A recent survey focusing on the revenue cycle's health information management (HIM) department found that organizations are working on building HIM departments back up after deep cuts to staffing.
Workforce shortages have been a major challenge for revenue cycle leaders as most are in serious need of staffing. More than 57% of health systems and hospitals have more than 100 open roles to fill, with one in four finance leaders needing to hire more than 20-plus employees to fully staff their revenue cycle departments.
As revenue cycle leaders look to remedy staffing shortages within their HIM department, now is the time to examine the department's innerworkings in order to stay competitive within the market.
HIM staffing has rebounded over 2021's low, indicating that organizations are working on building HIM departments back up after the combined hits of deep cuts to staffing and hours and the great resignation, according to respondents of HIM Briefings' recently published HIM Director and Manager Salary Survey.
According to the survey, 15% of respondents lead departments with more than 150 full-time employees (FTE), compared to just 6% in 2021. That puts 2022 back on par with 2020, when 14% reported their HIM departments had 150 or more FTEs, according to HIM Briefings.
To put the survey results in context, respondents were asked about their job titles and facilities. Just under half (43%) of respondents indicated they're an HIM director or manager. Slightly more than one-quarter (28%) reported they hold a coding manager or director title.
Of those who hold an HIM director or manager title, 50% are an HIM director at a single facility.
Overall, 38% of respondents are employed by an acute care hospital. Of respondents from acute care facilities, 33% indicated their facility has 600 or more beds, and 38% reported their facility is located in a suburban area.
The 2022 survey also found that HIM director salaries saw gains over the last year, even as hospitals continued to face tighter budgets and fluctuations in patient volumes due to COVID-19.
In 2022, 87% of HIM directors and managers earn at least $70,000 annually, 80% earn at least $80,000 annually, and 52% earn at least $100,000 annually. That shows an overall pay bump compared to 2021, when 79% of HIM directors and managers earned at least $70,000 annually, 67% earned at least $80,000 annually, and 45% earned at least $100,000 annually.
Education and experience
Although many HIM directors have years of experience in the field, most are newer to their current role: 20% of respondents reported having 21-39 years of experience in the field and 24% have held their current position for three to five years.
According to the survey, 93% of respondents reported holding a post-secondary degree. In addition, 39% have earned a bachelor's degree, while 24% hold an associate degree and 24% have completed a master's degree.
According to the survey, respondents made the following amount according to education level:
- 46% earn $50,000–$79,999 annually
- 30% earn $80,000–$99,999 annually
- 23% earn $100,000 or more annually
- 14% earn $50,000–$79,999 annually
- 38% earn $80,000–$99,999 annually
- 48% earn $100,000 or more annually
- 8% earn $50,000–$79,999 annually
- 15% earn $80,000–$99,999 annually
- 77% earn $100,000 or more annually and 46% earn $150,000 or more annually
Amanda Norris is the Associate Content Manager of Finance, Payer, Revenue Cycle, and Strategy for HealthLeaders.