CDI: Compliant Technology Adoption and the Role of Clinical Documentation Specialists

AHIMA and Artifact, an Iodine solution convened a panel of experts from across the healthcare industry for a roundtable discussion exploring best practices in CDI and how advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technology are transforming clinical documentation integrity (CDI) and the role of clinical documentation specialists (CDSs).

CDI Solution Drives Documentation Excellence and Improves Revenue Performance

R1 RCM and Iodine Software’s comprehensive clinical documentation integrity solution connects managed services and intelligent technology

R1 published the following on October 16, 2023 announcing R1 and Iodine Software as solutions partners.

CDI can lead to improved patient outcomes as well as increased reimbursements for healthcare systems. But up until this point, CDI solutions have been siloed as separate approaches: Consulting and managed services are one approach; technology solutions are another. But what if these approaches joined their strengths together? How could that improve the completeness, accuracy, and specificity of the medical record and reduce documentation, coding, and billing errors?

CDI Total Performance, powered by Iodine, does just this. A joint solution, CDI Total Performance combines the domain expertise and deep data insights of R1 RCM clinical documentation specialists with the Best in KLAS AwareCDI platform from Iodine Software.

The need for a new CDI approach

Efforts to codify clinical care are as old as documentation itself, with the first “modern” disease classification system developed in the early 18th century. With quantum leaps in specificity and complexity of medical coding in recent times, CDI becomes more important than ever as a driver of revenue performance.

A strong CDI program is a critical imperative that comes with challenges

Released earlier this year, the 2023 Revenue Intelligence Data and Insights Report unveils some of the RCM issues most profoundly impacting healthcare providers. Of the 13 revenue cycle stages covered, seven have clinical documentation integrity as a key enabler for process and outcome improvement. From determining appropriate patient status and capturing legitimate charges to recovering underpayments and reversing denials, CDI plays a foundational role in facilitating and improving mid-cycle and back-end revenue processes.

There are several barriers that can hinder the effectiveness and sustainability of a CDI program. One is the industry perception of CDI programs as cost centers rather than revenue drivers. In fact, a national study of CDI leaders conducted last year by the Association of Clinical Documentation Integrity Specialists (ACDIS) for Iodine Software found 91% of CDI leaders track financial impact as a measure of success, while 68% track severity of illness (SOI)/risk of mortality (ROM) impact, and 53% make note of the observed-to-expected mortality rate. Even providers that do recognize CDI’s revenue opportunities can struggle to make headway because their programs lack transparency, accountability, or focused leadership, often due to strained resources. Additionally, many providers are reluctant to make changes to their CDI programs because they worry about the potential for disrupting regulatory compliance. Other factors preventing CDI excellence include:

  • Constant regulatory and coding changes
  • Difficulty measuring program effectiveness
  • Technology limitations and integration
  • Inefficient and low-quality physician queries

Ideally, CDI programs should align with the Quadruple Aim – improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, improving physician satisfaction, and reducing per capita costs of health care. A key role for CDI leadership, then, is to determine program priorities considering the aim, anticipate the potential barriers to achieving documentation excellence, set the table for appropriate expectations, and ensure that CDI program performance is assessed on a rational basis.

Professional development drives CDI performance improvement

The strength of any quality CDI program is a well-trained and educated team. Unfortunately, with ongoing staffing shortages, budget constraints, and cost-cutting priorities, hospitals often struggle to make the investment necessary to support their staff and, thus, see real improvement. Additionally, it can be difficult to quantify and therefore justify a return on investment from staff education and training.

R1 CDI Total Performance engagements provide a caring, high-touch onboarding experience with new education and career development opportunities for the CDI team. These include monthly education sessions on clinical topics, quarterly coding clinics, regular quality audits of each CDI specialist and an annual review of Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) updates and rules. The model enables CDI teams to operate at top-of-license and just as important, reduces stressors that can lead to team and physician burnout.

Introducing a new kind of CDI partnership

R1 CDI Total Performance, powered by Iodine, brings to market a transformational solution built upon shared responsibility for collective CDI goals, deep clinical documentation expertise, and clinically intelligent technology. As an accountability partner, R1 invests in the success of their clients because their success depends on it. That begins with career growth for the team – R1 transforms CDI programs with best practices education gleaned from CDI engagements with leading hospitals and health systems that opens new professional opportunities for staff. Then R1 further empowers that team with Best in KLAS clinically intelligent technology to drive measurably better results and revenue.

“We’ve been in this market a long time and know CDI is a big driver of success in our partnerships with leading hospitals and health systems,” said Kyle Hicok, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at R1. “From our vantage point, we see an unsolved need for a more holistic approach to CDI and a real opportunity to innovate in this space. CDI Total Performance allows us to serve more hospitals and health systems wherever they are on the CDI journey and help them achieve documentation excellence that improves the quality of care and captures more earned revenue.”

