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.

Pre-Conference

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!

Agenda

Day 1 — Monday, October 25, 2021

2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Pre-Registration

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
Johanne “Jo” Brautigam, BSN, RN, CCDS, and Joe Lintz, BSN, BS, RN, CCDS, Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, South Carolina
Learn how to align the worlds of CDI, coding, and vascular surgery in this dynamic presentation that delves into the frequent procedures of vascular bypasses, and endovascular aneurysm repairs (EVARS), including current updates and strategies to make these easier to accurately capture.


12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Lunch—Provided

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 Mary Beth Bumbarger, RHIA, CHDA, CCS
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
Incorporating the Surgical Outpatient’s Risk Depiction into the Inpatient Encounter
Razvan Chirila, James Manz, MD, CCDS, CCDS-O, and Steven Robinson, RN, CDI-P, from the Mayo Clinic
During this session, members of the Mayo Clinic outpatient CDI team will explore tools to abstract and validate diagnoses to better reflect the patient’s complexity of care and risk outcomes at the time of pre-operative evaluation. Inpatient and outpatient CDI collaboration, provider education, and EHR/data assessment will be explored.


4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Special Session
Diversity and Inclusion in CDI
Chinedum Mogbo, MBBS, MsHIM, RHIA, CDIP, CCDS, CCS and Angelica Naylor, RN, CCDS and Rabia Jalal, MBBS, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, RHIA
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.
Lunch—Provided

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!

Speakers

Charles Reggie Ahlfield, MBA-HA, BSHI, RN-BC, CDI specialist at the University of California-Davis Health System in Sacramento, California, began his nursing career in Missouri working primarily in the ICU at a Level I trauma center. Board certified in clinical informatics in 2016, Ahlfield has presented at the American Nursing Informatics Association Academy and other venues.

Kristie Alexander, RN, CCDS, is CDI manager at Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Texas, where she co-manages a staff of 40 CDI professionals across 13 entities. She has 26 years of nursing experience and nine years as a CDI professional. Prior to entering the CDI field, Alexander served as manager of the neurosurgical ICU at Texas Health, Fort Worth, and quality improvement coordinator at Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Alliance. A member of the leadership board for the Texas ACDIS Chapter, she also serves on the ACDIS Chapter Advisory Board.

Laura M. Anderson, RN, CCDS, CDI specialist with Optum360, began her CDI career in 2007 at a Level I trauma facility in St. Paul, Minnesota, after working as a floor RN on step-down, short-stay, postoperative, and telemetry units. She’s also co-chair for the Minnesota ACDIS Chapter.

Wendy Arafiles, MD, FAAP, is the medical director of CDI at Phoenix (Arizona) Children’s Hospital. She has been a practicing pediatric hospitalist at her organization for 13 years, with a specific interest in children with medical complexity and technology dependence. Her medical career has been spent caring for high-acuity, high-complexity pediatric patients.

Tara Bell, RN, CCDS, CCM, is manager of CDI and utilization review services for United Audit Systems, Inc., based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Possessing 16 years of experience in CDI and 26 in nursing with clinical experience including neurology, cardiac, and neonatal intensive care, Bell has been a featured speaker at ACDIS and AHIMA and has played an active role in the South Carolina ACDIS Chapter.

Sheri Blanchard, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CCDS, CCS, is corporate CDI director at Orlando Health in Florida. She has more than 24 years of nursing experience and 12 years of CDI, care management, and coding experience, with a focus on improving patient care, quality outcomes, and the financial stability of hospital systems nationwide. She collaborates with her CDI team, key departments, and providers to develop diagnosis definitions to align with evidence-based practice. Currently serving on the ACDIS Advisory Board, Blanchard is also a past co-leader for the Central Ohio ACDIS Chapter.

