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December 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017We are almost through with 2017, with just over a week to go before the New Year.  It has been an interesting year from a healthcare perspective – at this point, who among us can determine how reform efforts and policy will affect thefuture of care delivery, our work and the way we do business? Those of us in healthcare internal audit have long understood the complexities of care delivery models and policy; this year, the rest of the country received a crash course on a few of them, in real time. 

What we do know is that healthcare is continuing to transform. We continue to see industry consolidation amongst providers, insures, and drug store chains. Consumerism and price transparency is taking a stronger hold. Healthcare providers are continuing to take on more risk for care provided (i.e.:” volume to value”). , And the world of technology continues to significantly influence healthcare which includes, EHR’s, telehealth, artificial intelligence and block chain technology. The implications are significant. Yet, our profession is well positioned to deliver value and insight to those we serve.  We are trusted and integral and serve as risk advisors, internal control leaders, objective evaluators, and technical experts. 

While that future of healthcare is being written, AHIA membership becomes more important than before in assisting with the navigation of the changing environment, while giving you access to a wealth of peer information and experience sharing – moving our field toward to keep pace with greater efficiencies, scalability and outcomes.

Much more within our control, is the future of AHIA, which has been evolving as well. 2017 has been a year of development and change for AHIA, with the exploration of certification, as well as new learning concepts, a bylaws retool, expansion of the Board, potential committee restructuring and so much more.

I am pleased with the progress that we have made as a board and have enjoyed my time as the Chair in 2017.  In fact – I am proud of our evolution over this past decade.  Here are a few highlights:

  • AHIA membership grew 40% from January 2010 to January 2017 (1149 members to 1608).
  • AHIA’s sponsorship program significantly added to the bottom line – allowing us to give more benefits and offerings our members. By working with industry partners and allowing the customization of benefits to suit sales goals, our sponsorship program has grown from $0 in 2011 to over 92K in 2017.
  • Annual meeting attendance is up 42%, from 441 in 2010 to 627 in 2017
  • Total assets have grown by 111% between 2010 and 2017.

This is phenomenal progress by all association standards – which we plan to build upon. We will welcome our next AHIA Board Chair, Jim Passey, at the start of 2018 to lead us through. After working with Jim closely for several years, I can say that we are in very capable hands and I look forward to his service in the chair’s seat. At that time, I will rotate to the role of immediate past chair. In this role, I will be charged with leading the AHIA Nominations Committee and looking for next generation of leaders to take over the reins.  If you are interested in serving AHIA in a Board leadership capacity – please reach out at any time to discuss.

2018 will bring some new leadership opportunities for AHIA members.  The Board recently approved the official Certification Committee charter and will be seeking volunteers to provide content and program guidance/recommendations as specifically related to the Healthcare Internal Audit Professional Certification program of the AHIA. As the certification process matures and strategic objectives are operationalized, the Certification Committee will evolve to strategic, oversight and reporting.  Those that serve on the Certification committee will be tasked to provide strategic guidance and input into developing, reviewing, evaluating and approving all policies and procedures related to all AHIA certification and credentialing programs, eligibility requirements, alternate eligibility criteria, standards for certification and recertification; exam content, development and administration; examination scores and passing determinations; ethics, grievances, appeals and disciplinary processes; Certification Committee Governance rules, including agenda, frequency and related procedures; appointments and work assignments and more.  If you are interested, please contact Michelle Cunningham at mcunningham@kellencompany.com or standby for the official “call” in early 2018.

As the year and my term winds down, I would like to express appreciation for each and every AHIA Board member, committee chair, committee member, presenter, author and volunteer that worked over the past decade to make 2017 exceptional.  And a thank you in advance to those willing to come forward and get involved as we grow and change.

And finally, thank you for the opportunity to serve as AHIA Board Chair.  It has been an honor.  I wish you and your families the happiest of holiday seasons, and a prosperous 2018.

No matter what the future holds for healthcare and for your association, all of us at AHIA are glad that you are a part of it!


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

November 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017As 2017 rushes to its final months, and we look toward the holiday season, vacations and year end responsibilities,  AHIA leadership continues to be focused on the future of the healthcare internal audit profession and what 2018 will bring. While the year ahead holds many uncertainties from a healthcare policy and reform standpoint, it remains our collective goal to ensure we are delivering high quality care to those we serve.  

On the AHIA front, we have a bit more control of the future, it is always our goal to equip our members with the resources they need to be a critical and valued part of the healthcare delivery system.  To that end, I would like to share a few updates that will position us to continue to do just that.

