Medical Chart Reviewer Position

Discussion in 'The GatorTail Pub' started by gatorfan5220, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. gatorfan5220
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    gatorfan5220 Well-Known Member

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    My wife is considering training in this field. Is anyone familiar with this field and what it entails? It is either that or Medical Coding/Billing or even a Pharm Tech.

    Opinions please?
  2. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    i'm a certified physician coder. i just retired though. yes, it pays well. in training, she'd have to learn med terminology, anatomy and physiology. have to learn medicare guidelines.
    you can do facility coding, where you code the stuff the hospital charges (supplies, equipment, room charges etc)
    or physician coding, (also known as pro-fee) you code for what the physician does. most times you have to learn how to read their handwrititing, unless the facility is totally gone to electronic charting. ours was 'mostly' electronic, but physicians wrote chart notes from the hospital floors, which were later scanned in, then i had to read and code them. you have to talk to the docs, to explain what they're doing wrong, or how they can improve their documentation in order to actually charge for the code. if they miss one little thing...it can downcode them, cost them a lot.

    i loved my job. i did the radiology, outpatient clinic notes, emergency dept. the one assignment i did the longest was hospital inpatients. it's the hardest and also the most depressing cuz you get the very sickest people.

    you have to keep up your ceu's, to keep your certification, it's 36 for a 24 month period. you can get 'em online, or there's usually a chapter for your local AAPC, that will notify you of ceu meetings.
    (ceu - continuing education unit)
    you can be AAPC (american association of professional coders) or AHIMA (american health information managment association) certified, i was both.

    or you can just do med records management, though there are fewer jobs, but they pay really well also. you go for your RHIA, or RHIT (registered health information administrator) obviously fewer jobs there, because it's a good management position..(RHIT is registered health info technologist).

    anyhow, it's a really interesting job, you learn a LOT about disease process, and what's done....
    i could read the first paragraph of a doc's note, and know exactly what tests he was gonna order. then when the tests came back, i knew what his diagnosis and plan was gonna be. but i did this a reallllllllllllllllly long time.
    it's better to work for a hospital or multi-care facility, than a single doctor office. better pay and bennies. lots of other reasons. been there done that, lol.

    good luck to her, again, it's an interesting job, very much so, and pays well.
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  3. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    oh yeah, managed a neurologists office for a couple years. nothing but a big fat headache. much preferable to just code. sitting at a computer, reading charts, coding, but having my iPod plugged in, and earbuds on just listening to music all day. to me, that is a BIG plus for that job..
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  4. LittleBlueLW
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    LittleBlueLW Premium Member

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    If she looks good enough, she doesnt have to know much!:)
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  5. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    ^^^silly lol
  6. StrangeGator
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    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

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    My wife came up through that field. It was great in the seventies and early eighties. She left the field for a while and re-entered in the nineties. It was incredibly demeaning and low paying. She worked her way up through project management gigs at places like HIMMS and AHIMA and finally got on track working on the corporate side with Humana. She's finally into the six figures and appears to have some traction, but it was a tough road.

    Getting into the field late is hard. Coders are expected to be very fast and accurate. It is not fun. The medical records directors in hospitals are all reincarnated from the Third Reich. It's hard to move up fast if you don't know the healthcare business over all.
  7. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    you can get a gig at a hospital, with a good entry salary as a coder. at least compared to a lot of other office jobs with comparable time in training. it is harder to work into management, and to me, like i said, a true pain in the ass. i don't like managing anyone.
    i preferred the luxury of sitting there reading my screen, coding it, and listening to music. so if she's interested in a low stress gig like that, it shouldn't take (too) long to become an entry level coder I.
    the faster and more accurate you get, the faster you climb up to say, coder III, which i was at when i stepped down. it's really a good second salary, if you are the primary breadwinner, much superior to any other office jobs. not to mention the 'listening to music, and reading' aspect
    :)
    i was employed in the medical field for 20 yrs. most of that was coding. and if things at home (grandson stuff) hadn't necessitated my coming home, i'd still be there.
  8. gatorfan5220
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    gatorfan5220 Well-Known Member

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    Vertigo:
    1. Someone told me the coding changed completely several years ago to match with international codes. True? Any significance.

    2. The other job was called medical chart review. What does that mean? Thanks in advance.
  9. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    not several years ago, we had all been training for it, as a switch up from our old icd 9 (international classifications of disease manual) to the new icd 10, which, unlike all previous years (you get new manuals every year, as new diagnoses are added) was unable to be just updated, they're different codes. but it's not implemented til october of this year.
    so if your wife goes into it now, she'd only learn the icd 10 codes, not have to 're-learn' something different. it'd actually probably be easier for her, since she'd never have dealt with the icd 9 style codes.
    the new ones are better. they are broken down further, more descriptive, which will really assist. insurance wants the most specific codes, and icd 9 had a lot of 'generic' ones (ending in '9' when nothing else was specific enough)
    then copies of the records pertaining to that code were requested by insurance, so they could 'decide' if they wanted to pay that. just red tape pain in the arse stuff from insurance.

    icd 10 will lessen a lot of that nonsense.

    this probably doesn't make a lot of sense, lol.
    just know, it hasn't kicked in yet, not til october, and new coders attending school, are going to learn the 10 codes right away.
    :)
  10. apkgator
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    apkgator Premium Member

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    Huge shortage of coders in the market right now....I have multiple clients that can't even find an outsourcing vendor that can do their coding adequately.
  11. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    ^^^that's what i'm sayin'
  12. gatorfan5220
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    gatorfan5220 Well-Known Member

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    How much is entry pay in North Florida? I'm in West Palm. Also, she has ability to train in Chart review - What is that and....to a Pharm Tech.

    Opinions? Do Pharm Techs do well?
  13. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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  14. gatorfan5220
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    gatorfan5220 Well-Known Member

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    Vertigo? You made in the area of 46,000? Good for you.
  15. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    :)

    more like 43K (east south/central)
  16. gatorfan5220
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    gatorfan5220 Well-Known Member

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    Vertigo, you've been very helpful with your replies. God bless.

    How much could a newly certified coder expect to make in north Florida?
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  17. MJGator8104
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    MJGator8104 VIP Member

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    Verti,

    I appreciate your advice and information. Jerri began school at Everest College in LV for coding in late December. We figured it would be a more interesting job with steadier hours than cashier work, which is all she's been able to find thus far. So far she's working hard, getting good grades, and has figured out that she likes it. As you noted, she's learning the newer 10 codes. It's good to hear others' experiences.
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  18. gatorfan5220
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    gatorfan5220 Well-Known Member

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    What can she expect to make starting?
  19. gatorfan5220
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    gatorfan5220 Well-Known Member

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    ?? How much could a newly certified coder expect to make in the northern part of Florida
  20. vertigo0923
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    vertigo0923 night owl mod VIP Member

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    look at that aapc salary survey. that's the 'average' salary. so it'll be a little less than the average. doesn't take a long time to increase your pay, you just have to be accurate and fairly fast. she'll do fine
    :)

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