)
    Vicki Galyean, RN, BSN, CCDS, and Gina Fones-DiCrocco, MEd, CPC, CRCR, present “What Your CDI Team Needs to Know about Mortality Risk Adjustment.” Session attendees will learn how to leverage a risk adjustment model that focuses on present on admission diagnoses affecting patients' risk of mortality.
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Advanced)
  • Beth Wolf, MD, CPC, CCDS, presents “Alternative Payment Models and HCCs: Oncology and CDI.” Session attendees will learn about CMS’ Oncology Care Model which benchmarks episode expenditures based on risk-adjusted historical claims data and how to leverage CDI skills to provide better coverage for this vulnerable patient population.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physican Engagement: (Intermediate)
    Karen Elmore, BSN, RN, CCDS and Samantha "Sam" Cantin, RN, present “Clinical Guidelines: Your Ace in the Hole.” Session attendees will learn how to up the ante by using diagnosis-specific clinical guidelines to decrease confusion among providers, CDI, and coders when the cards are stacked against you.
  • Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient (Intermediate)
    Sheilah Snyder, MD, FAAP, Lucinda Lo, MD, and Daxa Clarke, MD, present “Analysis of the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) Database as a Tool to Measure CDI Education.” Session attendees will learn how to leverage national hospital databases, such as PHIS, to measure the long-term outcomes of pediatric CDI education objectively and compare to other peer pediatric hospitals. Attendees will identify potential research opportunities that can help CDI programs gain leverage at within their institutions.

General Session 4:45 p.m.:
ACDIS Regulatory Committee Closing Plenary Session. If you’re tired of having to react to CMS regulatory changes and would rather be proactively commenting and shaping policy, this session is for you. Representatives of the ACDIS Regulatory Committee will review the latest proposed changes from CMS as published in the 2021 IPPS proposed rule and official mechanisms CDI specialists can use to comment to the agency. The committee also discuss its broader work, past and future.

Day 2, Thursday, May 7, 2020

7:00-7:45 a.m.: Breakfast/ Dedicated Poster Viewing

8:30-9:30 a.m.
Mitchell Levy, MD, MCCM, FCCP presents “Sepsis transition update.” Sepsis-2 or Sepsis-3? It’s a question looming large on the minds of CDI professionals around the country. Learn from a physician who played a principal role in pioneering both definitions. Hardly a week goes by without a mention of sepsis in the medical literature, whether peer-reviewed scientific journals or non-peer-reviewed medical publications. The recent publication of new sepsis and septic shock management guidelines has added even more uncertainty to reconciling a clear set of criteria that enables early detection, while avoiding overdiagnosis or immature diagnoses that may lead to unnecessary care. All this is occurring as U.S. hospitals continue to struggle with tracking and measuring severe sepsis and septic shock bundles as part of the Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program mandated by CMS.

9:45-10:45 a.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding (Intermediate)
    Laurie Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC, presents “It’s Complicated: Accurately Capturing Surgical Complications.” Session attendees will break down the documentation requires related to code assignment of surgical complications and take-home examples of physician education and query opportunities.
  • Track 2: Expanding and Innovating the Role of the Physican Advisor
    Joan Peterson presents “Building Impact and Influence.” Session attendees will learn how to handle differing personalities, competing agendas, and self-centered priorities. This practical, hands-on workshop provides participants with the opportunity to explore ways in which they can substantially increase their interpersonal effectiveness at all organizational levels and improve connections throughout their organization.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic)
    Loni Johnston, CCDS, RN, BSN, MSN, and Renee Shimitz present “Bridging the Gap Between Quality and CDI.” Session attendees will learn how, as the revenue cycle changes, a team approach that includes all members with a stake in outcomes and code reporting must be embraced.
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Basic)
    Ruthann Russo, MPH, PhD, presents “The Future of CDI: Views from the Inside.” Session attendees will learn from a researcher, self-care expert, and former CDI leader, about a participatory action study regarding what has worked and what has not worked for CDI leaders. Session attendees will have an opportunity to identify and rate their own professional successes and challenges. 
  • Panel Discussion Track 5: Denials Management & Physician Engagement: (Advanced)
    ACDIS Advisory Board presents a panel discussion “Provider Engagement: Getting Engaged with the ACDIS Advisory Board.” Session attendees will review the highlights of a year-long series on provider engagement and leave with actionable ideas for engaging their physicians regardless of organization type/size. Survey results and case study highlights will be provided
  • Split Session Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient: (Intermediate)
    Eric Cahow, MBA, PhD, and Rajiv Sheth, MBA, present “Intersection of Risk and Revenue” and Pence Livingston, RN, CCDS, presents “Growing a CDI program through data tracking and metrics.” Cahow and Sheth will review how outpatient CDI services can capture all patients’ acuity and severity of illness. Livingston will explore developing and tracking metrics for an outpatient CDI program to identify further CDI opportunities and growth of the outpatient CDI program.