  • The AHIA Bylaws have been officially ratified by the membership. Thank you to all who reviewed and voted.  Through this process the membership has agreed to accept the Board’s recommendation to allow for the appointment of two additional voting at-large Board positions, as well as two non-voting appointments.  We believe it is imperative that the size of the association’s governing body be expanded to distribute the work plan so that we may accomplish our ambitious goals, on your behalf.  It was determined that the voting positions will be tasked with Board-level oversight of the certification program and in formalizing affiliation agreements with like-minded associations.  To that end, the Board has appointed two AHIA past Board chairs, David Richstone and Cavell Alexander to support these major initiatives, as voting members of the Board for a one-year term, beginning January 1.  David will be leading certification and Cavell will be developing a new affiliation strategy.
  • November brings us special deals after the Thanksgiving holiday, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  This year be sure to put AHIA on your shopping list and get a 3-year return on the investment at a substantial discount. The Membership and Awards Committee will be offering an online Membership Flash Sale promotion from November 16 to November 28. Renew your existing, current AHIA membership for three years and take $100 off the total price. Your new membership will begin upon expiration of your current one. Lock down 2017 pricing through the decade.  In addition, during this period, new members will receive $100 off the price of a one-year membership. Visit the AHIA LinkedIn site for details.
  • The AHIA Call for Presenters deadline was November 6 for those wanted to receive first round consideration to present AHIA’s 2018 Annual Conference and other educational opportunities throughout the year. Under the direction of Chase Whitaker, the 2018/19 Annual Conference Committee will be heading to San Diego tomorrow to review these submissions and visit the host property,  Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.  I would like to announce the members of the 2018 Annual Conference Committee members; these individuals will dedicate the better part of their year to developing a world class educational event and networking spectacular just for us:
    • Terri Allen
    • Suzanne Applegate
    • Alicia Capps, Board Liaison
    • Michelle Elliott
    • Katherine Fore
    • Lisa Litwiller
    • Ginger Manwell
    • Tim Marshall
    • Linda McKee
    • Greg Newton
    • Jim Passey, Incoming Chair
    • Darryl Rhames
    • Jackye Thompson
    • Chase Whitaker, Conference Chair

The Conference Committee would like to invite you to be part of the process and get creative in developing the 2018 conference theme. If you deliver the winning idea, you will receive a complimentary full conference registration, a $250 Visa Gift card, two free night's lodging at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina and formal recognition! Submissions must be received by midnight, on November 30, so there is still time.  In addition, each person who submits an idea will be entered into the drawing for a complimentary conference registration. See below for details.

Finally, I wish you and your families all a wonderful Thanksgiving!  All of us at AHIA are thankful that you are part of our community.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

October 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017A membership organization, such as AHIA, is by default a group of individuals who have shared interests and values. Behind every good professional membership association, is an assembly of volunteer leaders working to advance the mission and effectiveness of all that mission endeavors. Association leaders have the exciting, yet daunting, tasks of setting purpose, attracting and engaging members, providing value and organizing a volunteer workforce. 

I have learned, in my tenure as your Board Chair, that the leadership of a professional association is the main driver for getting others to act and making things happen in the organization.  How do you get other people to want to follow you? To move forward together on a common purpose? To mobilize in the pursuit of shared aspirations? It starts with passion leadership at the highest level and the AHIA Board of Directors does not lack for that, but with several forthcoming major initiatives, we need all the help we can get.

To that end, the Board will be in touch with a membership bylaws ratification.  While most of the recommended changes to the bylaws are editorial in nature or are simply to clarify current realities and/or current practice, I would like to call your attention to the Board’s recommendation to expand its size – while we do not lack passion and purpose, we have identified the need to reshape the governance structure of AHIA to meet new challenges – more hands make quick work. Size matters. 

Currently, the Board of Directors is comprised of nine voting members.  Due to AHIA’s growth, need for capacity building and development of additional resources to accommodate the diverse needs of healthcare internal auditors, the Board is recommending two additional voting at-large Board positions be added to distribute the work plan to accomplish the associations ambitious goals, in the best interest of membership.  In addition, the Board may currently appoint up to two non-voting members to serve a one-year team, beginning January 1, at its discretion.  The intent of limiting to a one-year with a start of January 1 has proved limiting and the original intent is unknown.  The Board is recommending the removal of the term limit and date of affiliation, so that advisory Board members can be appointed as the need arises.

The four new positions will be tasked with Board-level oversight of the certification program and in formalizing affiliation agreements with like-minded associations. If approved, candidates with voting rights will be sought for the election of 2019 Board members.

Speaking of elections, the 2018 AHIA Board of Directors election has concluded.  I am pleased to announce that the following individuals will join the AHIA Board in January 2018:

  • Mary Jo Flynn – Secretary/Treasurer
    VP, Compliance and Internal Audit, UCare
  • Deborah Pazourek Mendel – At Large Member
    VP Internal Audit, MedStar Health
  • Scott Stevenson – At Large Member
    Chief Audit Executive, Emory University

I look forward to recognizing their contributions and celebrating their victories.

2018 will be here before you know it.  In the meantime, AHIA committee leadership has begun preparing their budget “dream lists” for consideration, the Membership and Awards Committee is developing the next membership needs assessment survey and the 2018 Call for Presenters is open and available for YOUR submission.

We are all working behind the scenes on the Certification effort. The extensive job task analysis is complete and a “body of knowledge,” a complete set of concepts, terms and activities that guide the practice and work of healthcare internal auditing, has resulted and is being integrated into the AHIA infrastructure.  As aforementioned, the current Board and AHIA volunteer leaders has its hands full – full of work, but also appreciation – great appreciation.

As Dale Carnegie’s put it in his Golden Rules of How to Win Friends and Influence People, “start with sincere and honest appreciation.”  I appreciate each and every member of the AHIA community, we all share a vision and a vested interest in our profession – and your leadership is ready to take this to the next level.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

September 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017AHIA has left its mark on Boston!  The AHIA 36th Annual Conference, held in late August, drove our highest paid attendance ever, welcomed over 170 first time attendees and new members to our community and offered a wealth of well-received, relevant content and knowledge sharing. 

