Medical Records Technician (Coder)
Summary This position is located in Business Office, Health Information Management (HIM) Section, Columbia VA Health Care System, Columbia, South Carolina. MRTs (Coder) are skilled in classifying medical data from patient health records in the hospital setting, and/or physician-based settings, such as physician offices, group practices, multi-specialty clinics and specialty centers. Responsibilities Major Duties: Theses coding practitioners analyze and abstract patients' health records and assign alpha-numeric coders for each diagnosis and procedure. To perform this task, they must possess expertise in International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). MRT (Coder) may also provide education related to coding and documentations. This is the journey level for this assignment. MRTs (Coder at this level performs the full scope of inpatient and outpatient coding duties. MRTs (Coder) select and assign codes from current versions of ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, CPT and HCPCS classification systems to both inpatient and outpatient records. Inpatient duties consist of the performance of a comprehensive review of documentation within the health record to assign ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS codes for diagnosis, complications/major complication, comorbid/major comorbid conditions, surgery and procedures for accurate assignment of DRGs. Outpatient duties consist of the performance of a comprehensive review of documentation within the health record of accurately assign ICD-10-CM codes for diagnosis and complication, and CPT/HCPCS codes for surgeries, procedures, evaluation and management services, and inpatient professional services. Independently review and abstract clinical data from the record for documentation of diagnoses and procedures to ensure it is adequate and appropriate to support the assigned codes. Code all complicated and complex medical/specialty diseases processes, patient injuries, and all medical procedures in a wide range of ambulatory/inpatient settings and specialties. They directly consult with the clinical staff for clarification of conflicting, incomplete, or ambiguous clinical data in the health record. Abstract, assign and sequence codes into encoder software to obtain correct DRG, support medical necessity, resolve encoder edits, and ensure codes accurately reflect services rendered. Review provider health record documentation to ensure that it supports diagnostic and procedural codes assigned and is consistent with required medical coding nomenclature. Query clinical staff with documentation requirements to support the coding process. Enter and correct information that has been rejected. Corrects any identified data errors or inconsistencies. Ensure audit findings have been corrected and refiled. Use various computer applications to abstract records, assign codes and record and transmit data. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 7:30am to 4:00pm, hours subject to change based on agency needs. Telework: Available - Telework Eligible; This is not a remote position and will require on-site training for a period of time. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: Medical Records Technician (Coder) Inpatient & Outpatient/PD01436A, PD06752A, and PD01436A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. You may be required to serve a probationary period. Subject to background/security investigation. Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process. Must pass pre-employment physical examination. Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. 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 (e.g., courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical coding, and introduction to health records);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 (1), (2), or (3) below: Apprentice/Associate Level Certification through AHIMA or AAPC. Mastery Level Certification through AHIMA or AAPC. Clinical Documentation Improvement Certification through AHIMA or ACDIS. Grade Determinations: Medical Records Technician (Coder-Outpatient and Inpatient) GS-4 Experience or Education. None beyond basic requirements. GS-5 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. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 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 Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Ability to analyze the health record to identify all pertinent diagnoses and procedures for coding and to 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 HIPAA). Ability to accurately apply the ICD CM, PCS Official Conventions and Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, and CPT Guidelines to various coding scenarios. Comprehensive knowledge of current classification systems, such as ICDCM, PCS, CPT, HCPCS, and skill in applying classifications to both inpatient and outpatient records based on health record documentation. Knowledge of complication or comorbidity/major complication or comorbidity(CC/MCC) and POA indicators to obtain correct MS-DRG. GS-7 Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Skill in applying current coding classifications to a variety of inpatient and outpatient specialty care areas 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 inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and procedures, the correct sequencing of diagnoses and/or procedures, and the relationship between health record documentation and code 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. Ability to abstract, assign, and sequence codes, including complication or comorbidity/major complication or comorbidity (CC/MCC), and POA indicators to obtain correct MS-DRG. GS-8 Qualifications continued in Education Education GS-8 Full Performance Level (Journey Level) Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 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 comments, 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 inpatient facility coding, including inpatient discharges, surgical cases, diagnostic studies and procedures, and inpatient professional services. 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 References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G57, Medical Records Technician Qualification Standards. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-8. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-4 to GS-8. Physical Requirements: Light lifting, under 15 lbs., moderate carrying, 15-44 lbs., reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, standing 4-6 hours; hearing, aid permitted. Duties require extensive use of fingers to perform keyboarding and the ability to hear requests by phone and in person. Vision must be adequate to read and prepare documents. 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. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. 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. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.