11:30-12:30 p.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding: (Intermediate)
    Laura Anderson, RN, BSN, CCDS, presents “Elements of Spinal Procedures.” Session attendees will learn about documentation improvement opportunities related to common back surgeries including basic anatomy of the spine, anatomical planes and positioning, and root operation definitions. Attendees will explore elemental fusions, disc procedures, laminectomy, foraminotomy, and vertebroplasty as well as applicable Coding Clinic and related information from the Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting
  • Panel Discussion Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Advanced) 
    Vaughn Matacale, MD, Shelby Humphreys, RHIA, Debbie Martin, RN, and Gerasimos Petratos, MD, join for this unique panel discussion/case study “Is Automation Your Next Step?” Session attendees will learn how Vidant Health explored, developed, established, and refined an automated query process in their health system. Attendees will review CDI needs related to natural language processing as well as implementation timelines, outcomes, benefits, and pitfalls that need to be overcome.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic) 
    Arlene Baril, MHA, RHIA, CHC, presents “Welcome to the Alphabet Soup of OIG, MACS, UPICS & RACS.” Session attendees will learn about efforts by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and state governments to identify improper payments and combat healthcare provider fraud, waste, and abuse which resulted in an increase in the number of government audit programs, all of them known by various acronyms.
  • Split Session Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Basic): 
    Valerie Parent, RN, CCDS, presents “Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk” alongside Sharon Cole, MSN, RN, CCDS and Amanda Suttles, BSN, RN, CCDS who present “Let’s Work From Home! Transitioning Your CDI Team From Onsite To Remote.” During this combined session, attendees will explore how to transition an onsite CDI program to a fully remote or hybrid CDI program and review important steps to consider including pros and cons of working remotely, policies and procedures, establishing a home office, communication, accountability, and program oversight.
  • Lighting Round Track 5: Denials Management & Physican Engagement: (Basic)
    Vladimir-Ducarmel Joseph & Amber Barrett present “Achieving Optimal Provider Engagement.” Alyssa Riley presents “Engaging Providers in Clinical Documentation Integrity: Physician Advisor Programming.” Stacy Reck, Clarissa Barnes, and David Balt present “Innovative Approaches to CDI Education for Clinicians, Physician Advisors, and CDI Staff.”
  • Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient: (Basic)
    Erica Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS presents “CDI in the ED: Where Outpatient Meets Inpatient.” Session attendees will learn how ED record reviews can support medical necessity for appropriate status determination, as well as depicting the patient at presentation, often when they are at their worst.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:45-2:45 p.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding: (Intermediate)
    Lynette Kutz, RN, BSN, CCDS, presents “Demystifying Debridement: Partnering with the Patient Care Team.” Session attendees will learn why it’s important to continue to focus on debridement and obtain clinical and coding information necessary to prevent denials and capture this condition in the medical record.
  • Repeat Session (from Physician Advisor Pre-Conference event) Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Intermediate)
    Trey La Charite, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS, presents “Stop, Drop, and Roll!  Managing Your CDI Program’s Unexpected Fires.” Session attendees will learn about the numerous problems and pitfalls that lie in wait for CDI team leads, managers, directors, or senior administrators and obtain advice to be prepared for these eventualities and be ready to adeptly respond.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic)
    Abhinav Goyal, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA and Susan Sweeney BSN, RN, CCDS, CCS, CDIP, present “AMI Algorithm and Adjudication: A CDI Special Focus for Quality Impact.” Session attendees will review latest clinical definition for MI and understand how a proactive CDI adjudication process coupled with a dynamic physician leader can safeguard quality reporting measures and fiscal interests.
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Intermediate)
    Amy Sanderson, MD, FAAP, Eric Klick, MBA, ACDIS CDI-A, and Cassy Panter present “CDI and Medical Scribes Partnering to Maximize Diagnosis Documentation.” Session attendees will learn how medical scribes have begun to provide meaningful assistance through collaboration with physician leaders and CDI teams. Attendees will be able to identify synergistic roles for scribes and CDI to optimize CMI, SOI, and ROM.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physical Engagement: (Intermediate)
    Karen Joyner and Trish Dasch present “Advancing the ‘Joy of Johns Hopkins Medicine’ Initiative with Innovative CDI Approaches.” Session attendees will learn about Johns Hopkins’ CDI department’s involvement in the Joy in Medicine Task Force, a multi-disciplinary, system-wide initiative to help reduce burnout, maximize engagement and help clinicians and caregivers achieve professional goals.
  • Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient: (Intermediate)
    Treva Vetter, MSN, BSHI, BSN, RN, CCA, and Nadja Paea, MBA, CCDS, CCS present “Development, Implementation, and Training of Observation CDI.” Session attendees will obtain a framework for implementing an observation CDI program, developing metrics and examples of how to successfully train and equip staff for their new role as observation CDI.

