This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Medical Records Technician (Coder) GS-675-00

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:HP-646-13-AS925895

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$35,582.00 to $56,925.00 / Per Year


Thursday, July 18, 2013 to Wednesday, August 07, 2013




Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent




3 vacancies in the following location:
Pittsburgh Metro Area, PA United States


All US Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 925895 




To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. 

How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?


  This vacancy is advertised at the range of grades covered by the VA qualifications standard. 


Note:  The incumbent will be assigned to the University Drive Division but may be required to perform duties at any of the three facilities (University Drive, Highland Drive, and H.J. Heinz) of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.


As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.


NOTE:  The full performance level of this vacancy is a GS-8.  The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of a GS-6 to GS-8.  The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed.  The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.  Salary Range-GS-6: 35,582-46,255; GS-7: 39,541-51,408; GS-8: 43,791-56,925

Who May Apply:  All US Citizens

Special Employment Consideration:  VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply




  • U. S. Citizenship
  • Must pass pre-employment physical
  • English Language Proficiency required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required


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Major Duties:  THIS IS NOT AN ENTRY LEVEL POSITION.  Medical Coders analyze and abstract medical record data and assign codes using clinical classification systems.  Medical coding requires independent judgment based on medical record documentation and personal coding knowledge and skill.  Performs quantitative/qualitative analysis of records to ensure all components of the records are present, accurate and comply with VA and the Joint Commission requirements.  Works closely with members of the health care team to perform the coding/QM activities with the highest possible degree of accuracy.  Records are reviewed thoroughly for documentation of final diagnosis and procedures, complications and co-morbid conditions, signatures and overall adequacy.  Ensures physician documentation supports the diagnoses and procedures coded.  Provides education through technical advice to the professional staff relative to the best method of recording diagnoses and operations in order to assure maximum reimbursement potential.  Codes diagnoses, operations and procedures (inpatient and outpatient), which requires the incumbent to be knowledgeable in a variety of coding systems.  Reviews and screens the entire medical record to abstract medical, surgical, laboratory, pharmaceutical, demographic, social and administrative data from the medical record in a timely manner.  Keeps abreast of regulatory changes.  Maintains knowledge of current information related to third party reimbursement regulations.  Maintains confidentiality of all records and documents regarding patients.   THIS IS A BARGAINING UNIT POSITION.

Tour of Duty:  8:00 AM-4:30 PM, Mon-Fri 

Telework:  Position is Not Eligible

Physical Requirement:  The work is primarily sedentary.  The employee sits comfortably to do the work.  However, there may be some walking, standing, or carrying of light items such as manuals and files. The work does not require special physical demands.



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  • U.S. citizenship.  
  • Experience and Education
  • Physical Requirements
  • English Proficiency



Certification is offered by AHIMA as a Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based (CCS-P), or Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) as a Certified Professional Coder Apprentice (CPC-A), Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Apprentice (CPC-H-A), Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Professional Coder-Hospital (CPC-H) and is Highly Desired. 



(1) Experience.  Two years of experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work, or provide familiarity with the work.  Six months of the required 2 years of experience must have provided the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAs) needed to perform MRT work; OR, (2) Education.  Successful completion of an associate's degree with a major field of study in medical records technology/health information technology which was accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) at the time the program was completed; OR, (3) Experience/Education Combination.  Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying.  The following education/training substitutions are appropriate in this provision for combining education and experience: 

(a) Successful completion of an associate's degree in a field of study other than medical records/health information will substitute for 18 months of the required experience.

(b) Successful completion of a course for medical technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialist, 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 1 year of experience.

(c) Successful completion of a post-high school course of study in medical record technology, which includes courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical record techniques and procedures, may substitute on a month-for-month basis for up to 1 year of experience.

(d) Successful completion of post-high school course for medical administrative personnel, obtained in a closely supervised training program given by the Armed Forces, may be substituted for experience on a month-for-month basis for up to 6 months provided the training program included courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical record techniques and procedures.


