If you work in house or remotely in an hourly or salaried capacity this is a little easier to do. If you work remotely in the pay-per-chart area of medical coding this can be by far the most rewarding as far as compensation. On the other hand though, without a plan of action in place pay-per-chart can pay next to nothing for many. Among coders doing the exact same work with the exact same pay rate per chart you often see very wide fluctuations in the amount of money these coders are averaging per hour. This article is applicable however you’re compensated as a medical coder because we all want to be productive and contribute, but it’s especially key if you are a pay-per-chart or pay-per-diem coders.
Although you may not be held to that strict 8:00-4:00 or 9:00-5:00 job it is best to develop some kind of schedule yourself. If you don’t have a schedule, life will always get in the way. Things come up that’s the way it is sticking as closely as we can to a schedule rather than simply “going with the flow” will help us to truly evaluate what is important and need taken care of now and what can wait. If you happen to work in house then that’s great your schedule is already set in place. If not, even better! Because this means that you can make your schedule whatever you want. I know some that try to stick as close to the standard 9:00-5:00 as I can. Some I know will work one day, literally all day long 8:00 am to 12:00 pm then work four hour days the rest of the week. I know others who like to work late at night to the wee hours of the morning! It doesn’t matter what schedule you pick as long as you pick something and strive to stick with it.
What if you’re not paid by the hour though what if you’re paid per chart? You can stick to a certain number of hours per day. But when you’re pay-per-chart distractions are especially costly because unlike an hourly or salary position you are only making money while you’re working. This mean when you’re getting that cup of coffee you’re not making money, when you’re answering the door you’re losing money, and when you take that phone call you’re losing money. That is why when you’re a medical coder in this capacity it takes even more diligence. I have found along with a scheduled allotment of hours you plan to work that day it is a great idea to set daily minimums for yourself. For instance you plan to work 8:00-4:00 today. You have set for yourself a goal to make at least 200 dollars per day and your make 1 dollar per chart. Which mean you need to do at least 200 charts per day. Some family unexpectedly stopped by and invited you to lunch. It was a long lunch and so by 4:00 you have only made 145 dollars. You could choose to end for the day but if you make a habit of this it will cost you significant amount of money over time. However by sticking to these “daily minimums” you will keep your pay checks healthy and reap the rewards! The neat things about this is say you had an especially productive day and that did 200 charts by 2:00. Well now you have a great dilemma you could choose to end early knowing you put in the hard work for the day. Or you could choose to work a little longer and make some extra money!
Medical coding is especially rewarding to those willing to go the extra mile. Do this from day one and you will quickly find the success you’re looking for!