3:30-4:30 p.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding: (Intermediate)
    Johanne “Jo” Brautigam, BSN, RN, CCDS, and Joe Lintz, RN, BSN, BS, CCDS present “Inner Space: A Journey Into the Vascular Surgery World.” Session participants will learn how to align three worlds: Clinical documentation, coding, and vascular surgery. Attendees will delve into three of the most frequent procedures vascular bypasses, AV fistula graft creation/revisions, and endovascular aneurysm repairs (EVARS) through the use of case studies.
  • Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Intermediate)
    Tamara Hicks, RN, BSN, MHA, CCS, CCDS, ACM-RN, CCDS-O and Joseph Cristiano, MD, FACP, present “Making Clinical Indicator Definitions Actionable for Providers.” Session attendees will learn how to develop institutional clinical definitions and then leverage EHR tools to improve consistency and accuracy.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Advanced)
    Beth Wolf, MD, CCDS, presents “Heart Failure Mortality and Readmission Metrics: DRG Validation Efforts.” Session
    attendees will learn how documentation and coding affect measured outcomes and how to cultivate transparency and respect as physicians and coders align for concurrent management, future care, and retrospective analysis.
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Basic)
    Tracy Ferro, MSN, RN-BC, CCDS and Amy Wilson, PhD, MS, BS present “Where are Our Codes? Using Data to Drive Discharge Reconciliation.” Session attendees will learn how low CDI coder agreement at discharge inadvertently led to higher-than-expected mortality index and how leveraging data helped CDI and coding to work together to create a solution that not only affected quality measures, but created a more cohesive team and professional growth for both the coding and CDI staff.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physician Engagement: (Advanced) 
    Timothy Brundage, MD, CCDS, and Trey La Charite, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS present “Overcoming Challenging Physicians.” Session attendees will learn from two long-standing physician advisors as they detail the types of physician non-responders and provide tips and tools for achieving the seemingly impossible.
  • Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient: (Basic)
     Zachary Hochstetler, director of CPT® Editorial and Regulatory Affairs for the American Medical Association presents “Evaluation and Management (E/M) Office Visit Revisions.” Session attendees will learn about new landmark revisions to the CPT® E/M codes and gain insight into the process behind the reimagined approach to office visits—directly from the Secretary of the CPT® Editorial Panel.

