This week, we talked with Meghan Schumacher, CPC, CPMA, Provider Coding Consultant at Health Information Associates, Inc., about the steps she takes to find her routine.
Q: Describe in detail your daily routine.
A: The first thing I do before I go into my office is make sure I have a cup of coffee! Then I’ll log on and check my emails. I’m on CST and most of my co-workers are on EST, so some mornings a lot has happened by the time I log on that I need to know before starting my day. Once I answer any emails or make necessary phones calls, I’ll get started on coding or reviewing records. Most of my day is coding or reviewing. At the end of the day, I will answer any necessary emails before logging off.
Q: How do you maintain your routine day after day, week after week?
A: I believe the key to maintaining a routine is organization. I must have everything I need as far as references, reports, scrap paper, etc. all organized on my desk and desktop, so I can readily access it. I’m also a creature of habit, so I do the same steps in each record:
I enter the record number into Particle, [HIA’s internal database]. Then, I find the record in the client’s system. I enter in all the demographic information, ICD-10-CM/CPT codes from the client’s system. Once everything is entered into Particle, I start reading the note. Then I compare the diagnosis billed to the diagnosis documented and CPT codes if applicable. I then make changes in our system and then the clients – I always make sure they mirror each other. That way I know I don’t miss anything. Once all the updates are made, I complete the chart, send the charge if applicable and move onto the next record. My process is mostly the same for reviewing with a few extra steps and a lot more reading!
Using these tools helps me tackle even the most unpredictable days.
Q: What techniques have you found to minimize distractions?
A: For me to concentrate and work efficiently I need it to be quiet. No music, no talking, just silence. I silence my phone every morning as well and keep it face down, so I don’t get distracted by it. I do tend to answer emails when I receive them. However, if it’s something I can not answer quickly I’ll wait till the end of the day.
Q: What are the productivity goals that you set for yourself? And how do you track them?
A: Once I get started on a client and comfortable with their rule and regulations I can start moving pretty quickly through records. Depending on if I’m coding or reviewing and the specific specialty will depend on my goals for productivity. I know about how many I should be doing a day, so I then divide it by how many hours I’m working and that’s how I keep track. If I’m getting x number of charts done an hour, I’m meeting my productivity goals. Quality is just as important if not more important, so I keep that in mind as well.
Q: What motivates you the most? Positive feedback from managers, self-motivation by reaching personal goals, financing incentives? Or other?
A: I think positive feedback from the clients and HIA is the most rewarding. Financial incentives are always a major plus as well! I think knowing your hard work is recognized and appreciated is very gratifying. I have two signs on my desk, one I got for my birthday last year from HIA, “You got this” and another one I bought that says, “Do what you Love”. These are both reminders that I can do it and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to love what I do!
TIP: I continuously use stick notes on my computer screen of reminders for meetings or steps I need to remember for certain clients. I also have a piece of scrap paper I use to write down any notes or codes, etc. I need to for the charts I’m working.
Leave a Comment