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Save the Date

WHIMA ROI Workshop
March 5, 2019
Glacier Canyon Lodge
Wisconsin Dells, WI
WHA Advocacy Day 2020
March 18, 2020
Madison, WI

WHIMA - Mid State Technical College Joint Workshop: HIM Through a Different Lens
April 6, 2020
Mid-State Technical College
Stevens Point, WI
WHIMA Annual Conference
May 6-8, 2020
The Osthoff
Elkhart Lake, WI

WHIMA Fall Conference
September 10, 2020
Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center
La Crosse, WI
Apply For Scholarships

WHIMA Scholarship Opportunity

Time is running out to apply for a WHIMA Scholarship.  WHIMA offers Undergraduate (Associate/Baccalaureate Levels), Graduate Level and Established Professional Scholarships.  Apply today! Deadline is February 28, 2020. 

Coding Productivity Analysis

By Cheryl Evans, MHRM, RHIA, CCS
Allied Health Instructor , Waukesha County Technical College

Getting medical coding students ready for facility coding expectations presents a tough challenge to put it mildly.  Obviously, experienced coders draw the attention of facilities in need of filling an open position on the team, yet where are these much needed experienced coders hiding?  I venture to state that experienced coding candidates come from an ever narrowing pool. In fact, many experienced coders currently serving in our state are quickly approaching retirement; I believe this to be a national concern based on conversations at the two most recent National AHIMA conventions. 

Thus, how will we transition the highly demanded skills and knowledge of very experienced coders forward to new coders?  Particularly problematic is the fact that budgets do not traditionally allow for much needed transitional onboarding training which steps new coders up to fulfill the needs of the facility.  While we might like to believe that Computerized Assisted Coding (CAC) will fill the gap, we have discovered inherent issues with CAC which dictate experienced coders will still be leaned upon to complete coding processes with the highest level of accuracy, no matter how advanced CAC becomes.  Who will these coders be?  I predict, newly graduating coding students.

I look at this looming issue as an opportunity to advance student skills and knowledge.  Where would I begin the process of considering resolution?  Obviously, in any type of performance improvement process, the need to compare current data against benchmark is a must.  As such, I conducted a survey of local area facilities.  Just what is the average productivity expectation of facilities based on the different types of most common coding scenarios?

Graciously, some of the biggest players in Milwaukee provided me with much needed insight.  Additionally, students from the previous two semesters took on the task of inquiry as they attended either the National AHIMA conference in Florida or Chicago; students additionally asked questions while serving at clinical rotations. 
The final data has been received and tabulated in the analysis of coding productivity. The following chart displays both averages as well as standard deviations on coding productivity per hour.
Facility specific data has been removed as this is private to each facility.  That said, data utilized was representative of 4 major players in our local area along with data from over 80 other facilities/companies outside of WI.
While I would like to say that data is gathered with the same parameters and application in mind, of course this is simply not the case. Some of the represented facilities have Encoders, some have strictly electronic records, some made transitions to new software during the time of data pull, many have differing levels of coder experience, all likely have different on‐ boarding, and the list of variables goes on. Thus begs the relevant is the average represented in terms of creating a benchmark? From a facility perspective, need likely varies, yet from an educational perspective it gives us much to consider in terms of helping our students to understand a minimum expectation. With a larger representation of data available on inpatient coding, I can conclude that the average provided is reasonably represented.
Many thanks to the facilities willing to share much needed data; your support in determining some type of reasonable benchmark is invaluable in preparing students for the workforce.
Should you be willing to share the data of your facility, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to expand my database upon which the study was conducted; after all, the larger the sample the more accurate the end result!  My email is Please consider joining me in my quest to prepare for what lies ahead!

Celebrate the 31st HIP Week


AHIMA invites all health information professionals to join the celebration and be recognized during the 31st Health Information Professionals (HIP) Week, taking place March 22-28. This year's theme—connecting people, systems, and ideas—highlights the unique skills, abilities, experiences, and actions at the heart of the health information profession. Celebrate and spread the message by downloading our toolkit, as well as ordering official merchandise for you and your team.

A new HIP Week platform will be unveiled and will offer a thorough look into the HIM profession, including our value, voice, and praise. You'll be able to share your own appreciation, submit pictures, and partake in the continued socialization of HIP Week. Look for the launch of the new site in March.

2020 Spring Conference -  "HIPAA 2020...COW...Charity...Compliance!"

When: Friday, April 24, 2020 from 7:30 AM to 3:45 PM CDT
Where: The Ingleside Hotel - Pewaukee, WI

Save The Date - Advocacy Day


(AHIMA Conference email February 14, 2020)

Challenge the Status Quo—Share Your Knowledge with Your Healthcare Community

Are you passionate about the healthcare industry and have knowledge to share with your community? Consider submitting a presentation proposal for AHIMA's premier annual event—the AHIMA20 Conference. This event wraps innovation and integrity around practical techniques and tools, connecting people, systems, and ideas. Learn more...
Submit Proposal
Submission Deadline: February 28
Go beyond the status quo, and be part of this innovative and important event! We look forward to hearing your transformative ideas.

FREE AHIMA On-Demand Webinar: Mental Health CDI Tip Sheets

The importance of clinical documentation integrity (CDI) within mental health records is a growing area for CDI programs. This FREE webinar assesses the overall documentation goals of the mental health record. The presenter shares a global look at ICD-10-CM versus DSM-5 codes and analyzes behavioral health diagnosis versus a substance abuse diagnosis. The presentation will conclude with a review of the new AHIMA Behavioral Health CDI TIP sheet. 

Sign up to both learn and earn 0.5 CEUs.


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