Headshot of Cassi Birnbaum, MS, RHIA, CPHQ, FAHIMA

Cassi Birnbaum, MS, RHIA, CPHQ, FAHIMA

Board Officer, Commission Accreditation Health Informatics and Health Information Management

Ms. Birnbaum joined Stanford Health System in October 2022 to lead its enterprise coding division. Ms. Birnbaum is responsible for strategic direction and oversight of all coding activities for its hospitals, ambulatory activities and its physician practices. Prior to Stanford Health Care, she guided PeaceHealth in transforming its health information management (HIM), coding and clinical documentation integrity (CDI). Ms. Birnbaum spent five years at UC San Diego Health as enterprise-wide director of HIM/revenue integrity, where she also provided leadership and strategic direction for both professional and facility coding. She served as senior vice president of HIM and consulting for Peak Health Solutions, and HIM/Coding, and CDI director as well as its chief privacy officer at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, and director of quality resource management at Scripps Health.

Ms. Birnbaum was appointed as a Board Member of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) in 2019, and presently serves as its Board Chair. She served as board member and officer of SDHC Board (San Diego Connect – Regional Health Information Exchange) from 2010 – 2022. Since 1990, Cassi has been an adjunct baccalaureate HIMS faculty member for San Diego Mesa College.

As a Past Board Chair/President of AHIMA (2014 – 2016), Cassi was able to successfully lead the industry, profession and its members to realizing its vision with a successful transition to ICD-10, Information Governance, and adoption of its Global Curriculum. Cassi was previously an AHIMA Director from 2009 – 2012, and she was honored to receive the 2019 AHIMA Distinguished Member Award, and the 2017 Distinguished Health Professions Alumna recipient for the University of Kansas Medical Center.
She accepted on behalf of PeaceHealth 3M Healthcare’s Professional Fee Coding Award, and while at UCSD, 3M’s 2018 Innovator of the Year for accomplishments associated with Professional Fee and Single Path Coding. Cassi is a Past President for California Health Information Association from 2006 -2008, and she received its prestigious Distinguished Member Award in 2009.

Do you have any particular areas of interest/specialization related to health care informatics?

My graduate specialization was in health informatics when the field was in its infancy. System optimization, workflow redesign, AI applications to support coding and clinical documentation improvement.

What motivated your interest in serving on the advisory board for the MS-HCI program? What are you hoping to contribute?

To provide support to the faculty to meet industry and workforce needs.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in advancing their career in health care informatics?

This is an exciting opportunity to ultimately improve population health. There are many specializations in informatics to build upon your clinical or operational skills and provide a valuable contribution to the healthcare industry.

In your view, what is unique and exciting about USD’s MS-HCI program? How is the advisory board helping to shape the future of the program to best meet the goals of both the students and their potential employers?

USD’s MS-HCI program provides an outstanding academic program to prepare and enable students to be successful in this critical area. The Advisory Board serves as a bridge to ensure that the curricula lines up with the needs and demands of employers and the industry.


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