Routinely share knowledge of new experimental procedures, ideally once per week.
Create a queue for secondary review holds that coding professionals can use when they have questions.
Reach out to a coding outsourcing company for guidance
on difficult cases or new procedures.
Post questions on AHIMA message boards, or even groups
on social media.
It is better for coding professionals to take time, conduct research, ask questions, and code complex cases right the first
time versus repeating efforts when a claim is denied or rejected
by the payer. A few extra minutes on the front end saves time
and money on the back end. This is especially true for new experimental procedures. However, coding managers must factor
in the additional time needed for these cases.
Resetting Productivity Expectations
Again, it is important for coding professionals working in organizations with progressive technology to have the skill set required
to research the best way to code a new procedure. If professional
coders are taking time to research cutting-edge medicine, how can
coding managers balance productivity expectations with accuracy—while also maintaining discharged-not-final-coded goals?
A proven strategy is to flex productivity benchmarks for com-
plex cases. Here are three tactics to consider:
1. Base coding productivity goals for complex cases on length of
stay (LOS), allotting more time for records with a higher LOS.
2. Factor in total charges to accommodate for new, high-com-plexity surgical procedures that may have a much lower
LOS than anticipated.
3. Use a combination of LOS and total charges to account for
complexity in coding productivity standards.
As medical technology continues to advance, coding professionals will be pushed to code complex, new, and experimental
cases. The critical thinking mindset, combined with flexibility
in productivity expectations, ensures coding professionals and
managers collaborate to tackle new horizons and learn new
skills that advance the coding profession. ¢
1. The Emerging Future. “Disruptive Technology Riding the
Emerging Wave of the Future.” www.theemergingfuture.
2. Lau, Joe. “[C01] What is critical thinking?” Critical Thinking Web. http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/critical/ct.php.
Sarah Humbert ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is corporate coding and compliance manager at Kiwi-Tek.
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