This position is located in the Health Information Management (HIM) section at the Hampton VA Medical Center. MRTs (Coder) are skilled in classifying medical data from patient health records in the hospital setting, and/or physician-based settings, such as physician offices, group practices, multi-specialty clinics, and specialty centers.
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These coding practitioners analyze and abstract patients' health records, and assign alpha-numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure. To perform this task, they must possess expertise in International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). MRT (Coder) may also provide education related to coding and documentation.
Develops performance standards and conducts performance evaluations for subordinate staff. Interviews new employees, recommends selection, and carries out training and development of reassignments, awards or disciplinary action. Approves leave schedules. Implements provisions of EEO programs to ensure fair and equal treatment for all employees. Keeps employees informed of management goals and objectives and higher levels supervisors informed of employee participation and concerns.
Schedules the sequence of work and operations on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to assure even workflow and distribution, expeditious handling of priorities and the meeting of deadlines. Revises schedules/assignments to meet changes in workload considering peak loads, availability of manpower and time limits. Makes changes in organization and assignment of duties to provide improvements, promote job satisfaction and increase productivity.
Prepares workload and production reports; reports on operations and problems encountered; and presents proposed requests for resource needs based on past experience, anticipated staffing, equipment, and space.
Makes assignments that are equitable among employees. Formulates and issues written instructions and procedures and special instructions for non-routine or complex assignments or to clarify published guides. Assignments are made based on selective considerations such as difficulty and requirements of assignment, availability, capability and grades of employees, and availability of other resources.
Reviews coding and assist coders in improving coding accuracy; provides coding guidance to various levels of staff to promote consistency in practice and compliance with coding rules and regulations; initiates various reports and analyze data; and coordinates, assigns, and monitors the workflow.
Keeps abreast of all regulations and guidelines governing the coding section, ensuring that staff supervised is educated as needed. Ensures that regulatory guidelines and current coding conventions are followed.
Work Schedule: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 430pm
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
- Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
- You may be required to serve a probationary period
- Subject to a background/security investigation
- Must be proficient in written and spoken English
- Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.
- United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
- Experience. One year of creditable experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, medical coding, and the structure and format of a health records.
Education. An associate degree from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education with a major field of study in health information technology/health information management, or a related degree with a minimum of 12 semester hours in health information technology/health information management (e.g., courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical coding, and introduction to health records);
Completion of an AHIMA approved coding program, or other intense coding training program of approximately one year or more that included courses in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, basic ICD diagnostic/procedural, and basic CPT coding. The training program must have led to eligibility for coding certification/certification examination, and the sponsoring academic institution must have been accredited by a national U.S. Department of Education accreditor, or comparable international accrediting authority at the time the program was completed;
Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of creditable experience and education are qualifying for meeting the basic requirements. The following educational/training substitutions are appropriate for combining education and creditable experience:
(a) Six months of creditable experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology, general understanding of medical coding and the health record, and one year above high school, with a minimum of 6 semester hours of health information technology courses.
(b) Successful completion of a course for medical technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or hospital training obtained in a training program given by the Armed Forces or the U.S. Maritime Service, under close medical and professional supervision, may be substituted on a month-for-month basis for up to six months of experience provided the training program included courses in anatomy, physiology, and health record techniques and procedures. Also, requires six additional months of creditable experience that is paid or non-paid employment equivalent to a MRT (Coder)
- Certification: Persons hired or reassigned to MRT (Coder) positions in the GS-0675series in VHA must have a Mastery Level Certification through AHIMA or AAPC.
May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).
Preferred Experience: None
Grade Determinations: Supervisory Medical Records Technician (Coder), GS-10
Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level.
(c) Certification. Employees at this level must have a mastery level certification.
Mastery Level Certification. This is considered a higher-level health information management or coding certification and is limited to certification obtained through AHIMA or AAPC. To be acceptable for qualifications, the specific certification must represent a comprehensive competency in the occupation. Stand-alone specialty certifications do not meet the definition of mastery level certification and are not acceptable for qualifications. Certification titles may change and certifications that meet the definition of mastery level certification may be added/removed by the above certifying bodies. However, current mastery level certifications include: Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based (CCS-P), Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Outpatient Coder (COC), Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC).
