In recognition of Case Management Week, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the case managers I work with in my three Kindred Hospitals – Town and Country, Tomball and Central Ohio. I’m a medical records coder working from home, and case managers are integral to the job I do each day, and I couldn’t do it as well without them. They are my eyes and ears at my hospitals.

 Erica Graziosi, Medical Records Coder Erica Graziosi, Medical Records Coder

As a coder, I’m responsible for assigning codes to our patients’ diagnoses and procedures, for reimbursement and disease tracking purposes. As all Kindred Hospital coding specialists do, I work from my home.  I make a Starbucks run each day – can’t get through without it – but aside from that little jaunt, I’m holed up in my home office with my fur babies, coding full time for two Houston hospitals and one in Ohio. I love my job, and part of what makes it so enjoyable is the strong working relationships I have with the case managers at my hospitals.

I have weekly calls with them, and by the time they get on the phone with me, they have been through an interdisciplinary team meeting so they know our patients backwards and forwards. They help me feel as though I know the patients, even though I am thousands of miles away from them. Why is this such a huge help? Well, if I know a patient’s history, experience and what may be on the horizon for them treatment-wise, I am able to anticipate what might be coming. So when I get the documents I need to code, I am tuned into whatever that patient might be going through. I might be expecting a certain procedure, eliminating surprise or confusion when I see it. It’s kind of like driving a route you know well, rather than relying on GPS and wondering, at every turn, if you’re going the right way.

My case managers are not just a voice on the other end of the line. We are a team, and we know each other, even on a personal level. I recently celebrated my sixteenth wedding anniversary with my husband taking me on a surprise trip. I had no idea where I was going; just that I had to wear sneakers and not my usual flip flops. My team knew all about it and was just as excited as I was for the big reveal.

Happy Case Management Week to the case managers at Kindred Hospitals Town and Country, Tomball and Central Ohio, and to all the case managers out there. You are appreciated!

Erica Graziosi, Medical Records Coder