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Conference Speakers


AUGUST 14-17, 2019





Wednesday, August 14 (Day 1)

Welcome and President's Address, Joyce Smith, AHDI-F

Keynote Speaker: Kathy Dempsey

SHED® for Success: How to Stay Alive & Thrive in the Midst of Constant Change

Kathy Dempsey photo

The healthcare documentation industry has gone through insurmountable change, and it’s not going to let up. So, how do you deal with the constant change and prepare yourself for the future? Leave this opening keynote empowered to SHED for Success and to:

  • Embrace the concept of shedding and why it is a critical skill in today’s healthcare environment.
  • Learn the 3 foundational R’s of shedding to stay positive, juggle multiple priorities and do more with less.
  • Understand and conquer change resistance and why people won’t SHED!
  • Overcome the number one barrier in leading and managing change.
  • Increase your effectiveness by 75% by removing the biggest obstacles to a successful and sustainable change.
CEC: 1 Professional Development (PD)

Kathy Dempsey is an award-winning author, keynote speaker and change expert. She is President of Keep Shedding! Inc. Kathy ignites people and organizations with the skills and motivation to lead and manage change. Adapt Quicker…Get Results!

Her most popular book, Shed or You're Dead®: 31 Unconventional Strategies for Growth and Change has been awarded with a Writer's Digest International Book Award.

Her “signature story” is her transformation from working as an ER/trauma nurse to becoming the first health care worker in America to be diagnosed positive for AIDS as a result of workplace exposure. The diagnosis, which was a death sentence in the mid-80s, was confirmed with multiple positive tests. Months later, all tests returned negative. Was it a miracle or medical error? Nobody can explain it. What’s certain is that the three-month period Kathy lived with that traumatic diagnosis was a life-altering experience.

This event forced Kathy to learn about hard changes in life and how to adapt to them. What emerged was a new life philosophy: SHED. Today Kathy’s presentations reach far beyond that experience. They are a wake-up call to provide focus, inspiration and practical tools for people to lead and manage change at work and in life.

Maximize Your Membership

Presented by Joyce Smith, AHDI-F, President, and Sheila Guston, CHDS, AHDI-F, Director & Interim CEO


Prize Drawing

All conference registrants have the opportunity to win a free 1-year Individual Professional membership with AHDI!

Thursday, August 15 (Day 2)


Session 1: New Hot Topics in Privacy and Security

This session will cover a lot of ground in what is new and what all healthcare professionals need to know related to privacy and security. Laws are changing and becoming more complex. Protecting all forms of confidential information is not only more important than ever, it is more challenging in the evolving healthcare world. Attendees will learn the latest related to privacy and security, how it applies to them, and how knowledge in these areas will benefit them professionally and as key members of the healthcare team.


Learning Objectives:

1. Explain the goals of HIPAA modernization initiative.

2. Summarize the complexities of the State Regulations around personally identifiable information.

3. Discuss the upsurge in patient access complaints to the OCR.

4. Report on the new publication on Business Associate accountabilities.

5. Describe the latest cybersecurity threats and how to defend against them.

CEC: 1 Medicolegal (ML)

Susan Lucci

Susan Lucci, RHIA, CHPS, CHDS, AHDI-F, is the Privacy Officer and Senior Privacy/Security Consultant for tw-Security. Susan serves on the AHIMA Privacy and Security Practice Council. She is a past national president and Fellow of the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI). Susan authored the AHDI HIPAA Compliance Guide & Quick Reference eBook now in its second edition. As a contributing author to the 2013 HIMSS Book, Implementing Information Security in Healthcare, her experience leading healthcare initiatives on privacy and security has spanned over 15 years. Susan is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati.     


Session 2: How Team Players Create and Cultivate a Culture of Success in the Workplace

Business today exists in an age of experience design and the experience economy. As part of this movement toward experiences, organizations increasingly are looking at employee experience as a way to attract talent, retain employees, and get an advantage over competitors. Beyond just engagement strategies and perks, employee experience speaks to the creation of an organizational culture in which workers are viewed as internal customers. At the same time, creating a better employee experience involves having to rethink managerial practices, leadership approaches, professional development, and recognition opportunities. As a result, many organizations are challenged in actually delivering the experiences that they say are valued due to the cultural change that often is required. This presentation will discuss the foundational concepts in employee experiences, approaches of different top experience companies, and pitfalls to avoid in trying to create better experiences.