Over 24% of AHIA’s membership is located in New England and this was our first time hosting our conference there, but it will certainly not be the last! Another first? A make-shift dance floor evolved at the Welcome Reception, thanks to the DJ services of AHIA volunteer, Frank Estala. People were literally moved by the energy of the city, an abundance of lobster and an extraordinary program of events. 

On behalf of all of us at AHIA, our deepest appreciation goes out to the 2017 Annual Conference Planning Committee.  Under the leadership of Debi Weatherford, this team delivered a homerun – unlike anything that Fenway has ever seen. I would like to once again thank the following AHIA volunteers for making this conference happen. Their dedication to delivering high-quality education to their peers is unparalleled:

  • Debi Weatherford, Committee Chair/Specialty Leader
  • Victor Blanchard, Health Plan Track Leader
  • Alicia Capps, Revenue Cycle Track Leader, Board Liaison
  • Linda McKee, IT Track Leader
  • Debra Muscio, Compliance Track Leader
  • Susan Thomas, Clinical Quality Track Leader
  • Jackye Thompson, New Auditor Track Leader

I would also like to thank our presenters, sponsors, exhibitors and staff – with contributions too numerous to list here.  As chair of the Board, it was a highlight of my experience in Boston to publicly recognize our 2017 Volunteer Service Award winners. Please see below for full information.

During our celebration of all things healthcare internal audit focused – our friends in the Houston area were never far from our hearts and minds.  Just as we were preparing to open the AHIA 36th Annual Conference, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday evening, August 25th, as the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the US since 2004. Ahead of its landfall, many communities were ordered to evacuate, as fears arose that the hurricane could leave some coastal areas uninhabitable. The storm, which intensified over the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Texas and its surrounding states, brought with it heavy rainfall, damaging winds and a powerful storm surge. It has significantly impacted communities along the Texas coastline, including Houston, as well as other areas along the Gulf with wind and flood damage.

Annual Conference presenters, exhibitors, committee chairs and award-winning volunteers were all impacted – most could not make it to Boston, while a few were stranded there for a bit longer than expected. 

AHIA leadership and staff have committed personal support toward the recovery efforts and we encourage our members to do the same. To that end, we have compiled a list of highly-rated organizations responding in the aftermath of this storm and providing assistance to the people and communities affected by it.

We recommend:

The American Red Cross pledges that 91 cents of every dollar received for Hurricane Harvey will fund recovery efforts in Texas and Louisiana for residences severely impacted, those in need of emergency assistance and those displaced by the impact of Harvey.
If you're looking for a local charity to support in the wake of Hurricane Harvey please consider: 

These highly-rated organizations are located in the most-affected areas and are providing support to individuals and animals.

From the conference to the recovery efforts – leadership matters.  I encourage you all to vote in the 2018 AHIA Board of Directors election – voting is open through Friday, September 29.  Not familiar with the candidates? Wondering what’s the difference between any one of these people and you or me? Categorically nothing! Except, these people chose to matter and make a difference to our profession and to our members.  Please take a moment to learn about their interest in serving AHIA and cast your ballot. Whatever your choice, either way, it matters.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

August 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017Boston, here we come!  The 36th AHIA Annual Conference is upon us.  After months of preparation, it is exciting to see the efforts of so many dedicated volunteers and our professional staff come to light.

The conference is the largest in-person gathering of AHIA members - and this year, larger than ever. As of August 8, 602 attendees have registered.  440 are AHIA members (73% of all registered attendees).  We will get to be face-to-face with at least 27% of our total membership – an EXTRAORDINARY opportunity. That is a very significant percentage of membership representation at a live event and demonstrates that “belonging” is important to AHIA.

No one knows how beneficial AHIA membership is to the professional development of healthcare internal auditors better than AHIA members. When you share your AHIA membership experience and encourage other to join our network, you can get rewarded for doing so! Our Direct Member Connect program had a banner year and we are excited to recognize the following members for participation in the 2016/2017 cycle. 68 referrals were made by 57 individuals:

5 or more referrals:
Bob Kinsman
*He will receive free Annual Conference registration in 2018, $150 AHIA bucks and be entered in a 3-person drawing for an iPad

3 to 4 referrals:
Debbie Radke
John Weiss
** They will receive $100 AHIA bucks, free regional seminar registration and be entered in the 3-person iPad drawing

1 to 2 referrals:

Lesley Anderson Lindsey Harr Holly Remington
Loyd Baker Catherine Hicks David Richstone
Erin Barry Kristi Hutter Alex Robison
Laura Birmingham Willmon Glena Jarboe William Rushton
Jamie Burgess Dan Keeling Shyla Russell
Heather Byrne Gail Kinkaid Vikki Schwartz
Amber Coleman Andy Kins David Small
Mike Cronin Adrienne Larmett Dennis Smyser
Lorraine Currie Eric Lowry John Sproule
Vicki Davies Joyce Massottl-Burnett Susan Thomas
Robert P. DiPalma Ann McDonald Jackye Thompson
Chet Efird Sheri Meier Patricia Trent
Mitch Evans Gary Moss Greg Vetter
Mohammad Farhan Zahid Paige Mulvihill Catherine Wakefield
James Fleming Kenneth Nanni Debi Weatherford
Mary Jo Flynn Marta Quinones Charie Wicklund
Susan Fredrick Mae Padilla Kelly Willenberg
Greg Gibbs Jim Passey Richard Williams
Steve Gillis Michelle Piranio Lori Winkler
Leigh Goller Rodrigo Ponce Cindy Yu
Ed Gyimah Trinh Ramirez Tom Zimmerman
Keith Graff    

