by Angela Lehoux, BS, CDIP, CCS, CIC, CPC-I
Let’s be frank. A lot of coding education occurs because of credential maintenance. AAPC and AHIMA both require that coders demonstrate their continued commitment to their profession by regular and consistent relevant education. This external motivator forces your coders to take one more course, listen to one more webinar, read one more article, to maintain their credentials for another CEU cycle.
As an employer, you benefit. Your coders stay up-to-date on the changes affecting this constantly changing industry. Their skills stay sharp and they are able to take on whatever coding challenge shows up in their queue.
The recent HIM Professional Census completed by Libman Education found that 35% of coders receive no financial support from their employer for continuing education. In an industry of rapid change where coders are positioned at the choke point of turning Healthcare-Services-Provided into Reimbursement-Revenue-Received, this is stunning.
Let me suggest that investing in your coders’ knowledge and skill level is both essential to improve the accuracy and completeness of your coded data and an opportunity to attract to your team the type of staff that will position your organization for future success.
One option is to make training easy. On demand, online courses can be completed whenever the coder has a moment. Continued access to a library of training resources allows coders to self-select training to reflect their interests and professional ambitions. The training library serves as a needed reference of up-to-date coding information to address any uncertainty the coder may have about a coding challenge.
Whom would you rather hire? A coder who is constantly asking for more training? Or one you have to “sit on” to ensure they do the minimum necessary to keep up with your requirements? Coders with a desire to learn, supported by you, their employer, will become your future lead coders, internal auditors, and revenue cycle “whiz kids.” You should want to encourage them to succeed.
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