Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Medical Records Technician (Coder) in San Antonio, Texas

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
6 vacancies in the following location:
  • San Antonio, TX
Work Schedule is Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Tuesday 10/11/2016 (10 day(s) ago)

** Closes Monday 3/13/2017 (143 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN) 1821189

OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.

The South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) is comprised of two inpatient campuses: the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital in San Antonio and the Kerrville VA Hospital in Kerrville, Texas. The STVHCS serves one of the largest primary service areas in the nation, with 63 counties, and is part of the VA Heart of Texas Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 17), with offices located in Arlington, Texas. Providing a service to Veterans with a working staff of more than 3,100 employees, South Texas provides health care services for 93,000 Veterans. The STVHCS is a facility providing primary, secondary and tertiary health care in medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and rehabilitation medicine. It also supports a 90 bed Extended Care Therapy Center, a 30-bed Spinal Cord Injury Center, an eight-bed Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, and a Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center. Affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the system has an active ambulatory care program with numerous satellite outpatient clinics. As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities and leadership positions at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the Nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.


NOTE: The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-08. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-04 to GS-08. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

The Medical Record Technician/Coder is a staff position located under the Health Information Management Section of the Medical Administration Service, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, Texas. This position is responsible for maintaining the quality of patient records, assigning of appropriate International Classification of Diseases Clinical Modification (ICD), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes, and various other duties as assigned. 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.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.* *

Work Schedule:* Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm*Functional Statement Title/#: Medical Records Technician (Coder)**

This announcement will stay open until position has been filled.

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.

Basic Requirements:

  • * *U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

  • English Language Proficiency: Medical Records Technician (Coder) must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).

b.* Experience and Education*

(1) Experience. One year of experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology and general understanding of the health record. Six months of the required one year of experience must have provided the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) needed to perform MRT work.


(2) Education.Two years above high school with a minimum of 12 semester hours directly related to MRT work (e.g., courses in medical terminology, anatomy & physiology, and introduction to health records).


(3) Experience/Education Combination.Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. The following educational/training substitutions are appropriate for combining education and experience:

(a) Six months of experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology and general understanding of the health record and one year above high school with a minimum of 6 semester hours of health information technology courses.

(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 six months of experience provided the training program included courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical record techniques and procedures. Also requires six additional months of experience that indicates knowledge of medical terminology and general understanding of the health record.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Grade Determinations:

Creditable Experience

(1)* Knowledge of Current Medical Record Technology.*To be creditable, the candidate’s experience must have demonstrated the use of knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with current health information or health record technology and/or cancer registry practice and may be paid or non-paid employment.

(2)* Quality of Experience.*Experience is only creditable if it is either directly related to the position to be filled or in a related field. Qualifying experience must also be equivalent to the next lower grade level. Experience satisfying this requirement must be active practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a MRT in the parenthetical title as described in subparagraph 3b(2) below.

(3)* Part-Time Experience.*Part-time experience as a professional MRT is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a MRT would receive 1 week of full-time credit for each 2 weeks of half-time work.

1) GS-4 MRT (Coder) - Entry Level

(a) Experience or Education.None beyond basic requirements.

(b) Assignment.Employees at this level serve as entry level MRT coders and receive close supervision from more experienced MRT Coders.

(2) GS-5 MRT (Coder) Developmental Level 1

(a) Experience.One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level or successful completion of four years of education above high school from an accredited college or university with a minimum of 24 semester hours in health information technology.

(b) Demonstrated KSAs.In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

  1. Ability to utilize health information technology and various office software products utilized in MRT coder positions (e.g., the electronic health record, coding and abstracting software, etc.);

  2. Knowledge of the Joint Commission requirements, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and/or health record documentation guidelines; and

  3. Ability to manage priorities and coordinate work in order to complete duties within required timeframes and ability to follow-up on pending issues.

(3) GS-6 MRT (Coder) Developmental Level 2

(a) Experience.One year of experience equivalent to the next lower level.

(b) Demonstrated KSAs.In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

  1. Ability to navigate through health records to find needed information;

  2. 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;

  3. Ability to apply laws and regulations on the confidentiality of health information (e.g., Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)); and

  4. Comprehensive knowledge of classification systems, such as current versions of International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Current Procedural Technology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), and skill in applying said classifications based on health record documentation.

(4) GS-7 MRT (Coder) Developmental Level 3 (a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level

(b) Demonstrated KSAs. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Skill in applying current coding classifications to a variety of specialty care areas to accurately reflect service and care provided based on documentation in the health record; 2. Ability to communicate with clinical staff for specific coding and documentation issues such as recording inpatient and/or outpatient diagnoses and procedures, the correct sequencing of diagnoses and/or procedures, and the relationship between health care documentation and code assignment; 3. Ability to research and solve coding and documentation related issues; and 4. Skill in reviewing and correcting system or processing errors and ensuring all assigned work is complete.

(5) GS-8 MRT (Coder) Full Performance Level (a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. (b) Demonstrated KSAs. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 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. Ability to accurately perform the full scope of outpatient coding, including ambulatory surgical cases, diagnostic studies and procedures, and outpatient encounters, and/or inpatient coding, including inpatient discharges, surgical cases, diagnostic studies and procedures, and inpatient professional fees; and 3. Skill in interpreting and adapting health information guidelines and ability to use judgment in completing assignments using incomplete or inadequate guidelines.

References: VA Handbook 5005/79 Part II, Appendix G35 reference and VA Qualification Standard GS-675 This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: 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.

Physical Requirements: This position requires Light carrying (under 15 pounds), use of fingers, use of computer screen, ability to distinguish basic colors, hearing (aid permitted),

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on “Application Status.” For a more detailed update of your status, click on “more information.” Information regarding applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides is an overview of the benefits currently offered:**

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave:** Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee.

Other Information

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

Salary Range: $28,886.00 to $57,631.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0675-04/08

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 452873800

Job Announcement Number: VHA-671-17-KAA-1821189-BU