** They will receive $75 AHIA bucks or a free webinar

The 17/18 Direct Member Connect Cycle has begun… and the referrals are coming in.  With over 160 non-members joining us in Boston, you can get involved in recruiting and reap your reward!

Members and non-members alike joining us in Boston will experience a wealth of knowledge sharing and diverse educational sessions. The top 10 presentations garnering the most interest to date are:

  • High Value Charge Capture and Revenue Integrity Assessments by Don Billingsley and Jennifer Stout, Protiviti
  • Healthcare Forensics Data Mining by Gary Moss, Risk Advisory Services
  • Linking the Audit Plan to Strategic Risks byLeigh Goller,Duke University
  • Payment Collection Controls and Fraud Prevention by Darryl Rhames, University Health System
  • Pharmacy Risk Management by Leslie Anderson and Michelle Brungardt, Kaiser Permanente, National Pharmacy ComplianceOffice
  • Auditing in the Era of Digital Docs and Virtual Medicine by Molly Murphy, Carolinas Healthcare System
  • An Inside Job: A Look at Internal Healthcare Fraud Schemes by Julia Twaddle, WayPoint, Inc.
  • Audit Reports That Command Attention and Get Results by Liz Meyer, Focus On Risk Enterprises, LLC
  • Auditing Controlled Substances/Diversion by Karla Miller and Patricia Olenick, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)
  • The "New" Critical Audit Area by Johan Lidros, Eminere Group

In addition to the world class educational program, assembled under the care and leadership of Debi Weatherford, we will take this opportunity to update you on AHIA’s strategic endeavors and new initiatives at the Annual Business Meeting, recognize AWARD-WINNING volunteer contributions and more. 

For those of you not able to join us in Boston, your presence will be missed and you are not forgotten.  We will be in touch to share highlights, resources and updates following the show.  For those of you heading to Boston, safe travels and your Board of Directors, Presenters, Sponsors, Exhibitors, Committee Leaders and staff look forward to spending this time with you.

I encourage you all to save the dates and consider attending and presenting at the 37th AHIA Annual Conference in San Diego, CA (August 26-29, 2018). Presenting affords members complimentary registration. Or remember, refer a few members and we may even pick up your bill.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

July 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017We are at the apex of summer, seven months into our calendar and fiscal year.  There is no such thing as lazy summer days at AHIA, as this is the time of year when things really heat up for us.   Your Board, Committee leadership, dedicated village of volunteers and staff are gearing up for the Annual Conference next month, as well as developing new resources, systems and programs simultaneously.  Following are things I would like to call to your attention:

AHIA Annual Conference: We are one month away from our largest networking and knowledge-sharing event, Revolutionary Audit Advancements: Rooted in History, Ready for the Future, in Boston. Record attendance trending tell us this has the potential to be our biggest and best yet. Aside from the education sessions, I invite you to join us on the evening of August 29 to join us for the AHIA Annual Business Meeting.  We will deliver a “state-of-the-union,” and serve champagne to all in attendance to celebrate another productive year.  Do not forget about the Social Events we have available following the Business Meeting, designed to give you opportunity to get to know your industry peers in a relaxed environment outside the office or classroom environment. Space is still available. Details and registration are available.
Our sponsors and exhibitors play a large role in supporting our conference – and this year at records levels.  I wish to thanks and recognize our partners and friends who minimize the financial impact to our members and allow us to offer enhancements to the conference experience.  Check out those organizations that have collectively contributed just under $100,000 to this year’s conference.

AHIA EHR Auditor User Group - Epic Webinars:  Under the leadership of Mercy’s Dieu Tran, the AHIA EHR Auditor User Group – Epic will launch two-free webinars, before the close of 2017.

AHIA 2018 Board of Directors Election: Under the direction of the University of Miami’s David Richstone, AHIA Nominating Committee Chair and AHIA Past Chair, have assembled a strong list of candidates for your consideration to lead AHIA into the future. The Board will approve the slate later today.  The election will open on August 29.  Electronic and paper ballots will be available/ I encourage all of you to cast a ballot and play an active role in the future of our profession.  There is a saying in the association community, “all associations are only as good as their leadership.” 

AHIA Certification Development Update:  There are many moving parts in developing a professional certification and we are in the thick of it. In June, the critical and comprehensive job task analysis was completed with a favorable outcome.  Our next steps for consideration will be developing the certification governing body and securing item writing volunteers to develop the exam portion.  The AHIA Board of Directors meets later today to determine the organization priorities in consideration of our membership’s best interests.  Stay tuned for more information.

