2021 ACDIS Conference

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2021 ACDIS Conference

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2021 Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) Conference

Monday, October 25 – Thursday, October 28, 2021 | Dallas, TX

“One day at a time, one step at a time."

Around the globe that’s been the universal mantra as the world endured COVID-19, the planet’s first pandemic in more than 100 years.

After a year in which we had to cancel our 2020 event, ACDIS is stepping forward, leaning in, gathering the lessons learned, and putting those pearls in place to make ourselves and the CDI profession stronger than ever.

The Association of Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialists (ACDIS) is proud to be stepping forward with you, offering cutting-edge education across more than 60 CDI-focused presentations in our first-ever hybrid event. Our in-person event at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel features four concurrent tracks focused on coding and clinical concerns, management and professional development, regulatory changes and challenges, outpatient CDI, and much more. In a new value-added supplement this year, we’re offering online-only bonus presentations that participants can enjoy when they return home.

It’s been said that the ACDIS annual conference feels like a family reunion. We’re ready to come together with you, learn with and from you, and take the next great step forward in advancing the CDI profession.

As always, ACDIS provides breakfast, lunch, food and beverages at the breaks, and an opening night cocktail reception, all included with registration. Attendees will also have access to an app that includes access to all session materials, a session planner, and unparalleled networking with your peers.

We hope to see you face-to-face once again in Dallas!

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to leverage data to improve the physician/CDI relationship
  • Improve the quality, accuracy, and depth of CDI chart reviews
  • Incorporate quality, case management, utilization review, and revenue cycle integrity staff to enhance global outcomes
  • Develop tools for managing clinical validation reviews
  • Establish effective policies and practices related to remote/off-site CDI record reviews
  • Review bedrock rules governing code assignment and documentation integrity ethical best practices
  • Explore CDI focus in the outpatient setting

Who Should Attend?
Clinical documentation integrity specialists, CDI staff, inpatient coders, CDI mangers/directors, HIM managers/directors, case managers, revenue integrity specialists, chief financial officers, chief medical officers, physician advisors, and more.


The Physician Advisor's Role in CDI

Sunday, October 24 – Monday, October 25, 2021 | Dallas, TX

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.

View full pre-con details here!

CDI Management Essentials

Sunday, October 24 – Monday, October 25, 2021 | Dallas, TX

The CDI Management Essentials, ACDIS’ pre-conference event, gathers CDI experts and peers in leadership to aid in plotting the most successful course for your organization. To take the helm and steer the ship effectively, there’s a lot you need to know.

View full pre-con details here!

Clinical Validation in the CDI Chart Review

Sunday, October 24 – Monday, October 25, 2021 | Dallas, TX

Join not one but TWO of ACDIS’ CDI Boot Camp instructors as they tag-team this exciting pre-conference event. Materials are culled and vetted from the popular new Clinical Validation in CDI Boot Camp. Deepen and strengthen your chart reviews, dig into critical clinical indicators and chart clues, and learn from rich instructor-to-peer and peer-to-peer discussions at the end of each day of class.

View full pre-con detail here!


Day 1 — Monday, October 25, 2021

2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Grand Opening/Welcome Reception

Day 2 — Tuesday, October 26, 2021

7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks and ACDIS Update
Brian Murphy, Director, ACDIS

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
General Session: Stepping Forward: The Courage to Continue
Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE, Trauma Surgeon, Surgical Intensivist, and Medical Director of CDI, Cooper University Health Care
As the COVID-19 pandemic raged, healthcare professionals responded with an astounding display of selflessness, caring for patients despite the risk of profound personal harm. In the midst of uncertain times, there was a sense of altruism and urgency that was transformative. Unfortunately, data collected during the past year suggests that the pandemic also placed an extreme psychological toll on healthcare workers. For many, the effects could be long lasting. These findings emphasize the critical need to develop personal and professional resilience. In this session, Nicole Fox, MD, MPH, FACS, CPE, a trauma surgeon, surgical intensivist, and medical director of CDI for Cooper University Health Care, discusses experiences and lessons learned on the front lines of the pandemic, and offers strategies to enhance one’s ability to evolve, adapt, and thrive in times of personal and professional upheaval. 

