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As coders are we too picky?

  1. Cool As coders are we too picky?
    Medical Coding Books
    I was just recently let go from my job because I asked the MA's to please document injections. I could see where these ordered but, nothing listed whether this was done or not. When I approached them their response was they were never told to document. reason two, was that I asked for access to complete my job duties. I was hired as a coder and to submit claims, well I found out that Icouldn't submit claims because ofno access. I went and asked my supervisor (who is not a coder or biller) and she said that was part of what she does, upon working a few rejections I noticed we were getting alot of duplicate denials so I would research and make sure that these were true duplicates and found out that there are days were the claims have been submitted more then 8 times in a day. Since I didn't get anywhere with my supervisor I took this to the doctor whothen called my supervisor in and told her to give me access and the doctors partner (who is half owner) called me in his office and told me I had no right speaking to the doctor and let me go. What should I do? AZ is a right to work state. Any information would help. Was I right?

  2. #2
    Louisville, KY
    Truthfully, I think you were doing your job. A.) You identified opportunities to improve the quality of medical record documentation (patient care); B.) you identified a cost-savings/revenue-generation opportunity for the practice; C.) you saw a solution to payer rejections and errors in the claims submission process; D.) you asked for additional responsibility; E.) you followed the chain of command.

    Most all of what you describe is very much within the scope of a certified coder. From the way you frame it, it shows initiative and growth. That your former employer could not embrace your attempts to improve their documentation and potential reimbursement is their loss.

    I'm sorry to hear this is the case. Be sure you get right back out there and look for other opportunities, perhaps in larger practices, where the likelihood of being eliminated in this manner is minimized substantially.

    Best of luck to you.

  3. #3
    Greeley, Colorado
    I agree with Kevin. You were not too picky. Procedures performed must be documented as completed. If it's not documented as completed, how can anyone prove it was done? It's really too bad for that practice that they let someone with initiative go. You are better off not working in a practice that does not appreciate your knowledge.
    I hope you are filing for unemployment. Even if they fight it, you will go before an unemployment officer who should side with you.
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  4. #4
    Phoenix, AZ

    I'm so sorry that they let you go. Let me know if you need any help.

    Hang in there, Girl. you did the right thing!!
    Cyndi Allen, CPC, CIRCC
    2015 Local Chapter President, Casa Grande, AZ

  5. #5
    Columbia, MO
    I agree you did exactly correct. I am amazed that employers cannot see the value in letting coders do their job correctly, fewer denials for coding alone should be a convining factor. While I know this does not pay the bills, remember when applying for jobs to emphasize that you always follow the guidelines for coding and you do not compromise your professional ethics. Many of us have been in this exact same position. Sometimes better doors will open as a result. I wish you all the best!

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  6. #6
    Stuart, Florida
    AZ being a Right to Work state doesn't really have anything to do with the type of situation you’re in. I think you are confusing "Right to Work" with "Employment at Will". I live in FL, which is both, a Right to Work and an Employment at Will state. Basically, a Right to Work law guarantees that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join or not to join, or to pay dues to a labor union. Employment at Will means that employment is voluntary for both employees and employers. You have the right to hire and fire as you please and you have the right to work and quit work as you please.

    Regardless, my biggest concern would, definitely, be clarity in the cause for discharge. You were definitely doing all the right things. With your explanation of the circumstances, I would think it was safe to say that you are better off not working for them. However, since you were discharged, this could potentially become a blemish on your future coding position endeavors. I wouldn’t necessarily try to fight the discharge, or try to prove that you were right, until AFTER you get the reasons for your discharge in writing signed by your previous employer. Then, I suppose you could try to fight it if you really wanted to. I, personally, think that I would just move on after it was made perfectly clear that I was fired for reasons A, B, and C. As a coder, we all know the rule of “not documented, not done”. We also know the importance of having a good relationship with the doctors. It sounds to me that the real reason for your discharge was personal dislike, for you, because you were stepping on toes.

    I wish you luck. Not sure what the job market in AZ is like but it sounds like you stay on top of your stuff. Hopefully you can find a place to work where you’ll be working with other employees that know what they are doing, or at least a place that the employees are willing to fix issues that have never been noticed before when they are brought to light.
    Vanessa Mier, CPC

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