As a health information management professional in a private health fund, I realise the opportunities are endless for Health Information Managers (HIMs) and Clinical Coders (CCs) in this industry. For many years I have worked in a hospital setting, so starting at CUA Health was an interesting change. My very first job in health information management (I did not know at the time that this was essentially health information management, as it is not recognised as such in South Africa) was as a clinical coding specialist and the manager for the coding auditors at Discovery Health in South Africa. This role had a strategic focus in the Risk Management Division. Working on payment models based on Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs) and casemix, I was instrumental in building an in-house coding tool, similar to 3M Codefinder, as there was no coding tool available in South Africa. This software was later made available to other users in the industry and some private hospitals. I was also part of the team working on Coding Standards for South Africa.
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