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Lessons From COVID-19: Looking Ahead to the Future
Erica Remer, MD, CCDS, principal at Erica Remer, Inc., consultants, based in Cleveland, Ohio
Clinical medicine, and indeed life as we knew it, changed drastically in 2020. During this session, Remer will explore how CDI programs quickly pivoted to address the pandemic, identify common clinical and coding scenarios related to the outbreak, and consider best practices for future public health emergencies as it relates to CDI efforts.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Heart and Soul of the CDI Role: Culture and Professional Growth Pathways
Elisa Sninchak, M.Ed, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, CDI educator, and Dana Walker, MSN, CCDS, second-level reviewer and auditor, from Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina
During this session, speakers will describe strategies for facilitating individual professional growth to prevent burnout, reduce turnover, and improve ROI for CDI programs. Participants will leave this session with detailed examples of the speakers’ personal pathway stories and practices used to improve program culture and CDI engagement.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Clinical Quality Value Index: Advancing CDI in Clinical Quality
Deanne Wilk, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, manager of CDI at Penn State Health, in Hershey
During this session, participants will learn how to advance CDI efforts into quality care assurance and quality measures clarifications.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
CDI Program Expansion: Journey into LTAC
Debbie Breton, RN, BSN, CCDS, ACM, CDI team lead, and Kimberly Higgins, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDI regional manager from AdventHealth in Tampa, Florida
Session attendees will learn how AdventHealth expanded from short-term acute care to long-term acute care (LTAC) efforts, beginning with its 90-day pilot program implementation and results, and the tools developed to ensure success. Learn how to continue progress with a post-pilot program to identify challenges, strategies, and a path forward.

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Networking Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Clinical Update Affecting DRG/HCC Assignment
William E. Haik, MD, FCCP, CDIP, of DRG Review, Inc., in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
As gram-negative bacterial and staphylococcus pneumonias are now included in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), they can affect DRG and HCC assignment when clinically validated and reported. During this session, Haik will offer tools to understand etiology of a pneumonia to obtain the specificity needed to form accurate and clinically succinct physician queries.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
There's No Place Like Home: Remote CDI
Autumn Reiter, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, director of CDI services for TrustHCS, and Laura J. Werner, DC, RN, BA, BSN, MSN-ed, CDIP, CSS, senior director, CDI, Huron Consulting Group serving Adventist Health
During this session, speakers will address multiple facets of remote work, including general management, privacy issues, communication, virtual meeting participation, time management, self-motivation, and stress reduction. Attendees, both the manager and remote worker, will obtain pearls of wisdom to ensure home-office success.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Expanding Our Horizons: The Role of CDI in Quality Metrics
Mary Elizabeth “M.E.” VanGelder, RN, MEd, CCDS, RHIT, CDI trainer, and Lee Anne Landon, BSN, RN, CCMC, CCDS, CDI network manager, at HonorHealth in Scottsdale, Arizona
During this session, participants will learn how CDI efforts influence hospital-based pay for performance programs (P4P) and how chart audits, record reviews, and collaboration with quality in clinical education can help improve accurate capture of quality measures.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
Vascular Surgery & CDI: The Fantastic Voyage
Karen Carter, RN, CHCA, HCS-D, HCS-C, HCS-H, HCS-O, coding manager at Corridor Group, Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Learn how to align the worlds of CDI, coding, and vascular surgery in this dynamic presentation that delves into frequent procedures such as vascular bypasses, AV fistula graft creation/revisions, and endovascular aneurysm repairs (EVARS).

