Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Medical Records Technician (Outpatient Coder) in Vancouver, Washington
Summary The Medical Records Technician, Outpatient Coder is assigned to the Business Office at VA Portland Health Care System located in Vancouver, WA. This is a Virtual position. The VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS) is a Complexity Level 1a Facility and provides extensive primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care in outpatient, inpatient, residential, and community settings. Responsibilities Medical Records Technician (MRT), Outpatient Coder performs outpatient coding including ambulatory surgical cases, diagnostic studies and procedures, outpatient encounters, and/or inpatient professional services. Outpatient duties consist of the performance of a comprehensive review of documentation within the health record to accurately assign ICD-10-CM codes for diagnoses, CPT/HCPCS codes for surgeries, procedures and evaluation and management services.Duties to include, but are not limited to the following: Assigns codes to documented patient care encounters (inpatient facility and/or professional services) for the specialty and subspecialty health care services provided by the VAMC. Knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, disease processes, treatments, diagnostic tests, medications, procedures and accepted health care services to ensure proper code selection. Selects and assigns codes from the current versions of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) Clinical Modification (CM) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and/or Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). Adheres to accepted coding practices, guidelines and conventions when choosing the most appropriate diagnosis, operation, procedure, ancillary, or evaluation and management (E/M) code to ensure ethical, accurate, and complete coding. Monitors ever-changing regulatory and policy requirements affecting coded information for the full spectrum of services provided by the VAMC. Timely compliance with coding changes is crucial to the accuracy of the facility database as well as all cost recovery programs. Patient health records may be paper or electronic. The abstracted data has many purposes, for example, to profile the facility services and patient population, to determine budgetary requirements, to report to accrediting and peer review organizations, to bill insurance companies and other agencies, and to support research programs. Assists facility staff with documentation requirements to completely and accurately reflect the patient care provided; provides technical support in the areas of regulations and policy, coding requirements, resident supervision, reimbursement, workload, accepted nomenclature, and proper sequencing. Ensures provider documentation is complete and supports the diagnoses and procedures coded. Directly consults with the professional staff for clarification of conflicting or ambiguous clinical data. Reports incorrect documentation or codes in the electronic patient record. Utilizes the facility computer system and software applications to correctly code, abstract, record, and transmit data to the national VA database in Austin. Corrects any identified data errors or inconsistencies in a timely manner to ensure acceptance in the national VA database within established timelines. Independently researches references to resolve any questionable code errors; contacts supervisor as appropriate. Uses a variety of computer applications in day to day activities and duties, such as Outlook, Excel, Word, and Access; competent in use of the health record applications (VistA and CPRS) as well as the encoder product suite. Orients and instructs new personnel and/or students from affiliated health information or medical record technology programs. Conducts re-reviews of codes abstracted for outpatient encounters identified by the VERA committee to determine if based on the documentation the specific VERA coding requirements were followed; corrects coding as needed to ensure proper patient classification in the VERA program. Codes inpatient professional fee services for identified inpatient admissions. Code selection is based upon strict compliance with regulatory fraud and abuse guidelines and VA specific guidance for optimum allowable reimbursement. Establishes the primary and secondary diagnosis and procedure codes for outpatient encounters following applicable regulations, instructions, and requirements for allowable reimbursement; links the appropriate diagnosis to the procedure and/or determines level of E/M service provided. Understands the nuances of the CPT coding system for Third Party Insurance cost recovery and accurately interprets instructional notations; bundles encounters when appropriate; identifies non-billable encounters. Reviews and codes assigned fee service Care in the Community outpatient encounters using the paper or electronic documentation obtained from non-VA facilities such as Community Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, military facilities, etc. Codes diagnoses from paper forms for VA registries such as Agent Orange, Ionizing Radiation, Persian Gulf, Prisoner of War, etc. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 7am to 3:30pm PST Virtual: This is a virtual position .Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship - Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Experience and Education - Experience. One year of creditable experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, medical coding, and the structure and format of a health records. OR, Education. An associate's degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education with a major field of study in health information technology/health information management, or a related degree with a minimum of 12 semester hours in health information technology/health information management; OR, Completion of an AHIMA approved coding program, or other intense coding training program of approximately one year or more that included courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, basic ICD diagnostic/procedural, and basic CPT coding. The training program must have led to eligibility for coding certification/certification examination, and the sponsoring academic institution must have been accredited by a national U.S. Department of Education accreditor, or comparable international accrediting