Learning Objectives:
1. Achieve an understanding of what is employee experience.
2. Develop an awareness of strategies in top employee experience companies.
3. Learn about pitfalls in launching an experience program.
4. Discuss metrics of measuring the impact of improved experiences.

CEC: 1 Professional Development (PD) 

Gary David

Gary David, PhD, conducts ethnographic research in a variety of settings, with research on: 1) integrated experience design; 2) examinations of implementation and use of technology, 3) collaborative communication, 4) organizational culture and change, and 5) assets-based innovation. He also has his own consultancy called Ethno-analytics, which integrates big data in local contexts. Present projects include examining the nature of collaborative activity in multicultural worksites, the impact of speech recognition technology and electronic medical records on healthcare, the implementation of enterprise systems on workplaces, and how co-workers build a collaborative relationship through engaging in workplace practices. Additionally, he is involved in work applying conversation analysis and forensic linguistics to the examination of customer experience, police interrogations, and workplace interactions.


Session 3: Artificial Intelligence—So When Do the Machines Take Over?

It has been stated by many luminaries that we are on the cusp of a new historical revolution that will be as impactful as the Industrial age, “The AI revolution.”  Some of our greatest minds are contemplating the significant impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have on our society and how we should plan for it.

The presenter will introduce the basics of true AI and what has caused its seemingly overnight emergence. (BTW, most of us have taken part in making this happen.) He will also explore some of the AI applications that we may use every day, some unknowingly and some we know very well.  
The presentation will then focus specifically on some of the areas in healthcare documentation where AI is currently used, as well as on emerging technologies being developed to improve the creation of clinical documentation. The presenter will share how AI will help patients and healthcare organizations have better outcomes, as well as what healthcare documentation specialists should do to develop their skills so they can take advantage of the tremendous opportunities AI technology can bring.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe what artificial intelligence is and how it has developed over time.
2. Identify instances of artificial intelligence in day-to-day life.
3. Examine how artificial intelligence is being applied to healthcare documentation tools and processes.
4. Evaluate the effectiveness of artificial intelligence in delivering better outcomes.
5. Prepare for opportunities to use new artificial intelligence technologies in the workplace.


CEC: 1 Technology and the Workplace (TW)
John McKenna

John McKenna lives outside of Atlanta Georgia and works for M*Modal/3M. He heads up the group developing the M*Modal workflow solutions. John has over 35 years of experience developing technology solutions. He manages software development teams in the US, UK and India. He began developing using Neural Network (artificial intelligence) approaches for robotics solutions in the 1980s. He led the efforts to bring some of the first speech recognition solutions to the healthcare field in the early ‘90s and now is involved in using Deep Neural Network technology to improve all facets of clinical documentation. John earned his BS from S.U.N.Y Polytechnic, New York, in Computer Science.


Session 4: What You Need to Know About Social Media

For better or worse, social media has become a part of our lives—both personally and professionally. It isn’t just for millennials and younger generations either; statistics show 68% of adults actively use social media, with three-quarters of those reporting daily use (Smith, 2018). Many people research better ways to use social media, but have you ever wondered how social media is using you?

In this session, we’ll learn some of the pros and cons of social media, how to use it most effectively, and how to avoid social media disasters. Attendees will learn what social media “knows” about you, as the speaker walks us through his own profile to point out indicators and inferences made based on preprogrammed algorithms. He will provide information on how to interact with businesses as well as with followers as a business. Also learn how to “decode” user ratings and reviews.

The speaker will discuss potential HIPAA compliance issues that can occur with using social media in the workplace, including examples of real-world events to show how social media has been both a benefit and a detriment to organizations. While the medical industry, including healthcare documentation, is filled with opportunities to take advantage of social media, understanding the nuances and best practices are key to mitigating risks.

CEC: 1 Technology and the Workplace (TW)
Justin Chapman

Justin Chapman has been in the online learning industry for 10 years, focusing on sales and marketing for seven of those. He spends time studying, researching, and implementing new strategies through various mediums. When massive data breaches and data sharing came to the forefront of the news cycle, he studied how people’s data could be openly shared and understood. With a background in calculus and physics, Justin has always enjoyed numbers. Thus, he takes great interest in learning how social media and Google infer information about people through algorithms, including how companies find out who people are, what they like, and how they act.