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Exploring Why Sepsis Is Such a Problematic Diagnosis
Cheryl Ericson, RN, CDIP, CCDS, Clinical Program Manager at Iodine Software in Austin, Texas
Many CDI departments struggle to define sepsis, questioning whether to use SIRS or SOFA criteria to clinically validate sepsis and determine the need for a query. This session will explore the risks associated differing sepsis definitions and outline financial and quality implications associated with using SIRS, SOFA, and/or both definitions of sepsis so organizations can make informed choices.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Getting Back to Grass Roots: How to Maintain CDI Critical Thinking in an NLP Environment
Kristie Alexander, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDI manager, and Jacqueline Melsha, MBA-HM, LVN, RHIA, CCDS, CDI analyst at Texas Health Resources in Arlington
During this session, participants will learn how to shift critical thinking to the forefront of CDI practices while leveraging natural language processors (NLP) and other artificial intelligence tools to increase efficiency, workflow, and overall performance.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Data Driven Decisions: CDI and Physicians Partner to Address Patient Complexity

Beth Ming, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, senior clinical consultant with Claro Healthcare in Kathleen, Georgia, and Mary Beth Mitchell, MSN, RN, CPHQ, CCM, SSBB, senior executive director for care transformation strategies at Doylestown (Pennsylvania) Hospital
When physicians know they care for very sick patients but their publicly reported data doesn’t reflect the acuity and mortality, partnering with the CDI team to hold all healthcare providers—including ancillary staff—responsible for medical record accuracy can drastically affect outcomes. Session attendees will learn how the CDI team and providers collaborated to move the needle on patient complexity in risk-adjusted mortality data.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
Launching a Denials Management Program at a Small Rural Hospital

Arinda Kennedy, senior consulting associate at The Center for Case Management in Natick, Massachusetts
This presentation will describe how Wayne Healthcare (a small hospital in rural Ohio) used their CDI program to launch a successful denials management program. The presentation will include detailed information on getting the program set up, different types of denials, sample appeal letter templates, tracking denials and appeals, analyzing data, and changing processes upfront for denial prevention.

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Networking Break

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Coding Clinic Updates: The Year in Review
Laurie Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CDIP, CRC, Director of CDI Education, at HCPro, in Middleton, Massachusetts
During this session, attendees will understand the various recommendations from the American Hospital Association’s Coding Clinic for ICD-10-CM/PCS quarterly publication. CDI professionals need to understand how Coding Clinic recommendations play a role in code assignment and when to follow its directives. During this session, attendees will identify recent changes and interpret how to apply the agency’s recommendations to their daily record review practices.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Do Health System-Defined Diagnoses Make a Difference?
Pamela Stence, RN, CCDS, CDI director at Sharp Healthcare in San Diego, California
During this session, Stence will share how an ACDIS Quarterly Conference Call led her team to delve into developing system-wide diagnosis definitions to help develop query clinical indicators and how their endeavor grew into a system process valued throughout the organization.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Quality Tracking for Myocardial Infarction
Timothy Brundage, MD, CCDS, CEO, and Brett Hoggard, MD, CCDS, chief medical officer of the Brundage Group in Redington Beach, Florida
During this presentation, attendees will learn how documentation for an elevated troponin can have a significant impact to a hospital’s reputation and profitability.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Special Session
Diversity and Inclusion in CDI
Join members of the new ACDIS Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for an update on their efforts to strive to make CDI a community that embodies social responsibility through promoting a positive environment of greater diversity and inclusion across all cultures, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, and educational backgrounds, to break the silence that accompanies discrimination and inequity, and to ensure that all feel valued, empowered, and welcomed.

Day 3 — Wednesday, October 27, 2021

7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
ACDIS Achievement Awards
Laurie Prescott, MSN, RN, CCDS, CCDS-O, CDIP, CRC, Director of CDI Education, ACDIS

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Keynote Session: What If?
Mike Rayburn
Every major invention, accomplishment and victory in human history began with the simple, almost childlike curiosity of a “What If…?” question - “What if we could? I know we can’t, but what if we could?” International keynote artist, Mike Rayburn, will share three simple, powerful tools which took him from playing empty bars, to headlining Carnegie Hall (eight times!). They work for anyone. And everyone. Always.

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 laugh a LOT! No one does what Mike Rayburn does.