Summer give us longer days and shorter nights, be assured that AHIA is taking advantage of that and burning every second of daylight to ensure the brightest future for our members.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

June 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017The Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors is a volunteer-led organization. There is a humble reluctance within our membership toward receiving formal recognition or assigning a value to for the act of volunteering.  AHIA heavily relies on the good will of a legion of volunteers, as all membership associations do.  AHIA strives to achieve a culture of appreciation – in fact, it is a high priority. Through our Volunteer Service Award Program, we shine a light on the important work that is being done by individuals and organizations. By identifying those who exemplify the very best in our field, we advance healthcare internal auditing profession.  AHIA is fortunate to receive thousands of acts of kindness, given so generously by over 100 volunteer leaders.

AHIA award recipients are formally saluted at special awards presentation at the Annual Conference, receive FREE CONFERENCE REGISTRATION and a distinctive AHIA plaque commemorating their achievements, and are recognized in AHIA publications.

Nominating is easy – we are simply looking for a brief rationale.  Click here to access the simple online form and instructions.

How do we select award winners?  All nominations are first screened to verify eligibility. Each nomination is then individually evaluated by the Awards Subcommittee, under the direction of Barbara Winburn, AHIA Membership and Awards Committee Chair. The Committee reserves the right to withhold awards in any category in which received nominations do not meet specified criteria. The Awards subcommittee makes recommendations for Board approval. The decision of the Board is final.

The deadline to submit award nominations is June 29 – so it is not too late.  Share in AHIA’s legacy and nominate someone today.  To review the inclusive list of past recipients, visit the links below.  I would like to thank all our award recipients for being instrumental in the elevation of the profession and success of AHIA!

The impact of showing appreciation to volunteers is positive and tangible. Please take five minutes and nominate someone today – or simply identify the service area that is most valuable to you as part of your AHIA membership and we can make recommendations your behalf for those volunteers driving the effort.

Becoming involved with AHIA affords you the opportunity to grow professionally and gain a broader perspective of our industry. Our goal is to empower tomorrow's healthcare internal audit leaders through professional and personal development with growth opportunities. It is vital that we have capable and interested committee members to lead us in the achievement of strategic objectives and guide us towards our goals. Please consider making a difference today in your association – and your own professional future by volunteering. When you share your time and talent, you help advance the profession. I encourage you to join the AHIA volunteer team.  Opportunities are available here.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

May 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017It is only May and but I am already preparing for the REVOLUTION! And by revolution, I mean “Revolutionary Healthcare Audit Advancements: Rooted in History, Ready for the Future,” that will be featured at the 36th Annual Conference.

Registration opened in April and the deadline to receive early registration discounts in excess of $200 is July 24.  An excellent program has been assembled and to date, the following sessions are emerging as our most popular to date:

  • A3 - Audit Reports That Command Attention and Get Results
  • B4 - Auditing Controlled Substances/Diversion
  • C8 - Managing Organizational Risk:  The Mighty Triad of Internal Audit, Compliance, and Risk Management
  • D2 - Auditing a Healthcare Organization’s Cybersecurity Program
  • D8 - Healthcare Forensics Data Mining
  • E5 - High Value Charge Capture and Revenue Integrity Assessments
  • F1 - An Inside Job: A Look at Internal Healthcare Fraud Schemes
  • G6 - Social Media and Managing Reputational Risk

AHIA is all about adding value, and to that end, we have a few complimentary offerings to help supplement your conference experience:

For my fellow colleagues who have highest level of responsibility for the audit function, I highly recommend attending one of our Chief Audit Executive (CAE) Roundtables at the conference. CAE roundtables offer a unique and valuable opportunity for CAEs to discuss common concerns and challenges, to share lessons learned and to brainstorm with their peers on solutions and best practices. These facilitated, group-participatory discussion group offer perspective on a variety of topics. This year, we will host several throughout the day on Sunday, August 27, to accommodate those arriving at various times. In addition, we have shortened the length of the CAE Roundtables, from 5.5 hours to 2 to 4 hours.  In fact, you can attend more than one – there are no two CAE Roundtables alike!  CPE credits are available and you will be well fed.  Plan to make the most of your time in Boston and experience.  In addition, we will have separate roundtables for IT Auditor and Managers/Directors.

  • Need to work on your presentation skills?  Our friends from Toastmasters will once again feature a FREE 2-hour workshop from 1 pm to 3 pm on Sunday, August 27.  This session will help you utilize techniques to eliminate fear and instill confidence before public speaking incorporate humor, research, persuasion, and inspiration to make your message leave an impact.
  • We are especially excited for this year’s Annual Conference as it is our first time hosting in Boston.  One of the oldest American cities, Boston is known around the world for high tech and hospitals, arts and music, and as the academic hub of the US. The city combines history and innovation to create a small-scale destination that's easy to explore. The Annual Conference Committee is planning social activities at the moment – and will soon unveil several options that you can take part in.  The conference is at the Boston Marriott Copley Place – only a 20-minute walk from Fenway and in the HEART of Boston’s most distinctive, upscale shopping destination with 75 store including Neiman Marcus, Barney’s of New York, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Rigby & Peller, Legal Seafoods, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior , Burberry, and so much more.

