Healthcare Business News
Angela Kennedy, AHIMA

Kennedy begins year-long term as AHIMA president, board chair

By Joseph Conn
Posted: January 9, 2014 - 1:15 pm ET

Angela Kennedy, a professor and chairwoman of the department of health informatics and information management at Louisiana Tech University, has started a one-year term as president and board chair of the American Health Information Management Association.

Last summer, as board chair elect, Kennedy was called upon to fill in the remainder of the 2013 term as president and board chairwoman after the death of Kathleen Frawley. Kennedy's own term began Jan. 1.

Kennedy has worked 14 years in higher education in health information management, administration and research, according to a news release by the Chicago-based AHIMA, which claims 71,000 members who work in medical records, coding and other aspects of health information management. She has served as chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education and two terms as president of the Louisiana Health Information Management Association.

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“At this pivotal time in healthcare, Angela's dedication and professional experience will benefit AHIMA, its members and the board as we strive to continue to ensure the integrity, privacy and security of health information and patient access to their information,” AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon said in the news release. “Angela's expertise and personal passion for HIM will be an asset to AHIMA.”

Kennedy said the best way to look at challenges for AHIMA members in the year ahead is to look at challenges faced by the broader industry.

The switch to the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision come Oct. 1 will be big, but “our members have been working on this for many years,” Kennedy said. “Many organizations will begin dual-coding (in ICD-9 and ICD-10 simultaneously) this summer. I think by the time we roll around to our annual meeting in September we'll be talking about lessons learned. I think our focus will not be as squarely on ICD-10, it will be more focused on information governance.”

In the governance area, Kennedy said, members are face with “the harder HIPAA,” revisions to the key federal privacy and security rules incorporated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and other federal initiatives. “We have several things we're going to be rolling out this year. We'll have some things not only the members will look forward to, but also the industry as a whole, on information governance. That's the nature of who we are and what we are.”

Other board members beginning three-year terms this January are Cassi Birnbaum, VP of health information management at Peak Health Solutions, San Diego, as AHIMA's president-elect and chair-elect; and Jennifer McManis, a consultant with Crowley Fleck Attorneys, Bozeman, Mont., as AHIMA speaker of the house. Also beginning terms as directors are Zinethia Clemmons, senior health information privacy specialist for the Office for Civil Rights at HHS, Washington; Virginia Evans, a business analyst in revenue cycle development at Emory Healthcare, Atlanta; and Colleen Goethals, Belvidere, Ill., an HIM consultant for the Midwest Medical Records Association and Cardone Record Services.

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn

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