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
The Top 25: If You Can Make It Here, You Will Make It EVERYWHERE!
Candace Blankenship, RN, CCDS, Clinical Project Manager with Iodine Software, based in in Austin, Texas
During this presentation, participants will learn how the top 25 codes in the final medical record discharge summary have become so important in various federal and consumer health agency score cards. This session will explain how we got to the 25-code limit, how the top 25 is used to score health systems by various risk models, and how to manage the top 25 codes for maximum outcomes and identify areas of potential regulatory changes for the future of the top 25 code limit.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Just Because You Think It Is Working Doesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Fixed
Trey La Charité, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS, CDI physician advisor for University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville
So, you've got a successful and productive CDI program...now what? Are you sure it is the best it can be? Where do you want to take it from here? Join  La Charité for an in-depth review of what one academic medical center did to improve what was already working. Attendees will learn the benefits of continuous program self-assessment, how to identify opportunities related to CDI program structure and function, and how to revamp existing processes to take CDI to the next level.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Risk Modeling and Coding for Social Determinants of Health
Margaret “Maggie” M. Foley, PhD, RHIA, CCS, associate professor for HIM at Temple University in Philadelphia and Suzanne Rogers, RHIA, CCS, CHDA, lead HIM associate at Vizient’s Center for Advanced Analytics & Informatics, based in Chicago
As providers, health systems, and payers continue to address social determinants of health (SDOH), the ability to analyze patient outcomes and assess the effectiveness of various initiatives will be essential. This education session will address how SDOH concepts are used in risk-adjustment models used to assess patient outcomes, the current state of ICD-10-CM coding and documentation of SDOH, and identify steps to improve SDOH capture.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
Advancing CDI into Academia: Multi-Institutional Research Collaboration
Wendy Arafiles, MD, FAAP, medical director of CDI at Phoenix (Arizona) Children’s Hospital, and Amy Sanderson, MD, pediatric intensivist at Boston Children’s Hospital
The field of CDI is evolving and advancing, and the lessons learned can add volumes to the body of knowledge housed in healthcare academia. Join members of the Pediatric Documentation Research Collaborative (PDRC) in a discussion about research in CDI and the power of multi-institutional collaboration. Attendees will be able to implement strategies to successfully develop a research project, collaborate with other institutions, and submit findings for academic publication.

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Networking Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Defining and Querying for AKI and CKD: Could It Be ATN?
Rhoda Chism, RN, CCDS, CCS, Manager of CDI Audit and Education, and Sheila Duhon, MBA, RN, CCDS, A-CCRN, CCS, CDI Director from Steward Healthcare, in Dallas
Attendees will learn how the incidence of kidney disease in America makes this disease one of the most common and more difficult for CDI and coding professionals to accurately capture. Speakers will provide a clinical overview of various stages of kidney disease, discuss KDIGO criteria for AKI and CKD staging, and provide tips for effective queries.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Getting to the Heart of the Matter: A Case Study in Improving Physician Engagement in Cardiology
Tu-Quynh Edwards, MD, MS, CCDS, CDIP, CDI manager, and Stacey Gaona, RN, CCDS, CDI specialist at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston
Session attendees will journey with the UTMB team as they share how to improve physician engagement in cardiology via a data-driven, high-touch, provider-focused approach to identifying clinical documentation opportunities, developing targeted education, and analyzing/monitoring progress.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Why Mortality Reviews Matter
Sheri Blanchard, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CCDS, CCS, CDI corporate director, and Julian Everett, RN, CDIP, regional CDI manager, at Orlando Health Hospital, Florida
A story can be told through documentation. Missing pages, chapters, and inconclusive endings leaves a mystery to the reader. Attendees will learn how to complete the pages in your patients’ book through mortality reviews and help physicians write effective notes to close the chapter.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
A Breath of Fresh Air: Pediatric Respiratory Failure
Pam McCall, BSN, RN, CCM, CPN, and Marietta Morhardt, BSN, RN, CPN, CCM, CDI Specialists at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska
During this session, speakers will address the differences between pediatric and adult respiratory systems, challenges with care for newborns and children, as well as  COVID-19 and related conditions.