Boston is a walking town – so bring your walking shoes. You can walk the Freedom Trail — and two favorite neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly Beacon Hill and the North End. You can walk the galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art, the banks of the Charles River, and the lively streets of Harvard Square. Then enjoy a break in the Public Garden for a ride on a Swan Boat, at Fenway Park for a Red Sox game, or at a restaurant for local seafood.

Join me in Boston for the AHIA Revolution!  It will be one for the history books and will shine a light into the present and future of healthcare internal audit.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

April 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017April is always an exciting time for us at AHIA. Each year, during this month, we announce the AHIA Annual Conference schedule of events and open registration.  The AHIA Annual Conference will unfold, August 27-30, 2017, at Boston Marriott Copley Place.  We invite you to take time away from the office, learn something new and be a part of the energy of like-minded individuals. 

As we are all aware, there are so many convenient ways to learn and sharpen your skills these days: you can read articles from a wide variety of experts, listen to podcasts and attend webinars, just to name a few. One might even begin to wonder why any of us bother with the time and expense of an in-person conference. 

While social media and virtual forums keep me connected to my peers who are both local and “far away,” there’s no substitution for meeting someone IRL (in real life). Live events—conferences, workshops, lunch & learns–provide unique learning and career building opportunities that you just can’t find anywhere else.  There is value coming together with experts & influencers, face to face – and the AHIA Annual Conference is the only conference solely dedicated to HEALTHCARE INTERNAL AUDIT.

Sometimes you have to take a break from the “work” of your work to sharpen your skills. As they say, a dull axe won’t chop nearly as effectively as a sharp one. I always return from a conference with new ideas and approaches that make me more effective and efficient at work – as well as a renewed sense of purpose and energy.

I would like to thank and recognize the 2017 Annual Conference Planning Committee. This group of dedicated volunteers has been working since November 2016 to develop a program that addresses relevant topics facing each of us in our daily challenges. They have listened to our members’ feedback which is a driving factor in the development of this year’s excellent program. Special thanks to our committee members, without their hard work and tireless efforts, this conference would not be possible:

  • Debi Weatherford, Committee Chair and Specialty Track Leader
  • Victor Blanchard, Health Plan Track Leader
  • Alicia Capps, Revenue Cycle Track Leader and Board Liaison
  • Linda McKee, Pre-conference, Information Technology and Security Track Leader
  • Debra Muscio, Compliance Track Leader
  • Susan Thomas, Pre-conference, General Session Leader, Clinical Quality Track Leader
  • Jackye Thompson, New Auditor Track Leader

Speaking of amazing volunteers, it is also time to announce the call for the AHIA Annual Awards program nominations and 2018 Board of Directors candidate nominations.

As AHIA Chair, it is gratifying to watch the efforts of our hard working AHIA volunteers unfold. Each year, we request that our members take a moment to nominate those volunteer members deserving of organizational recognition, through our annual awards program. With membership on the rise, we are fortunate to have a wealth of talented volunteer contributors and always welcome more to become involved. The AHIA Membership and Awards Committee invites YOU to nominate one or more of your AHIA peers. Please nominate one of your peers today. Not sure who to nominate? You may also identify the service area that has been most beneficial to you.

In addition to award nominations, AHIA is looking to identify members who are interested in advancing our mission and strategic plan through service on the Board of Directors. The nominee application outlines the details related to board service and the key skills and experience identified by the Board as needed in the persons to be elected to begin service on the Board in 2018. If you wish to learn more about Board of Director duties and responsibilities, they are delineated in the AHIA bylaws, Article VIII, Section 4. Click here to access AHIA Bylaws.  

2018 Position Openings

  • TWO POSITIONS AVAILABLE: Director - Serve a three-year term (2018-2020) as a voting member of the AHIA Board of Directors and as the Liaison to one of five committees. Attend bi-monthly conference calls and two in-person meetings (one at the annual conference).
  • One POSITION AVAILABLE: Executive Officer - A four-year track beginning as Secretary/Treasurer in 2018 and ending as Past Chair in 2021. Attend monthly conference calls and at least two in-person meetings. Responsibilities are aligned with each position in the track.

If you have been a member of AHIA for the last 12 months and are currently or previously employed as an internal auditor or in a related position in healthcare, you are eligible to serve your professional organization as a Director or Executive Officer. Do you have questions? Contact the Nominating Committee at mcunningham@kellencompany.com.  If you or someone else is open to being nominated, completed nomination applications are encouraged to be submitted by May 31, 2017 for early review.

I encourage you to get more involved with AHIA. Nominate a deserving volunteer, run for the Board and come to the conference.  Make the investment in yourself, your career, and ultimately, the organization you serve. You’re investing in your own growth and aligning with influencers and those who can give feedback on a new ventures/processes.  AHIA is an effective vehicle to form new relationships, and strengthen existing ones. Get yourself to Boston and we will demonstrate, first hand, the many tools to AHIA has to sharpen your skills.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

March 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017On the heels of our transition to daylight savings time this past weekend, comes SPRING! With spring comes a period of renewal and growth to the northern hemisphere.  What plans have you made for your own personal growth this season?   A great way to grow and develop in the healthcare internal audit profession is by volunteering and sharing your talents with other AHIA members.

As AHIA continues to grow and change to meet the needs of our members, it is imperative that we have capable, interested and involved volunteers to lead and guide us in the achievement of our goals.