Session 5: Yoga, Cheesecake & Trivia!

Sponsored by AQuity Solutions, LLC


Join us as our conference sponsor, AQuity Solutions, takes us through a yoga session, makes cheesecake in an Instant Pot, and presents AHDI Trivia!


Prize Drawing – all conference registrants will have the opportunity to win an Instant Pot, provided by AQuity Solutions!

Friday, August 16 (Day 3)

Session 1: Developing an Outpatient CDI Program 

Attendees will learn of the components necessary for a successful outpatient (OP) CDI program and the important role understanding risk-adjustment coding and HCCs plays. Presentation will share Southeast’s experience with development of their OP CDI program.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the components of an OP CDI program.
2. Identify the seven criteria of high-quality documentation.
3. Recognize when to query a provider.
4. Acquire information on how to start an OP CDI program.

CEC: 1 Medical Transcription Tools (MTT)
April Martin

April Martin, DBA, RHIA, CHPS, CHDA, CCS, CDIP, CRC, CPHIMS, CMT, is the HIM Director for Southeast Health in Cape Girardeau, MO. She holds a doctorate in business administration from Baker College, a master’s in strategic leadership from Stephen’s College, and earned her bachelor’s in health information from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to coming to Missouri four years ago, she was born and raised in Michigan, where she was a program director for Baker College for both the HIT and Medical Insurance Specialist programs. She owned a national transcription company for eight years and was a supervisor in the HIM Department at the University of Michigan for almost 10 years. She currently also is an adjunct professor for both Stephen’s College and the University of Maryland University College in their online programs.


Session 2: Well-adjusted: How to Thrive Through Technology Change

In today’s quickly evolving health information technology industry, healthcare documentation specialists are often challenged with change projects such as software installations or updates, new interfaces, replacement of hardware, mergers and acquisitions, etc. When organizations implement something new, their goal is to move toward more efficiency, productivity, and quality with minimal impact to staff and services. However, change projects often yield negative side effects such as resistance, confusion, and frustration that need to be acknowledged and addressed. This presentation discusses how any healthcare documentation organization can successfully prepare and implement any technology change. The presenter will describe common project phases, suggesting tips and best practices based upon lessons learned from many years as an implementation consultant and advisor. The presenter will also introduce ideas for how individuals who are impacted by the change can influence their organizational culture and processes. Participants will also learn how to gather data and keep good records so that the next change project can be smoother and more successful than the last.

CEC: 1 Technology and the Workplace (TW)

Jill Devrick

Jill Devrick, MPA, AHDI-F, has served as a document creation subject matter expert at SoftMed and 3M for 24 years. She is currently a product owner with 3M’s Clinical Documentation Improvement product line, specializing in 360 Encompass MD software. Jill is a past President of AHDI’s National Leadership Board and was recognized as an AHDI Fellow in 2017. She is an experienced industry speaker, collaborator, and writer. Jill earned a master’s degree in Public Administration with healthcare certification from West Virginia University and was recognized as the 2018 MPA Outstanding Alumna.


Session 3: Risk Adjustment Takes Center Stage Under the Value Care Model

There are two sayings, “If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen” and “Follow the money.” This is certainly true when capturing the patient’s story; a provider sees a patient, creates an encounter note, submits the claim, and (hopefully) receives reimbursement for services rendered. Fee-for-service (FFS) care is migrating to Value-Based (VB) care; a payment model rewarding healthcare providers, including hospitals and physicians, based on patient health outcomes. With 80% of patient encounters happening within physician offices, accurate and complete documentation is key to avoiding delayed payments or denials. CMS introduced Risk Adjustment (RA) when Medicare Advantage (managed care model) was created. RA was then expanded to ACA health plans and Medicaid. With the transition to Value Care payment models CMS has strict documentation/coding requirements, resulting in incentives and penalties. If the claimed diagnostic codes lack supporting documentation, it’s considered FRAUD! Not coding to the highest specificity based on the documentation is under-coding and leaves money on the table for first submission of claims (average of $1200 per member per year), impacting payers, managed care organizations (MCOs) and providers! Learn how documentation directly impacts revenue, CMS compliance and audit risk. See how expert systems (AI, natural language processing, and machine learning) are used to support value-based healthcare. 