(d) Assignment. For all assignments above the journey level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), range of variety, and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. Supervisory MRTs (Coder) are responsible for supervising coding staff at the facility level. Supervisory MRTs (Coder) must be able to perform all duties of a MRT (Coder). The supervisory coder is responsible for the supervision, administrative management, and direction of coding staff. They are responsible for program management of a coding section/unit to ensure performance monitors are established and met. They perform a full range of supervisory responsibilities, to include evaluating the performance of subordinate staff, approving sick and annual leave requests, identifying educational or training needs, resolving employee complaints, and taking disciplinary actions, when necessary. They inform higher level management of anticipated vacancies or increases in workload. They recommend employees for promotions, reassignments, recognitions, retention or release of probationary employees, or other changes of assigned personnel. They make decisions on the selection of employees for vacant or new positions. They serve as an expert coding resource to ensure accuracy and integrity of all coding. They collaborate with revenue, compliance, and other departments to support coding accuracy that is consistent with the official guidelines for coding and reporting. They resolve claim edits referred to coding management and monitor reports for outstanding services, rejects, or uncoded episodes of care for inpatients and/or outpatients. The supervisory coder ensures claim denials related to coding errors are resolved, and/or daily coding rejects are corrected for accurate billing and data collection. They provide education to clinical and coding staff. They assess current audit findings and evaluate impact to coding and documentation practices. They oversee the reporting of coding and documentation audit results to leadership. They collect and prepare data for studies involving inpatient stays and outpatient encounters for clinical evaluation purposes, prepare and maintain a variety of complex records and daily, monthly, or "on demand" reports, as requested. The supervisory coder creates and monitors outpatient reports, inpatient case mix reports, top DRGs, and key performance indicators to identify patterns, trends, and variations. They investigate and evaluate potential causes for changes or problems and collaborate with the appropriate staff to effect resolution or explain variances. They participate in the formulation of objectives and strategies utilizing coded data to support goals for patient care, teaching, research, and optimizing management of resources. Supervisory MRTs whose assignments involve two or more MRT specialty areas will be assigned the parenthetical title for the predominant specialty area.
References: VA Handbook 5005/122 PART II APPENDIX G57 December 10, 2019
The full performance level of this vacancy and the actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-10.
Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service.
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.
Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http: ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html .
Grandfathering Provision. All persons employed in VHA as a MRT (Coder) on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series, and grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply:
(1) Such employees may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the journey level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but will not be promoted beyond the journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions.
(2) Such employees in an occupation that requires a certification only at higher grade levels must meet the certification requirement before they can be promoted to the higher-grade levels.
(3) MRTs who are appointed on a temporary basis, prior to the effective date of the qualification standard, may not have their temporary appointment extended, or be reappointed on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.
(4) MRTs initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education that meets all the basic requirements of this qualification standard, must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.(5) Employees who are retained as a MRT under this provision and subsequently leave the occupation lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry as a MRT.
Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.
This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.
VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
Your resume must include the following information each job listed:
Job title Duties (be as detailed as possible)
Month & year start/end dates (e.g. June 2007 to April 2008)
Full-time or part-time status (include hours worked per week)
Please be aware that your answers will be verified against information provided on your resume. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all of the questions by addressing your work experience in detail.
Recommended: Even though we do not require a specific resume format, your resume must be clear so that we are able to fully evaluate your qualifications. To ensure you receive appropriate consideration, please list the duties you performed under each individual job title. If we are unable to match your experiences with the positions held, you may lose consideration for this vacancy. We cannot make assumptions regarding your qualifications.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
Trust determination process
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
- Professional Certification
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: http: www.va.gov/vaforms/search_action.asp?FormNo=2850&tkey=&Action=Search .
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.
- Cover Letter
- Performance Appraisal
- Professional Certification
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http: www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx .