IaHIMA Informant!

Straight from your Iowa AHIMA CSA Board Members!


Your IaHIMA Board would like to welcome you to our new and improved IaHIMA Informant!

Here you will find Messages from the Board, articles from AHIMA plus more!

Below is our current 2019-2020 State Board Members


  • Andrea Kane - 2019/2020 2nd year Nominating Committee
  • Krystal Lloyd, MBA, RHIA, CCS - 2019/2020 2nd year Director
  • Kara Staiert - IHA Liaison
  • Connie Kirschten, RHIT - District A Liaison
  • Shawna Sweeney, MSHI, RHIA, CCS - District B Liaison
  • Shelley McFadden, RHIT, CCS - District D Liaison
  • Carrie Jackson, RHIA, M. ED - 2019/2020 Education Liaison
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We have extended the period for voting for your new board members! We are just short of our goal for voting, so please go over to the IaHIMA website and vote!


  • President-Elect
  • Director
  • Nominating Committee/AHIMA Nominating Committee
  • Treasurer

Final Presidents Message for 2020 from Gayla Smith

Hello IaHIMA members!

This is my final President’s message. Thank you all for allowing me to serve in this position for the past year. It was definitely a career highlight. It's not always been easy being in this position, but the best challenges always have their ups as well as downs. I've enjoyed every minute.

It is truly hard to believe how quickly a year has passed and that I am writing this as I prepare to transition to immediate past president. It takes a collective effort to make an association like ours viable, and I think it is only fair that special thanks also go out to all the volunteer members on the board that has worked so hard over the past year; truly a great group of people! While there is still much to do, the new President, Michele Flattery, is very enthusiastic and motivated and will work with the ongoing leadership of the members who remain on the board. Going forward, I am certain that IaHIMA will be in good hands under the leadership of Michele.

Representing IaHIMA as the 2019-2020 President has been one of the greatest privileges in my career as a Health Information Professional! I am honored to have served the association. I must say, it has been a different kind of year for the board and unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to chair the annual meeting and meet and talk with the IaHIMA members. I was looking forward to the opportunity to meet with members at the scheduled social hour to get to know some of the members and to hear ideas for future annual meetings. The Directors really did plan a great meeting with different types of CEU’s, fun, and networking events to ensure there was something for everyone. Unfortunately, in March when Governor Reynolds banned gatherings of more than 10 people, the Board had no choice but to cancel our annual meeting. With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis the board decided it was not feasible to postpone or reschedule. This was not a decision we took lightly. As much as the board would have liked to carry on with the event, the health, safety and security of the board, our members, and families, was of utmost importance to us.

During my term of President I chaired several board meetings, worked with the board on a strategic plan, updated some of the policies and procedures, and attended the Leadership Meeting and National meeting to learn new ideas and how to improve our association. I also spent hours with the rest of the board planning the annual meeting and trying to plan roundtables and possibly a one day-fall meeting in different districts. The board communicated through many emails on how to improve our association, how to get members more excited and involved in our association. I wrote several articles for the newsletter which our Communications Liaison, Abbi Telford gave a new name; the IaHIMA Informant. She also updated the look and content and is now publishing it on a regular basis. As I move into the position of Past President, I plan to continue working diligently with the rest of the board and volunteering to be on different committees as needed.

The board will meet in June for our transitional meeting to welcome and provide orientation to the new board members. I am looking forward to another exciting year on the board with such great volunteers, working and planning to make IaHIMA a successful organization. We can’t do any of this without volunteers; we’re all vital elements for the success of our association. If you have any interest please sign up, we might have spots open on various committees where we need your assistance!

Friendly reminder that the work done while serving on the IaHIMA Board is all volunteer time. Board members take time out of their personal lives to ensure our members have a positive experience at events, while assisting members in maintaining CEUs and staying up to date on matters in the HIM arena. It is through volunteerism and membership that IaHIMA has continued to be successful. I want to encourage all of you to consider taking an active role in the association by volunteering. The IaHIMA board, committees and volunteers continue to work hard for you. As always, I encourage you to share your feedback with any of our board members and reach out if you are interested in volunteering!

