Note from the editor: NAHRI members come together to learn and solve problems

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

by Nicole Votta

Last week, I had the privilege of joining hundreds of NAHRI members and revenue integrity professionals at the 2019 Revenue Integrity Symposium (RIS) in Orlando. Like the attendees, I had the opportunity to network, catch up with friends new and old, and learn from our expert speakers—and our attendees. Everywhere I went, I heard attendees sharing tips for streamlining workflows, troubleshooting EHRs, or improving charge capture in clinical departments.

2019 RIS

As many attendees said, I wish I could have been in more than one place at a time to catch all the sessions I was looking forward to. On day one, Valerie A. Rinkle, MPA, CHRI, and Jugna Shah, MPH, CHRI, gave attendees a tour of the key points of the 2020 IPPS final rule and the 2020 OPPS and MPFS proposed rules (read more about their session “Round the Rule Merry-Go-Round: IPPS, OPPS, and MPFS” here). During the following session, former CMS senior executive Marc Hartstein, MA, shared insight into the application of the 2-midnight rule—a policy he helped draft during his tenure at CMS.

The first day also included sessions on some of revenue integrity’s hottest topics, including price transparency and hospital pricing. Although it’s difficult to predict how CMS’ new and expanded price transparency proposals in the 2020 OPPS proposed rule will look in the final rule, attendees came away from sessions armed with data and tips they could put into action. During her session “Seeing Through Price Transparency,” Caroline Rader Znaniec, MBA, MS-HCA, shed some light on CMS’ current price transparency efforts, what these efforts might mean for revenue integrity, and how revenue integrity can help their organizations adapt to changes. Dapo Akanbi, MBA, John Settlemyer, MBA, MHA, CPC, and Rinkle dove into hospital pricing strategies and payer strategies that could stand up to increased scrutiny while allowing hospitals to thrive and serve their communities.

This year, RIS devoted several sessions to the core of revenue integrity: chargemaster and charge capture. Angela Lynne Simmons, CPA, and Settlemyer shared field-tested tips and real-world strategies to improve charge capture and reconciliation during their interactive session “Charge Capture and Reconciliation for Revenue Integrity Success.” Did you know that most attendees at the session lead the effort to maintain a current chargemaster but partner with clinical operators to comprehensively review their service roster annually as part of the annual budget process or CPT® updates? Or that most attendees at the session said that revenue management programs were introduced to clinical operators, but revenue integrity staff still struggle to manage, monitor, and maintain the programs? Using those insights, Settlemyer and Simmons gave attendees information they can apply to improve revenue integrity. During the session “The CDM: Tales from a CFO, Coordinator, and Consultant,” Sarah L Goodman, MBA, CHCAF, COC, CCP, FCS, Kay Larsen, CRCR, CHRI, and Linda J. McCray, CPA, MBA, gave attendees an inside look at best practices for maintaining an up-to-date chargemaster and insight into the relationship between revenue integrity and the CFO.

Two lively panel sessions, “Success and Leadership: Panel Discussion with Women Leaders” and “Securing and Retaining the Best Talent: A Panel Discussion on Creating a Strategy and Culture to Attract and Retain Staff,” spotlighted leadership and professional development. Marijane Armbruster, RHIA, Nicole Harper, PhD, Stacey McCreery, MBA, and Patti Medvescek shared their stories of challenge and success and gave attendees tips on interviewing, managing remote staff, and fostering employees’ professional growth.

Each session sparked an exchange of ideas and experiences and conversations spilled out of the breakout rooms and into the busy exhibit hall. The energy and enthusiasm generated are what I love about RIS and demonstrate that it is truly the premier revenue integrity networking and education event.

Along with our events staff and NAHRI leadership, the NAHRI conference committee played an important role in making 2019 RIS a success. Thank you to Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP, CHCQM, CHRI; Carole Hokeah, MS, RN, CCS, CPC, CSSGB; Debbie Nash, MBA, CHRI; Daphne L. Pell, RHIA; Mia Reddick-Smith, MBA; Tina Rosier, MS, PT; Stacie Smith, EMBA, RHIA; Jodi L. Stewart, RHIA, CCS, CDIP, AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer; Tracey A. Tomak, RHIA, PMP; and Caroline Znaniec, MBA, MS-HCA.

2020 RIS

The 2020 event is already on the books: 2020 RIS will be held October 6–7, 2020, at The Westin Westminter in Westminter, Colorado, just outside Denver. You can register for 2020 RIS now—we hope to see you there!

Stay tuned over the coming months for more information about the agenda, speaker lineup, and more.

Note: Votta is the editor for NAHRI. Have feedback on 2019 RIS? Contact her at

Found in Categories: 
Revenue Integrity