Day 3, Friday May 8, 2020

8:00-9:00 a.m.: Keynote Address
Noelle Pikus-Pace presents “Where You Look is Where You’ll Go.” On February 14, 2014, Noelle Pikus Pace crossed the finish line at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and finally earned an Olympic medal- but it wasn’t an easy road. She learned through her trials the importance of setting specific goals each and every day in an effort to progress forward. After a terrible crash in Germany, she realized the importance of eliminating doubts, fears and worries within our daily lives and that where you look is where you’ll go. Noelle will undoubtably make you laugh as she shares this story and applies it to life. The audience will walk away, recognizing that it is those small decisions we make daily that will shape our habits and who we will inevitably become. 

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding: (Intermediate)
    Kay Piper, RHIA, CDIP, CCS presents “Tutorial: Assigning ICD-10-PCS Codes Using CMS Tables and NCHS Files.” Session attendees will learn how to use CMS free ICD-10-PCS (PCS) files for accurate coding with hands-on participation and tips and tricks for avoiding coding errors.
  • Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Basic)
    Kaitlin Loos, RN and Molly Siebert, CCDS, RHIA, present “Standardizing CDI Documentation Improvement Efforts.” Session attendees will learn how Legacy Health aimed to standardize their record review processes through internal auditing, policy and procedure development, and ongoing analysis.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Advanded) 
    Charlene Compher, PhD, RD, presents “Leveraging EMR Data to Communicate Malnutrition Outcomes.” Session attendees will learn how a large EMR-based quality improvement study illustrated higher mortality, longer hospital stay, and more 30-day readmissions in patients with malnutrition and how Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania leveraged that data to educate providers, work with nutrition leaders, and improve outcomes.
  • Panel Discussion Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Advanced)
    Join Debbie Schrubb, Kathleen Murchland, Heather Joyner, Rachel Phillips, Diana Ortiz, JD, RN, CDIP, CCDS, CCDS-O for this panel discussion featuring perspectives from CDI leaders at Cleveland Clinic, Atrium Health, and Spectrum Health Lakeland highlighting different approaches to implementation of CDI worklist prioritization and/or concurrent coding. Panelists will offer insights for setting realistic goals, expanding CDI team skillsets and designing specific measures for success.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physican Engagement: (Basic)
    Alvin Gore, MD, CHCQM, and Holly Kalua RN, BSHA, BSM, CRCR present “Are You Querious About the Benefits of a Physician Advisor (PA)?” Session attendees will learn how to leverage the role of the PA effectively to maximize collaboration despite managing multiple priorities. Learn how enhanced CDI support enables opportunities in utilization management as two sides of the same coin; how to leverage PA for query escalation; how to work with a PA on physician education, and more.
  • Split Session Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient: (Advanced)
    Amy Sanderson, MD, FAAP, and Wendy Arafiles, MD, FAAP, present “Advancing CDI in Academia: Multi-Facility Research & Collaboration for Pediatric Clinical Conditions,” and  Sheilah Snyder, Lucinda Lo, Doug Campbell, and Valerie Bica present “Pediatric Heart Failure: A White Paper Journey.” In the first half of the session, join members of the Pediatric Documentation Research Collaborative in a discussion about CDI and the power of multi-institutional collaboration to successfully develop a research project, collaborate with other institutions, and submit findings for academic publication. In the second half of the session, join members of the pediatric CDI community to learn how research and collaboration lead to an ACDIS-supported stance on heart failure in the pediatric setting.

11:00 a.m.-12 p.m.: Breakout sessions

  • Track 1: Clinical & Coding: (Interemediate)
    Patricia Swierczynski, RN, BSN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CRC and Michael Swierczynski, RT(R) (CV), MS, RRA, present “Cruising the Intracranial Highway: Mapquest for Neuro-Interventional Procedures.” Session attendees will learn about the rapid progression of medical imaging technology and the need for CDI professionals to understand the intricacies of these procedures.
  • Track 2: Management & Leadership: (Intermediate)
    Sharon Krug presents “Finding CDI Growth, Advancement and Job Satisfaction.” Session attendees will learn how clinical career ladders, advanced CDI roles, CDI education, performance management, and remote work can all lead to greater staff satisfaction.
  • Track 3: Quality & Regulatory: (Basic)
    Candace Blankenship, CCDS, and Howard Rodenberg, MD, MPH, CCDS, present “Don’t Look Behind the Curtain: Making the CDI Sausage.” Session attendees will learn how a code becomes a code, how MS-DRGs are made, why CC/MCCs change every year, and how CDI professionals can play a role.
  • Track 4: Expansion & Innovation: (Basic):
    Erin Head, MBA, RHIA, CHDA, CHTS-TR presents “What does CDI Have to do with Medical Staff Credentialing?” Session attendees will learn Joint Commission and CMS criteria for monitoring the competency and performance of providers including their medical record documentation practices. Attendees will explore the CDI and revenue cycle concepts that can be directly tied to your organization's medical staff credentialing process and how you can make an impact.
  • Track 5: Denials Management & Physician Engagement:
  • Panel Discussion Track 6: Pediatric & Outpatient: (Intermediate)
    Panel Session: Speakers from the Symposium


The Physician Advisor’s Role in CDI


Clinical documentation integrity (CDI) physician advisors (PAs) are crucial links between the medical staff who define, diagnose, and document their patients’ conditions and treatments, and the CDI and coding staff who must negotiate and deploy ICD-10-CM/PCS or CPT codes withstanding clinical validation audits. When leveraged, PAs make the difference between success and failure of a CDI process and workflow. According to the ACDIS 2019 Industry Overview Survey, 64% of respondents reported their medical staff as highly or mostly engaged, but 72.38% of those who have a full-time advisor and 67.95% of those with a part-time advisor reported the same high levels of engagement.

Join us for The Physician Advisor’s Role in CDI, the nation’s only event dedicated to the CDI physician advisor. Our most popular pre-conference event returns for its ninth straight year with all new content delivered by some of the best physician advisors and educators in the country.

On day 1 attendees receive a heavy dose of critical coding, clinical, and regulatory updates by regulatory guru James S. Kennedy, MD of Nashville, Tennessee, including a new focus on fundamentals of MACRA/MIPS risk adjustment for physician-centric overall and episode-based cost efficiency with an emphasis upon the new MIPS models in place in 2020.  Dr. Kennedy will also cover how ICD-10-CM and CDI impact the revised medical decision-making algorithms affecting physician evaluation and management CPT codes in January 2021, and CMS’s complete revision of the MS-DRG CC/MCC tables for FY2021 slated to be announced in April 2020.  This is followed by the return of a denials workshop by Trey LaCharité, MD, featuring effective appeals and denials prevention strategies. After debuting the workshop in 2019 we’ve added new case studies for 2020 attendees.

On day 2 attendees have their choice to attend one of two tracks: our popular Physician Advisor 101: Core Skills and Responsibilities, which teaches the nuts and bolts of the physician advisor role or Expanding and Innovating the Role of the Physician Advisor. This latter track features presentations by four physician advisors from some of the nations’ leading organizations (Mayo Clinic, Ascension, Via Christi, UPMC) covering a wide range of topics including implementing an outpatient CDI program, hospital integration and CDI standardization, peer review, HHS-HCCs (different than CMS-HCCs) and measuring success and targeting deficiencies with analytics and metrics.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the optimal role of the physician advisor in a CDI department
  • Identify critical coding, reimbursement, and regulatory changes pertinent to FY 2020 and beyond
  • Describe common reasons for payer denials and best practices for pre-emptive prevention and appeal
  • Define HHS-HCCs and how they differ from CMS-HCCs
  • Outline CMS’s methodologies for measuring mortality, readmission, and patient safety rates and how to integrate these in the outpatient CDI environment
  • Identify opportunities to expand the reach of a physician advisor, including in process standardization and peer review
  • Describe best practices for starting an outpatient CDI program

The Physician Advisor’s Role in CDI – Agenda

Day 1: Monday, May 4, 2020

James Kennedy, CDIMD; Trey LaCharité, University of Tennessee Medical Center

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Critical CDI update: Top Plate Issues Requiring Immediate Attention