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Back to the Laboratory! Assessing Lab Values for CDI Outcomes
Verona Lodholz, CCDS, CCS, MT(ASCP), DC, CDI director for Accuity Delivery Systems, LLC., based in New York, New York
Session attendees will learn how results from laboratory tests provide 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 and better outcomes for your CDI program. 

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
The Power of CDI Metrics
Tara Bell, RN, CCDS, CCM, CDI/UM Manager, and Staci L. Josten, RN, CCDS, Director of CDI/UR services for UASI in Des Moines, Iowa
During this presentation, participants will learn how to improve CDI metrics to showcase program efforts to leaders and achieve the credit CDI efforts deserves.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Risky Business: Introduction to Risk Adjustment
Ashley Comiskey, MSN, RN, CDI facility supervisor at Baptist Health Paducah (Kentucky)
During this session, participants will learn how value-based care in the outpatient and inpatient settings are affected by Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC)/risk adjustment methodology. 

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
Using Custom HCC Tools and Workflows to Manage the Medicare Advantage Population
Kathryn McLaughlin, DNP, FNP-BC, Senior Clinical Advisor, Lead Risk Adjustment Nurse, and Jessica M. Thurman, MBA, Certified Physician Assistant, Risk Adjustment Provider, from Scripps Clinic in San Diego, California
Learn how collaborating with IT solution providers to build out tools, workflows, and processes can help to stratify outreach and accurately document care within the Medicare Advantage population. Session attendees will learn how this team used custom built tools to surface suspect diagnoses while creating reports and work queues to track and audit the suggestions.

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Networking Break & Exhibit Hall Finale

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Searching for the Underlying Cause: Why Is Symptom Etiology Coding So Difficult?
Leigh Poland, RHIA, CCS, Executive Director for Education at AGS Health based in Newark, New Jersey
During this session, participants will learn how to decipher between symptom codes routinely associated with a disease and when it might be appropriate to code for it. Participants will learn the correlation between symptoms and etiology and how Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting address these differences.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Advanced CDI: What Is It and How Do I Get There?
Tamara Hicks, RN, CCS, CCDS, ACM-RN, CCDS-O, CDI director, and Melinda Matthews, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDIP, manager of inpatient CDI, at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
During this session, participants will explore what an advanced CDI program looks like, identify means to mentor CDI specialists into advanced practitioners, and determine expectations for advanced CDI staff. Additionally, attendees will learn how career ladders help CDI programs and how certifications contribute program and staff growth.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Record Interrogations for Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced Model: Tools for CDI
Angie Comfort, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, Senior Director of CDI and Coding Operations for LifePoint Health in Brentwood, Tennessee, and Michelle Wieczorek, CCDS-O, RN, RHIT, CPHQ, Senior Manager of CDI Services at DHG Healthcare in Erie, Pennsylvania
Session attendees will learn about the BPCI Advanced Model and develop additional competencies in CDI for HCC risk adjustment capabilities.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
Ready, Set, Go: Launching an OP CDI Program From Start to Finish
Tami McMasters Gomez, CCDS, CDIP, BS, (MHL), CDI director, Shirlivia Parker, MHA, RHIA, CDIP, CDI manager, and Reggie Ahlfield, MBA-HA, BSHI, RN-BC, CDI specialist from University of California Medical Center at Davis
During this session, participants will learn how to launch an outpatient CDI program, identify strategies for success, and focus in on attainable goals for staff and physicians.

Day 4 — Thursday, October 28, 2021

7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Keynote Session: Where You Look Is Where You’ll Go
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.