Candace Blankenship, RN, CCDS, is clinical project manager with Iodine Software, based in Austin, Texas. She started her CDI career at MedStar and continued to build her practice at Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. She was the first recipient of the ACDIS Rookie of the Year award and has presented at previous ACDIS conferences on APR-DRG. She was a founding member of the ACDIS Regulatory Committee and is an active member of the Florida ACDIS Chapter.

Kathleen A. Bower, DNSc, RN, FAAN, CMAC, is principal emeritus of The Center for Case Management, a  member of the team that invented “clinical paths” and provider-based case management at New England Medical Center in 1985. She has provided education and consultation regarding patient care management strategies, including patient outcomes and critical indicators, patient education and compliance, management skills, and documentation redesign. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a 2015 recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Johanne “Jo” Brautigam, RN, CCDS, is the manager of CDI at Roper Saint Francis Healthcare in Charleston, South Carolina. After 25 years in critical care, Brautigam took the leap into CDI in 2011. She became CDI manager in 2013 and currently manages 11 CDI specialists, covering four hospitals. She is the president of the South Carolina ACDIS Chapter, a member of the ACDIS CDI Leadership Council and the ACDIS CDI Scholarship Committee, and a past member of the CDI Week Committee. She is co-author of The CDI Director’s Cut: A Guide for Effective Program Management and a subject matter expert for ACDIS.

Debbie Breton, RN, CCDS, ACM, CDI team lead at AdventHealth in Tampa, Florida, oversees staff at three facilities. Her experience includes medical claims management over more than 50 team members, and clinical experience in coronary critical care, hospice, and hospital case management.

Timothy Brundage, MD, CCDS, is the CEO and medical director of the Brundage Group in Redington Beach, Florida. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the co-chair of the CDI committee for the American College of Physician Advisors, and a past ACDIS Advisory Board member. He frequently presents to physician groups on CDI and denials management, has been a frequent speaker at both national ACDIS conferences and local chapter meetings, and was a speaker at the American Health Information Management Association’s CDI Summit.

Maureen Bucci, RN, CCDS, is a CDI auditor at SCL Health in Broomfield, Colorado. She has more than 20 years of nursing experience in trauma, emergency department, surgical and medical ICU, and quality management. After her bedside career, Bucci entered CDI, working as a CDI specialist, a CDI consultant, and a CDI manager at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. In her current role, she audits CDI staff for coding accuracy, query creation and validity, missed opportunities, work process adherence, query impact assignment, and education feedback.

Mary Beth Bumbarger, RHIA, CHDA, CCS, is director of health information and quality management for the Brundage Group, based in Redington Beach, Florida. She has more than 30 years’ experience in healthcare focused on HIM, CDI, informatics and analytics, project management, and process improvement. She has held director and consultancy roles in both the government and private sector. Currently, she supports her team and clients in understanding value-driven healthcare and how clinical documentation affects the accurate portrayal of high-quality care.

Razvan Chirila, MD, FACP, CCDS, CDI/UR medical director at Mayo Clinic Florida and co-chair for the physician advisor group at Mayo Clinic is a consultant in general internal medicine and has special interest in hospital and perioperative medicine, graduate medical education, and resource utilization.

Rhoda Chism, RN, CCDS, CCS, is manager of CDI audit and education at Steward Healthcare, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. She has more than 20 years of CDI experience and more than 30 years of nursing experience, with an extensive background in critical care, emergency care, case management, and utilization review. Currently a member of the ACDIS Events Committee, she earned her master’s degree in health leadership in June 2021.

Angie Comfort, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCS-P, is the senior director of CDI and coding operations for LifePoint Health in Brentwood, Tennessee. She has more than 30 years of experience in HIM operations, coding, and CDI. Prior to joining LifePoint, she was the senior director of HIM practice excellence for AHIMA.  Currently a member of ACDIS, AHIMA, and the Tennessee Health Information Management Association, and has spoken for local, national, and international engagements.

