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Money Talks in 2023: CDI Compensation, Hiring Trends Spotlighted

Analysis  |  By Amanda Norris  
   March 07, 2023

A new survey shows that the CDI industry has made inroads toward the higher ends of compensation. See how your revenue cycle is stacking up.

Staying competitive in the market has been top priority for revenue cycle leaders as they work to navigate an ever-changing workforce landscape—and a new survey lets revenue cycle leaders in on compensation and hiring trends for CDI staff.  

Despite the continually tightening margins for healthcare organizations, no ground has been lost for clinical documentation integrity (CDI) staff compensation, according to the 2022 ACDIS CDI Salary Survey.

In fact, the survey results, which garnered responses from nearly 800 CDI professionals, show that the CDI industry has made marginal inroads toward the higher ends of compensation since it's 2021 survey.

According to ACDIS' 2022 survey, 14.84% of survey respondents reported making $90,000–$99,999 annually. Those in the highest earning brackets (earning $100,000 or more per year) rose more than 12 percentage points from 2021, making up 53.68% of all respondents in 2022. The percentage of those in the lowest salary bracket—$59,999 or less—was 2.50%, according to the survey. Mirroring last year’s results, most programs have up to five staff members at the facility level (35.51%), followed by those with six to 10 staff members (22.88%).

At the healthcare system level, the largest portion of respondents (25.52%) reported having more than 50 staff members across all sites, which is in line with the fact that many systems represented in this survey were on the larger side (3,000 or more beds), the ACDIS report said.

In 2022, 49.10% of all respondents said their program plans to hire in the next 12 months.

Of those who plan to hire in the next year, the vast majority (89.43%) said they plan to hire for CDI specialist positions, followed by 15.43% who will hire for second-level reviewer positions and 14.00% who will hire for CDI lead positions.

This is on trend with a separate survey of hospital and health system CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other executives that found that 53% of those surveyed expect at least a 10% staffing increase for IT/coding/rev cycle experts at their organization in 2023.

For programs trying to secure funding for additional CDI staffing, Anne Robertucci, vice president of clinical revenue cycle at Prisma Health in Greenville, South Carolina, told ACDIS that she suggests investigating reports that show the program’s performance in comparison to similar local organizations.

Whether a program looks at CC/MCC capture rate or quality measure performance, if its results are lower than similar institutions, that could be leaving money on the table—which is a compelling case for organizational leaders responsible for approving new positions. Use that comparison data to paint a picture of what the program could do with additional staffing resources, Robertucci suggested in the report.

“I think it's about data. Compare yourself to other like facilities. [Vendors] love to compare you to other organizations. Go out and look at MedPAR data. If you're not at the 75th percentile, that's money lost and money to be gained. Tell a story comparing of how you look to others. Your quality data tells a story, and there are soft dollars behind that as well,” she says. “Money talks, and I think this is one area where it's so easy to build a business case to support adding staff.”

“Money talks, and I think this is one area where it's so easy to build a business case to support adding staff.”

Amanda Norris is the Director of Content for HealthLeaders.


53.68% of respondents report earning $100,000 or more per year.

49.10% of all respondents said their program plans to hire in the next 12 months.

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