“CDI Total Performance is a unique comprehensive solution capable of delivering exceptional value to clients. Together, R1 and Iodine bring proven performance management prowess, documentation expertise, and impactful technology to deliver the financial, quality, and productivity gains demanded by health system executives at a speed that will set a new benchmark for industry expectations – right when health systems need it most,” said Troy Wasilefsky, Chief Revenue Officer for Iodine Software.

Achieve CDI excellence with best practices and Best in KLAS software

With 95 of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. as customers, R1 is unique in its ability to develop, aggregate, and replicate CDI best practices at scale to improve clinical documentation performance. Iodine’s Best in KLAS AwareCDI technology provides new insights to CDI teams by strategically identifying and prioritizing cases for review and streamlining the query process to simplify and improve CDI, Coder collaboration, and physician response. As solution partners, R1 and Iodine deliver the only offering of its kind on the market, the closest thing there is to an easy button to fast-track CDI excellence.

To learn more about R1 CDI solutions, visit www.r1rcm.com/cdi-solutions.

Iodine Software to Harness the Power of Generative AI to Expand the Impact of Its Industry-Leading AI Solutions

Iodine Software will leverage generative AI to accelerate the impact of its solutions, which includes the 2023 Best in KLAS for Clinical Documentation integrity solution, AwareCDI

Iodine Software, a pioneer in healthcare AI technology, today announced an expanded relationship with OpenAI, an AI research and development company. As part of this collaboration, Iodine will gain access to OpenAI’s cutting edge artificial intelligence technologies, including its powerful language model GPT-4.

Iodine Software has a deep-rooted history in clinical AI technology, having developed sophisticated, industry leading solutions that enhance financial performance in the mid-revenue cycle.  This collaboration with Open AI allows it to further infuse generative AI and large language models across the breadth of its AwareCDI product suite to improve prediction accuracy, streamline query processes, and develop clinical automation tools that will further stem revenue cycle leakage by ensuring documentation accuracy. 

“We are thrilled to collaborate with a fellow pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence,” said William Chan, Iodine CEO and co-founder, “Strategic, fast paced yet cautious innovation has always been our guiding principle. The evolution towards generative AI is a natural next step for us. We are optimistic about its potential impact, yet cautious due to the significant impact on patient care, physician trust and patient reimbursements. Aware of its limitations, such as data hallucinations, we are committed to a responsible approach, ensuring we balance progress with prudence.” 

The efficacy of Artificial Intelligence is dependent on data on which the language models are trained. Iodine Software is an industry leader with an unmatched dataset that contains more than 27 percent of all U.S. inpatient data, giving the company an unprecedented opportunity to transform how it supports hospitals across a variety of functions. A recent market analysis of the volatility of CMI validated that Iodine Software’s data cohort is representative of the overall market, which makes it one of  the best and powerful assets for training machine-learning and large language models.

By incorporating the latest innovations in large language models, Iodine Software can ensure more specific patient documentation and coding efficiency, increase prediction accuracy, and improve its predictive analytics. These advancements will contribute to streamlining the physician documentation experience, allowing physicians to focus more on patient care, and helping hospitals and health systems to capture more earned revenue from the care they provide.

About Iodine Software

Iodine is an enterprise AI company that is championing a radical rethink of how to create value for healthcare professionals, leaders, and their organizations: automating complex clinical tasks, generating insights and empowering intelligent care. Iodine’s powerful predictive engine complements the skills and judgment of healthcare professionals by interpreting raw clinical data to generate real-time, highly focused, predictive insights that clinicians and hospital administrators can leverage to dramatically augment the management of care delivery – facilitating critical decisions, scaling clinical workforces through automation, and improving the financial position of health systems. For more information, please visit iodinesoftware.com. PR Contact: press@iodinesoftware.com.

Iodine Software Announces Brad Wensel Joining Company as Chief Customer Officer

Wensel will guide the customer experience across Iodine’s suite of solutions, including 2023’s “Best in KLAS CDI Software”

AUSTIN, Tex. – May 1, 2003 – Iodine Software, a pioneer in healthcare AI technology, today announced that Brad Wensel has joined the company as Chief Customer Officer. Wensel brings a track record of success as an executive leader with deep experience building cross functional customer-centric teams. In this newly created role, Wensel will be responsible for guiding the Iodine customer experience with oversight of customer success, operations, services and support teams.

“I am thrilled to be joining Iodine Software as the company’s first Chief Customer Officer leading the customer-facing and operation teams.” said Wensel, “For organizations to continue to disrupt and innovate as Iodine has done, it takes a commitment to customer success – putting the customer in the center of all we do – so that we can deliver improved business outcomes. My first priority will be to align our teams to facilitate a connected end-to-end customer journey that accelerates customer time-to-value”

With significant experience building and overseeing customer success teams that deliver outstanding business results, Wensel joins Iodine from Amazon Web Services (AWS), where he worked as Head of Partners and Commercial Excellence, overseeing Partner Engagement and Business Strategy teams supporting U.S. health systems and cloud technology adoption and business transformation initiatives.