Ashley Comiskey, RN, CCDS, is the quality director at Baptist Health Paducah (Kentucky). She has been a registered nurse for 15 years. Her nursing experience includes neuro/trauma critical care at Vanderbilt and Stanford University, PACU at the University of Vermont, and ACO/CIN educator for Baptist Health System. For the past two years, she has been the CDI supervisor for Baptist Health Paducah. Comiskey was the 2019 ACDIS Rookie of the Year award recipient.

Jennifer L. Cooper, MHIIM, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, HIM director at Hunt Regional Healthcare in Greenville, Texas, has more than 17 years of experience in healthcare working in various roles within the HIM department. She began as a coder and became a CDI specialist as she assisted in the development of the inpatient CDI program in 2012. In 2013, she became the manager of coding and CDI, and then director of HIM in 2017. Cooper is a past member of the Texas ACDIS Chapter leadership team, a previous member of the ACDIS Conference Committee, and currently an ACDIS Leadership Council member. She also served as TxHIMA’s DFW-HIMA secretary from 2018 to 2020.

Sheila Duhon, MBA, RN, CCDS, A-CCRN, CCS, is national director of CDI for Steward Health Care, LLC, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Recognized nationally as a CDI leader in CDI best practices, Duhon has an extensive background in critical care nursing and multiple leadership roles across several states, with more than 15 years’ experience in the field. She spoke at the ACDIS conference in 2017 and has been featured on the ACDIS Podcast: Talking CDI and in the CDI Journal. She is a member of the ACDIS Leadership Council and the author of the CDI Workbook: Investigating Complex Cases and Formulating Queries.

Andrea Eastwood, RHIA, system director for clinical encounter and documentation excellence at Trinity Health System based in Livonia, Michigan, has more than 25 years’ experience in both acute and ambulatory care settings. She has worked in various leadership roles, including CDI, HIM, care coordination, case management, and cancer program leadership. In her current role, she is responsible for CDI program leadership and oversight across both inpatient and observation CDI.

Tu-Quynh Edwards, MD, MS, CCDS, CDIP, is the CDI manager at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. She is board certified in internal and pulmonary medicine, with a master’s degree in clinical science, health services research focused on claims data research. An inaugural member of the ACDIS Leadership Council, she also serves on the Texas ACDIS Chapter leadership team.

Cheryl Ericson, RN, CDIP, CCDS, is a clinical program manager with Iodine Software in Austin, Texas. With 25 years of revenue cycle experience, she is recognized as a CDI subject matter expert, frequent speaker, and author. Additionally, Ericson has helped establish industry guidance through white paper and practice brief contributions, including to several AHIMA and ACDIS projects. Currently, she serves on the AHIMA EHR Practice Council, the ACDIS CCDS Certification Committee, and the ACDIS Regulatory Committee. She previously served on the AHIMA CDI Practice Council, ACDIS Practice Guidelines Committee, and ACDIS Advisory Board.

Julian Everett, RN, CDIP, is a CDI educator at Orlando Health Hospital, Florida. With more than 11 years of experience in the health field, Everett has provided mentorship to graduate nurses and new CDI specialists as well as CDI training to more than 100 physicians throughout her facility. Over the last four years, she aided in the development and implementation of the pediatric documentation department, improving documentation for postoperative respiratory complications, neonatal pulmonary insufficiency, shock, sepsis, and pediatric heart failure. A frequent contributor to ACDIS and JustCoding publications, she also serves on the ACDIS Events Committee and the ACDIS Regulatory Committee.

James Fee, MD, CCS, CCDS, is the CEO at Enjoin based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics and maintains a clinical practice in hospital medicine. Fee has been involved in operations and process development of CDI programs nationwide, including training physician advisors, coders, and CDI specialists. A frequent speaker at professional conferences, he has authored articles for many publications, including ACDIS, and has served on the ACDIS Advisory Board.

Margaret (Maggie) M. Foley, PhD, RHIA, CCS, is an associate professor for HIM at Temple University in Philadelphia. She has more than 30 years’ experience in various aspects of HIM, including as HIM director at a large acute care teaching hospital and psychiatric facility, and consultant for inpatient reimbursement and coding strategies. Foley also serves as a coding educational consultant for National Health Resources, served on the 2019 ACDIS Conference Committee, and currently sits on the ACDIS Regulatory Committee.

