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Auditing as a CPC

  1. #1
    Default Auditing as a CPC
    Medical Coding Books
    I am a CPC and my employer has recently added auditing to our list of duties as coders. I am wondering if anyone else has been asked to audit E/M levels without any auditing credentials. I do not feel as though I am equiped with enough knowledge to be responsible for auditing and educating my physician. Has anyone experienced this? And if so, were you compensated for having these extra duties beyond your credentials?

  2. #2
    Default Auditing as CPC
    No extra benefits for auditing as CPC Sad but true. Are you comfortable asking for additional compensation? Auditing should seem like a natural progression from coding. You are just investing and deciphering what the physician documented. Have a copy of the 1995/1997 guidelines on your desk and keep a link to your Medicare contractor's LCD/NCD website. Do you have an audit tool to use? GOOD LUCK

  3. #3
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    12,531
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by taurus7694 View Post
    I am a CPC and my employer has recently added auditing to our list of duties as coders. I am wondering if anyone else has been asked to audit E/M levels without any auditing credentials. I do not feel as though I am equiped with enough knowledge to be responsible for auditing and educating my physician. Has anyone experienced this? And if so, were you compensated for having these extra duties beyond your credentials?
    This is not out of line in my book you should always as a CPC audit the E&M to verify the level of service selected by the provider before you submit the claim just as you audit the record for all other codes you select. This is a coders job in my opinion.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  4. #4
    Location
    Concord, NC or Rochester, NY
    Posts
    154
    Default
    A raise would depend on the environment of the practice. It can never hurt to ask?

    Training a MD is a delicate and different world and hence there may be some training required for the internal person that can code but has never audited or trained (this is the waive of the future with EMR). I personally do not believe an audit credential is necessary as we do have the ability to interpret and now it is necessary to use them differently.

    If you need a copy of an audit template, email me as I have one that I have developed and use all the time for 1995 guidelines

  5. #5
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by mdoyle53 View Post
    A raise would depend on the environment of the practice. It can never hurt to ask?

    Training a MD is a delicate and different world and hence there may be some training required for the internal person that can code but has never audited or trained (this is the waive of the future with EMR). I personally do not believe an audit credential is necessary as we do have the ability to interpret and now it is necessary to use them differently.

    If you need a copy of an audit template, email me as I have one that I have developed and use all the time for 1995 guidelines
    Michael:

    I'd be interesting in looking at the audit tool you developed if you don't mind sending it to me at rthames@heritagemedgrp.com
    Roxanne Thames CPC, CPC-I, CEMC
    rthamescpci@gmail.com


    "Remember the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the heart of true friends"

  6. #6
    Default Thanks!!
    Thanks for everyone's advice on this subject. I am personally fine with auditing, however, we have a Corporate Compliance department at the facility I work for whose job it is to audit the doctors and their E/M levels. They are auditors and are compensated as such, but the CPC's compensation is no where near the average for the area I work. I was just curious as to what others out there in the coding world thought. Again...I really appreciate all of the feedback.

  7. #7
    Location
    Dover Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,970
    Default
    In my facility, auditors/educators, whose job it is to do internal documentation reviews and assist the providers with areas of opportunity, do make a slightly higher salary than do staff coders. This is because there is a real skill set in 'teaching' physicians. They earn their salary, believe me.

    However, our staff coders are expected to 'audit' the E&M, surgical and diagnostic procedures to insure that the correct CPT and diagnosis code is being selected prior to claim drop. The difference for them is that they don't necessarily provide one-on-one provider instruction and feedback.

    The AAPC does a salary survey each year. You might bring that to your employer as a suggestion as to what your job might be worth, particularly if they are asking for additional responsiblity to be added to your job description. I know that coder salaries vary by geographical area, but it doesn't hurt to point out what the average salary is (particularly if it is more than you currently earn). Maybe it's time for a market adjustment.
    Pam Brooks, MHA, COC, PCS, CPC, AAPC Fellow
    Coding Manager
    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
    Dover, NH 03820

    If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney

  8. #8
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
    Posts
    4,466
    Default Part of the job
    I'm with Debra on this one (Gosh ... have we agreed twice already this year?! LOL)

    I think this is a routine part of a coder's job. I believe you are really being asked to abstract the correct level from the documentation.

    Consider, also, that your supervisor may be testing the waters to see how willing you are to take on additional responsibility. A cheerful acceptance goes a long way towards gaining your supervisor's trust and support when it comes time to evaluate your performance or put you in for that next promotion.

    I've "audited" E/M and trained physicians on documentation since my first job as "the biller." It's the part of the job I most loved and enjoyed. Yes, in the large academic medical practice in which I'm employed, there has always been a compliance office with certified auditors. Yes, they have annually audited the physicians and written long and detailed reports. I was happy they were there to help me learn and to help me with tips on how to train the physicians. I was particularly happy the year that all my physicians got a 100% compliant report and the physicians credited ME with that accomplishment. A few months later I got a huge promotion and a 20% salary increase.

    Embrace the change. It will only help your career.

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  9. #9
    Default
    Don't forget that under auditing you have to follow Federal laws and regulations. Most likely your compliance dept will cover you if there are any outside audits. If nothing else, you will have experience as an auditor.

  10. #10
    Default
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In my facility, auditors/educators, whose job it is to do internal documentation reviews and assist the providers with areas of opportunity, do make a slightly higher salary than do staff coders. This is because there is a real skill set in 'teaching' physicians. They earn their salary, believe me.

    However, our staff coders are expected to 'audit' the E&M, surgical and diagnostic procedures to insure that the correct CPT and diagnosis code is being selected prior to claim drop. The difference for them is that they don't necessarily provide one-on-one provider instruction and feedback.

    The AAPC does a salary survey each year. You might bring that to your employer as a suggestion as to what your job might be worth, particularly if they are asking for additional responsiblity to be added to your job description. I know that coder salaries vary by geographical area, but it doesn't hurt to point out what the average salary is (particularly if it is more than you currently earn). Maybe it's time for a market adjustment.
    __________________
    Pam Brooks, CPC, CPC-H, PCS
    Physician Services Coding Supervisor
    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
    Dover, NH 03820

    I realize this was sent back in 2007 however I am wondering if there is any information regarding salaries of a Professional Coding and Audit Coordinator.

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