HIM Staffing & Consulting: What You Need To Know By Tiffany Emigh, Sr. Recruiter for HIM Services Coder Certifications There are many certifications out there, so which one(s) should you get? CCA: Entry level, should lead to CCS CPC, CPC-H: Physician-based coding with some Hospital CCS, CCS-P: Hospital-based coding with some Physician RHIT, RHIA: Administrative and all-inclusive Coder Experience This issue often feels like a catch-22. Coders are expected to have at least 2-3 years of experience, but how do new coders get that experience? a) Look into volunteer or internship programs that have potential to turn into paid work. Our clients only look at paid experience. b) Start small; get a job as a Medical Records Clerk, or Medical Records Technician and work your way up to coding. c) Gather references! If you can volunteer at a hospital, be communicative with the coding staff around you and let them know how your work is going. If you can prove your coding abilities, a Supervisor’s reference may be just what you need to get a paying job. First Impressions Count Your Resume is the first thing any employer is going to see, so make sure that it leaves a lasting impression. Employers want to see: Details, details, details. Every little thing that you have done matters i.e. do you know medical terminology? Are you familiar with ICD-9 and CPT coding? What specialties have you coded for specifically? Professional Summary: a summary of all of the skills you have developed as a coder that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. This includes coding specialties, coding projects, EHR experience, coding productivity rate, work ethic, and any accolades you’ve earned. For students, this could include GPA, Dean’s list, or volunteer work on the side. DO NOT submit a cover letter. For coding jobs, cover letters aren’t looked at. DO NOT include an “objective” on your resume. We know you want to be a coder, that’s a given. Good Resumes Look Like Bad Resumes Look Like Back Up Your Resume Letters of Recommendation should be included with your resume to back up any claims you make in your professional summary. *In some cases, a letter of recommendation can be considered in lieu of experience* Always include a copy of your coding certificate(s). Include information regarding any written publications you have been a part of. List any organizations you are a member of; AAPC or AHIMA. What to Expect in the Workforce Productivity standards and quality guidelines are always specific to the facility/office, but general guidelines do exist to help us understand what is commonly expected. AHIMA coding productivity standards are a good reference: – Inpatient Coding: ~24 records per 8 hours, 3 per hour – Outpatient Coding (Ambulatory, Surgeries): ~40 records per 8 hours, 5 per hour – Emergency Department Coding: ~120 records per 8 hours, 15 per hour – Ancillary Coding: ~240 records per 8 hours, 30 per hour – Hierarchical Category Condition Coding (HCC): ~320 records per 8 hours, 40 per hour – Professional Services Coding (E&M leveling): Varies drastically depending on specialty. Coding accuracy for all specialties is typically 96% or better. Coding Education ICD-10 Made Easy: ER Coding book by Linda Kobayashi sold on Amazon.com FREE CEUs for coding credential maintenance. CEUs are earned by taking our online courses, which can be found at www.codebusters.com/icd-10-training/ What the links look like: Before Entering the Course Be sure to utilize our list of coding tools to assist you. These items can be downloaded and saved to your computer. Coding Exams We created coding exams that we use for preemployment purposes, but they can also be used for coding practice and can be found on our www.codebusters.com/icd-10-training/ page. Currently our tests cover: – ICD-9 and ICD-10 Inpatient & Outpatient Diagnosis and Procedure – Emergency Room Diagnosis – IV Infusions & Injections Professional Services and HCC tests are in the works. In Conclusion The coding world is highly competitive. Learn as much as you can and be prepared to meet coding expectations.