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.

Eli Freilich, MD, CCDS, is a medical director with Enjoin based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He previously served as director and chief medical officer for BayCare Physician Partners, a large accountable care organization in Clearwater, Florida. Board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease with a master’s degree in medical management, Freilich also worked as the associate clinical professor of family medicine at the University of South Florida.

Stacey Gaona, RN, CCDS, is a CDI specialist at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston. She began her CDI career in 2008 and currently serves as a co-lead documentation specialist at UTMB. Her interests include cardiology, malnutrition, and quality improvement.

Tami McMasters Gomez, CCDS, CDIP, BS, (MHL), is the CDI director at the University of California Medical Center at Davis, based in Sacramento, California. She has more than 30 years’ experience in HIM, starting her career as a file clerk in the medical records department of a small rural hospital. Gomes has worked in a variety of roles, including coder, auditor, supervisor, manager, and director.

William E. Haik, MD, FCCP, CDIP, of DRG Review, Inc., has practiced medicine in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, since 1980. He is board certified in internal, pulmonary, and critical care medicine. He served on the American Hospital Association’s Editorial Advisory Board and on the Expert Advisory Panel of Coding Clinic for ICD-9-CM and helped prepare the original CCS examinations. He served on multidisciplinary committees that developed the 2010 and 2013 physician query guidelines and worked with ACDIS on the original Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist (CCDS) credentialing exam. He is a founding member of the ACDIS Advisory Board.

Tamara Hicks, RN, CCS, CCDS, ACM-RN, CCDS-O, is the director of clinical documentation excellence at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Being an original staff member when the program began in 1999, Hicks participated in building and expanding the program by educating staff and faculty, providing leadership, promoting departmental goals, and coordinating department operations. Hicks is a frequent contributor for ACDIS, served on the ACDIS Advisory Board twice, currently sits on the CCDS-O Certification Board, and was awarded the CDI Professional of the Year Award at the 2019 ACDIS conference.

Kimberly Higgins, RN, CCDS, is the regional CDI manager for AdventHealth, West Florida Division. With a background in medical-surgical ICU and an emphasis in neurosurgery and cardiovascular disciplines, Higgins joined the CDI team in 2013, advancing to CDI supervisor in 2015 and CDI regional manager in 2016. Higgins is the 2019 recipient of AdventHealth’s “Keep Me Safe” award for her division.

Kimberly Huff, BA, COC, CCDS, is the clinical validation denials coordinator for Providence St. Joseph Health System, headquartered in Renton, Washington, where she averages a 70%–75% overturn rate. Prior to entering CDI, she worked in case management and utilization review. Over time, she expanded her skill set to include CDI implementation, CDI quality audits, corporate coding and compliance audits, provider education, RAC auditing, as well as DRG and clinical validation denials and appeals.

Rabia Jalal, MBBS, CCS, CDIP, CCDS, RHIA, is senior clinical analyst at Optum360, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, California. She has expertise in NICU, pediatrics, and OB-GYN, with several years of experience in clinical medicine, public health, clinical research, managed healthcare, and coder auditing. A past ACDIS presenter, she serves on the California ACDIS Chapter’s newsletter committee and recently joined the ACDIS Regulatory Committee. In addition, she has written several articles for the popular medical blog KevinMD.com, discussing CDI during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighting why racism is a public health crisis.

Staci L. Josten, RN, CCDS, is the director of CDI/utilization review services for UASI in Des Moines, Iowa. She has more than 20 years of nursing experience and 10 in CDI. In her current role, she consults with hospital facilities on CDI staffing, internal auditing, program assessment, and management. Previously, she was the director of CDI for Conifer Health Solutions, where she managed more than 20 programs across several states with up to 100 CDI specialists.