Learning Objectives:

1. Historical facts and basic Risk Adjustment (RA) = Reimbursement ($$)

2. CMS Requirements – For health plans, ACOs and MCOs

3. How to meet M.E.A.T. – Document, document, document!

4. How expert systems (AI, NLP, ML) are coding healthcare documentation

5. Under- or over-coding – Find the hidden value that impacts measured outcomes

CEC: 1 Medicolegal (ML)
Raul Kivatinetz

Raul Kivatinetz is a pioneer in building systems and recognizing how things should work. He was founder and CEO of several healthcare enterprises, including AssistMed, one of the first dictation/transcription SaaS platforms in 1999. He also led the development of three EHR and clinical documentation systems as well as other health IT software. Mr. Kivatinetz has been working with Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning since 2001 and is now the founder and CEO of Cybexys, which has developed an Artificial Intelligence powered expert system to detect details from a clinician's narrative that humans might miss when processing unstructured information to properly code the severity and complexity of each patient’s disease state. Mr. Kivatinetz graduated as a Civil Engineer in Argentina and specialized in Six-Sigma in Japan before emigrating to the United States in 1984.


Session 4: Why Am I So Sleepy? Investigating and Treating Sleep Disorders

Patient complaints of sleepiness are common in medical practice. There are many disorders potentially responsible for the condition instigating this complaint as listed in The International Classification of Sleep Disorders, namely a) narcolepsy type 1; b) narcolepsy type 2; c) idiopathic hypersomnia; d) Kleine-Levin Syndrome; e) hypersomnia due to a medical condition; f) hypersomnia due to medications or drugs; g) hypersomnia associated with psychiatric disorders; or h) insufficient sleep syndrome.


The pathophysiology, treatment, and prognosis of each of those conditions is different. The ability to differentiate one from the others is therefore important. In this lecture, we will define each of these conditions and explain how to reach a diagnosis, treat each, and establish a prognosis.


Learning Objectives:

1. Learn about the etiology, pathophysiology and types of narcolepsy.

2. Learn what hypersomnia is and how it is different from sleepiness as well as which medical conditions are associated with hypersomnia.

4. Hear which medical conditions are associated with sleepiness.

5. Understand how to code and treat each of these conditions.

CEC: 1 Clinical Medicine (CM)
Ignacio Ripoll, MD

Dr. Ignacio Ripoll is board certified in Internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and sleep medicine, and until recently was also board certified in critical care medicine. Dr. Ripoll is the medical director of TCCC Respiratory Therapy Department and the medical director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. He is a fellow of the American College of Internal Medicine and the American College of Chest Physician. He practices pulmonary and sleep medicine in Virginia Beach, VA. Dr. Ripoll also is an associate professor of Internal Medicine at EVMS, has written two medical books: Exercise and Disease management (in its second edition) and Ethical health Care Reform, has published articles in medical journals.


Session 5: Integrity Awards & Marketplace Vendor Prize Drawings

Join us as we announce the winners of the 2019 AHDI Integrity Awards.


We will also be highlighting our Marketplace Vendors and all conference registrants will have the opportunity to win one of the following prizes:

  • Chalk Couture: transfer, paste, board and squeegee
  • doTERRA Essential Oils: product samples and bath bombs made with oils
  • PrimeMyBody: 15-day supply of Recept broad spectrum hemp extract
  • Sanctuary Girl: necklace and earing set
  • Thirty-One Gifts: Style Setter bag

Saturday, August 17 (Day 4)

Session 1: MLS Laser Therapy—No Pain, All Gain

Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy is an innovative technology that is quickly becoming a sought-after treatment for patients with acute and chronic pain, inflammation, and edema. In fact, laser therapy has an 85% – 90% efficacy rate in relieving pain and inflammation.


Laser therapy uses light to accelerate the body’s natural healing processes. The laser beam is moved over the skin so that the light energy (photons) penetrates the tissue, where it interacts with various molecules to repair the function of cells and regenerate tissue that had been damaged.


