Find Your Routine: Set Your Own Schedule to Maximize Productivity
When it comes to coding and documentation, finding your own rhythm can lead to positive results. For our new series, Find Your Routine, we interviewed our most productive coders and asked them what steps they take to find a rhythm that works for them.
This week, we talked with Amy Pang, RHIA, CCS, Coding Specialist with Health Information Associates, about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.
A: I like to work later hours. My most productive hours are between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. The key for me is to get as much quality sleep as I can – getting good rest allows me to think more clearly. I like to get my errands done in the morning so that I can focus all of my attention on work later in the day.
A few years ago, I read this article from the Harvard Business Review about the ideal work schedule. The article explains that “humans have a well-defined internal clock that shapes our energy levels throughout the day: our circadian process, which is often referred to as a circadian rhythm.” It really spoke to how I work best, which is with a flexible work schedule. Part of the reason HIA is such a great fit for me is because they allow me to set my own schedule and work at hours that optimize my daily energy levels. If you allow your employees to work at your most productive time, then you will get the most out of them. I worked in the restaurant business from the time I was 14 until my early 20’s, and that means I’m used to working and being productive at later hours in the day. So, HIA and our client allows me to set my work schedule for later hours to be my most productive self.
Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?
A: Quite a bit has to do with how fast I read and skim the records. To be honest, I am surprised I am one of our most productive coders but am very honored to be on this list. HIA hires the best of the best! Which is another reason I have stuck around for almost 15 years. I work with amazing, smart and caring people; they always have my back.
Additionally, I really feel that I have found the perfect fit with the perfect client. I continue to find my work fascinating and interesting. Almost every day, I learn new diagnoses and procedures at my client site. I love that I am constantly learning and at a health system that keeps my interest. My client site is a research facility that uses the newest technology, so I am forced to do a lot of research to support them, which keeps me on my toes. At my site, I am able to use everything that Pat and Beth and Kim send out as far as new updates.
I truly love to learn, and I get that at HIA. When I first started, I made that very clear, and they have lived up to my expectations. One of the best things HIA offered me as an employee was assigning me to work at challenging client sites, where I could continue to learn and grow my knowledge and skills.
Finding the right fit for the coder is key. For me, the hardest clients are the best fit.
Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?
A: Minimizing distractions is hard. I found that, because I am able to start later in the day, I can get a lot of my chores and errands done in the morning before I start work. This helps me minimize the distractions I would have otherwise been thinking about all day long. IF I had to go in at 8 a.m., I would be thinking about the things on my to-do list—groceries, UPS, pick up this or that. Setting my own schedule, works best for me and helps minimize those distractions that I would otherwise stress about all day long.
Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?
A: My goal is to do as much as I can. Angie [Christen, VP of Operations at HIA] once said, “ask yourself if you can do one more chart each day.” Angie is very inspirational to me. She is such a go-getter. This challenge to push yourself to do that one more chart a day is something I remind myself of a lot. Using a chart timer or clock helps as well and allows me to constantly monitor myself to keep pace. Sometimes when I do get bogged down in a difficult chart, I stop coding it and come back to it at the end of the day. Sometimes when you come back to it, you are refreshed and not stuck on that same thinking mode.
Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?
A: I am very self-motivated. Over the years, I’ve completed nine marathons without any professional training. I really enjoy that challenge to try to be the best at everything that I do. It makes me feel good to exceed my own expectations. I always think that if I was managing someone, what would I expect out of them? I enjoy meeting, and even exceeding, those expectations that I would have for someone else. Like with running marathons, it releases endorphins to always do your best and validates the effort I am putting in.
TIP: One more tip, I write a lot of coding notes on index cards. I developed the habit of using index cards to study in college and it was very helpful. To this day, I’m obsessed with this learning/memory jogging method.
The picture below is an example of how I use the index cards to help me code faster. I believe these were once new technology codes and I rarely see them. So, the index cards help me to remember to code them when I encounter these procedures.
Also, SharePoint is a BIG help in assisting me to code faster. A lot of the difficult cases I have issues with are answered in SharePoint.
In Part 4 of the series, we will review the NTAP procedure codes and reimbursement add-on payments. Prepare yourself as this is rather lengthy due to continuation of NTAP that would normally expire.
Coders are instructed, at this time, to follow the AHA Frequently Asked Questions Regarding ICD-10-CM/PCS Coding for COVID-19. Lately, we have seen missing PCS codes for the new technology drugs that were introduced on August 1, 2020 and thereafter.
With the creation and implementation of ICD-10-CM, multiple codes are available to describe the type of pulmonary emboli that occur.
Hypercoagulable states are blood disorders that increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis or embolic disease. The state is either inherited or acquired. About 80% of patients with blood clots have been found to have either an inherited or acquired clotting disorder. These blood clots can be lethal and some require life-long therapy. Hypercoagulable state is also known as thrombophilia.
Encephalopathy is a general term and means brain disease, brain damage or malfunction. Physicians often use encephalopathy and altered mental status interchangeably. When coders see this documentation in the healthcare records, they typically need to query the physician for clarification of the diagnosis.
