How Does KIWI-TEK Recruit, Train and Retain the Best Medical Coding Talent?

First, you set high standards for hiring and performance. Then, you give them the tools, training, feedback and workplace environment to be the best they can be.

Sarah Humbert, RHIA, Vice President of Coding Operations, engaged KIWI-TEK’s operations and customer service team to explore some of our clients’ questions about quality coding and performance standards. This blog captures the most commonly asked questions and the team’s responses regarding the ability to recruit, train and retain expert coders.

Q: What types of background checks do you perform on existing coding staff and new coding applicants to ensure they are current with their certifications?

A: KIWI-TEK’S Coding Compliance team completes staff assessments, validation of certifications with AHIMA/AAPC, criminal background checks, and a check with the OIG’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) upon hire and annually thereafter.

Q: What steps do you take to ensure your coding team delivers the highest quality coding results for your clients?

A: Coders and auditors are expected and required to maintain 95% accuracy in their work at KIWI-TEK. Coders that fail such standards are either reassigned to KIWI-TEK’s non-production training program or dismissed. Prior to being engaged, all KIWI-TEK coders and auditors are required to pass rigorous proficiency exams within each selected specialty. Monthly quality reviews are completed on every KIWI-TEK coder. In addition, chart reviews are performed with a full narrative evaluation of the coding and documentation process and recommendations to improve coding, documentation and billing.

Q: How do you determine what patient types each member of the coding team should be assigned to work?

A: All applicants are asked to take our coding assessment. This tool is designed to assess skills across various patient types. Applicants are eligible to obtain a client assignment only for the account types in which the applicant has experience and received a passing score.

Q: With the constantly changing COVID-19 coding guidance we experienced in 2020, how were you able to keep your coding team and up to date?

A: Technology provided the KIWI-TEK team real-time connection and communication of rapidly changing information. Our team kept a working document with dated/time-stamped updates along with live and recorded webinars for staff to reference.

Q: Can your coding team easily access previous training, education and guidelines as needed?  

A: Yes, absolutely. KIWI-TEK stores all educational materials on our internal resource site for easy and convenient coder access. Coders can review handouts and webinars whenever needed. 

Q: How do you ensure your remote coding team adheres to the HIPAA Privacy Rule requirements?

A: KIWI-TEK has established strict corporate compliance standards that our coding team must follow. All medical record information is secure and completely HIPAA compliant. KIWI-TEK’s security policy ensures that patient information is protected and in compliance with regulatory requirements at all times. KIWI-TEK has conducted a comprehensive, third-party, security risk assessment to ensure the highest level of HIPAA-based privacy and security standards and practices.

How will KIWI-TEK continue to support HIM resources for an unpredictable future?

KIWI-TEK has always done our best to provide comprehensive and timely guidance and updates. We will continue our commitment to you in 2021 and beyond. During this time of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the KIWI-TEK team is here to serve and support you, your team and your business. Our virtual team remains fully engaged to assist in whatever way you and your organization may need.

How to Prepare your HIM Resources for an Unpredictable Future