Arinda Kennedy, RN, CCDS, CRCR, is an independent consultant focused on clinical care and case management. She has more than 40 years’ experience as a nurse and more than 20 years in CDI and denial management, with 15 years as a consultant.

Trey La Charité, MD, FACP, SFHM, CCS, CCDS, is the medical director for CDI and coding at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. A past ACDIS Advisory Board member, La Charité is a regular presenter at the ACDIS pre-conference Physician Advisor Boot Camp. He is clinical assistant professor of internal medicine and curriculum director of the residency program’s hospitalist rotation. A practicing hospitalist for nearly 20 years, he has oversight spanning case management, utilization review, medical records, compliance, and performance improvement.

Lee Anne Landon, RN, CCMC, CCDS, is the network manager of CDI at HonorHealth in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has more than 12 years of CDI experience. Her current CDI program includes all payer, MS- and APR-DRG, quality, and denials management reviews. Her CDI program collaborates closely with the coding, quality, and case management departments. Landon is an active member of the Arizona ACDIS Chapter and served as co-chair for two years. She has presented at previous ACDIS conferences and is a two-time ACDIS Leadership Exchange alumna.

Joe Lintz, RN, CCDS, is a CDI specialist at Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, South Carolina. He has more than 24 years of nursing experience, with specialization in CDI, clinical care coordination, quality improvement, and case management/utilization review. Lintz has prior teaching experience with ICD-10 preparation and helped develop query compliance and standardization for Roper St. Francis. In addition to his current role, he serves as a physician liaison for CDI physician engagement. He has presented at the ACDIS conference and the 3M Client Experience Summit.

Verona Lodholz, CCDS, CCS, MT(ASCP), DC, is the director of CDI at Accuity Delivery Systems in Wausau, Wisconsin. Lodholz has been involved in the healthcare system since high school, serving as a nursing assistant, chiropractor, laboratory director, and CDI director. After practicing chiropractic for 10 years, she returned to the lab and entered management. In that role, billers began asking for direction with denials, after which Lodholz began to study coding and found her passion for CDI.

James Manz, MD, CCDS-O, is a consultant in spine and neurological surgery with the Mayo Clinic Health system NWWI. He serves as physician chair of the Mayo Enterprise Outpatient CDI Subcommittee, physician vice chair of the Mayo Enterprise Inpatient CDI Subcommittee, and physician advisor of the Mayo Clinic Problem List Stewardship Committee. Dr. Manz is also a member of the ACDIS CCDS-O certification committee.

Melinda G. Matthews, RN, MHA, CCDS, CDIP, is the manager of inpatient CDI at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which includes four academic medical centers, a children’s hospital, and a variety of other services. A member of the CCDS Certification Committee, Matthews has spoken at multiple ACDIS conferences and North Carolina ACDIS Chapter events and has served as a content expert for ACDIS articles.

Pam McCall, RN, CCM, CPN, is a CDI specialist at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Prior to starting her role in CDI three years ago, McCall spent 35 years in nursing, including home health/hospice, adult and pediatric intensive care, pediatric transport, and case management. She has served as the secretary for the Nebraska Chapter of the Case Management Society of America and helped initiate the nurse case management program at Children’s Hospital. She has participated in shared governance and has been on many committees working with the business office and scheduling access center.

Kathryn “Katie” McLaughlin, DNP, FNP-BC, is senior clinical advisor and lead risk adjustment nurse practitioner at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, California, where she leads the ambulatory clinicians in best practice documentation and data integrity. Having more than 16 years of clinical experience, including the last four within a population health leadership role, she has bridged the gap between the clinician and the auditor by designing and training tools and workflows that both support providers and improve patient care.

Jacqueline Melsha, MBA-HM, BSN, RN, RHIA, CCDS, is a CDI analyst at Texas Health Resources, based in Houston, Texas. She earned her MBA with a focus in healthcare management as well as her nursing and informatics degrees from Western Governors University Texas. She has served as a Texas ACDIS Chapter leader since 2019 and has more than eight years of CDI experience.