Spinal procedure coding can be daunting for coders. The spine itself can be quite complicated anatomically and the procedures done to address spinal conditions can be even more complicated!
In June CMS released the final ICD-10-PCS codes for FY2022, which begins October 1, 2021. We are giving you a sneak peek at the changes. HIA will have a full educational module on these changes available later this summer.
CMS released the IPPS proposed rule on 4/27/21 outlining the proposed changes to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System for FY2022, which begins October 1, 2021. Later this year, sometime in August, CMS will release the Final Rule. Currently CMS is reviewing responses to their proposed rule and will address them in the final rule.
A medical coding audit is a process that includes internal or external reviews of medical coding and billing accuracy, procedures or policies in place, and any other component that affects the medical record documentation. Medical coding audits…
Anticoagulants and antiplatelets are used for the prevention and treatment of blood clots that occur in blood vessels. Oftentimes, anticoagulants and antiplatelets are referred to as “blood thinners,” but they don’t actually thin the blood at all. These drugs slow down the body’s process of making clots. Their main function is to keep the patient’s blood from clotting or turning into solid clumps of cells. These drugs do this by interfering with either fibrin or platelets in the blood.
Carotid artery disease is a vague category that can incorporate many different carotid artery issues. Some physicians may feel that they are being clear the patient has plaque, stenosis, or occlusion of the artery, but in ICD-10-CM the specificity must be included in the documentation.
10 ICD-10 Codes for Superheroes. Superman: T78.2XXA Anaphylactic reaction; substance: kryptonite. Batman: F44.81 Dissociative identity disorder. Robin: F60.7 dependent personality. The Hulk: L30.4 Erythema intertrigo. Wonder Woman: T24.032A Burn of unspecified degree of left lower leg. Black Panther S93.401A Sprain…
Practices have not seen many revisions to the Evaluation and Management (E/M) office / outpatient visit guidelines in three decades – until now. As of January 1, there are new E/M coding guidelines. We’ll get to those in a bit, but first let’s look at why they changed.
Pseudoseizures are a form of non-epileptic seizure. These are difficult to diagnose and oftentimes extremely difficult for the patient to comprehend. The term “pseudoseizures” is an older term that is still used today to describe psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES).
With the implementation of ICD-10-CM came different codes and coding rules for many diagnoses. One of these is the coding of bowel obstruction when the patient presents for this condition that is caused by another condition.
This is Part 5 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. For the remaining areas we will just briefly summarize the section. Due to the intricate nature of these sections in CPT, it is recommended that the coder read the entire section notes associated with the new codes.
This is Part 4 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes in the urinary, nervous, ocular and auditory systems. There are 2 new urinary/male reproductive system codes with no revisions or deletions; 3 new female reproductive codes with 2 deletions, 0 new with 4 deleted nervous system codes with 5 revisions; 5 new eye category III codes; and finally a 2 new auditory codes with one deletion.
This is Part 3 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the cardiovascular system CPT changes. There are 5 new cardiovascular CPT codes added with 0 deletions and 4 revisions.
This is Part 2 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2021 and include some examples to help the coder understand the new codes. There are 0 new musculoskeletal CPT codes added with 0 deletions and 2 major revisions along with an extensive update to arthroscopic loose body removal requirements. For the respiratory system, there were 2 new codes, one code deletion and no revisions.
This is Part 1 of a five part series on the new 2021 CPT codes. In this series we will explore the CPT changes for FY2021 and include examples to help the coder understand the new codes. For 2021 in general, there were 199 new CPT codes added, 54 deleted and 69 revised.
We have seen many updates and changes to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) since the pandemic started. On January 1, 2021 we will see even more changes as outlined in this post. Also the CMS MS-DRG grouper will be updated to version 38.1 to accommodate the changes.
In the previous three parts of this four-part series, we discussed the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis code changes, ICD-10-PCS procedure code changes and FY2021 IPPS changes. In this last Part 4 of the series, we will review the NTAP procedure codes and reimbursement add-on payments for FY2021.
In the previous two parts of this four part series, we discussed the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis code changes and ICD-10-PC procedure code changes. In this session we will review the major IPPS changes for FY2021.
This is Part 2 of a 4 part series on the FY2021 ICD-10 Code and IPPS changes. In this part, the ICD-10-PCS procedure codes are presented. For FY2021 ICD-10-PCS there are 78,115 total codes (FY2020 total was 77,571); 556 new codes (734 new last year in FY2020)…
This is Part 1 of a 4 part series on the FY2021 changes to ICD-10 and the IPPS. In this part, we discuss some of the new ICD-10-CM diagnosis changes. Here is the breakdown: 72,616 total ICD-10-CM codes for FY2021; 490 new codes (2020 had 273 new codes); 58 deleted codes (2020 had 21 deleted codes); 47 revised codes (2020 had 30 revised codes)
Acute pulmonary edema is the rapid accumulation of fluid within the tissue and space around the air sacs of the lung (lung interstitium). When this fluid collects in the air sacs in the lungs it is difficult to breathe. Acute pulmonary edema occurs suddenly and is life threatening.