Why volunteer?  Becoming involved with AHIA affords you the opportunity to grow professionally and gain a broader perspective of our industry. Our goal is to empower tomorrow's healthcare internal audit leaders with professional and personal development opportunities. We strive to ensure our volunteers get back much more than the time and attention they give. AHIA is what it is because of our member volunteers; they contribute their knowledge and creativity, and accomplish a lot through a small commitment of time. Our volunteers gain knowledge, ideas, encouragement, enthusiasm, support and mentoring.

You have the opportunity for mutual exchange of ideas - both to give and to receive. Consider sharing your time, talent and expertise with us in one of the following ways:

  • Submit an article to AHIA's New Perspectives or Digital InsightsNew Perspective and Digital Insights address up-to-date information, current trends and issues in the areas of financial auditing, operational auditing, medical auditing, management and consulting, and information systems auditing, as well as the healthcare industry and the auditing profession. Visit http://www.ahia.org/news/new-perspectives for information on how to propose an article.
  • Coordinate and host a local or regional event: AHIA Regional Seminars provide a forum for healthcare internal auditors to network and interact with their peers, to share internal audit best practices, and to strengthen the profession of healthcare internal auditing.
  • Present a Webinar: Through our webinar programs, AHIA provides participants with high-quality education and training without leaving the home or office. AHIA offers a broad range of programming hosted by experts to help keep participants up-to-date on the latest trends, best practices, hot topics and subjects of special interest in the arena of healthcare IA. We invite you to be a part of this education initiative, giving our members the knowledge and skills they need to elevate our practice.
  • Contribute to the AHIA Connected Community: The AHIA Connected Community contains a myriad of useful information on a wide variety of audit related topics for auditors, inclusive of discussion forums and document sharing.  If you would like to contribute resources or suggest additions, in a concerted and organized manner, we want to hear from you.
  • Share your expertise as an AHIA Subject Matter Leader: The Subject Matter Leadership Program is a vehicle to identify member experts with a depth of knowledge and experience in a subject area of importance to auditors in the healthcare industry.  These unique individuals will be called upon to, for example, promote conversation about their subject (in the List Serve and on LinkedIn), promote contribution of quality materials to the Audit Library, contribute or solicit submission of New Perspectives articles, e-News blasts, and educational programs. 
  • Committee Service:  We will soon be issuing calls for volunteers to assist us with certification and for the 2018 AHIA Conference Planning Committee (a new planning model!) and more.  In the meantime, as we develop these new work groups, we have a lot of existing committees and subcommittee that are well established with AHIA and can always use new blood.  Visit http://community.ahia.org/volunteeropportunities and log in for more information.

For more information on ways to become involved, contact AHIA at (888) 275-2442, ext.6120 or ahia@ahia.org. We are always looking for educational presenters, editorial contributors, event organizers/facilitators and thought leaders.

We have opportunities to fit all levels of experience and availability. Consider volunteering and become part of an integral network focused on conveying best practices to healthcare internal auditors. I have found my time volunteering with AHIA to be a valuable and an engaging experience.

Here’s to a productive spring, filled with growth, for us all!


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

February 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” A quote commonly attributed to Darwin seems appropriate this month as we watch a great time of transition unfold – in the US, within our organizations and, right here, at AHIA.

In times of transition, there are so many unknowns. We can either cling to “business as usual” or be we can test of our adaptability.  With each transition, we as leaders, must be prepared to adopt different methods to succeed. This ability (or failure) to recognize, navigate and make changes influences effectiveness over time. The requirement of such modifications can be daunting for anyone not agile enough to adapt.

Whether change involves new executive management, the strategic direction of the business “enterprise,” a merger, acquisition or reorganization, the development of a new product line or a shift in the competitive market place, we all must constantly monitor this new environment and adjust our leadership skills to match new demands. This task may sounds easy, but it is often very difficult.

While I cannot speak for the country or the healthcare marketplace with any certainty at this time, I can report that the AHIA leadership is working and learning “agile.” Last month, the AHIA Board determined a new path to direct our strategic efforts and we are currently working on a special presentation to unveil this effort to our committee leadership, volunteers and membership. Here is a preview of


  • Recognized as the industry source for healthcare internal audit knowledge and skills
  • Affiliated with other professional organizations to provide comprehensive resources to members
  • Enhancing the credibility of the healthcare internal audit profession by offering Healthcare Internal Auditor certification and attracting more people to the profession
  • Chosen by healthcare internal auditors for the quality and relevance of educational offerings and publications

As we move ahead on this path it is imperative that we have engaged and capable individuals in our corner, actively cooperating on “how we get there.”  I am pleased to announce the following AHIA Committee leadership appointments:

  • Membership and Awards Committee (MAC): Barbara Winburn is the new chair of the MAC.  The MAC works to promote the interests of all members and develops membership benefits and well as  recruitment and retention programming.
  • Digital Marketing Strategy Taskforce: Debbie Radke will take the lead on this new initative, designed specifically to expand our AHIA network and faciliate knowledge sharing more widely.
  • White Paper Subcommittee: Alan Henton will take the reigns leading this group in developing periodic, high-level guidance to our members on hot topics that affect our industry and the way we do business.
  • Editorial Board: Robert Michalski will assume leadership for this foundational committee, responsible for driving the content of AHIA’s award-winning New Perspectives.
  • New Perspectives Editor: As of March, Michael Fabrizius will be our editor-in-chief of New Perspectives, while our time honored editor Ken Spence transitions to a well-earned retirement.  Do not worry, Ken isn’t going anywhere.  He will assist with Mike’s transition to ensure no disruption of service and has already promised AHIA staff that he will help them with the AHIA Annual Conference. (I understand they intend to hold him to that).

