Coding, Classification & Reimbursement

Flex Scheduling for Coding Staff

  • 1.  Flex Scheduling for Coding Staff

    Posted 05-02-2019 11:03
    Hello,
      Lets talk flex scheduling for remote coding staff. I'm curious what others are doing. I've gathered some feedback from peer facilities within my region but nationally, where do we stand on this? I have a feeling I'll get a number of responses with varying specifics as to the flex schedule details but that we generally allow remote flexible scheduling. I'm a proponent of flexible scheduling for various reasons to include increase productivity, workload coverage and staff satisfaction / retention.

      With that said, I'd like to gather what "flex" looks like at other places.

      To start, here's a few questions to drive the dialogue:
    1. Do you have a set "core" hours or department hours that you staff coding availability to?
    2. Do you allow flexible scheduling?
    3. If so do you require them to set a start time?
    4. If they want to deviate from that start time, do you consider that flex time and if so, do you allow them to make up those hours?
    5. Do you have a cap (# of hours, # of days, # of times per pay period) on flex time? 
    6. Do you allow the staff to flex intermittently during the day (come and go for various reasons such as appointments, errands, kids school pick up, etc.) or only on the start time (flex before your scheduled start time to accommodate a leave early, for instance)?
    7. What are your coding hours (24 hours shop, 8 hr shop, etc.)? 

      Thank you for your willingness to network and share!
    Shawn


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    Shawn Armbruster, RHIA
    Director, Coding & CDI
    Hurley Medical Center
    MHIMA President
    sarmbru1@hurleymc.com
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  • 2.  RE: Flex Scheduling for Coding Staff

    Posted 05-03-2019 12:29
    ​At our facility, almost all of our facility coders work remotely.  They all have an approved schedule the same as they would have if they were on site, but it varies dependent on the person and what "fits" for them.  For instance, some work 6-2:30, some work 6:30-3, etc.  If they wish to deviate from their assigned schedule, they request the change to "flex" at least 48 hours in advance (if possible).  They are all expected to log in and out on time (and that is monitored).  We do not allow anyone to flex or make up time in any increments shorter than 2 hour sessions.  Additionally our staff may work through lunch in an effort to leave 30 minutes early for the day if they have an apt, etc., but that must be approved ahead of time and is only approved on an as-needed basis and not as a means to regularly shorten their work day.

    I hope you find this helpful.

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    Leticia Brown
    Manager, His Clinical Coding
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  • 3.  RE: Flex Scheduling for Coding Staff

    Posted 05-03-2019 15:50
    ​Hi Shawn,
    I have added my comments next to each of your questions. I will add that most of my coders stick to a regular schedule for the most part. They love the ability to clock out and do whatever they need/want to during the day. I tell them that as long as they work a 40 hour week for me and hit production, they can work when they want. The only caveats are they must be available for meetings and email me when they are using flex-time so I don't 'go looking for them'. They are also not allowed to work after 10p due to time-card issues with our particular program.
    1. Do you have a set "core" hours or department hours that you staff coding availability to? No
    2. Do you allow flexible scheduling? Yes
    3. If so do you require them to set a start time? No
    4. If they want to deviate from that start time, do you consider that flex time and if so, do you allow them to make up those hours? Yes and yes
    5. Do you have a cap (# of hours, # of days, # of times per pay period) on flex time? I review those 'case-by-case'
    6. Do you allow the staff to flex intermittently during the day (come and go for various reasons such as appointments, errands, kids school pick up, etc.) or only on the start time (flex before your scheduled start time to accommodate a leave early, for instance)? I allow mine intermittently
    7. What are your coding hours (24 hours shop, 8 hr shop, etc.)? We are 8 hour days.

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    Sara Bartlett
    Manager, ER-PLP/DRG/CCR Medical Coding
    MHSA,CCS,CCS-P
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  • 4.  RE: Flex Scheduling for Coding Staff

    Posted 05-24-2019 15:19
    We do have flex scheduling as long as they get their 40 hours in.  We do ask that they notify when on as a communication tool.

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    Kimberle Johnson
    [Director HIM/Privacy and Compliance Officer]
    Campbell County Health
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  • 5.  RE: Flex Scheduling for Coding Staff

    Posted 05-31-2019 12:10
    The facility that I work for allows all of their coders, whether on-site or remote, to work a flex-schedule. We agree to a set of core hours with our supervisor, for example 7-3:30 M-F, but we can flex without having to get approval 2 hours in either direction. If it's anything over 2 hours we have to have it approved through our supervisor. For example, my core hours are 7-3:30, but I can work 8 hours anywhere between 5:00 am and 5:30 pm. So if I have a scheduling conflict and can't come in until 9:00 am I know that I will be working until 5:30 that day. I love the flexibility that it offers. Right now I'm on-site and it's nice to be able to miss rush hour traffic by coming in early and leaving early.

    Kim Campbell, RHIT
    Ambulatory Coder

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    Kimberly Campbell
    Certified Outpatient Coder
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  • 6.  RE: Flex Scheduling for Coding Staff

    Posted 06-01-2019 15:08
    Our facility does the same.  A core shift (i.e. 7 to 3:30) and a set of 4 core hours (i.e. 10-2), with the ability to flex 1 1/2 hrs, either way before or after, around the core shift start time.  Prior approval only needed if core hours are going to be affected or if working less than your full number of core shift hours.