Message From Your Region 7 Representatives | Sandra Pedersen and Robert Kiesecker

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  • May 22, 2019
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How to Survive a Personal Audit

Robert A. Kiesecker and Sandra Pedersen | Region 7 -Mountain/Plains

Almost no one enjoys being audited, but it is an important part of our professional lives and can make us better coders. It is often difficult for coders to strive to balance quality and productivity, and to be successful at both. And yet, both of these are very important in our daily work.
There are several benefits to having our work reviewed. Being audited gives us a chance to network with others in our field and in our specialties. Audits also protect us from potential future mistakes or misunderstandings that could impact our jobs and even our careers. But this doesn’t mean that receiving an audit will be fun.
Here are a few tips to make the best of an audit:

  • Remember, it’s not personal. We all have the same goal: compliant, correct coding.  Look at it as an educational experience, or as a networking opportunity with another professional who may have different experiences than you. There may be different opinions and interpretations of certain aspects of coding, so it is always beneficial to hear another’s point of view.
  • Be sure to review every detail of the auditor’s recommendations and try to understand what education they are trying to convey. Review the resources that were sent to you in detail.  Keep a list of resources that you have found and that your auditor has supplied to you, so that you can refer to them easily in the future.
  • Review auditor recommendations with an open mind, but if there is a disagreement with the auditor’s recommendation, don’t be afraid to discuss these in a rebuttal process. Present your coding justification (including reputable references to support) in a clear and friendly manner that promotes open discussion. Many times both the coder and the auditor learn something new when these things are discussed openly.

Remember it is generally accepted that coding accuracy should be at 95 percent or better. Network with others you know who work in your same specialty, and attend as many educational webinars or conferences as you are able. And welcome your audits. Since this is your profession, it is best to make the most out of an audit process, and to gain as much as you can from the experience.
Sandra Pedersen, CPC, CEMC, CPMA

Alex McKinley

About Has 111 Posts

Alex McKinley is AAPC’s senior marketing communications manager. Prior to his work at AAPC he worked in the tax and accounting industry. He received his bachelor's degree in Mass Communications (Public Relations Emphasis) from the University of Utah.

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