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Richard Pinson, MD, FACP, CCS, CDIP & Cynthia Tang, RHIA, CCS, CRC

Richard Pinson, MD, FACP, CCS, CDIP & Cynthia Tang, RHIA, CCS, CRC


Dr. Richard Pinson is a physician, educator, administrator, and healthcare consultant. After graduating first in his class from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, he completed his Internal Medicine residency at Vanderbilt and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He has practiced Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine in both solo and group practices and is board certified in both; he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a former Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Vanderbilt.

Dr. Pinson has been a member of AHIMA for 25 years and has been assisting hospitals as a physician consultant for 15 years. He has trained thousands of physicians, coding specialists, CDI professionals, and other healthcare professionals nationwide and has been a featured speaker at local, state, and national meetings, including AHIMA and ACDIS. Dr. Pinson has also authored the monthly “Coding Corner” column for the American College of Physician’s ACP Hospitalist magazine, providing coding and documentation advice to physicians for the past 13 years.

Cynthia Tang has been dedicated to the HIM profession for 40 years. Ms. Tang began her HIM career working as a DRG coordinator, inpatient coder, and HIM department manager for several large teaching hospitals. She then served as a healthcare consultant for a “Big Six” accounting firm, a director for a national healthcare consulting firm, and regional director of quality resource and health information management for two of the nation’s largest healthcare organizations.

She has extensive operational and consulting experience in coding and clinical documentation integrity, health information management, and performance improvement. Over the past 30 years, she has helped hundreds of hospitals across the country in the design and implementation of sustainable clinical documentation integrity (CDI) programs that support compliant code assignment, accurate and optimal DRG assignment, and improved quality performance measures.

Together, Cynthia and Dr. Pinson co-authored the CDI Pocket Guide®, now in its 17th edition.

The concept of "clinical documentation integrity" (CDI) emerged in the 1990s as a revenue cycle management strategy for hospitals. At that time, the burden of typical CDI training was considerable: staff would be given large binders containing hundreds of pages of information, which was difficult to search through and even more difficult to learn from. Cynthia and Richard envisioned improving both hospital finances and the daily lives of coding and CDI specialists by creating a handy reference guide that would be accessible to all who needed it.

They distilled a welter of information into a simple, easy-to-use pocket-sized guide that explained the clinical reasoning behind the coding guidelines that coding professionals, CDI specialists, and healthcare providers could easily understand. The first edition of the CDI Pocket Guide® was published in 2008 and quickly became a best-selling book and an industry standard.

The CDI Pocket Guide® perfectly blends the distinct worlds of clinical practice, coding, and documentation into a unified whole. Each section is written with a specific purpose in mind; the content is carefully organized to maximize learning and usefulness to those involved in medical record review and analysis. Each year, Cynthia and Richard review every single topic to make sure the presentation of material and flow of information connect ideas into a coherent whole that is up to date with the latest clinical diagnostic standards, coding guidelines, and compliance issues. As a result of such painstaking work over many years, the CDI Pocket Guide® has become the most respected and authoritative source for the entire coding and CDI community. Many call it their "CDI bible."

Since 2019, they have been conducting free monthly educational webinars for CDI specialists, coding professionals, and clinicians, which have grown to over 5,000 monthly attendees. In addition to the CDI Pocket Guide® Cynthia and Richard co-author the CDI Pocket Guide® Unbound (online) edition, the Outpatient CDI Pocket Guide: Focusing on HCCs, the CDI for the Clinician® micro-learning solution for physicians, and the international edition, CDI Pocket Guide® for ICD-10-AM and AR-DRGs.

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