In closing, I would like to thank you all again for allowing me the opportunity to serve as president. Personally and professionally, it has been rewarding.


Final President Elect Message of 2020 by Michele Flattery

What a year it has been as President-elect! Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of this role. I have learned so much. I have a report for each board meeting, but to sum up the year. I was able to participate in Leadership in July and attend the national conference in Chicago. I was able to network with fellow states and CSA members on the changes happening with AHIMA and find ways to improve our state membership. We have tried to utilize our Facebook page more often. We have ramped up our information in the newsletters, and have some great board members reaching out to get more member involvement. One of the items we haven’t gotten to is videos. I am hopeful that when we reconvene in June, we can look at what we didn’t get accomplished in 2019 and see what we can do for 2020. I encourage all of you to be active with IaHIMA. There is so many opportunities to network and learn. The COVID-19 has really thrown a lot of us in healthcare for a loop. This is my first time working through a pandemic and working at a hospital. I am learning a lot and very quickly. We will keep educating you on things that are coming out and trying to answer any questions you have as they come. Our Advocacy trip to DC was cancelled, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stay on top of information that is coming and going with Congress. Our meeting was also cancelled for April. Don’t worry, your board members are already thinking of things we can do and we definitely want to keep some things business as usual. We will keep you updated on CEU opportunities, scholarships, voting in our new members for 2020-2021 and all the upcoming happenings. If you all have any questions or suggestions of things we can do to continue to help you please let us know.

Reminder- we are slotted to be at Kirkwood again in 2021 for our annual meeting.
Big news: 2022 we are slotted to be back at Prairie Meadows in Des Moines!

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the current board members and to Gayla, our current President. So much work was done this year to look at improving our CSA. Thank you for all your work you do on the board and in your careers and allowing us all to be able to network and extract knowledge!

I look forward to a new year as you IaHIMA President and get back to business as usual. Hang in there, this too shall pass!

Marketing & Recruitment Liaison Report - Peggy Wolfe

I had sent out 80 Member Recognition letters to members who reached a milestone in their years of membership. Those were to be read at our state meeting. Due to the pandemic that has altered our lives, we regrettably had to cancel our state meeting. It is our hope that we will be able to do something in the future. When that time comes, those members will still be recognized.

I updated all of the district membership lists. I sent a copy of active members to Knowledgeconnex for when they send out the email blasts regarding the upcoming election.

We currently have 795 active members.

Members who have reached a milestone year within IaHIMA/AHIMA are:

15 Years: Kelly Wilson, Meredith Anderson, Amanda Fisher, Carmen Schmidt, Jill Jansen, Diane Grapp, Kathy Briggs, Jennifer Oltmanns, Julee Hohbach, Joanne Bean, Kathleen Kibat, Laura Atherton, Carrie Jackson, Shari Bottoms, Jennifer Larson, Barbara Jeffers, Alicia Elsbernd, Marla Pleggenkuhle, Vicky Koch, Mallory Kuhse, Stacey Massman, Kayla Seibert, Kimberly Frimmi-Short, Rhonda Adams, Steve Ransier, Tory Hunt, Kristine Boot, Erin Hoffa, Michelle Sexton, Connie Apperson, and Amanda Medrano.

20 Years:
Kristi Bockenstedt, Jill Samec, June Medlock, Lindsay Krambeer, Debra Igou, Judy Allison, Stacey Gunderson, Louise Slack, Michele Grant, Amy Calvert, Tiffany Sommer, Laurie Draper, Elaine Birkey, Lori Johnson, Kristin Kula, and Kandi Gillitzer.

25 Years: Kristen Brundage, Andrea Kane, Rod Wilson, Dana Wilson, Trina Howard, Regina Manning, Lisa Niemann-Heidemann, and Lori Cherrier.

30 Years:
Denise Grell, Carolyn Hansman, Tamara Staudt, Kathryn Schleuger, Margo Malone, Rhonda Seibert, Vicki Muller, JoAnn Breher, and Carol Plathe.