  • Proposed changes to the ICD-10-CM/PCS Index, Table, Guidelines and published advice in the Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS affecting CDI practice
  • Proposed changes to the MS-DRG structure and CC/MCC list announced in the April 2020 IPPS rule applicable to FY2021
  • Clinical definitions affecting ICD-10-CM and CDI critical thinking and workflow (e.g., updated definitions of myocardial injury and myocardial infarction; the evolution of sepsis-2 to sepsis-3)

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Break 

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Impact of ICD-10-CM/PCS on Mortality/Readmissions/Quality Calculations

  • Review of inpatient and outpatient ICD-10-CM/PCS codes affecting CMS’s mortality/readmissions/complications, state Medicaid programs, and AHRQ patient safety indicators
  • Discussion on how to integrate quality measures in inpatient and outpatient CDI workflows

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Outpatient CDI Fundamentals Integrating Cost Efficiency and Quality

  • Outpatient ICD-10-CM/PCS rules and their differences with inpatient coding rules
  • CMS-HCC and HHS-HCC risk adjustment foundations
  • ICD-10-CM’s role in the CPT Medical Decision Making revisions to be implemented in CY2021
  • Fundamentals of MACRA/MIPS risk adjustment for physician-centric overall and episode-based cost efficiency with an emphasis upon the new MIPS models in place in 2020
  • Immediate takeaways and implementation strategies

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch (provided)

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Recovery Auditor update: Spotlight on Clinical Validation Denials

  • Where we stand with healthcare recovery auditors
  • Review the most common clinical validation denial targets
  • Review the most recent changes/updates in diagnostic criteria
  • Review resources for appealing disease-specific clinical validation denials
  • How to approach and fight a recovery auditor denial

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.: Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.: Hands Off Our Cash! Small Group Exercise in Appeals Development (NEW 2020 Cases)

  • Review of actual cases where a recovery auditor has issued an MS-DRG downgrade
  • Understand the recovery auditor’s findings and the denial tactics employed
  • Appeal or not: All, some, or none?
  • Formulation of appeal strategies
  • Group review of the recovery auditor’s determinations and their appeal strategies with the class

4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Open Q&A

5:00 p.m.: Adjourn


Day 2: Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Track 1: Physician Advisor 101: Core Skills and Responsibilities

Trey LaCharité

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.: Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: Achieving Medical Staff Buy-In

  • How to explain the goals of your CDI program
  • What your providers don’t know about their documentation and their data
  • What your providers don’t know about your facility
  • How to explain why CDI is crucial for your providers’ future and their facility

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Ready, Set, Intervene! Managing Problems, Pitfalls, and Personality Disorders

  • Understanding the obstacles you and your program will face
  • 10 rules for ensuring CDI program success
  • Strategies to improve medical staff compliance
  • Practical suggestions for that difficult provider conversation

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Break

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Well … What Should I Be Putting in the Chart?

  • Review the basic documentation practices every provider should routinely employ
  • Review best practices for operative note construction
  • Helpful documentation practices to ensure medical necessity and correct hospital status determinations
  • Learn strategies to encourage provider adoption of new documentation habits

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Stay within the Lines! How to Conduct a Compliant CDI Program

  • Understand CMS’ “Double Jeopardy” for hospitals
  • 10 rules to stay on the straight and narrow
  • Review acceptable CDI query construction practices
  • Review when provider queries are needed

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch (on your own)

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Stop, Drop, and Roll! Managing the Unexpected Fires

  • The impact of your CDI program on other hospital departments
  • Review EMR-specific risks for your CDI program
  • Why your facility is a recovery auditor target
  • Learn specific recovery auditor tactics employed to issue denials
  • Handling other unanticipated problems in CDI

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.: Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Practical Considerations: CDI Team Structure and PA Position Development

  • Suggestions for CDI team composition, organization, and how to get them up to speed
  • The other roles of the active and involved CDI physician advisor
  • Who should be your CDI program’s physician advisor?
  • Review successful CDI physician advisor characteristics
  • Review potential physician advisor time requirements and how to get paid

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Open Q&A

5:00 p.m.: Adjourn

Track 2: Expanding and Innovating the Role of the Physician Advisor

Megan Cortazzo, Brett Senor, Sam Antonios, James Manz

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Hospital Integration, Peer Review, and the Role of the Physician Advisor

Megan Cortazzo, UPMC.