Learning Objectives:

1. Understand how laser therapy works.

2. Learn about different types of laser therapy and its benefits.

3. Learn about the development of laser therapy in health care.

4. Learn how laser is being used in a family practice.

CEC: 1 Clinical Medicine (CM)
Zachary Nelson

Dr. Zack Nelson is a chiropractor and laser technician at chiropractic plus in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Zack grew up locally in Coopersville, where regular chiropractic care kept him healthy while participating in various school sports. Zack went on to study biology at Grand Valley State University and completed his bachelor’s degree at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minnesota. Afterward, he went on to attend their chiropractic doctorate program and graduated in April 2019. Zack specializes in nutrition and applied kinesiology.



Session 2: Book of Style 4e Reveal with Q&A

Global consistency in documentation is the goal. Every patient’s medical record deserves excellence and equality in its creation—even when healthcare professionals insist on cutting and pasting or using unusual font types or colors! The Book of Style and Standards for Clinical Documentation (BOSS4CD) development team has strived to provide such tools and resources* in the new edition and in this session will discuss how the BOSS4CD is intended to help:  

  • Improve documentation outcomes.
  •  Educate users about current styles and standards, particularly surrounding EHRs and SR.
  •  Show the importance of becoming credentialed.
  •  Secure the future of our organization and industry. 

*Below are a few allied standards-setting organizations used in the development of this book.


AMA = American Medical Association

ISMP = The Institute for Safe Medication Practices

SSF = Scientific Style & Format

QLEDR = Quick Look Electronic Drug Reference

TJC = The Joint Commission

HL7 = Health Level SevenHHe

CEC: 1 Medical Transcription Tools (MTT)
Laura Bryan

Laura Bryan, MT (ASCP), CHDS, AHDI-F, has taught productivity tips and techniques for MS Word and Windows for 19 years.  In addition to presenting at numerous association meetings at the local and national level, she has published four editions of "MS Word for Healthcare Documentation" as well as "Technology for the Medical Transcriptionist." Laura's work as a speaker and writer has focused on techniques for increasing productivity and accuracy. Laura and her husband Bob own MedEDocs, a healthcare documentation technology provider.


Susan Dooley

Susan Dooley, MHA, CMT, AHDI-F, works as an HIM quality assurance specialist at Florida Hospital, reviewing reports transcribed at our outsourced MTSO. Susan has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in health informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her master’s degree in health administration, specializing in health informatics, was earned from the University of Phoenix. Susan was elected to the AHDI National Leadership Board in 2012, was AHDI’s president in 2014-2015, and is an At-Large Director through August 2019. She currently serves on AHDI task forces and committees including education strategies, membership development, and the Book of Style 4th Edition.


Pat Ireland

Patricia Ireland, CMT, AHDI-F, has been active in the field of medical transcription since 1968, both as a multispecialty practitioner and as an instructor. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, working as a freelance medical/technical author and editor. She has been a medical transcriptionist instructor since the 1970s, teaching online medical transcription programs since 2000. She has co-authored four medical transcription textbooks. Pat has served on several AHDI committees to include the Educator's Alliance and Book of Style 4e Development Team.




Stacy Lehto

Stacy Lehto, CHDS, has been in the medical transcription field for 19 years. She has done transcription, QA, and has also been a QA auditor. She is currently the Quality Coordinator for Documentation Integrity at Spectrum Health. Stacy has contributed to AHDI’s e-book on Strategic and Business Planning Skills and has been instrumental in the development of the toolkit Clinician Created Documentation: Reinstating Quality Assurance Programs to Safeguard Patients and Providers. Stacy has worked as copy editor for several of Stedman’s word books, including their Medical Transcription Skill Builder series.


Session 3: "Ask AHDI," President-Elect's Address, Exhibitor & AHDI Prize Drawings

Join us for an introduction to the AHDI Board of Directors. Board and staff will be presenting an “Ask AHDI” session, and you also will hear from our President-elect, Patt King, CHDS.


Virtual Exhibitor prize drawings will be presented, as well. All conference registrants who respond to the exhibitor polls during the conference will have the opportunity to win the following prizes:

  • 3M: pending
  • AQuity Solutions: One (1) Instant Pot
  • CanScribe Career College: $50 Amazon Gift Card (4 winners will be chosen)
  • Executive Communication Systems: WordMaster USB Headset (2 winners will be chosen)

As a grand prize, AHDI will be drawing a winner for each of the following:

  • a free Book of Styles & Standards for Clinical Documentation 4th edition, which is coming soon
  • a free registration to the virtual conference in 2020
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