Beth Ming, BSN, RN, CCDS, CDIP, is a senior clinical consultant with Claro Healthcare in Kathleen, Georgia. A nurse for more than a dozen years, Ming’s clinical background includes oncology, emergency, gastroenterology, and medical-surgical nursing. Ming facilitates Claro Healthcare’s curriculum, educates CDI and coding teams on relevant clinical and coding topics, and conducts assessments for opportunities to improve quality metric outcomes through CDI and coding processes.

Mary Beth Mitchell, MSN, RN, CPHQ, CCM, SSBB, is the senior executive director for care transformation for Doylestown Hospital in Pennsylvania. She has 35 years of experience in nursing, leadership, quality improvement, population health, case management, managed care, and CDI. Mitchell previously served as consultant for patient safety, director of quality, director of case management, and cardiovascular service line director.

Chinedum Mogbo, MBBS, MsHIM, RHIA, CDIP, CCDS, CCS, is CDI manager at Tenet Healthcare in Dallas, where she has been involved in the successful development of the in-house CDI training curriculum. Previously managing CDI, coding, and coding auditors, she also worked as a CDI training director for a California-based health system. She actively participates in the CDIP and RHIA exam item writing with AHIMA and serves as co-chair of the AHIMA CDI practice council, working on many projects that provide guidance to the industry—the most recent being updating the Guidelines for Achieving a Compliant Query Practice, a joint publication between ACDIS and AHIMA. She is a current member of the ACDIS Advisory Board and the ACDIS Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.

Judy Moreau, RN, MBA, is the vice president of mid-revenue cycle for Trinity Health headquartered in Livonia, Michigan. She is responsible for providing leadership for the organization in HIM, clinical documentation, and coding. Prior to joining Trinity Health, Moreau worked as a consultant for Deloitte and Touche performing revenue cycle, coding and compliance, and clinical trial engagements. She has also managed both private and academic physician practices. Moreau has published multiple articles on revenue cycle–related issues and presented at multiple national conferences on CDI.

Andrea Moreno, RN, is an Optum360 service area manager, responsible for all CDI operations at Dignity Health’s St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Her clinical background includes trauma and surgical ICU, and emergency nursing. In CDI, she has specialized in neurosurgery and neurology service lines.

Marietta Morhardt, RN, CPN, CCM, is a CDI specialist at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. While she helped initiate the CDI team more than five years ago, Morhardt has been at the organization for 31 years, working as a floor nurse, as a charge nurse in medical-surgical and the pediatric ICU, and in case management. She has served on multiple shared governance committees and has served on a multidisciplinary steering committee to help focus on new goals for the hospital’s future.

Angelica Naylor, RN, CCDS, is CDI consultant and manager at TrustHCS, a CorroHealth Company in Plano, Texas. She moved into the consulting role two years ago after serving as the CDI manager/director for North Kansas City Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She has five years of experience in CDI, coming from a background in critical care nursing in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, where she worked in the trauma, surgical, and neurological ICU as well as in utilization review, case management, quality, and risk management. She serves on the ACDIS Chapter Advisory Board and the ACDIS Regulatory Committee, and is also a member of the ACDIS Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. 

Shirlivia Parker, MHA, RHIA, CDIP, BS-HIM, is CDI manager at University of California Medical Center at Davis in Sacramento. She has 19 years of revenue cycle experience, including roles as HIM director, CDI physician educator, clinical coder/auditor, CDI specialist, and denials management expert.

Noelle Pikus-Pace is an Olympic medal winner for skeleton sledding at the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia. She blossomed as a slider and became the best in the world, until she was severely injured in a training accident, hit by a runaway bobsled, suffering a compound leg fracture. Now she is a frequent speaker, consultant, author, model, and business owner, having redefined herself in the face of adversity.

