Behind every world-renowned patient treatment, surgery and procedure is a multi-campus team of almost 250 health information management (HIM) professionals. Following a two-pronged approach, our experts navigate medical records to seek reimbursement. We also document and code every patient case in the hospital.
HIM professionals follow two main tracks.
Operations: We are the behind-the-scenes gurus navigating medical records and ensuring that the hospital receives fair reimbursement for every clinical treatment.
Coding: We are the code-finders, gathering evidence and connecting the dots. We match medical diagnoses like a Da Vinci Code puzzle. The goal is to review, reflect and record the clinical work with the appropriate code.
A lot of people think that HIM is ALL about coding, but HIM enfolds so much more. In the Operations group, we’re proven experts. We navigate the world of medical records. Behind the scenes, we’re drafting bills and ensuring fair reimbursement for the hospital.
Our teams have the opportunity to interact with colleagues at all levels. For our efforts, one team recently received the Patient Centered Care Team Award for training staff on how to properly release information. We’re also widely recognized experts in HIM nationwide. For example, in 2009, Deborah Fernandez of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell presented on a national level to AHIMA (the American Health Information Management Association).
The transition to EMR is dramatically affecting our field, and HIM Operations has been on the forefront our hospital-wide push. We even team with our colleagues in IT to provide patient records through MyNYP.org. In such a new arena, flexibility and continuous learning is a must. We’re recognized hospital-wide for our efforts to streamline and meet our hospital strategy of going paperless.
Welcome to the ultimate medical coding environment: working with the highest risk, highest complexity cases. In some instances, you’re coding for diagnoses that have no precedent. The risk is sometimes so high, only our clinicians are qualified to handle patient treatment. In other words, these are codes you may not see anywhere else.
Our professional possibilities have been dramatically enhanced by EMR. Due to the most complex case mixes, we seek only the most experienced coders. Our high level of specialization is also unique to our level of excellence. It’s simply impossible to know every specialty we code for currently—and that number is growing as we speak.
The average number of diagnoses can range from 14-25 per patient case. We take on the challenge of identifying and quantifying complex procedures every day, including innovative transplants, stroke surgeries, lap-banding and more. We also solve coding quandaries for the cases that make news, such as our now-famous 4-way kidney transplant.
Prerequisites for HIM
Minimum Bachelor’s degree in related sciences
Two years previous healthcare experience in Health Information Management
High School Diploma
Proficient in Microsoft Office and related programs
Experience and proficiency with medical terminology
Awards and Recognition
We ranked among the Top 20 best coding institutions in the 2008 Ingenix “Top 200 Major Teaching Hospitals.” We are also highly active in professional organizations nationally and locally. We work with the University Hospital Consortium (UHC) on the steering committee. Our high status in severity coding means that many hospitals seek us out to advise and report. We are connected on the leadership level to the local HIMMES New York. One of our managers is even the president of the local chapter.
Other Unique Factors:
Our careers are defined by intensive and evolving collaboration. As our work involves no patient contact, internal communication is vital to every success. Every day involves teamwork, and we have huge cheerleaders in hospital leadership. Together with the physicians and documentation improvement nurses, we assure medical records and medical codes attain the highest degree of specificity. This often requires the explanation of radical new procedures by their inventors: scientists and physicians. Our documentation improvement nurses also serve as great collaborators in diving deeper, answering questions and improving practices.
We conduct ongoing monthly inservices, hosting outside speakers and internal colleagues. Many colleagues also attend the Talent Development medical terminology class, among many other impressive Talent Development offerings. In addition, the hospital offers generous tuition reimbursement and an HIM Certification Program in Medical, Science, Coding and Billing. We provide many opportunities for online learning.
Our departments invite many of our “Rock Star” physicians like Dr. Tomoaki Kato and Dr. Richard A. Friedman, to teach about their latest treatments. Interaction is of critical importance, not only to us but to these world-ranked physicians. Our health information managers tread with these physicians on the forefront of their specialties, achieving the “never-been-seen.”
Doctors initially told Danion’s mother that there was no way to save him. But his mother pushed on and came to NYP, where they agreed to accept the case. His surgeon, Dr. Mark Souweidane says, “It was one of the largest tumors I’ve ever seen.”