“At Iodine, we recognize that our success is directly tied to our customers’ success. The addition of Brad as our new Chief Customer Officer signals a renewed commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences” said Iodine Software Co-founder and CEO William Chan, who was named a winner of EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2022 Central South Award, “He plays a critical role in this effort by leading the development of innovative customer service strategies, driving improvements in our Software-as-a-Service, and championing a culture of customer-centricity throughout the organization. I am confident that Brad will deliver on this promise of significant positive impact to our customers for years to come.”

Prior to AWS, Wensel was Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Healthgrades, where he worked with the nation’s leading health systems to transform their customer acquisition, marketing and engagement strategies. In his role, Brad oversaw onboarding, support professional services, customer success and growth teams. Previously, he held several leadership positions at Catapult Marketing, subsidiary of Epsilon and News America Marketing, A News Corporation Company.

Wensel holds an MBA from Purdue University Krannert School of Management, and a BS in Business Administration from Duquesne University.

Iodine Software counts more than 900 hospitals and health systems as customers. Its platform includes the top clinical documentation improvement (CDI) software, which has been recognized  as the Best In KLAS CDI solution two years running. In 2021, the company completed two key acquisitions, including CDI software company ChartWise Medical Systems and physician engagement platform Artifact Health

About Iodine Software

Iodine is an enterprise AI company that is championing a radical rethink of how to create value for healthcare professionals, leaders, and their organizations: automating complex clinical tasks, generating insights and empowering intelligent care. Iodine’s powerful predictive engine complements the skills and judgment of healthcare professionals by interpreting raw clinical data to generate real-time, highly focused, predictive insights that clinicians and hospital administrators can leverage to dramatically augment the management of care delivery – facilitating critical decisions, scaling clinical workforces through automation, and improving the financial position of health systems. For more information, please visit iodinesoftware.com.

AwareCDI Recognized as Best in KLAS CDI Software for Second Year Running

Iodine Software is thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row, we have been named the market leader for CDI Software by KLAS in their 2023 Best in KLAS: Software and Services Report. Iodine ranked #1 in Clinical Documentation Integrity Software in KLAS 2023 Report with a score of 90.0; this achievement follows AwareCDI™ winning Best in KLAS in 2022.

KLAS is an independent, third-party organization known in the market for honest insights informed by robust research; a Best in KLAS award is a true marker of excellence, and Iodine is proud to be the leader in our industry with KLAS Research’s highly coveted distinction. In their 2023 report, 96% of respondents stated that Iodine “avoids charging for every little thing” and that AwareCDI was “part of long-term plans,” with 100% of respondents saying they would purchase Iodine again. We take our client partnerships very seriously and are honored to be part of their journey towards complete and accurate clinical documentation.

All rankings are a direct result of the feedback of thousands of providers over the last year. “Winning Best in KLAS two years in a row is a true indication of our commitment to continuous product innovation, and putting the needs of our customers first.” said William Chan, CEO and co-founder of Iodine. “KLAS bases their awards on direct customer feedback, making this award a true reflection of the exceptional service and support we at Iodine strive to provide to our clients every day.”

Iodine’s groundbreaking AwareCDI solution is a game-changer for organizations looking to unlock the full potential of their workforce in the face of staffing shortages. By automating time-consuming clinical tasks, AwareCDI enables CDI staff to work at top of license, achieving unprecedented levels of efficiency and productivity. Over 800 hospitals have leveraged the AwareCDI suite to boost output, with a median lift in productivity of 134%[1], and capture earned revenue, with $1.5 billion in additional appropriate reimbursement annually.[2]

According to KLAS Research President Adam Gale, “The 2023 Best in KLAS report highlights the top-performing healthcare IT solutions as determined by extensive evaluations and conversations with thousands of healthcare providers. These distinguished winners have demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving and innovating the industry, and their efforts are recognized through their inclusion in this report.”

KLAS Research will honor Iodine and the other segment winners for 2023 in a ceremony held at HIMSS Global Conference April 17th in Chicago, IL.

About KLAS Research:

KLAS has been providing accurate, honest, and impartial insights for the healthcare IT (HIT) industry since 1996. The KLAS mission is to improve the world’s healthcare by amplifying the voice of providers and payers. The scope of our research is constantly expanding to best fit market needs as technology becomes increasingly sophisticated. KLAS finds the hard-to-get HIT data by building strong relationships with our payer and provider friends in the industry. Learn more at klasresearch.com


[1] 2020 Iodine Cohort Study

[2] 2021 Iodine Cohort Study

Innovative AI Data Solutions in Healthcare

Freddy White, CEO of AI-MED attended key healthcare industry event HLTH in November 2022 and spoke to some exhibitors about the work they are doing in this field.