In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

GS-6: (a) Experience.  One year of experience comparable to the next lower level (GS-5) and must fully meet the following KSAs:  1) Ability to apply knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy/pathophysiology, and disease processes sufficient to appropriately file, locate, and disclose health information; 2) Ability to correctly apply a practical knowledge of laws and regulations related to the confidentiality of health information and the release of information from medical records; 3) Knowledge of the internal organization of medical records and medical record references and procedures as appropriate to the position; 4) Ability to use health information software appropriate to the position, such as the electronic patient record, record tracking systems, chart deficiency systems, coding and abstracting systems, release of information systems, document scanning technology, electronic spreadsheets, transcription systems, encoder products, electronic encounter forms, database software, etc. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Ability to apply knowledge of medical terminology, human anatomy/pathophysiology, and disease processes to fully understand the content of a patient record; 2. Ability to navigate efficiently through the paper and electronic medical record to find needed information; 3. Skill in interpreting and adapting health information guidelines that are not completely applicable to the work or have gaps in specificity and ability to use judgment in completing assignments with incomplete or inadequate guidelines; 4. Ability to apply laws and regulations on the confidentiality of health information (e.g., Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); 5. Comprehensive knowledge of classification systems, such as current versions of International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Current Procedural Technology (CPT), the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED) or Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), and skill in applying coding knowledge. 

GS-7: (a) Experience.  One year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level (GS-6) and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.  In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of classification systems, such as current versions of ICD, CPT, SNOMED or HCPCS, and skill in applying coding knowledge to a wide range of specialty areas; 2. Knowledge of Joint Commission (JC) as well as Medicare /Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and/or VHA medical record documentation.  3.  Ability to communicate with clinical staff on coding and documentation issues such as recording inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and procedures, the use of encounter forms, the correct sequencing of diagnoses/procedures, and/or the relationship between health care documentation and code assignment; 4. Ability to research and solve complex questions related to coding and documentation, such as adequate health information documentation, coding, billing, resident supervision, etc.; and 5. Skill in reviewing and correcting system or processing errors, reviewing transmission reports, and ensuring all assigned episodes are complete and accurate as appropriate to the duties assigned. 

GS-8: CERTIFICATION AT THIS GRADE LEVEL IS HIGHLY DESIRED.  (a) Experience.  One year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level  (GS-7) and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.  In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Ability to analyze the medical record to identify all pertinent diagnoses and procedures for coding, and to evaluate the adequacy of the documentation.  This includes the ability to read and understand the content of the medical record, the terminology, the significance of the comments, and the disease process/pathophysiology of the patient; 2. Skill in reviewing medical record documentation and assigning current versions of the classification systems required in the current position, such as ICD and CPT; and 3. Advanced knowledge of the full scope of coding and abstracting including inpatient discharges, surgical cases, diagnostic studies and procedures, outpatient encounters, and inpatient professional fees for a highly diversified range of specialties and subspecialties, such as orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiology, gastroenterology, plastic surgery, spinal cord injury, blind rehabilitation, anesthesia, acute and long term psychiatry including addiction treatment, hospice, ambulatory surgery, and other types of care.   



References : VA Handbook 5005 at 

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE:  Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.)  Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.  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.

Veterans' Preference:

When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference.  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit


Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.   You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life.  For more information please visit us at


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. 


Receiving Service Credit for 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 employees 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.


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To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 to receive consideration.
  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire 
  2. Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.
It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.  

To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application.  Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement.  You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.


You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. CV or Resume. Evidence of experience must be supported by detailed documentation of duties performed.  Information such as hours per week and starting/ending dates of employment (month and year) to establish year(s) of experience.
  2. VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at
  3. Responses to Occupational Questionnaire
  4. Include latest SF-50 - (see checklist)
  5. Transcripts (copy of transcripts if using education to meet basic requirements)
  6. Certification (if applicable)
  7. Veterans (see checklist)


Other documents - use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information. 


INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKAGES will receive a rating of IDMA (failed to submit required documents).  Requests for reconsideration of rating will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package.  We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, fax transmissions, delays in mail service, etc. 


Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

You are encouraged to apply online.  Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE:  If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

1. To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information.  The Vacancy ID is 925895.

2. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144. If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials. 

If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials.  The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Wednesday, August 07, 2013  to receive consideration.  Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire.
View Occupational QuestionnaireView Occupational Questionnaire
2. Print the 1203FX form (, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144.  Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


Arlene Schwemmer
Phone: (412)822-3502
Agency Information:
VHA Pittsburgh VAMC
Pittsburgh, PA


After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the requirements.  You will be notified when this decision is made.

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