  • Overview of a hospital integration
    • Integrating divergent coding and CDI practices into a cohesive team
    • How to achieve physician buy-in to a new CDI and EMR system
  • Peer review
    • How to establish a peer review process that is effective for both the physician and health system
    • Utilizing peer review to assist with changing physician behavior

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.: Break

10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Beyond CMS-HCCs: Introduction to HHS-HCCs for the Physician Advisor

Brett Senor, Enjoin.

  • HHS-HCCs: Comparison with CMS-HCC model
  • HHS-HCCs: Uses
    • Marketplace risk adjustment
    • Milliman Advanced Risk Adjusters (MARA) tool
  • HHS-HCCs: Commonly encountered diagnoses
    • Overlap with CMS-HCCs
    • Important conditions with no CMS-HCC overlap
  • Educating healthcare system leadership on HHS-HCCs: Incentivizing buy-in beyond CMS-HCCs
  • Educating your providers using HHS-HCCs: Incentivizing buy-in

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch (provided)

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Measurement, Metrics, and Analytics

Sam Antonios, Ascension Via Christi Health.

  • Understand the main metrics that drive performance of a CDI program
  • Understand critical thinking when examining measurement and any calculation.
  • Understand how to examine certain operational metrics using analytical tools and benchmarking
  • Review potential for advanced analytics in advancing hospital reimbursement and quality

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.: Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.: Implementing an Outpatient CDI Program

James Manz, Mayo Clinic.

  • Implementing an Outpatient CDI Program
  • Mayo Clinic Experience:  Implementation of an outpatient clinical documentation integrity Program
  • Clinical considerations for effective outpatient and ambulatory efforts

4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Open Q&A

5:00 p.m. – Adjourn

Keynote Speakers

Mitchell M. Levy, MD

Mitchell M. Levy, MD, is Chief, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where he is Professor of Medicine. He also serves as Medical Director of the Medical ICU at Rhode Island Hospital. He has been an investigator on numerous pharmacologic and biologic trials intended to treat sepsis as well as cardiovascular and pulmonary pathology. Dr. Levy has expertise in trial design, clinical trial execution and trial management, and is one of the three founding members of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC).

Noelle Pikus Pace

On February 14, 2014, Noelle Pikus Pace crossed the finish line at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia and finally earned an Olympic medal - but it wasn’t an easy road. She learned through her trials the importance of setting specific goals each and every day in an effort to progress forward. After a terrible crash in Germany, she realized the importance of eliminating doubts, fears and worries within our daily lives and that where you look is where you’ll go. Noelle will undoubtably make you laugh as she shares this story and applies it to life. The audience will walk away, recognizing that it is those small decisions we make daily that will shape our habits and who we will inevitably become.

A lifelong athlete who transitioned from track and field to skeleton in high school, it took Noelle 15 very determined years to reach the Olympic podium, but she did! Along the way she became the most decorated American athlete in the history of the sport and was the first American woman to become World Champion and to win the overall World Cup Championship.

A standout high school track athlete and native of the Salt Lake City area, site of the 2002 Olympic Games, Noelle's track coach suggested she try bobsled. She did, but soon thereafter got on a skeleton sled and fell in love with the high speed, head-first, rocket-ride most certainly not for the faint of heart.

Pace blossomed as a slider and years later became the best in the world. With the 2006 Olympics coming into focus on the horizon, Pace was the gold medal favorite. The Olympic podium was in sight. With just months to go to the big show, Noelle was severely injured in a training accident. She was hit by a run-a-way bobsled, suffering a compound leg fracture. Despite a valiant effort to return to sliding in time for the Olympics she was unable to make it back. Her Olympic medal slipped away.

Her story of redemption, taking one last shot at the Olympic podium, and raising a family in the middle of it all, is not to be missed.

