Managing HIM Department at a hospital

The provided scenario offers a vivid example of how complicated and stressful a job of a supervisor for a health information management (HIM) department at a hospital might be. It seems like managing a HIM department can be at times quite overwhelming because one needs to take into consideration a whole array of various factors when making decisions about coding functions, handling rejected Medicare claims or dismissing personnel members.If I ended up with the challenges laid out in the presented scenario, first and foremost, it would help to draw up a plan of actions, identifying major priorities which need more time and effort to handle and setting aside less crucial issues for a little bit later. I am convinced that when an HIM manager is confronted with so many problems at the same time, a plan would help one feel more organized and in control, which will also help to both save time and shield the supervisor from unnecessary work-related stress (Swayne, Duncan & Ginter, 2006).In the hypothetical situation, the manager has three coders who all perform inpatient coding services. One of these coders also performs coding services for a physician who treats patients in a small outpatient center attached to the hospital. As a rule, these personnel members are generally tasked with assigning codes for diagnoses, treatments, and procedures according to the appropriate classification system for inpatient encounters. They should also be able to review documentation from providers in order to identify diagnosis, co-morbidities and complications, secondary conditions and surgical procedures. Extracting required information from source documentation and entering it into encoder and abstracting system is also among their major qualifications.Although it is not mentioned in the scenario, I assume that these coding specialists are well qualified. However, the HIM manager is confronted with the need to let go one of them. I think that under the given circumstances, I would remind the chief financial officer about the duties of the front office staff member from the clinic who can perform coding and billing functions while also attending a local community college to become a registered health information technician. Given that this clinic might receive more patients, which would increase the workload for the front office staff member, I would suggest that instead of eliminating one of the coding staff members, the one who already performs coding services for a physician who treats patients in a small outpatient center attached to the hospital should be transferred to the newly purchased outpatient clinic. This way, the HIM manager would be able to ease a potentially overwhelming workload for the front office employee and, most importantly, retain his current pool of coders. Hence, this will be the first step in my action plan.The next step would be handling a request voiced by the hospital charge master coordinator. Generally, a person occupying this post should have a good knowledge of team dynamics and the process of building consensus. Of utmost importance is also thorough understanding of financial management and reporting in health …
Posted by: Tom Reinert

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