Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Medical Coder Performance Evaluations: How to Empower with Coding Compliance Audits

Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Medical Coder Performance Evaluations: How to Empower with Coding Compliance Audits

Bolstered with the right data, medical coder performance evaluations can be an empowering tool for your organization’s coding team. Performance reviews that have been fueled by research from coding compliance audits will only help coders improve and increase engagement with the organization.

Providing feedback on team members’ strengths makes them 14.9% less likely to turn over than those who didn’t receive such feedback, according to Gallup. In addition, the same Gallup poll found that teams are 12.5% more productive when their managers give them feedback focused on their strengths.

Why Are Performance Reviews Important?

medical coder performance evaluation

Performance reviews are important because they offer insights into how well your team members are doing. The review process recognizes what strategies are effective and can be replicated throughout the company to improve overall performance. Additionally, they highlight what is not working, so that management can address problems before they grow into larger issues.

Furthermore, with the support of statistical evidence from coding compliance audits, performance reviews shine light on your organization’s top and low performers. Additionally, coding audits identify problem areas where a team member may be struggling.

By following the compliance audit data, leadership can formulate a corrective action plan comprised of personalized education, secondary reviews, and coder mentoring. In our experience, as a compliance auditing company that began offering its services as a coding education company 15+ years ago, coding compliance audits shed light on performance improvement, so don’t hesitate to use them in your employee evaluations.

Performance Review “Do’s”

  • Make the review a two-way process where the team member evaluates their performance first. Our approach to compliance auditing is simple: make the coder an essential part of this process. Coder review sheets should be provided to the coder to verify that all elements (i.e., organizational policies, system access, etc.) have been considered before the audit results are finalized. The team member participates in the process so that they can learn from it.
  • Use data to encourage development. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, compliance audit insights provide the auditor, educator, or supervisor, with real data to focus on when providing actionable feedback. Feedback on performance must be based on objectivity. The supervisor/educator should focus on how the coder’s strengths can help mitigate potential coding weaknesses.
  • Recognize achievements, growth, and results. There is tremendous value in performing periodic coding audits. The trending reports we provide our clients can do wonders for supervisors and educators to recognize when a coder or coding team has applied feedback from the previous audit performed. It is essential that the supervisor communicates that recognition. Coders need to hear it.
  • Encourage open communication and ask what the coder or physician would improve in their daily operations.
  • Set up an action plan of next steps to complete after the review. An auditing partner should offer clients in-house teams that can fulfill their audit recommendations. Recommendations should be actionable and measurable. Coder mentoring based on secondary reviews, question queues, an in-house learning management software equipped with on-demand and live training, etc.

Performance Review “Don’ts”

  • Don’t focus only on criticisms. Offer some positive accomplishments, along with areas that can be improved.
  • Don’t conduct a review without prior notice. Our coder review sheets are created to engage the coder or physician with the auditing process.
  • Don’t be vague or unclear with your feedback. An auditing partner should provide clear reports.
  • Don’t use the review process to “grade” or discipline the team member.
  • Don’t store up feedback and deliver it all in one sitting. Schedule opportunities to provide feedback throughout the year.

Need Coding Compliance Audits for Your Next Medical Coder Performance Evaluations?

Our team of auditing subject matter experts is ready to assist your organization today. Our audits and trending reports are specifically designed to get you the data you need to enact real change and empower your staff. Connect with a YES auditing consultant today.

Mari Cely

Director, Business Strategy & Marketing
medical coder performance evaluation

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