About the Coder Coach

Kristi Pollard (Stanton), RHIT, CCS, CPC, CIRCC

Welcome to my blog! My name is Kristi and I am the Coder Coach!  Want to know more?  Here's a little background on me.

Who are you?
That is a very deep question!  In this context, I guess I would have to say that I am a self-confessed super-coder-geek who has been in the coding profession since 1995. 

Why did you become the Coder Coach?
I love coding and want to share it with the world!  In this day and age, it's very hard to get hired as a coder.  There are a lot of people who want to take your money and tell you your coding dreams will come true overnight.  I'm here to tell you it will take work and dedication and a little know-how beyond classroom learning.  I hope to give you that extra edge over all the other applicants. I had amazing mentors as I got started on my career and now I hope to pay a little of that forward!  This blog is a 100% voluntary effort.

What's your day job?
I am a Senior Consultant for Haugen Consulting Group where I develop and teach coding curriculum and conduct coding audits.  On a day to day basis I'm either neck deep in records to code, hammering away at the keyboard writing material, or standing in front of a group with my unique blend of coder humor and knowledge (which has earned me the title of Super Coder Geek!).

What's your education?
I graduated from Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado with an associate's degree in health information technology and received my RHIT through AHIMA soon after.  I am also a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) through AHIMA and a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) through the AAPC.  After more than 10 years learning and teaching vascular interventional radiology and interventional cardiology, I added the Certified Interventional Radiology Cardiology Coder (CIRCC) credential to my name in 2013.  In 2009 I became an AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS Trainer.

What's your experience?
I’ve worked most of my career as a hospital coding and revenue cycle consultant. I specialize in hospital inpatient and outpatient coding and reimbursement education. I've been a hospital inpatient/outpatient coder, coding supervisor, interim manager, project manager, auditor, and educator.  My specific areas of interest and expertise are ICD-10-CM/PCS coding as well as CPT coding for vascular interventional radiology and interventional cardiology.

Where do you work?
The good news: I have a laptop and can work anywhere.  The bad news: I have a laptop and can work anywhere!  I have worked in various environments including hospitals, physician offices, hotels, Starbucks, airports, and my home.  As long as I have an internet connection, I am pretty much good to go!  The bigger bad news, though, is that I rarely get a snow day because the commute doesn't require going outside!

How else do you give back?
Succeeding in coding means getting involved.  I am a former co-chair of Colorado's ICD-10 Task Force through the Colorado Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) and a former CHIMA board member.  In the past, I served as president of and held other offices for the Northern Colorado Health Information Management Association (NCHIMA).

Talk much?
All the time!  I am a frequent guest speaker and have presented for a wide range of audiences including coders, clinical staff, charge posters, physicians, and billers.  I have been a conference speaker and audio seminar presenter for organizations such as AHIMA, HFMA, AAPC, AAHAM, CHIMA, NCHIMA, AAMAS, and HCPro.  I've also been a guest speaker on Talk Ten Tuesday.

What about street cred?
In addition to my certifications, I am the proud recipient of the AHIMA Triumph Award for Mentoring in 2011 and two awards from CHIMA: Distinguished Member in 2018 and Outstanding Volunteer  in 2013.  

Where can I hear you speak?
You can listen to my voice nearly every month as I present webinars for Haugen Consulting Group.  Check out our Marketplace here for pricing and registration information.

If you want to learn more about how I became the Coder Coach, take a listen to the coding-centric podcast, Not Elsewhere Classified, where I was interviewed by Medical Coding Geek in a segment called Talking with Your Younger Self.

How can I reach you?
You can email me at codercoach@gmail.com.  Please note that I am not always able to respond to every email in a timely manner.