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The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in Chicago is offering scholarships and loans to students in the health information management field as part of an ongoing mission to support professional education through its Foundation of Research and Education (FORE). Scholarship awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 and are available to full-time students and part-time students taking at least two courses per quarter or per semester in pursuit of a health information administration (HIA) or health information technology (HIT) undergraduate degree, or a related graduate degree.
This year a new FORE scholarship has been established in memory of AHIMA’s past president and executive director, Rita M. Finnegan, MA, RHIA, CCS. The Rita Finnegan Memorial Scholarship was established by a financial gift from MC Strategies, Inc., and a matching contribution from AHIMA. The scholarship will be awarded annually to an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student.
The application deadline for all FORE scholarships and loans is May 31. In addition to a completed application, students also must be accepted for enrollment in an HIA, HIT, or related graduate program and be a member of AHIMA. If applicants are not currently members, they can simultaneously apply for both an AHIMA student membership and for the available scholarships and loans.
The final rule on Transactions and Code Sets required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 contains ambiguities concerning use of the National Drug Code (NDC) set for the reporting of drugs and biologic items, according to testimony given by the American Hospital Association (AHA) in Washington, DC. These ambiguities could pose significant hardships on both providers and payers, said George Arges, senior director of the AHA’s Health Data Management Group and chairman of the National Uniform Billing Committee. During this testimony before the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, Argus said that the adoption of the NDC in lieu of the HCPCS (HCFA Common Procedure Coding System) "J" codes now in use would require extensive conversion and replacement of existing information systems, as well as the training costs associated with working with the new code set. Although the cost would vary according to size of facility, hospital estimates put the price at a minimum of $200,000 per facility.
Health care experts have released ethical guidelines calling on physicians, hospitals, and health plans to rigorously protect the confidentiality of any medical records entrusted to them. The report, "The Domain of Health Care Information Privacy," was created by the Ethical Force Program and initiated by the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association in Washington, DC. The report contains more than 30 expectations for protecting privacy that individuals and organizations that deal with identifiable patient information can use to assess their performance. The expectations are organized into eight content areas for protecting individuals’ privacy.
Some of the expectations listed in the report include:
For more information about the report, visit www.ama-assn.org/.
• TEPR 2001 — "Your Connection to Electronic Healthcare," sponsored by the Medical Records Institute in Newton, MA, will be held May 8-13 in Boston. This year TEPR sessions are grouped within four main categories: Connectivity, Clinical Documentation, HIPAA, and Empowerment. TEPR also will offer several preconference tutorial sessions. For more information or to register, call the Medical Records Institute at (617) 964-3923 or visit the Web site: www.medrecinst.com.