Over the last week, the industry survey originally reported on in our posting The COVID-19 Impact on Coding Professionals’ Jobs has received an additional 98 responses. This brings the total responses collected regarding the key question “How has your job been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?” to 259.

 

Of the responses, the makeup of survey participants includes the following role specific participant breakdown:

  • 79 Profee Coders
  • 73 Outpatient Coders
  • 45 Inpatient Coders
  • 29 Auditors
  • 19 Emergency Department Coders
  • 14 Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists

 

The survey respondents reported the following organization types where their job was located:

  • 131 from Hospitals / Health Systems
  • 71 from Outsourced Services Companies
  • 38 from Physician Offices
  • 19 from other categories

 

Survey Result Findings

 

Across all survey respondents, the impact of COVID-19 on Coding and Clinical Documentation Improvement professionals’ jobs included:

  • 95% reporting no impact
  • 10% reporting being placed on leave or having their job eliminated
  • 17% reporting having hours cut to part-time
  • 79% reporting moving to mandatory or optional overtime

 

Delving deeper into the responses, each job role group had varying impacts reported.

 

Clinical Documentation Improvement

Original survey findings did not have enough CDI responses to necessitate including findings in the report. However, while only 14 responses were collected in the second round of the survey, results are worth providing. Within CDI, respondents reported 64.29% feeling no impact. 21.43% reported experiencing job loss or a temporary leave.

 

Outpatient Coders

Across the job role groups, Outpatient Coders reported the highest percentage impacted with a job elimination or placement on temporary leave. 42.47% reported this impact, 17% higher than any other job role participating in the survey. As would be expected, this same group had the lowest reporting of no impact with only 32.88% reporting they have not felt an impact from COVID-19.

Compared to originally reported survey findings, this is a decrease from the original report showing 50% of Outpatient Coders losing their job or being placed on leave.

 

Inpatient Coders

Inpatient Coder responses doubled from the original survey findings reported on April 2nd. However, the impact reported only saw slight shifts in findings of overall impact. 51.11% felt no impact from COVID-19 (up 1.11%). Those asked to take mandatory or optional overtime did drop from original reports. Final survey findings reported a total of 15.56% reporting overtime as their impact. This is down from an original reporting of 22.73%.

 

Profee and ED Coders

In the combined group of Profee and ED Coders, there was a slight shift in findings with a small drop in those moving to part-time and an increase in those who had jobs eliminated or placed on leave. Those reporting being cut to part-time dropped by 2.66% while those who lost a job or have been placed on leave increased 4.49%. Regardless of this shift, Profee and ED Coders still represented the largest group placed on part-time hours with 31.63% (more than 7% higher than any other group).

 

Following the Impact

Recent reports from Becker’s Healthcare show furloughing of hospital workers as a result of suspending non-emergent procedures. Modern Healthcare has also reported on the 42,500 job losses in March related to COVID-19 with data pointing to outpatient care feeling the largest impact.

With peak resource use tracking for the coming week per IHME COVID-19 Projections, we hope to see many of those impacted negatively coming back to full-time operations in our industry.

In the coming weeks, the TrustHCS team will reach out to the 259 survey participants to inquire if the impact on their job has changed. Watch for more updates from TrustHCS on this topic.