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Acute Heart Failure: Clinical Validation, Quality, Denials, and Appeals

Beth Wolf, MD, CPC, CCDS, Physician Advisor with 3M Consulting
Not all acute heart failure is manifested as flash pulmonary edema with acute respiratory distress. What about the patient with refractory peripheral edema or chronically decompensated heart failure? Learn how to validate atypical presentations of acute heart failure to support clinical validation, quality metrics, and defend code assignment. Learn how to cultivate transparency and respect as physicians and CDI align to produce the most authentic codified medical record.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Vendor Selection: A Practical Approach
Jennifer L. Cooper, MHIIM, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, HIM Director at Hunt Regional Healthcare in Greenville, Texas
There are a lot of great vendors with services and/or products that can help your CDI program be successful. During this session, Cooper explores how programs can determine the right resources for their specific needs. Although the selection process should be well vetted, it should not be hard. This session will provide the tools needed to be successful in the vendor selection process so that you can feel confident in the decisions you make.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Foraging a Path Through the Forest: Uncovering CDI’s Role in Clarifying Patient Safety Indicators
Kari Thie, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDI director, and Maureen Bucci, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDI auditor at SCL Health in Broomfield, Colorado
Session attendees will learn how to recognize AHRQ patient safety indicators (PSIs) inclusions, exclusions, and documentation challenges and how to leverage PSI decision trees to facilitate an effective, quick review of the record.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
Clinical Validation and the Denial Defense
Kimberly Huff, BA, COC, CCDS, Clinical Validation Denials Coordinator at Providence Ministry, in northern California
When it comes to denials, unfortunately, the CDI team needs to ensure the medical record holds up to clinical validation scrutiny. During this session, attendees will learn how to interrogate the denials process, dissect denial letters, and prepare effective appeal responses. 

10:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.
Refreshment Break

10:35 a.m. – 11:35 a.m.
Breakout Session

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
Understanding Spinal Procedure Processes for CDI and Coding
Laura Anderson, RN, BSN, CCDS, CDI Specialist with Optum360, and Andrea Moreno, RN, Service Area Manager for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona
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.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
Leveraging CDI Prioritization
Andrea Eastwood, RHIA, HIM director, and Judy Moreau, RN, MBA, Vice President of Mid-Revenue Cycle for Trinity Health headquartered in Livonia, Michigan
During this session, participants will learn how to use software tools to help their CDI team improve efficiency and effectiveness, understand how the prioritization scores work, and how to manage them from a technical and operational perspective to obtain the greatest benefit.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
Deciphering Population Health
James Fee, MD, CCS, CCDS, CEO at Enjoin, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Session attendees will obtain insight into the regulatory initiative of population health and learn how documentation integrity plays a role.

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
2021 Changes in E/M Coding
Eli Freilich, MD, CCDS, Medical Director with Enjoin based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
During this session, participants will learn how evaluation and management code assignment rules for physician practices and ambulatory services have changed with attention to the definitions around prolonged services, medical decision making, and time. Attendees will learn how the new rules affected one large medical practice and understand educational strategies to ensure compliance.

11:35 a.m.
Conference Adjourns

— Agenda subject to change —

Track Summaries and Descriptions

Track 1: Clinical & Coding
The much-loved Clinical & Coding track is one of the most well attended at the ACDIS conference. Session speakers provide insight into the clinical and coding aspects of some of the most contentious and difficult diagnoses CDI professionals face during the record review and query process. This track explores challenging diagnoses as well as recent developments in coding rules related to CMS and Coding Clinic.

Track 2: Management & Professional Development
In the early years of the CDI profession, staff members needed to “figure out” CDI and develop program policies, procedures, and best practices. Today, facilities often employ directors and managers and create career ladders for their staff. This track focuses on concerns pertaining to program management and individual professional development, so attendees can make the most of their programs and their careers.

Track 3: Quality & Regulatory
CMS continually adjusts its documentation and payment requirements to fulfill its fiduciary duties to the American taxpayer while maintaining the highest-quality care possible for the citizenry. CDI professionals need to stay informed about the ongoing shifts in quality reporting measures to understand how documentation improvement efforts may affect the data used for a host of quality measures. In this track, CDI professionals will learn about coding and reporting requirements, advanced efforts in quality and cross-departmental collaboration, as well as ethical considerations to keep staff on the right side of compliance. 

