Turning Coding Aggrivations into Workable Solutions

Aggravations and annoyances-no matter what your occupation is, we all have them. Dealing with these aggravations time and time again, day after day could mentally break you down. But instead of letting the annoyances and aggravations tear you down and hate your profession, turn them into workable solutions to help better your productivity.

Listed below some annoyances medical coders have and a solution on how to turn them into workable situations.

1. Too Much Information-Sometimes providers select too many diagnoses; no more than 25 diagnoses can be chosen for an inpatient procedure and no more than 12 for an outpatient. RESOLUTION: Carefully explain that the diagnoses need to follow correct coding initiative and be in the correct order.


2. Scribbles- We have all seen the superbill that looks like a 2 year old drew on it. As a coder we want to make sure we have legible documentation in order to select the correct procedure and diagnoses codes but sometimes we are not so lucky. RESOLUTION: Carefully speak with the provider and explain to him or her that it is difficult to read their superbills and suggest using EMR or having a training session on documentation.


3. Distractions- Coding takes a lot of focus and attention to detail, therefore distractions such as being given too many duties (answering phones, working insurance denials, posting payments, talking to patients, verifying insurance benefits) besides coding is detrimental to a coder. RESOLUTION: Speak with your supervisor and explain you are feeling overwhelmed and it is impacting your coding duties. Also take a look at your original job description, are all the duties you are responsible for listed in the job description?


4. No urgency to respond to your inquiries- Waiting to get an answer back from a provider in a timely manner sometimes can seem like pulling teeth. We all understand that providers are busy and have a lot going on but that should not hinder our jobs. RESOLUTION: Sit down and have a discussion with the provider and explain how their lack of urgency to get back to you holds up their reimbursement for the procedures they are performing.


5. Ongoing Training- Due to the ever changing coding guidelines ongoing training and education is vital to a coder, but some companies do not compensate or allow time off for crucial training. RESOLUTION: Sit down and have a discussion with your employer regarding training and education. Show your employer the cost and what you will learn in the long run and how it will benefit your ability to code. Ask- don’t be afraid to ask for compensation regarding training in your profession, after all it will only benefit the company in the long run.

As we all know the list is somewhat longer than what is compiled here. Now it is time to take your aggravations and turn them into workable solutions for you. Don’t take voicing your issues as complaining, instead take them as a teachable moment for you and your providers to get on the same page.