35 Years: Joan Waters, Laura Krogman, Janice Swanson, MariBeth Schneider, Gayle Even, Marlys Hansen, Patty Origer, Heidi Jones, Lisa Sturtz, and Jill Coble. ***After mailing out all recognition letters, I was notified that Jill Coble suddenly passed away last year. My condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

40 Years: Karen Parker, Janet VanBuskirk, and Catherine Sullivant.

45 Years: Catherine Ganfield and Carol Nicholson.

50 Years: Judy Butler

Congratulations to ALL!!

Everyone, please stay healthy and safe.


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AHIMA HiPitch Podcast

Did you know that AHIMA has a podcast? You can find this on anyone of the platforms such as Apple Podcasts, GooglePlay, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeart Radio, Deezer, Pocket Casts, iTunes and Radio Public.



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If you are NOT needing CEU's and you do not want to register for the above class, please email Sarah Cottington directly at Sarah.Cottington@indianhills.edu and she will forward the weblink directly to you with the handouts on Tuesday May 5th, 2020.


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Sign up to write for the Journal of AHIMA!


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District Liaisons:

District A: Connie Kirschten

District B: Sarah B. Caddell & Shawna Sweeney

District C: Sarah Cottington

District D: Shelley McFadden

District E: OPEN

Please see the IaHIMA website to for direct contact information for the District Liaisons. We would love for meetings to be held at your facility!


Become a Board Member!

2020-2021 IaHIMA Board of Directors Election has opened!

All eligible voting members of the Iowa Health Information Management Association (IaHIMA) are invited to participate in the IaHIMA Board election.

The election will run until midnight on May 7, 2020.

You will vote for:

President-Elect (1)

Director (1)

Nominating Committee/AHIMA Nominating Committee (1)

Treasurer (1)

To vote click here: https://www.iahima.org/iahima-board-election/

You will be required to enter your AHIMA ID. If you don’t know your AHIMA ID or are unsure if you are an eligible voter, please contact AHIMA.


Nominating Committee Goals for 2019-2020 Submitted by Andrea Kane

1. Increase % of IaHIMA members voting in April 2020 to greater than 25%.

  • Elections have not yet been held so no statistics available.

2. Increase candidates so that each open position has two or more members running for office.

  • Goal met.

3. Increase interest in open positions through newsletter articles, in-person appeals at continuing education opportunities, and personal appeals (based on board member and/or HIT program faculty recommendations) via handwritten notes.

  • Goal met through presentation at District B, content of KnowledgeConnex message during Nomination process, and IaHIMA board members’ personal appeals.

4. Create an updated Nominating Committee manual/binder to help committee members become acclimated more quickly to their role and responsibilities.

  • Goal will be met – already in progress. Planned completion date is May 31st. Will deliver Nominating Committee materials to Sarah Caddell in early June if permitted (under State of Iowa COVID-19 quarantine at present; COVID-19 peak predicted to be April 26th, 2020).

Thank you for the opportunity to have served IaHIMA these past two years.
You will be in excellent hands with Sarah Caddell leading the Nominating Committee next year.

Respectfully Submitted by Andrea Kane, MS, RHIA, CCS
Nominating Committee (2nd Year)


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IHA 2020 Report

IaHIMA Annual Board Meeting Report
April 2020
Upcoming meetings/educational programs from the Iowa Hospital Association:
Inspiration Speakers Series: Paul Long Date: 4/15/2020 12:00 PM - 4/15/2020 1:00 PM Register here for this complimentary webinar.

Telehealth Strategies and Coding Concerns: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Date: 4/16/2020 1:00 PM - 4/16/2020 2:00 PM http://www.ihaonline.org/brochures/telehealthcodingwebinar.pdf

Nursing Services Conditions of Participation Date: 4/21/2020 10:00 AM - 4/21/2020 12:00 PM http://www.ihaonline.org/brochures/2020_nursingcopsweb_0421.pdf

Inspiration Speakers Series: Holly Hoffman Don't Just Survive - Thrive! Date: 4/22/2020 12:00 PM - 4/22/2020 1:00 PM https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TJPknY-8RS6g0uXiC9OZdg