Track 4: Innovation & Expansion
CDI programs continue to find ways to help their facilities target trouble spots and improve outcomes through focused documentation improvement and physician education. In this track, attendees will explore cutting-edge advancements such as outpatient CDI, concurrent coding, second-level chart reviews, data analytics, remote CDI, and more.

Please view the Agenda Tab for full session details included for all four tracks!


*Coming Soon!


Main Conference: Monday, October 25 – Thursday, October 28, 2021

  • Retail price: $1,050.00
  • Early Bird price: $950.00 EB deadline – August 23, 2021
  • Membership price: $950.00
  • Membership Early bird: $850.00 EB deadline – August 23, 2021

Pre-Conferences: Sunday, October 24 – Monday, October 25, 2021

  • The Physician Advisor’s Role in CDI: $1,349
  • CDI Management Essentials: $1,149
  • Clinical Validation in the CDI Chart Review: $1,149

Post Conferene Pre-recorded Tracks: 

  • Retail Price: $399
  • Membership Price: $379

Conference Center and Hotel Info

ACDIS Conference will be held October 26 – 28, 2021 

Sheraton Dallas Hotel
400 North Olive Street
Dallas, TX 75201

  • Room rate: $219/night
  • Hotel cut-off date: Friday, October 1, 2021
  • Toll-Free Reservation Center: 1 888-627-8191 attendees must reference ACDIS Conference
  • For room reservations: https://book.passkey.com/event/50170702/owner/3004/home
  • Hotel website: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/daldh-sheraton-dallas-hotel
  • Hotel rooms may sell out earlier than the cut-off date, so book early!
  • Simplify Compliance/HCPro has no affiliation with any third-party companies or travel assistance providers. Rooms should be booked directly with the event hotel using the official information provided on the website and in the brochure.

To view all the safety measures that Sheraton Dallas has implemented, please see the information listed on their website: https://whattoexpect.marriott.com/daldh

2022 ACDIS Pocket Guide: The essential CDI resource

The new 2022 ACDIS Pocket Guide includes updates to clinical diagnostic standards, Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, ICD-10-CM codes, CMS-HCCs, and CDI critical thinking tips! The 2022 ACDIS Pocket Guide is co-written by ACDIS’ CDI Education Director Laurie Prescott, RN, MSN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC, CCDS-O, and a practicing physician steeped in the latest physician documentation terminology, James Manz, MD, CCDS-O.

Preorder your copy today, and be sure you are one of the first to utilize the #1 CDI resource available!

COVID Safety

Simplify Compliance places the highest priority on the safety of our guests. In preparation for attendance at our events, we want to share the following measures to promote health and well-being:

  • Current hotel policy outlines that fully vaccinated guests are no longer required to wear face coverings or social distance in indoor and outdoor areas at our hotels, unless required by local law. Unvaccinated guests must still wear face coverings and practice social distancing when they are in indoor public spaces.
  • Meeting rooms will be set up to comply with state and local recommended social distancing guidelines.
  • Food service will follow the safety guidelines implemented by the hotel.

To view all the safety measures that Sheraton Dallas has implemented, please see the information listed on their website: https://whattoexpect.marriott.com/daldh

Simplify Compliance will continue to monitor the COVID-19 environment, the recommended guidelines, and communicate adjustments to the onsite policies and procedures as we approach the live event date.

Continuing Education

This program has been approved for 13.75 continuing education units towards fulfilling the requirements of the Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS and CCDS-O, outpatient) certification, offered as a service of the Association of Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialists (ACDIS).

This program has been approved for 13.75 continuing education units towards fulfilling the requirements of the Certification in Healthcare Revenue Integrity (CHRI), offered as a service of the National Association of Healthcare Revenue Integrity (NAHRI).

HCPro is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

This educational activity for 13.75 nursing contact hours is provided by HCPro.

HCPro is authorized to award 13.75 hours of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit for this program toward advancement or recertification in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program wishing to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit should indicate their attendance when submitting application to the American College of Healthcare Executives for advancement or recertification.

Check back for additional CEU information to come!