Health Information Management

Productivity benchmarks

HIM-HIPAA Insider, October 20, 2009

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With audit contractors scrutinizing coding accuracy and an upcoming transition to the ICD-10 coding system, coder productivity is more important than ever.
During an August 18 HCPro audio conference, “Benchmarking Coder Productivity to Improve Efficiency and Justify FTEs,” Rose T. Dunn, MBA, RHIA, CPA, FACHE, COO of First Class Solutions in Maryland Heights, MO, discussed the results of HCPro’s 2009 coder productivity benchmarking survey and provided tips on how to assess standards.
According to the results, respondents from inpatient facilities expected the following from their coders:
Inpatient records
  • 12%: Fewer than three records
  • 30%: Three records per hour
  • 14%: 3.5 to 3.75 records per hour
  • 10%: Four records per hour
  • 6% Greater than four records per hour
  • 29%: Not applicable
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) released benchmarking data in 2007 and 2004, respectively. The respondents in those surveys had expectations similar to those of HCPro’s survey respondents. However, Dunn noted two areas that were vastly different from the survey data: the ED and ancillary.
The AHIMA data showed an expectation of 15 records per hour, whereas the HFMA data listed 24 per hour in the ED. For ancillary, AHIMA indicated 30 records per hour, whereas HFMA showed 55.
Note: For more results from this survey, visit the HCPro Web site.Subscribers to Briefings on Coding Compliance Strategies have access to this article in the October issue of the newsletter.

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