Inspiration Series Speaker: Kevin Kush Date: 4/29/2020 12:00 PM - 4/29/2020 1:00 PM


Inspiration Speakers Series: Amy K Leading and Communicating in Turbulent Times Date: 5/6/2020 12:00 PM - 5/6/2020 1:00 PM https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QSEK3bRsRhexOIMqS_uGUQ

Inspiration Speakes Series: Dr. Celina Peerman Date: 5/13/2020 12:00 PM - 5/13/2020 1:00 PM https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yOuPdLTDTp6GwyNGvaYiPA

Chargemaster Management Best Practices Date: 5/20/2020 12:00 PM - 5/20/2020 1:00 PM http://www.ihaonline.org/brochures/402820chargemasterweb.pdf

IHA Position Papers http://www.ihaonline.org/Portals/0/leg%20position%20FINAL%20V2.pdf Government Relations Department Find IHA position papers posted on the IHA website along with the legislative agenda. Current papers include:

Behavioral Health 

Critical Access Hospital Cost Adjustment Factor 

Days Waiting Placement 

Emergency Medical Services 

Medicaid 


Medicaid Expansion Starting July 1st introduces a new Medicaid Managed Care Organization, Iowa Total Care, to Iowa providers. UnitedHealthcare Plan of the River Valley, Inc. will discontinue on June 30, 2019. The MCOs now oversee nearly 99% of the Medicaid population in Iowa.

IHA’s data provides utilization and charge information related to MCO payment that IHA data users can access. IHA has undertaken detailed analyses to assist in advocacy efforts moving forward to ensure adequate access for patients and appropriate payment for providers.
For more information, contact Kara Staiert (515/283-9319).


Legislative Liaison Report by Carrie Arens

AHIMA continues to work toward the goal of a national patient identifier. See the email below from Lesley Kadlec:

Hello Everyone,
As the Senate leaves town today for August district work period, we wanted to provide a quick update on where things are with the patient matching issue in Congress and to ask for your assistance as our state advocacy leaders. (If you are new to the state advocacy leaders team, welcome!)
In June of this year the House adopted an amendment that would strike language in the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill that prohibits the US Department of Health and Human Services from using federal funds to promulgate or adopt a unique patient identifier. Striking this language will provide the US Department of Health and Human Services the ability to evaluate a full range of patient matching solutions and enable it to work with the private sector to identify a solution that is costeffective, scalable, secure and one that protects patient privacy.
Now that a budget deal has materialized, when the Senate returns in September, we expect them to quickly take up the Senate FY20 Labor-HHS appropriations bill. Along these lines, we are trying to build grassroots support for the Senate to reject inclusion of this outdated language as the House did in June.

Along these lines, we’ve created a new engagement at AHIMA’s Advocacy Action Center and we have two favors to ask
(1) Head to the Advocacy Action center to contact your US Senator about this critical issue. (2) Encourage others within your CSA to take action as well.

Our goal between now and September is to garner as much grassroots support as possible to continue to move this issue forward.

There is also a new AHIMA Congressional District Meeting Resource Guide – free to all members. Helps you prepare and plan for district meetings with your congressmen/staff.
The AHIMA Advocacy Summer for 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19, but AHIMA did do a Virtual Hill Day focusing on:
Patient identification: http://cqrcengage.com/ahima/app/take-action?


Modernization of Health Information Laws to Help Stem the Tide of Opioid Misuse: http://cqrcengage.com/ahima/app/take-action?engagementId=50655

We do continue to sell the Iowa Guide to Medical Records Law, and are anticipating an update to it in the near future.

Respectfully submitted,

Carrie Arens, MHIIM, RHIT IaHIMA Legislative Liaiso

Physician's Office Liaison Report by Megan (Weis) Imhof

The past year feels like it’s been a whirlwind in the physician office world. I’d like to highlight some of the items many offices have been keeping their eye on this year –

 AHIMA released a journal article on the status of ICD-11 – WHO Group Discusses ICD-11 Transition Planning: https://journal.ahima.org/2019/06/12/who-group-discusses-icd-11-transition-planning/

o The World Health Organization launched ICD-10 in 2001 but it was not adopted by the United States until 2015. ICD-11 will be launched on January 1, 2022 but based on history I do not foresee the United States being an early adopter. I do expect to begin seeing “sneak peeks” at conferences in the next few years. Keep in mind, the US will take the WHO version of ICD-11 and adapt it into our own ICD-11-CM and ICD-11-PCS versions. 