They are part of a long list of committed AHIA volunteers and new committee members who are listed at https://www.ahia.org/about-ahia/leadership/committees/. My thanks to each and every one of you for your contributions of time and talent. If you are not on this list, I encourage you to join us! You have a big stake in the direction that healthcare internal auditing is going. How can you ensure that your interests will be properly maintained and cared for? The best way is to volunteer with us. We have many offerings for committee service or “micro-volunteering” tasks. Visit https://www.ahia.org/membership/volunteer/ to check out the ways you can get involved.

And if now is not the right time to volunteer, your input will do nicely enough.  Please take the time to complete the AHIA Certification Job Task Analysis survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AHIAja2017.  Your input is critically valued and essential to our progress in elevating our profession.

As we navigate the twist and turns of changes to come, AHIA is ready and willing to adapt to what they bring – I am glad you are along for the ride. Only together we will successful manage what may come.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair

January 2017: From the Chair

BryonNeaman2017Thank you for allowing me to serve as the Chair of the AHIA Board of Directors.  It is a distinct honor to lead this very unique association and ultra-productive volunteer team.  One thing I have learned, AHIA leadership is very ambitious group, and is very opportunistic to the benefit of our members – and it is a hard-working group of committed and talented individuals.

There is no “honeymoon” period for our new Board members and no “down time” for those serving their term. We kicked off 2017 last weekend in Boston, the site of 2017 AHIA Annual Conference, with an in-person Board meeting, to take a long look at where AHIA is and where we are going.  We welcomed Alicia Capps and Todd Havens as our new Board Members at large and also thanked David Richstone for his service as Board Chair in 2016. 2016 was an amazing year for the AHIA and David deserves much credit for our success. Following are a few developments I would like to bring to your attention:

A NEW STRATEGIC DIRECTION: The outcome of the meeting produced a new strategic plan for AHIA – one which will first be communicated to our committee chairs then to the membership at large.  It remains our vision to be the premier association for healthcare internal auditing. The path there entails continuing to make improvements to existing services and the development of new ones. We know that we need to ensure the highest level of responsiveness, adaptability and speed to do so in our constantly evolving industry.  I thank Jennifer McGill, at-large Board member, for her leadership on this. More to come from us on that soon.

FUNDING GROWTH: The AHIA enjoys a very strong balance sheet. The Board has carefully considered how we can best allocate AHIA resources to fund growth.   As a result our 2017 budget includes utilizing our strong financial position to invest in growth initiatives to support our members. This includes making needed changes to infrastructure to support certification, a new digital strategy to recruit more members to join the AHIA network, a new education director to put us in position to deliver more content, and make improvements to existing program.   We anticipate some IMMEDIATE “value-added” for your membership dollar. For example, normally – we charge a member rate for at least 12 webinars annually.  I am pleased to announce that we will offer only four “paid” webinars in 2017 – the other 20+ will be FREE to members (a potential value of $632 if you take advantage).

CERTIFICATION STATUS: Last year, based on overwhelming feedback from the membership, your Board of Directors has approved a large investment in you and in our field of practice, and will pursue a healthcare internal auditor certification program.  The work has already begun.   A job task analysis workgroup, comprised of AHIA volunteer subject matter leaders, was convened in Baltimore in late November 2016 to determine what, in fact, healthcare internal auditors do, under what working conditions and with what knowledge and skill. Ultimately, the analysis will provide data to support the development of performance standards, tests, training and other criteria to judge experience, work samples and efforts.  WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!  The result of the workgroup’s extensive efforts, has resulted in a job task analysis survey that will be coming your way and I ask that you participate.  We except that to learn a lot through this process… and the lessons will be applied to more than certification – it will help us shape our educational offerings and publication resources with a new more comprehensive approach.

SAVE THE DATES:  The 2017 AHIA Annual Conference Planning Committee has been hard at work for months, developing the schedule for our 36th Annual Conference – to be held August 27-30, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston.  The theme of the conference is, “Revolutionary Healthcare Audit Advancements - Rooted in History, Ready for the Future.”  Hope to see you there!  It is AHIA’s first time in the Boston/ New England area and we will deliver a world-class educational program tailored for to meet your needs. Registration will open in April 2017.

The Board, our staff and I stand ready to serve you on the day-to-day level.  Never hesitate to call us at 888-ASK-AHIA or email info@ahia.org.

I continue to appreciate the value of AHIA.  Learning and sharing amongst our 1,600 + members strengthens our collective capabilities to provide high value audit services to the organizations we serve.  The healthcare industry continues to change rapidly and I believe the AHIA will be instrumental to continuing to enhance and elevate the healthcare Internal Audit profession.


Bryon Neaman
AHIA Chair