The American Health Information Management Association’s 2011 Convention & Exhibit has started in Salt Lake City, and multiple software vendors have announced new products and initiatives. Among them:

* Alpharetta, Ga.-based HealthPort is the first health information management vendor to successfully transmit medical records via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ electronic submission of medical documentation gateway, called esMD. CMS wants to use the software to send and receive messages using nationwide health information network protocols. In a production mode, a hospital client of HealthPort used proprietary software to send to the vendor a request for documentation by CGI, a Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor. HealthPort then sent the documentation from its data center to CGI via esMD, and received confirmation of receipt for an end-to-end transaction. CMS believes use of esMD will speed RAC communications and cut printing, mailing and scanning costs.

* HRS, a Baltimore-based consultancy, will resell the Web-based ICD-10 e-Trainer Program of the American Health Information Management Association. The program can be used standalone, or with HRS’ new ICD-10 e-Manager Toolkit, a set of software modules to manage the transition process. This includes project planning, issues and risk management, document management, testing, training plans and budgeting. More information is available at

* Speech recognition vendor Nuance Communications has introduced Quality Analytics, a data analysis product that uses natural language processing to analyze documentation and extract computable data. Quality Analytics is designed to take structured data from various information systems and non-structured information from sources such as physician dictation, then add metadata for tagging and place the computable data in a clinical repository for analysis. Nuance at AHIMA also is demonstrating computer-assisted physician documentation, with beta testing starting in February 2012 and commercial availability expected in April.


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