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Note from Associate Editorial Director: What’s your query metric?

Melissa Varnavas

Associate Editorial Director Melissa Varnavas

Although many CDI program directors wish for national standards for calculating CDI productivity (e.g., a set number of new reviews and re-reviews per CDI specialist per day), “frequent regulatory changes and broad diversity within the industry prohibit a one-size-fits-all approach,” the ACDIS Advisory Board wrote in a White Paper released in December.

While that fact may be indisputable—new CDI staff simply cannot be expected to be as productive as those with multiple years’ experience and programs with expanded record review scopes cannot be expected to turn over as many records as those simply looking for a lone CC/MCC—CDI programs can take advantage of polling research conducted by ACDIS over the years to help establish baseline metrics and program goals.

For example, a 2014 ACDIS website poll indicated that productivity expectations ran the gamut:

  • 32% review 1–10 records per day
  • 25% review 11–15 records per day
  • 18% review 16–20 records per day
  • 13% review 21–25 records per day
  • 6% review 26–30 records per day
  • 6% review more than 30 records per day

The productivity survey conducted in association with December’s White Paper release found 85% of respondents review 6–15 new patient reviews—only 7% reviewed less and only 5% reviewed 16 new records or more per day.

Ultimately, judging from the data, the Advisory Board suggested that “16–24 total reviews per day (new reviews and re-reviews) is an average range for a CDI specialist, with 20 daily reviews being an acceptable goal to account for variability in review focus,” as noted later in the survey.

The latest survey out from ACDIS probes at a number of additional questions related to CDI physician query practices, including:

  • Do you query for clinical validation, i.e., to confirm presence of a documented diagnosis lacking clinical support?  To date, 85% of the more than 200 respondents do.
  • Does your facility have standard query policies and procedures? More than 75% do.
  • Does your facility have an electronic query system either as part of your EHR or another software system? Only 17% don’t.

The survey which will remain open through March 1, also asks important questions about query auditing and monitoring, resources used to craft query policies, and about respondents’ perceptions regarding the effectiveness of electronic systems.

As I often say, ACDIS thrives on membership participation and we need yours to ensure the data revealed in this 2017 physician query assessment represents the true benchmarks of our industry. Won’t you take a few minutes to share your thoughts?

Click here to take the survey. And thanks!

ACDIS Update: 2015 Salary Survey Launched

Here is a "what if" scenario to help illustrate CDI specialists' return on investment.

Take our 2015 Salary Survey!

$60,000. That’s the amount CDI specialists have traditionally earned in the role. (Well, between $60,000 and $70,000.) Yet, last year’s 2014 ACDIS CDI Specialist Salary Survey showed a much wider range for earnings overall with nearly 85% earning between $50,000 and $100,000. Less than 30% earned the tradition $60K.

While many of the 840 respondents to last year’s survey believe that salary levels have remained stagnant in recent years, significant compensation shifts do appear when analyzing survey data from the past three years.

What will this year’s survey results reveal? We know that more CDI programs have begun to develop CDI career ladders for their employees and that programs have begun to expand their scope of practice into areas beyond CC/MCC capture rates. Has yours?

Please help us understand the shifting industry trends by completing this year’s survey. To participate in the survey, click here, before Friday, September 18, 5 p.m. The results will be shared with ACDIS members in an upcoming special report.

 

Outpatient CDI survey invite

Dear Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) professional,

Please take a moment to answer this brief eight-question survey on outpatient CDI. Overall survey results will be made available but individual responses will be kept private.

Your input is critical for helping us understand your challenges and in providing you with solutions. Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KKR8M3F.

Thank you,

Brian Murphy

Director, Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists

Reminder: Participate in the CDI Week industry survey

The 3rd Annual CDI Week celebration begins!

Get ready for the 4th Annual CDI Week celebration!

The Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) is sponsoring the fourth annual Clinical Documentation Improvement Week on September 15-19, 2014. As part of the week’s offerings, we are providing an industry outlook survey on a handful of hot topics, with a special focus on quality. The summary results of the survey will be made publicly available.

Please take a few minutes to complete the 40-question survey by clicking here.

If you cannot access the survey, please copy and paste the following link into your web browser: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LV5T3YJ

Thanks for your participation, and if you have any questions about the survey or Clinical Documentation Improvement Week don’t hesitate to email ACDIS Director Brian Murphy at bmurphy@acdis.org.

Insight needed for CDI productivity survey

Please help us by taking a few minutes to respond to the latest physician query survey.

Please help us by taking a few minutes to respond to the latest productivity survey.

Ever wonder how many records your CDI counterparts at the hospital down the street have to review? Has your CDI specialists’ list of duties expanded exponentially over the years but the productivity expectations remain the same?

Please take a few minutes to participate in this CDI program structure and productivity survey. In it, we ask questions regarding your CDI program’s reporting structure, the number of record reviews you perform, and whether your facility plans to hire new CDI staff in response to ICD-10.

Your responses will illustrate program structure and productivity trends across the country. We hope the results will help you draw meaningful comparisons with other CDI programs and build a case for hiring additional staff. To participate in the survey, click here.

New survey: CDI productivity and program structure

Dear CDI professionals and ACDIS members,

Please take a few minutes to participate in this CDI program structure and productivity survey. In it, we ask questions regarding your CDI program’s reporting structure, the number of record reviews you perform and whether your facility plans to hire new CDI staff to respond to the documentation and training needs associated with ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation. Your responses will illustrate program structure and productivity trends across the country. We hope the results will help you draw meaningful comparisons with other CDI programs across the country and build a case for hiring additional staff.

To participate in the survey, click here.

Got five minutes? Take our ICD-10 related surveys

As you know, ACDIS regularly asks for assistance with industry and product related insight. Many of these surveys are then shared with the membership in special benchmarking reports or used to design more useful products and services for you. We currently have a few surveys outstanding and hope you will take a moment or two to participate. Surveys include:

2013 Query benchmarking report available

Please help us by taking a few minutes to respond to the latest physician query survey.

The latest physician query benchmarking report is now available.

It has been three years since ACDIS last surveyed its membership about physician query practices. In 2010, 382 CDI professionals participated. This year’s survey garnered 517 respondents, primarily CDI specialists.

“That’s really a tremendous response rate,” says Drew K. Siegel, MD, CPC, CDI specialist at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

The 35-question survey illustrates the importance of the physician query as the primary tool driving CDI efforts, but also demonstrates wide differences regarding query assessment, compliance, and policy review.

“The responses are actually quite varied, so there’s evidence that the query process [across facilities] is clearly not standardized,” says ACDIS Advisory Board member Timothy N. Brundage, MD, CCDS, physician champion at Kindred Hospital North Florida District in St. Petersburg.

That said, the 2013 survey does show some interesting trends, according to fellow ACDIS Advisory Board member Walter Houlihan, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CDI specialist at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass.

“It is good to know that so many of us have the same challenges and needs when it comes to physician queries,” he says.

Editor’s Note: ACDIS members have access to the complete report in the July 2013 edition of the CDI Journal. The text of the report is available to all under the Featured Article section of the ACDIS homepage through the end of the week, August 23.

CDI Week industry survey open: Participate now

CDI Week

CDI Week

Every year, in honor of the national recognition week for CDI professionals—CDI Week—The Association of Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists (ACDIS) hosts a comprehensive “Industry Outlook Survey.”

The survey includes more than 30 questions on topics ranging from ICD-10 implementation, physician engagement, electronic health record implementation, and career advancement.

The results of the survey will be posted and publicly available on the CDI Week portion of the ACDIS website.

The third annual CDI Week celebrations take place September 15-21, 2013. Please take a few minutes to complete the 37-question survey by clicking here.

For more information about CDI Week festivities visit:

ACDIS releases ICD-10 CDI benchmarking report

How many records should you review in a day? The answer isn't easy.

Most CDI professionals say they have not begun to query for ICD-10 specificity.

According to the results of the ACDIS 2013 ICD-10 Preparation Survey, 56% of respondents indicated their facilities had performed a formal assessment of their ICD-10 readiness. Considering the back-and-forth debate that took place in late 2011 and early 2012 regarding a possible implementation delay, “that’s pretty good,” says ACDIS advisory board member Susan Belley, M.Ed., RHIA, CPHQ, project manager at 3M HIS Consulting Services in Atlanta.

By this time next year, most facilities will be in the throes of preparation for the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS. Some liken the challenge to the hype that surrounded Y2K. For those who do not remember that much-publicized event, all the computers all over the world were essentially supposed to stop working at the start of the new millennium due to a glitch in the system. Yet, no doubt because of the behind-the-scenes efforts of countless computer gurus, the world continued on. Similarly, facilities that “turn the clock” on October 1, 2014, and enter the new millennium of ICD-10-CM/PCS will need to rely on the efforts of CDI and coding professionals.

For those who have not started preparations yet, the most important thing to remember is “don’t panic,” says Rebecca “Ali” Williams, RN, BSN, CCDS, senior CDI consultant at United Audit Systems, Inc., in Cincinnati. “Just focus. Go ahead and code some records in ICD-10-CM/PCS and get a feel for it, see what’s different. Over time, with repeated use, coders and CDI staff will begin to feel more comfortable. Over time, it will become second nature,” Williams says.

Editor’s Note: ACDIS members have access to the complete report in the July edition of the CDI Journal.