Mike Rayburn

Mike Rayburn is a two-time TED Talk Presenter, an innovative entrepreneur and Hall of Fame speaker who uses world-class guitar and comedy to teach change and innovation to corporations world-wide. He has headlined Carnegie Hall, headlined in Las Vegas, and performed more than 5,000 presentations in 20 countries on five continents. Rayburn is a regular on Sirius/XM and morning radio nationwide. He has performed as guitarist with The Beach Boys and John Oates. Rayburn’s keynote is called “The What IF? Keynote Experience.” You will learn three simple tools for harnessing your unrealized potential, creating and leading change, and becoming a virtuoso performer. You’ll hear amazing music including a solo guitar version of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Oh, and you'll laugh a LOT! No one does what Mike Rayburn does.


Sam Antonios, MD, MMM, FACP, SFHM, CPE, CCDS

Sam Antonios, MD, MMM, FACP, SFHM, CPE, CCDS, is the Chief Medical Officer for Ascension Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita, Kansas. His experience includes leadership roles as the medical director for utilization management, CDI, and technology deployments and analytics. In his role as chief medical officer, he oversees staff functions, strategy, and quality initiatives. Antonios is also a former member of the ACDIS Advisory Board.

Megan Cortazzo, MD

Megan Cortazzo, MD, is an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and currently serves as the Medical Director CDI and HIM for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Prior to that role, she served as Vice Clinical Chair of outpatient services for the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS

James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, is the founder and president of CDIMD, a Nashville-based physician and facility advisory and consulting firm that advocates ICD-10-pertinent clinical documentation and coding integrity essentials to healthcare revenue cycles and quality measurement. As a coding and CDI expert with more than 17 years of experience and as a frequent speaker to medical staff, HIM, and CDI associations, Kennedy is nationally recognized for his subject matter expertise, communication skills, and problem-solving approach. He is a past ACDIS Advisory Board member.

Trey La Charité, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS

Trey La Charité, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS, is the medical director for CDI and coding at the University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) in Knoxville, Tennessee. A past ACDIS Advisory Board member, La Charité is a regular presenter at the ACDIS pre-conference physician advisor boot camp. Besides being a hospitalist, he is a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine and is the curriculum director of the residency program’s hospitalist rotation. He is the medical director of the outpatient CDI initiative for UTMC’s primary care network.

James Manz, MD

James Manz, MD, is a consultant in spine and neurological surgery with the Mayo Clinic Health system NWWI. He services as Physician Chair of the Mayo Enterprise Outpatient CDI Subcommittee, Physician Vice Chair for the Mayo Enterprise Inpatient CDI Subcommittee, and Physician Advisor of the Mayo Clinic Problem List Stewardship Committee.

Brett B. Senor, MD, CRC, CCDS

Brett B. Senor, MD, CRC, CCDS, is a Physician Associate for Enjoin, where he provides guidance and support for CDI quality initiatives and MS-DRG assurance programs. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has served as a hospitalist and physician advisor for a large metropolitan healthcare system in North Carolina. In his current role with Enjoin, he assists in the development of content and provides education and training to support the quality and risk-adjustment service lines, working with providers, clinical documentation improvement specialists, and coders.

Conference Center and Hotel Info

ACDIS Conference will be held May 6-8 at:

Mirage HotelThe Mirage
3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Room rate: $203/night (includes $35 resort fee)
Hotel cut-off date: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Toll-Free Reservation Center: 800-374-9000 and referring to ACDIS 2020 Annual Conference
Reservations URL: https://book.passkey.com/go/ACDIS2020


ACDIS Members save $100!
Call Customer Service at 615-724-7200 to receive your Exclusive Member Discount.

Full Pricing Details:

Base Price: $1,050
Early Bird Price: $950.00 — End March 27, 2020

ACDIS Members
Base Price: $950
Early Bird Price: $850.00  — End March 27, 2020

Group Rate (5 at price of 4)
Base Price: $4,200 ($840/person)
Your discount will automatically appear in your cart when you register your Team of Five.


The Physician Advisor’s Role in CDI Boot Camp
Retail: $1,349
15% discount when purchased with conference: $1,146.65

Outpatient CDI: Tools, Strategies for Success
Retail price: $1,149.00
15% discount when purchased with conference: $976.65

CDI Management Essentials
Retail price: $1,149.00
15% discount when purchased with conference: $976.65

Closing Night Reception:

Base Price: $25