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Thread: Coder Productivity

  1. #81

    Default production standards for fee tickets

    AAPC: Back to School
    What kind of productivity standards are there for fee tickets? The tickets arrive to the coders desk, marked level of service and the diagnosis written out. The only responsibility that the coder has it to add dx codes to the hand written note by the physician. Occsionally add a modifier. These coders do not, I repeat do not use the medical records, they simply work the stack of fee tickets (charge sheets). There are occasional interuptions from staff members through out the day, some tickets are returned for additional information from the providers. The fee tickets only have four to six diagnosis codes. This is family practice coding.

    How many fee tickets should one coder be able to code in a 10 hour day?
    40 hour week? Per hour?

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Coding productivity

    I code from the operative report for 4 different specialties; trauma, neurosurgery, plastics and cardiothoracic. I've done Orthopaedics in the past. From start to finish in our process, we are responsible for printing from the schedule to see what was done in the OR the day before, printing any op notes that are ready, abstracting the codes (CPT and ICD-9) from the note, making coding suggestions to the surgeons via email, waiting for their response and disputing if necessary, preparing for charge entry (getting appropriate locations (IP/OP), making sure the op notes is signed before billing, and then doing the actual charge entery. Balancing the batch, and finally filing. In addition, we work our own edits created from what we entered, as well as resolve some coding issues and disputes that our insurance department reps need help with, to get them paid. This involves a bit of research for each request. Educating the providers when necessary.
    Presently, we are expected to do 20 a day, or 100 per week.
    Lisa May, CPC

  3. #83

    Default Family Medicine E/M

    What type of volume would a coder be expected to work per hour when only writing in the dx codes on Family Medicine Fee tickets.

    The coder reads the written diagnosis, adds the ICD-9 code and sends the fee ticket on its way to a posting clerk.

    No charts to look at.
    The tickets are returned to the provider if they are complete
    No posting of charges

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Bangor, Maine

    Smile Coding Productivity

    I am looking for coder productivity for ER coding. We would be required to audit / level the E/M and code all diagnoses. How many per 8 hour day would you anticipate an experienced coder should be able to do with 95% accuracy? Thank you!

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hawaii Chapter


    What is your coder to provider ratio?...one coder per how many providers...
    Leona Kiamahoe CPC, CPC-H, CPC-P

  6. #86


    Hello, I code now for OB and Gyn I code about 60 charts a day this is for an 8hour day sometimes even more, however when I worked for a surgion I was coding 4 times that amount. Hope this helps
    Quote Originally Posted by kunzecpc View Post

    I'm doing some research for my job about coder productivity standards. I haven't found any specifics on the internet, so I'm guessing each employer sets their own standards for productivity. I'm asking you as my peers to give a little feedback.

    My questions are: Will you please respond with the productvity standard (number of encounters that you are required to code - either by the hour, or 8 hour workday) for your clinic or facility? Also, what percentage of coding accuracy are you required to maintain?

    Thanks in advance!

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I currently manage the ED coding for seven hospital ED's in Oregon. We do both the facility and the Physician coding for all ED patients. Here are our productivity and quality standards:


    Definitions for Coders:
    Experienced Coders = Coders who have been coding ED accounts for greater than three (3) years:

    Intermediate Coders = Coders who have been coding ED accounts for greater than two (2) years, but less than three (3) years.

    Beginning Coders = Coders who have been coding ED accounts for less than two (2) years

    Trainee Coders = Coders who are currently being trained by a preceptor and are not yet coding on their own.


    Experienced Coder:
    Meets = Average 7.0 to 8.9 charts per hour
    Exceeds = Average 9.0 or more charts per hour
    Needs Improvement = Less than 7.0 charts per hour

    Intermediate Coder:
    Meets = Average 6.0 to 7.5 Charts per hour
    Exceeds = Average 7.5 or more charts per hour
    Needs Improvement = less than 6.0 charts per hour

    Beginning Coder:
    Meets = Average 5.0 to 6.5 charts per hour
    Exceeds = Average 6.5 or more charts per hour
    Needs Improvement = Average less than 5.0 charts per hour.
    Training Coder:
    No set amount of chart


    Experienced Coder:
    Meets = Codes and abstracts with an average of higher than 95% accuracy rate
    Exceeds = Consistently 97% or higher accuracy
    Needs Improvement = consistently less than 95%

    Intermediate Coder:
    Meets = Codes and abstracts with a consistent accuracy rate of 90% or higher
    Exceeds = Codes and abstracts with a consistent accuracy rate of 92% or higher
    Needs Improvement = Codes and abstracts with a consistent accuracy rate of less than 90%

    Beginning Coder:
    Meets = Codes and abstracts with an average of 85% or higher accuracy
    Exceeds = Codes and abstracts with an average consistently higher than 87%
    Needs Improvement = Codes and abstracts with an averages consistently less than 85%

    Trainee Coder:
    Must have average 80% or higher accuracy during first year


    Quality will be measured by a five (5) point per chart system.

    One (1) point each for the following chart elements
    ProFee level Code
    Facility level Code
    All other CPT Codes (including observation, procedures, etc.)
    ICD.9 Codes
    Chart Abstracting (Correct disposition, physician, etc.)

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), California


    Quote Originally Posted by eyrish8 View Post
    I have just finished CPT ICD-9 and am looking for a job right now. I take the certification exam june 14th. I love coding but oh man my stomach is turning reading all your stories. Does it come easy when you get hired. Do they train you on the software? I only know how to code from just going to the book. Will it be hard finding a job being I am a beginner? I have sent resumes out and have not heard from anyone!!!

    would you give me your experiences when you were first hird
    I'm in the same scenario, except that I have to retake the exam since I didn't pass it last October. I would like to know if this is expected of a certified coder without experience.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), California


    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnScarbrough View Post
    First you need to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. All standards need to be based on your particular situation.

    If your coders have to flip through pages and pages of hand written notes you should not expect them to be as efficient as one that has a very sharp templated electronic note system.

    You need to take into account the types of procedures they are having to code. A complicated cardiothoracic case is definately going to take longer than a tonsillectomy. Coders that code the same thing day after day should be more productive than perhaps a Trauma coder.

    Another factor that can play a role in coding ED can be the facility coding. My coders code both the physician and the hospital services, so their productivity looks low compared to ED coders that only code the professional side if you are comparing charts per hour.

    You really need to determine what levels of coding you have occurring in your establishment. Look at your best coders and consider them above the standard and then rank all of your coders by length of time coding and experience. Then I would try to sort through either giving a weight to CPT codes or using an overall charts per hour scale.

    Hang in there!
    Thanks for providing a detailed explanation. As someone with no experience, your comments are beneficial to me.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Woodland Hills (Los Angeles), California


    Quote Originally Posted by RUTH N EGIPCIACO View Post
    Productivity standards are based upon specialty and Company requirements. You need to take in consideration the fact of work flow, enviroment and tools-material provided to coders and auditors to performed their assigments.

    (eg- if the coder-auditor is performing straight coding without the need of searching for information missing on the record, it would take less time than coders that have to request and search for information).

    Coding for XRays, EKG's, PFT and similiar coding is more straight forward than coding for surgeries and family practice. The used of "cheat sheets" are very helpfull. As you could see the lady who coded 400 reports for radiology went down to 150 reports for urology coding. That is because you need to read more and make sure the coding is supported by documented information including lab and path reports.

    Our coding team productivity is 150-200 per day, for Family Practice and Specialties, and 400+ for Radiology Coding with a 95% accuracy.

    Ruth Egipciaco, CPC, PCS
    Thanks for your input.

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