Leigh Poland, RHIA, CCS, executive director for education at AGS Health, has more than 20 years of coding experience. Prior to AGS Health, she was the corporate auditor/RAC coordinator for a major healthcare provider and has worked as coder, coding supervisor, and director of HIM in a 250-bed acute care facility. She has experience in an acute care setting, postacute care, behavioral health, and a physician-owned ambulatory surgery center. Poland has presented at AHIMA and has been a guest speaker on AHIMA webinars.

Laurie L. Prescott, RN, MSN, CCDS, CDIP, CRC, is the CDI education director at HCPro, a division of Simplify Compliance LLC, in Middleton, Massachusetts. She is an instructor for the CDI Boot Camps, a subject matter expert for ACDIS, a member of the CCDS and CCDS-O exam boards, and a member of the ACDIS Advisory Board. She is also the author of The Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialist’s Complete Training Guide and the best-selling ACDIS Pocket Guide series.

Mike Rayburn is a two-time TED Talk presenter, an innovative entrepreneur, and a Hall of Fame speaker who uses world-class guitar and comedy to teach change and innovation to corporations worldwide. 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.

Autumn Reiter, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, director of CDI services for TrustHCS, a CorroHealth Company in Plano, Texas, began her nursing career in ICU, moving into additional bedside experience in labor and delivery, eventually becoming the clinical coordinator for a CDI program in Chesapeake, Virginia. A 2013 ACDIS conference presenter, she served as Virginia ACDIS Chapter leader from 2015 to 2016, and was recently elected to serve on the ACDIS Advisory Board.

Erica E. Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS, is the president of Erica Remer, MD, Inc., based in Beachwood, Ohio. She was a practicing emergency physician for 25 years and has extensive coding, CDI, and ICD-10 expertise. Prior to consulting, she was a physician advisor at a large multihospital system for four years. She has written numerous articles and serves as the co-host of Talk Ten Tuesdays, a weekly podcast. Remer is currently a member of the ACDIS Advisory Board, the Board of Directors of the American College of Physician Advisors, and the ICD10monitor editorial board.

Steven Robinson, MS, PA-O, RN, SSBB, CDIP, CDI director for Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, has an extensive background in CDI, process improvement, and operations. He has served as a consultant in more than 200 facilities nationwide over the past 30 years and has presented on various CDI-related topics at AAPC, ACDIS, AHIMA, and AHLA.

Suzanne Rogers, RHIA, CCS, CHDA, is the director of data applications and insights for Vizient Inc., based in Irving, Texas. She has more than 35 years of healthcare experience in HIM, coding, quality, performance improvement, CDI, and data analytics. Rogers is primarily responsible for the development and application of service line methodology and clinical risk model variables defined by ICD-10 codes.

Amy Sanderson, MD, is a pediatric intensivist at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has been the physician advisor for the CDI program since its inception in 2014. She also serves as an assistant professor in anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School. Sanderson has presented at the ACDIS conference and is a contributing author to the book Pediatric CDI: Building Blocks for Success.

Elisa Sninchak, M.Ed, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, is CDI educator for Novant Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has 21 years of nursing experience, with 14 at the bedside in a Level I trauma setting. She began her CDI journey with Novant’s EHR implementation in 2014 and went on to create a CDI specialist orientation system that was used to onboard new CDI staff members. Sninchak is the co-founder of the ACDIS CDI Educator Networking Group, which she led for two years. Currently, she sits on the ACDIS CDI Scholarship Committee.

Pamela Stence, RN, CCDS, is CDI director at Sharp Healthcare in San Diego, California, where she manages a team of 22 nurses in various roles who review acute care and inpatient rehabilitation at five facilities. With a clinical background in emergency, trauma, and air medical transport, Stence has served as co-chair of the California ACDIS Chapter.

Kari Thie, RN, CCDS, is a CDI auditor for SCL Health in Denver, Colorado. She has more than 28 years of nursing experience, including medical-surgical, neonatal, and case management. She also has experience with auditing medical records, Patient Safety Indicators, physician and CDI education, and team leadership. Thie has presented previously at ACDIS and AHIMA conferences.

