Communicating in a Remote Working World
Working remotely or offsite has become the new normal for coders, making the art of communication more important than ever. But with such a large influx of young coders, it’s difficult for many who have grown up with texting as a primary form of communication to remember to use complete words and sentences. As such, inquiries to providers often sound more like demands. From old school to fresh out of school, providers deserve the courtesy of polite, well thought out, and properly worded requests.
Set the Tone
Tone is the hardest thing to communicate in written form; and in the professional world, it shouldn’t be conveyed with emoticons.
When composing a request to a provider, read and re-read your message before you hit the Send button. Ask yourself, “If I were to receive this message, how would I perceive it?”
For example, which of the following notes would you respond to favorably?
“Note missing PE;” or
“Could you please review the physical exam for this date of service? Thank you! Joe Coder.”
You never know what kind of day that provider has had; and at the end of their day, the last thing they need to see is 15 tasks from you demanding that they revise the work they’ve already done. Not only have you failed to communicate professionally, but you also may have unintentionally indicated that the provider doesn’t know what they are talking about.
Keep in mind that the exchanges you have with a provider regarding a particular patient chart are permanently attached to that patient’s electronic health record. If your communications with a provider were sent in for review to an insurance company, what image would you project? Your interactions reflect on your clinic.
Uphold the Highest Standard
We are all working towards a common goal. No request is too small to remember to be polite, courteous, and above all professional and respectful.
Your provider has gone to school to provide care for people, not insurance companies. The increasing hoops that insurance companies demand they jump through can be frustrating for them because their goal is to heal the sick. They didn’t go to school to be a coder, biller, or auditor. They hired you to be their eyes and ears, and to make sure what they communicate to the insurance companies meets the revolving door requirements that minimize the number of rejected and unpaid claims.
In the end, it costs nothing to be polite, courteous, and professional. Forgetting to, however, can prove quite costly. Take a few minutes and a couple of keystrokes to make the difference in a continuing cooperative working relationship.
Remember, the “P” in CPC® stands for Professional — a crucial part of the certification we’ve all worked so hard to achieve.
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