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Your Physician Champions

 James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS                                                   Email Dr. Kennedy​


James S. Kennedy, MD, CCS, CDIP, CCDS is the founder and President of CDIMD, a Nashville-based physician and facility advisory and consulting firm that advocates ICD-10-pertinent clinical documentation and coding integrity essential to healthcare revenue cycles and quality measurement. As a coding and clinical documentation integrity (CDI) expert with over 20 years of experience and as a frequent speaker to medical staff, Health Information Management (HIM) and CDI associations, Dr. Kennedy is nationally recognized for his subject matter expertise, communication skills, and problem-solving approach.  He has been designated as a Certified Coding Specialist and Certified Documentation Improvement Practitioner by the American Health Information Management Association and as a Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist by ACDIS.  Dr. Kennedy authored AHIMA's book on MS-DRGs in 2006-2007 (now out of print), contributed significantly to the American Medical Association's text on HCC risk adjustment,  and has previously on the advisory board of the American Clinical Documentation Improvement Society (ACDIS).

Dr. Kennedy publications and lectures include:

  • Contributions to the 2001 American Medical Association's textbook, "Mastering the Reimbursement Process", revising the sections on Medicare, Medicaid, the Correct Coding Initiative, and the HCFA 2000 Evaluation and Management guidelines and writing new text on ERISA and bad debt management – currently out of print

  • AHIMA's "Severity-Adjusted DRGs" in 2006 that served as a primer for HIM and CDI professionals to the newly introduced Medicare-Severity Diagnosis-Related Group (MS-DRG) methodology – currently out of print

  • HCPro's "Physician Query Handbook" in 2009 which provided practical perspective and advice in the CDI and provider query process – currently out of print

  • HcPro's "The Physician Advisor's Guide to  Clinical Documentation  Improvement" in 2014 which provided background and support for CDI physician advisors – Available at

  • Leadership and lectureship in HcPRO's CDI Physician Advisor Boot Camps, referenced at:  Note:  CDIMD can customize these for your facility. 

  • Lectureships at various state HIM association meetings (e.g. California, Arizona) and national CDI meetings (e.g. ACDIS)


Dr. Kennedy is a native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Memphis, where he trained and was board-certified in Internal Medicine.  He practiced as a general internist for fifteen years in Franklin, Tennessee as a solo practitioner, in private multispecialty groups and ultimately with Vanderbilt Health Services and also served as the chairman of the 911 board and as the medical examiner for Williamson county, Tennessee.  His interests include media (radio and print), politics, and public service. 


CDI has relationships with seasoned clinicians invested in administrative data quality, case management and medical staff leadership each with over 20 years of experience in the following specialities:

  • Internal medicine and its subspecialties (e.g. cardiology, critical care)

  • Pediatrics and neonatology

  • Emergency medicine

  • Obstetrics and gynecology

  • General surgery

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