Jessica M. Thurman, MBA, risk adjustment provider at Scripps Clinic in San Diego, California, is a certified physician assistant with more than 10 years of experience in interventional cardiology, ED, and rural primary care. She works alongside an interdisciplinary team to improve continuity of care and efficiency for patients via best-practice documentation and enhanced clinician workflows.

Mary Elizabeth (M.E.) VanGelder, RN, MEd, CCDS, RHIT, is a CDI trainer at HonorHealth in Scottsdale, Arizona. She began her CDI career in 2014 at Mayo Clinic Hospital and now provides physician and staff education across all of HonorHealth’s facilities. With 30 years of nursing experience, including five years in case management, VanGelder is a frequent ACDIS speaker and contributor. She is a member of the HIM Advisory Council for Phoenix College, a current co-chair of the Arizona ACDIS Chapter, and a founding co-chair of the ACDIS CDI Educator Networking Group. She is also a member of the 2020-2021 ACDIS Events Committee.

Dana Walker, MSN, CCDS, is a second-level reviewer and auditor at Novant Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A previous ACDIS conference speaker and poster presenter, she has 16 years of nursing experience with 11 in CDI. Her CDI experience includes denials and audit appeals with a current focus on Patient Safety Indicator reviews, mortality reviews, and internal audits.

Laura J. Werner, DC, MSN-ed, RN, CDIP, CSS, is senior director of CDI for Huron Consulting Group serving Adventist Health, overseeing California, Oregon, and Hawaii; that oversight includes 16 acute care hospitals, five critical access hospitals, and more than 300 clinics for inpatient and outpatient programs. She has nearly 30 years of clinical experience, including a dozen in CDI where she has assisted in the design and implementation of both acute care and critical access CDI departments, working both on-site and remote.

Michelle Wieczorek, RN, RHIT, CPHQ, CCDS-O, is the senior manager of CDI services at DHG Healthcare in Erie, Pennsylvania. With more than 30 years in the healthcare industry, she has extensive experience in software development and IT product management, including holding a U.S. patent in natural language processing clinical rules logic because of her work in developing a CDI software program.

Deanne Wilk, RN, CCDS, CDIP, CCS, is the CDI manager at Penn State Health. Her 35 years of experience include management, education, and consulting. Over the last several years, Wilk has worked on numerous projects to advance CDI education and awareness, including writing numerous articles, serving as a subject matter expert, and contributing to CDI and coding coursework. She has been a speaker at ACDIS, PHIMA, and AHIMA, and since 2015 has held a co-leader position on the Central Pennsylvania ACDIS Chapter. She co-authored the book CDI and Quality Reporting: How Healthcare Record Review Can Improve Outcomes and served on the ACDIS Advisory Board from 2016 to 2019.

Beth Wolf, MD, CPC, CCDS, is a physician consultant for 3M and the medical director for HIM at a three-hospital system in Charleston, South Carolina. She is board certified in palliative medicine, internal medicine, and clinical informatics. As a leader, physician, and CDI professional, Wolf improves data reliability and aligns CDI efforts with physician and system priorities.

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

Pricing

  • 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

Sponsors

Platinum:

3M



Gold: 

Dolbey           Nuance
  



Silver:



AMN
ChartWise EZDI


iodine
    Medovent

R1
UASI



Exhibitors:

ACS Brundage Group
Claro Healthcare
ClinIntell
CorroHealth
Curation Healthcare
Enjoin
FairCode
GHR RevCycle Workforce
Guidehouse
Hiteks Solutions
Huron
InnoviHealth
Intellis
InteroGroup
KIWI-TEK
Maxim Health
Meleeo, LLC
ML Healthcare Consulting
Norwood
nThrive
Pediatric Resource Group
Vizient

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

ACDIS
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).

NAHRI
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).

ANCC
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.

ACCME
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!