authority at the time the program was completed; OR, Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of creditable experience and education are qualifying for meeting the basic requirements. The following educational/training substitutions are appropriate for combining education and creditable experience: (a) Six months of creditable experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology, general understanding of medical coding and the health record, and one year above high school, with a minimum of 6 semester hours of health information technology courses. (b) Successful completion of a course for medical technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or hospital training obtained in a training program given by the Armed Forces or the U.S. Maritime Service, under close medical and professional supervision, may be substituted on a month-for-month basis for up to six months of experience provided the training program included courses in anatomy, physiology, and health record techniques and procedures. Also, requires six additional months of creditable experience that is paid or non-paid employment equivalent to a MRT (Coder). Certification - Persons hired or reassigned to MRT (Coder) positions in the GS-0675 series in VHA must have either Apprentice/Associate Level Certification through AHIMA or AAPC; OR Mastery Level Certification through AHIMA or AAPC; OR Clinical Documentation Improvement Certification through AHIMA or ACDIS. Grandfathering Provision. All persons employed in VHA as a MRT (Coder) on the effective date of the qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series, and grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. English Language Proficiency - Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations, Medical Records Technician (Coder-Outpatient) GS-4 Requirements: None beyond basic requirements. GS-5 Requirements: Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level; OR, Education. Successful completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, with a major field of study in health information management, or a related degree with a minimum of 24 semester hours in health information management or technology. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: Ability to use health information technology and various office software products used in MRT (Coder) positions (e.g., the electronic health record, coding and abstracting software, etc.). Ability to navigate through and abstract pertinent information from health records. Knowledge of the ICD CM, PCS Official Conventions and Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, and CPT guidelines. Ability to apply knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy/physiology, and disease processes to accurately assign codes to inpatient and outpatient episodes of care based on health record documentation. Knowledge of The Joint Commission requirements, CMS, and/or health record documentation guidelines. Ability to manage priorities and coordinate work to complete duties within required timeframes, and the ability to follow-up on pending issues. GS-6 Requirements: Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: Ability to analyze the health record to identify all pertinent diagnoses and procedures for outpatient coding and evaluate the adequacy of the documentation. Ability to determine whether health records contain sufficient information for regulatory requirements, are acceptable as legal documents, are adequate for continuity of patient care, and support the assigned codes. This includes the ability to take appropriate actions if health record contents are not complete, accurate, timely, and/or reliable. Ability to apply laws and regulations on the confidentiality of health information (e.g., Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)). Ability to accurately apply the ICD CM, Official Conventions and Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, and CPT guidelines to coding scenarios. Comprehensive knowledge of current classification systems, such as ICD CM, CPT, and HCPCS, and skill in applying said classifications to outpatient episodes of care, and/or inpatient professional services based on health record documentation. GS-7 Requirements: Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: Skill in applying current coding classifications to a variety of specialty care areas for outpatient episodes of care and/or inpatient professional services to accurately reflect service and care provided based on documentation in the health record. Ability to communicate with clinical staff for specific coding and documentation issues, such as recording diagnoses and procedures, ensuring the correct sequencing of diagnoses and/or procedures, and verifying the relationship between health record documentation and coder assignment. Ability to research and solve coding and documentation related issues. Skill in reviewing and correcting system or processing errors and ensuring all assigned work is complete. GS-8 Requirements: Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. (This is the preferred level for this vacancy.) Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: Ability to analyze the health record to identify all pertinent diagnoses and procedures for coding and to evaluate the adequacy of the documentation. This includes the ability to read and understand the content of the health record, the terminology, the significance of the findings, and the disease process/pathophysiology of the patient. Ability to accurately perform the full scope of outpatient coding, including ambulatory surgical cases, diagnostic studies and procedures, and outpatient encounters, and/or inpatient professional fee services coding. Skill in interpreting and adapting health information guidelines that are not completely applicable to the work or have gaps in specificity, and the ability to use judgment in completing assignments using incomplete or inadequate guidelines. Preferred Experience: Three years coding experience. References: VHA 5005, Appendix G57, Medical Records Technician (Coder) Qualification Standard. Physical Requirements: Light lifting (under 15 pounds); Use of fingers; Both hands required; Hearing (aid may be permitted); Mental & emotional stability. Education IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. Additional Information Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. 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