What Measures Can You Implement to Increase Coding Accuracy? How to Remotely Measure a Coding Team’s Performance

What Measures Can You Implement to Increase Coding Accuracy? How to Remotely Measure a Coding Team’s Performance

What measures can you implement to increase coding accuracy? Measuring a team’s performance presents a great opportunity for coders to learn and grow in their expertise.

The Process to Measure & Analyze a Coding Team’s Performance

Gain remote access to the organization’s coding system. For the most part, organizations measure and analyze a coding team’s performance entirely off-site. Conducting this process remotely is more efficient for healthcare organizations, saves space at the facilities, and keeps their employees happy and productive.

Review the cases for accuracy. Once remote access to the organization’s coding system is established, experienced auditors can begin reviewing cases and verifying the codes chosen against the documentation. Specifically, auditors review the codes utilized by this specific provider, which could include diagnoses, procedures codes, modifiers, units and DRG/APC. Auditors flag cases that have inaccurate codes, missing codes, or other errors. Auditors also review metrics for productivity, such as the number of charts coded, but these are separated from the accuracy statistics.

Compile data into analysis reports for the coders and team supervisor/manager. After the audit process, auditors produce two levels of reports. The first-level report is for the individual coder. Auditors will present each coder with a chart of recommendations and changes. At this point, the coder can provide his or her feedback on the recommendations to the auditor.

The second-level report includes the metrics for accuracy (by individual coder and by team), as well as the recommendations from the auditor and feedback from the coder and supervisor. Readers can break the accuracy stats down further and grouped by coding categories and specialties. This gives the team supervisor additional insight into areas that need improvement.

Next Steps: Additional Education

After the reports identify which coding categories need extra improvement, organizations can develop custom education plans. The auditors may suggest further education on the coder-level or team-level. Auditors may also recommend additional training, such as the Coding Clinic and CPT Assistant updates. This will be based on the coder’s or team’s performance.

YES HIM Education features a robust Education Catalog of courses for ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, and CPT coding. The catalog covers the annual updates, hot topics in medical coding, and refresher webinars of popular specialties. We’ve developed Subscription Bundles specifically for corporate coding teams. This will allow them to have unlimited access to the practical, focused content coders need to improve their accuracy.

Measuring Accuracy & Productivity Separately

Analysts review accuracy and productivity metrics separately because they cover two different sides of coding. Coding accuracy looks at the quality and precision of coding, according to Amy Davis, Director of Inpatient Coding and CDI Services. She also explains that coding accuracy shows the exactness, validity, correctness, and thoroughness of the coding of a medical encounter.

Coding productivity looks at the quantity of coding, such as how many encounters are coded on a daily basis versus the number of coding hours worked.

what measures can you implement to increase coding accuracy

“In the coding industry, we have determined that we do not want to sacrifice coding quality (accuracy) for coding quantity (productivity),” Davis says. “Coding accuracy impacts patient treatment, reimbursement and research for clinical decision making to name a few things. We have to provide the coding team with adequate resources (Coding Clinics, coding books, computer-assisted coding, etc.), training and education to assist with coding accuracy and productivity.”

She continues, “We obtain information from the various reporting modalities to generate education for the coding team. TCoding accuracy and productivity are directly impacted by the coding staff’s level of understanding of coding guidelines and how to apply them appropriately in their daily coding.”

Additional Resources

While conducting extensive research for measuring our own internal teams’ performance, we turned to the resources provided by AHIMA and AAPC. These resources have proved instrumental in developing our strategies for monitoring our own internal teams and those of our clients.

In addition, the experience and insight from our Directors and Managers have proved vital to fine-tuning the processes. You can read their strategies for auditing, data analysis, coding, education and more in articles published on the YES Blog.

What measures can you implement to increase coding accuracy? Look for an external medical coding and auditing vendor, like YES HIM Consulting, to help remotely measure your coding team’s performance. Let our subject matter experts pinpoint your team’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Elizabeth Kelly

Elizabeth Kelly, RHIA – Director Auditing Services
what measures can you implement to increase coding accuracy

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