Hattiesburg, Miss. (July 11, 2019) Lorie Mills, RHIT, CCS, director of Coding and CDI at Forrest General Hospital, co-authored an educational article for coders and other health information professionals titled AMI Documentation: Red Flags for CDI and Coding, which was published by American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) website HIM Body of Knowledge. Coding accuracy can impact patients in a multitude of ways, ranging from the claims payment amounts determined by insurance companies and CMS to provider decisions impacting patient care.
“My job isn’t just my career it is my passion. I never imagined one day I would be sharing that passion in a national journal. With Forrest Health being a Cardiac Center of Excellence it seems fitting we would be a part of an initiative to protect the integrity of health data and the improvement of cardiac patient outcomes. This truly has been a blessing from God,” said Mills.
Coding professionals and physicians work in tandem to ensure that conditions are coded properly. This particular piece focuses on cardiology and appropriate coding of Myocardial Infarctions (MI) and Non-MI troponin elevation. According to the article, “Coding accuracy related to MI diagnosis affects a multitude of areas including: CMS quality claims-based measures, public health data tracking, physician comparisons, reimbursement, as well as patient outcomes.”
Thad Waites, MD, MACC, cardiologist at Hattiesburg Clinic and Forrest General Hospital, contributed by offering insight from a physician’s perspective. Both Mills and Waites are natives of Waynesboro, Mississippi, and Mills calls it an honor to collaborate professionally with a hometown hero like Waites.
“I have heard his name my entire life, as he is somewhat of a hero in our small town. I never dreamed of working with Dr. Waites on a national initiative that will have such a far reaching impact on the healthcare system. This opportunity is a direct result of a passion we both possess for the integrity of reported health data,” said Mills.
Mills’ team includes three other authors: Susan Sweeney RN, BSN, CCDS, CCS of Emory Health System; Laura Little RHIT, CCS, CDI manager of St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi; and Abhinav Goyal, MD, MHS, FACC, FAHA, associate professor of medicine at Emory School of Medicine. The group hopes to publish a second article, an educational piece for physicians, through the American College of Cardiology later this year.
Photographed: Lorie Mills, RHIT, CCS, and Thad Waites, MD, MACC