AHIMA’s ICD-10 Advocacy Efforts Earn National Recognition
The award, whose winners were announced June 17, recognizes associations that “distinguish themselves with innovative, effective and broad-reaching programs and activities that positively impact America and the world.”
In its entry form for the award, AHIMA officials described the scope and reach of the association’s activities to mobilize members and industry stakeholders against Congressional action. When language to delay the implementation date of the ICD-10-CM/PCS code set was abruptly inserted into Medicare funding legislation, AHIMA launched a four-prong response involving social media, phone calls to legislators, e-newsletters, and direct e-mails to state health information management leaders.
AHIMA’s actions yielded the following response:
- Over 5,500 tweets were sent to official Twitter handles for members of Congress using the customized hashtag #NoDelay
- A mobile action alert was also created encouraging HIM professionals to engage their colleagues in grassroots advocacy; nearly 6,000 members shared the alert via Facebook
- As a result of receiving a pre-recorded phone message from Angela Kennedy, AHIMA president, urging members to contact legislators, over 10,000 phone calls to Capitol Hill were placed in less than week
In the application, AHIMA officials noted that “as a result of the grassroots advocacy efforts, there is an increased awareness of the benefits of ICD-10 on Capitol Hill. AHIMA members have reported that they have received phone calls, personalized e-mails and letters from their congressional offices on the code set. Since the legislation was signed into law, volunteer advocates have sent over 2,400 letters to Capitol Hill urging their legislators to oppose any future legislation initiatives and allow ICD-10 to be implemented in 2015.”
According to ASAE, the organization received 100 applications this year for the Power of A Gold and Silver Awards. The Power of A Awards “recognize and celebrate the extraordinary contributions associations make to society by enriching lives, creating a competitive workforce, preparing society for the future, driving innovation and making a better world.”
“We’re honored to see our work, and the efforts of our members, recognized with this award. As a result of the grassroots advocacy efforts, there is an increased awareness of the benefits of ICD-10 on Capitol Hill,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA.