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ACDIS conducted a short interview with John Jager, President and CEO of NHS Solutions, Inc., specialists in clinical documentation staffing.

What is it about this point in time that makes CDI so important?

I equate the timing to the “Perfect Storm.” The healthcare industry has faced increasing costs for several years. The difference now is that the rate of increase over inflation is significant and widening. It is not sustainable and hospitals are desperately looking for ways to cut cost or increase revenue. Add to this the new regulations for Medicare reimbursement and compliance that forced a change in the process for hospitals to get reimbursed for their costs. Finally, the debate on Capitol Hill and the Obama objective of reforming healthcare are highlighting once again the problems facing the industry. Taken together, the importance of a robust CDI program and quality initiatives has never been more important. Regardless of the final outcome of healthcare reform, all political parties agree that an effective CDI program is a significant part of the solution going forward. The trend is up for this segment and it represents a clear growth area in the healthcare industry.

Why is everyone jumping on the bandwagon?

Because this is such a clear trend in the industry and the payback is so obvious. With any new product or trend, you have early adopters that spot the opportunity, believe it and make the investment in it. We are past that point and a large number of facilities are now implementing programs. Those that have adopted early now have data that shows that it works. Most early adopters are now at the stage where they are increasing their investment. In fact, I do not know of a single facility that we are working with that has cut back on their programs after running a pilot.

We have found that there are two main reasons why facilities do not jump on the bandwagon: 1. they are distracted with other facility problems and have not been able to effectively consider these solutions or 2. they cannot afford the investment at this time. Unfortunately, both of these are short-sighted reasons that, in my opinion, must be overcome or these healthcare facilities will fall (further) behind. I see this similar to the 1990’s when converting to enterprise-wide CRM accounting systems was a strategic decision for many companies. Today, many large corporations have completed the implementation and view the integrated system as a fundamental tool for the company. I believe in 5 to 10 years, enterprise-wide CDI programs will be a fundamental tool in most healthcare facilities.

Why are you jumping on this market?

NHS Solutions has been actively focused on CDI staffing since the day we opened our doors. The company was founded to serve this market. As a silver sponsor of the ACDIS trade shows, we have supported the industry from our beginning. Like ACDIS, we are relatively new. But that is because the industry is new. However, we have clearly established ourselves as the leader in the staffing solutions for this market. As I write this, we have more CDI positions posted on our website that we are actively recruiting for than any other staffing company in the nation (www.nhsscorp.com/careers/jobs). We already have several of the top healthcare facilities and systems as our clients for CDI positions and we are growing that number every month. Our specialists spend most of their time on this market, are extremely knowledgeable and have a very robust network of professionals on our books. We are moving fast because this segment is moving fast. We are one of the few staffing companies I know of that are actually growing in the backdrop of a difficult economic environment.