Optimizing Your Outpatient Coding Team: Tips for Exceeding Medical Coding Quality and Productivity Standards
In the medical coding field, it’s critical to maintain quality and productivity standards. Facilities open themselves up to compliance risks and lost revenue without these standards. At a minimum, 95% is the industry’s coding quality benchmark. At YES HIM Consulting, our credentialed coding professionals uphold 95% or greater quality standards.
Additionally, each facility has its own productivity standard that coders should meet or exceed. And, there are separate benchmarks for productivity that agencies have created for each chart type in Outpatient coding.
Quality and productivity should go hand-in-hand. One should not falter over the other. And both metrics should be measured and monitored separately.
YES monitors our coding professionals’ quality and productivity on a weekly and monthly basis. We provide timely feedback to the coding professional, which is key to growing and developing our Outpatient coding team.
Best Practices to Exceed Quality & Productivity Standards
Here are a few best practices to increase your Outpatient coding team’s quality and productivity:
- AHIMA has a few great examples for maintaining quality and productivity standards, such as high-quality, high-speed internet and a quiet work environment to start.
- Coding professionals often have to perform additional tasks than just coding a chart. Consistency with their daily workflow and monitoring time per chart will help with productivity.
- They should also stay up-to-date with coding education, such as CPT and Coding Clinic updates, which YES offers to both internal and external coding professionals.
- Coding professionals can also use other professionals as a resource, such as a coding buddy, to offer support with a difficult chart.
- Coding professionals can set daily or even hourly goals to improve their productivity. For example, setting an hourly goal of 5 charts or a daily goal of 40 charts could help the professional know if they are on target throughout their workday.
- Keeping track of quality audit feedback, whether the coder receives it weekly or monthly, is helpful for the professional to understand where their coding quality lies.
- Coders can set goals to ensure they review a certain amount of coding education each week/month to assist with increasing quality. It can be further narrowed down to specific education topics the professional may struggle with.
Tools & Resources to Support Your OP Coding Team
Meeting quality and productivity standards are a requirement for any coding position. There are several tools and resources that coding supervisors and managers can utilize to help build up their teams.
Computer-assisted coding programs help Outpatient coders reach quality and productivity standards. This tool does not replace the coder, but assists them by using Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to review the medical record and suggest codes that the coder must determine if they are applicable or not. Of course, there is a learning curve for both the software and the professional, but overall, there has been great feedback from the HIM industry on the utilization of this software.
YES Outpatient coders have diverse backgrounds, including experience using these tools properly and efficiently. Furthermore, YES can provide coding, education, and auditing support to build up and motivate your coders to reach quality and productivity standards. Reach out to our consultants today to discuss how we might help your team achieve success.