3 Signs You Need Remote Medical Coders and How to Make it Work

3-signs-you-need-remote-medical-coders-and-how-to-make-it-work.jpgIs your local coder applicant pool looking a little dry? It might be time to think about casting a wider net. It’s no secret that finding rockstar medical coders can be a daunting task, especially as the demand for medical coders continues to rise and the supply simply isn’t keeping up.

Growing your coding department may top of mind for any/all of the “usual” reasons — leaves of absence, turnover, new openings, etc. You may also need to augment or supplement current staffing during educational periods that require more downtime than usual. Just be prepared: it can be like a feeding frenzy out there as everyone is competing for the best medical coders.

So how can your healthcare organization find the best coding talent there is? Hire remote.

Here are three signs that you may need to hire remote coders:

1) You’re having difficulty finding local, qualified, reliable and credentialed coders in the provider specialities you need.

It stands to reason that there are definitely more coders to choose from when you expand your recruiting efforts nationwide. Thankfully advanced technology and high-speed internet services make remote working more feasible today than ever before. And, fortunately, many young to early middle-aged employees prefer a flexible approach to work. The remote option offers plenty of benefits for employees including saving money on gas, saving time by not commuting, and a flexible schedule. But healthcare organizations benefit too. First and foremost, you’ll widen your talent pool.

More and more businesses — including healthcare organizations — are choosing to operate virtually, employing people to work remotely to ensure they have the best individual for the position, regardless of location.

2) You want to save resources, and cut down distractions.

Employing remote coders can save you resources as well. For example, office space can become limited while your internal team is growing. The remote option erases the headache of finding a suitable and large enough workspace.

Keeping a smaller office space will also save significant costs. According to a recent study sponsored by collaboration software company, PGi, a business can save approximately $10,000 per employee, per year in real estate costs. When you do the math for a whole team of coders, that represents some serious savings!

Working at home is also shown to reduce occasional absence time. According to the same PGi study, unscheduled absences cost approximately $1,800 per employee per year and organizations offering remote working experience 63% less incidence of employees calling off unexpectedly.

3) You’re thinking about talent retention and the importance of workplace engagement.

Recruiting and training new employees is expensive. Offering remote working options can help you to retain talent. Considering everyone wants the best coders, this may be the biggest work-from-home win for you. The days of employees staying with one organization for their entire careers are over, but you might be able to encourage loyalty by offering flexible working conditions.

Medical coding requires focus and strict attention, and your medical coders have a heads-down type of role. Your team may increase productivity when they work remotely, as coworkers will not “stop by” to interrupt each other mid-task. With fewer distractions, your employees will be more efficient and productive throughout the day, with fewer errors slipping through.

Providing the incentive of working remotely offers a big draw to those qualified and talented coders you need for your providers and department. If this train of thought is making sense, and hiring remote coders is on the table for consideration, you also need to look ahead for what remote work means for your organization and for the coders who work from home.

SIDE NOTE: Pretty much everything these days (except maybe soup) has been digitized, so setting up the technology for your coders to work remotely should be relatively easy.

The most important thing to consider is your people, and what it takes to keep them productive and content. For coding directors, remote coders save on resources and can be a financial win for your organization.

Take note, plan ahead

For the employee, working from home comes with a host of favorable perks, but it’s not all that easy to keep your remote coders engaged and involved in workplace culture. The feedback from remote coders is generally that they often don’t feel included in workplace events, and there isn’t enough communication despite all the emails and correspondence that fly back and forth on a daily basis. You can’t recreate the work environment for each remote individual, but with planning and creativity you can give your employees the experiences they’re missing.

Remote workers will still need attention, direction, and care to ensure maximum productivity, and working from home is not the best option for every employee. You want your remote employees to feel like they are a valued part of your business, despite being geographically apart from it. Some management tips to make the most of your remote workers include:

  • Foster a culture of inclusivity with instant messaging, occasional in office meetings, or the opportunity to mix work at home days and days in the office with hot desks. Services like WebEx, Uberconference, and Slack are great ways to have virtual meetings and encourage interaction and feedback.
  • Make sure your remote workers know what they contribute to and the role they play in the bigger picture of your office. Make time for regular individual catch ups. Online shared space that all employees have access to is another way to share company news and to gather information.

The Bottom Line

If hiring coders to work remotely sounds like a fitting option for your organization, you can look forward to finding and retaining talented, credentialed coders who want to work from home. Or if you want to plug into a winning network of remote coders, and save your budget on office space, consider co-sourcing your coding department with MediRevv. This option affords not only high quality, but a flexible number of coders based on your coding-business needs.

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About Cynthia Sherman, Director, Coding Services

Cynthia Sherman, Director, Coding Services

Cynthia leads all aspects of Coding Services at MediRevv, including the day to day management of coding operations and client account management. As Director of Coding she has grown division from a staff of one to forty. She is certified CCS-P (2002) through AHIMA.

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