We went through yet another Iowa MCO transition on July 1, 2019 as Iowa Total Care joined the market and United Healthcare left. On April 1, 2020 Amerigroup sent out a contract amendment indicating they’ll be adding a Medicare Advantage plan to its contract. 

The physician fee schedule (PFS) final rule can be found at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/MedicareFee-for-Service-Payment/PhysicianFeeSched/PFS-


A few highlights:

o Conversion Factor wen up $0.05 to $36.09.

o Additional telehealth services added o Office visit coding changes are anticipated to go in effect in 2021. 

Will keep 5 levels for established patients 

Reduced to 4 levels for new patients 

Will chose code based on medical decision making or time.

o Physical Therapy & Occupation Therapy Assistants are required to use special modifiers on charges effective 1/1/20 which will lead to a Medicare reduction in payment (-10%).

o Appropriate Use Criteria is still moving forward. This is where clinicians will be required to consult a clinical decision support system for certain types of advanced diagnostic imaging. 2020 is considered a “testing” year and there will be no penalties until 1/1/21. https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-NetworkMLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/MM11268.pdf

March 2020 brought about the COVID-19 crisis.

o Physician offices have been faced with reducing hours and staff due to limitations on elective surgeries and procedures and encouraging people to stay home.

o Many physician groups have stood up telehealth services in a matter of days – which is a project that should take months. 

Most insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid have relaxed their billing guidelines allowing more services to be provided via telehealth or telephone. 

Be sure to check with your payers. Some want the Place of Service (POS) to be 02, some want your regular POS (11) with a 95 modifier. Some are allowing telephone calls to be billed the same way as telehealth, some want the actual telephone CPT codes.

o AHIMA’s COVID page can be found at: http://www.ahima.org/topics/covid-19

o Be sure to check other associations and payers as well for helpful resources.


2020 Annual Meeting Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the IaHIMA Education Scholarship Winners!

Listed below are the 5 winners with their selected college and degree program.

  • Michele Grant, University of Cincinnati, RHIA
  • Eleanor Stewart, Indian Hills Community College, RHIT
  • Makenzie Peterson, Indian Hills Community College, RHIT
  • Alyssa Martin, Indian Hills Community College, RHIT
  • Ashley Cowart, Indian Hills Community College, RHIT
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Due to the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 and after significant discussion and emails, the IaHIMA Board decided to cancel the annual meeting for 2020. While this was a difficult decision, given the hours spent by the Board planning to conduct a successful, productive and fun meeting, there truly was no practical way to convene due to restrictions placed on nonessential travel, advisories against travel, and the CDC’s recommendations of avoiding gatherings of 50 or more people for 8 weeks.

As of right now, there are no plans to reschedule the meeting in 2020, but there will be discussions of other ways to provide you, the members, with CEU’s. Our communication Liaison, Abbi Telford will be posting updates, so please look for e-blasts, and check the website and the IaHIMA community on Engage for additional information in the coming months. The members health and safety is our number one concern.

For those who have already paid for their hotel rooms, please contact the hotel and cancel your registration.

IaHIMA will be issuing refunds for registration fees. Please contact Gayla Smith at president@iahima.org. If you paid by credit card, please do not dispute your credit card charge. The association will be working with you to issue a refund.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the board members.

Stay up to date on all things COVID-19:

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Now Accepting Nominations!

AHIMA is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Grace Award and the AHIMA Triumph Award. Nominations are due on the following dates:

2020 Grace Award - Due by May 22nd, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Visit: http://www.ahima.org/about/recognition?tabid=grace

AHIMA Triumph Award - Due June 1st, 2020.

Visit: http://www.ahima.org/about/recognition?tabid=triumph