In this post I’d like to offer steps for success when transitioning from a fixed cost model.
Fixed to Variable: How to Transition for Coding Success
The transition from a fixed cost to a variable cost coding model is a non-intrusive and non-disruptive process that requires less than one day to complete. The results are a win for the healthcare organization as a variable model provides in-depth quality coding at a lower cost. This model is also a win for coders as it provides job security, higher incomes and career advancement opportunities.
Variable Cost Coding: Implementation Best Practices
- Manage staffing activities at the VP level. Create a coding compliance team to coordinate staff assessment, certification validation, background checks, and the OIG’s LEIE and qualifications. This paves the way for all coders to be rebadged as your vendor partner coders.
- Require a proficiency exam for all coders to determine needs for additional training to perform at a high level of coding. This ensures that coder skills meet quality standards and align with specialty type.
- Remain open to sharing all coder resumes, experience, credentials and salary information. With variable cost coding, coders are reimbursed on a per chart pricing model, providing the opportunity for increased earnings.
- Establish transition dates for coders. On the transition date, coders will continue to code business as usual with the same logins. All training, education, QA reviews and more are the responsibility of the coding partner—not yours.
- Arrange for the coding partner’s executive team, HR and coding manager team to meet with the new coding team. Present welcome packets including benefits, culture, expectations and other applicable information.
Among other things, the variable cost coding model provides revenue cycle leaders with the same access to coders they’ve always had, while also allowing those coders additional opportunities across all vendor partner clients.
In the world of coding, whether in the facility or professional fee space, a program that offers exactly the right kind of coding expertise when needed means that you are not overpaying, and the expense is always aligned with service line volumes.