In January, Apixio’s user research team conducted a coding survey. We recruited coders, QA supervisors, and directors involved in risk adjustment coding via RISE’s mailing list, Facebook groups, and LinkedIn groups. We secured 111 responses, from 52 coders, 23 coder managers, 13 director/executives, and 23 other affiliations. Below are some takeaways:
The risk adjustment coding community is an experienced, educated group
55% of coders, coder managers, and directors have more than four years of experience in their current role (we chose to present options up to four years, so it’s possible that they could have much more). Demographically, survey respondents are overwhelmingly female (89%), over half are over 45 years of age, and over half have a B.A. or Master’s degree.
Coders have a high degree of comfort with technology
97% of survey takers feel “very comfortable” with computers. However, while working, 75% of coders say they use books as a resource, more than those who use ICD-10 websites or software. Survey takers work with both electronic and traditional chart formats; 82% of surveyed coders review EHR charts and 55% of them review PDF charts.
Coders work from home, but managers work from the office
Coders and QA reviewers tend to work at home (59%), although coder managers and project managers tend to work in an office. In terms of where they are online, LinkedIn is the most popular social network, with over 70% of survey takers participating in the professional networking site, with far fewer survey-takers on Facebook and Twitter.
Most managers supervise small teams, without coding software
Most managers are in charge of small teams; half of managers manage 1-5 coders. A fifth of managers are outliers in this regard, managing more than 20 coders. Coding software [performance technology and analytics] is not yet a prevalent aspect of coding, Only 27% of managers use coding software to help supervise their team and only a slightly higher percentage use software to facilitate coding.
Accuracy is the biggest goal for both coders and managers
The top three responsibilities cited by managers are: tracking project progress, setting up and managing a project timeline, and tracking performance. The top three goals are: being accurate in that all the codes found accurately represent the patient state, being accurate in that all the codes found will be confirmed by QA, and finding as many codes as possible in the shortest amount of time.
You can find more information related to the survey on the RISE website here.