Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified candidates in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)
b. Experience and Education
(1) Experience. Two years of experience that demonstrates the applicants ability to perform the work, or provides 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.
(2) Education. Successful completion of an associates degree with a major field of study in medical record technology/health information technology which was accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) at the time the program was completed.
(3) Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. The following educational/training substitutions are appropriate in this provision for combining education and experience:
(a) Successful completion of an associates 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 specialists, 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 courses 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.
(a) Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower level and must fully meet the KSAs at that level. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
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. If assigned to medical record analysis, ability to judge whether medical records contain sufficient information for regulatory requirements; are acceptable as legal documents; are adequate for continuity of patient care; and support education and research needs. This includes the ability to take appropriate actions if medical record contents are not adequate; accurate, timely, and/or reliable;
5. 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);
6. If assigned to a tumor registry position, ability to apply guidelines and standards for the maintenance of an approved tumor registry; and
7. If assigned to a medical coding position, 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.
(a) Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level and must fully meet the KSAs at that level including those for tumor registry or coder assignments if applicable. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
(b) Assignments. Employees at this level will be assigned to a specific area of medical record/health information (tumor registry, medical coding, or medical records). They may be in lead or supervisory positions, as appropriate to the assignment. Core competencies are described for each type of assignment as follows.
2. Medical Record Technician Coding Positions. Medical coding assignments at this grade level represent the advanced developmental level leading to the full performance level. It is expected that the medical coder will do more than validate code assignments made by clinical staff, but will have the skill to make independent judgment in selection of codes based on medical documentation and personal coding knowledge and skill. Reviewing codes selected by physicians/ health care providers or reviewing entries on an encounter form or superbill is not considered comprehensive coding and, without the demonstration of additional skills, is not acceptable to achieve this level. Since coding rules are specific to individual classification systems, knowledge of coding systems other than the one utilized in the position for which the individual is being boarded does not automatically meet the requirements of the position. Generally, to receive credit for experience, the coder should have performed the type of coding specified as a significant portion of duties on a regular and recurring basis, and provide evidence of the core competencies identified.
a. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
(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 on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) as well as Medicare/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and/or VHA medical record documentation requirements;
(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,
(a) Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level for the appropriate assignment area and must fully meet the KSAs at that level.
(b) Assignments. Employees at this grade level will be assigned to a specific area of medical record/health information, e.g., tumor registry, medical coding, or medical records. They may be in lead or supervisory positions, as appropriate to the assignment. Core competencies for the different assignments are listed with the assignment.
2. Medical Record Technician (Medical Coder) Positions. This is considered to be the full performance level for this assignment. Certification at this grade level is highly desired. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
a. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
(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.
VA Handbook 5005/23, Part II, Appendix G35, Medical Records Technician QUALIFICATION STANDARD, and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at VA Handbook 5005 at http://www.va.gov/ohrm/joblistings/VAQualStds.doc
Physical Requirements: The work frequently requires lifting, carrying, filing, and handling of medical records, forms and supplies. Requires sitting, standing, bending and traveling to a variety of locations within the medical center. Requires daily extended use of computer terminal for processing all phases of daily work.
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: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html 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.
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 http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
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.