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Meet Shannon: Outpatient Auditor and Coder

Meet Shannon: Shannon’s professional background is primarily in teaching and auditing. For several years, she taught as an adjunct professor at a local community college while maintaining a full-time career as a consultant. Shannon holds a certified professional coder (CPC) credential and a specialty credential for orthopedic surgery (COSC). She has been an Oxford partner for over 10 years. Shannon enjoys working with Oxford because she knows “it is a company that appreciates their consultants. My Oxford team has always backed me up when I was in any tricky situations.”

description of Shannon's years with Oxford, most recent project, and advice to other consultantsShannon describes herself and her recruiter as “two peas in a pod. He always provides everything that I need or makes himself available to answer any questions I may have. If he doesn’t know the answer he will do everything he can to get it, and I love that about him. If I’m having difficulties with something, he goes above and beyond to help. I consider him a member of my family now.”

About her most recent project: Shannon began working with a university medical center when they were in the process of acquiring clinics and transitioning from only an inpatient facility to a complete healthcare system that included outpatient services to the community. However, they did not have an outpatient auditor at the time. Additionally, the manager with whom Shannon was working was in need of someone with experience to complete the sheer volume of the audit work as their staff of outpatient coder team grew. While previous consultants had been placed to assist with establishing outpatient coding procedures, they had been unsuccessful. Shannon was able to leverage her experience to audit all outpatient coding and relieve the manager so that he could focus on managing his team.

The organization had several coders on staff who had undergone numerous management transitions, so Shannon’s challenge was to earn the trust of these individuals and institute best practices. Shannon found that the team was very open to feedback, allowing her to show them the true value of outpatient coding. Since Shannon’s arrival, the coders’ accuracy has improved to 95 percent and above, and they are effectively utilizing the tools available to them.

While on her assignment, Shannon found a bug in the software that was leading the coders to make mistakes impacting the organization’s revenue. Shannon reached out to the software company requesting an update. Once the software was updated, Shannon was able to effectively educate the coders and improve the accuracy of their outpatient coding even further thanks to the new software change she had facilitated.  

Shannon’s advice to other consultants is to “keep growing and learning. If you are unable to find something to learn about on a daily basis, it will certainly hold you back in your career. [Healthcare] is growing and we have to grow with it. Be able to adapt, educate, and keep up with the changes. Never be afraid to ask questions.”

Shannon continues to make a difference each day in her role with the university medical center. She harnesses her proficiency in teaching and auditing to ensure the individuals she works with develop new skills and can advance their careers. With her mentorship, her team is sure to accomplish the same level of success that she has accomplished as an Oxford consultant.

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