As I’m sure many of you are aware, there has been much discussion about various AHIMA topics, including CSA dues rebates, AHIMA finances, publishing of Perspectives in Health Information Management, and the Fellowship application process. Yesterday, on behalf of the AHIMA Board of Directors, I responded to this trail of posts on Engage in both the AHIMA State Leaders and House of Delegates and AHIMA Membership and Business communities. I know that not everyone has notifications set to receive the daily updates, and as these are very important issues I also wanted to share my post with each. I hope you will also share my email with your members so everyone has the correct information. The past six months have been stressful and perhaps overwhelming for many of you. Please know that as CSAs and each of you as members, you are all valued and an important part of AHIMA. Most importantly, stay well, be safe, and have a little downtime for yourself. Below is the response I posted yesterday in the Engage communities:
Thank you members for your engagement with the association. As AHIMA’s Board President/Chair, I want to respond to your posts. AHIMA works hard to support you, and we’re using the strategic plan as our road map. Here are just a few recent activities that are moving the association and its members forward.
Based on the projected impact of COVID-19 on membership growth, the Board is reviewing new calculations for the CSA dues rebate. We will assess this new data to determine the merits of moving forward with the recommended rebate change that was determined pre-COVID. We are spending ample time finding a solution that works for CSAs of all sizes and gives us the ability to prepare as much as possible for an uncertain environment. The underlying goal is to keep CSAs in a favorable position, and each passing month gives us more information about membership projections. The new rebate would go into effect in 2022, if approved.
We are closely monitoring AHIMA’s finances. If necessary, we will engage in further challenging conversations to ensure our future. While many of these hard decisions are operational rather than strategic governance decisions, communication remains strong between the AHIMA Board and the AHIMA CEO. That said, in the past few weeks, admittedly some balls have been dropped. The AHIMA CEO is working with the team to tighten up communication. It is important to recognize that AHIMA members, board, and staff are all diligently working to successfully navigate what is for many people a difficult period.
The purpose of this communication is to offer clarity and correct misperceptions:
As communicated in other venues, Perspectives in Health Information Management (PHIM) is not being discontinued and the perception that it was stemmed from a miscommunication by AHIMA staff following an internal review of staff resources. Staff have admitted they made a mistake, apologized to stakeholders, and are diligently working to ensure all manuscript submitters are aware of the status of their manuscripts.
Staff re-ran CSA rebate numbers based on the potential impact of the pandemic. Based on the new estimated numbers, the board is revisiting the initial rebate recommendation. We will communicate next steps after our next meeting on Sept. 8. This is the reason the calculator was not provided in the timeframe originally envisioned. We are working hard to listen to concerns and will revisit decisions when new information becomes available.
It has been the practice for 30 years (June 1990) to offer a stipend to the President/Chair and President/Chair-elect in recognition of the many hours of work they do on behalf of AHIMA. These stipends provide compensation for time away from regular employment and personal time committed. This information is reported on AHIMA’s 990 tax forms.
As announced in the August 27 E-Alert, the AHIMA Fellowship application is being paused to allow for an update to the application and evaluation process. The Fellowship Committee is evaluating all applications submitted by the August 21 deadline and remains committed to improving the program with a renewed process in early 2021. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact email@example.com.
Finally, I want to clarify the role of the AHIMA Board and how we interface with and support the AHIMA CEO who is responsible for the operational management of the association.
The AHIMA Board functions as a strategic governance board. This is different than years ago when the board was a more operationally focused board. AHIMA follows association governance best practice, which includes establishing organizational identity, ensuring resources, and providing oversight as referenced in What Does Board Service Entail.
The bylaws list the powers and duties of the Board in Article V, 5.1: “To ensure that appropriate governance and operational policies have been developed, adopted, and implemented by AHIMA to carry out its mission.” The Board develops the strategic plan which is then implemented by staff. As you know, we developed a new 2020-2023 Enterprise Strategic Plan that includes a new, ambitious mission and vision to lead the association into the future. We asked for your input as we developed the strategic plan and we heard support and acclaim from many of you.
The work of the CEO and staff is now to implement the strategic plan, in concert with the board. Everyone’s goal is to ensure the relevance and success of AHIMA and its members in the future. This year, like everyone else, the team is working hard under extremely stressful and challenging circumstances, and like everyone else, sometimes they make mistakes. But they also work hard to make things right.
Thank you for your membership and dedication to AHIMA. We value your feedback and I hope this clarifies the issues addressed.
MBA, RHIA, CPC, CRC, FAHIMA
2020 AHIMA Board President/Chair