Week 3 – Discussion 2

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Reference the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Ethical Challenges and Dilemmas

This discussion has two options.  Please choose either Option A or Option B to respond to and indicate within your post which you chose.  For both options, please use the AHIMA Code of Ethics as a reference (see Fig. 6.2 in Chapter 6).

Option A: Imagine you are a supervisor in the Health Information Services Department of a facility with a policy prohibiting secondary employment with a competitor.  One of the employees you supervise is a coder who has just begun the process of repaying student loan debt.  The coder has decided that she needs a second job to help defray expenses.  She has been offered a position as a coder for one eight-hour shift per weekend at a doctor’s office.  This doctor is a member of your facility’s medical staff.  Because you addressed the issue of secondary employment in the coder’s entrance interview, she comes to you now seeking advice. (Case Study, p. 126)

As the direct supervisor, how should you respond to this employee?  What legal issues are present in this case?
What ethical considerations should you take into account before providing guidance to this employee?  Please thoroughly explain your rationale.

Option B: Pretend you are a new manager in a health care facility, you have recently completed an ethics training for your company.  You are now expected to communicate this information to your staff to ensure that they are aware of the current ethical issues facing the facility.  Your supervisor has requested that you cover the following:
Discuss the primary ethical challenges in the health care field.  How do we address generalized challenges, the role of ethics in supervision, health care challenges, and health information management challenges?  What are the reasons for these challenges, and how can they be resolved?

Guided Response (for Option A and Option B): Review several of your classmates’ posts.  Provide a substantive response to at least two of your peers, one who selected Option A and one who selected Option B.  Consider the extent to which the Code of Ethics guides our actions in health information management.  Did your classmate adequately address the ethical challenges in their response?  Describe 1-2 strengths and weaknesses of their response.  Would you suggest anything different?  Why?  After reading their post, would you change anything about your initial response?

Expert Solution Preview

As a medical professor in charge of creating college assignments and answers for medical college students, ethical issues and dilemmas are essential topics to discuss and understand. In this response, we will be answering Option A provided in Week 3 – Discussion 2, using the AHIMA Code of Ethics as a reference.

As the direct supervisor of the coder in question, it is crucial to first revisit the facility’s policy on secondary employment with a competitor. If it is explicitly stated in the policy, then the coder cannot take the job offer without the potential risk of consequences, including termination. If the policy is not clear, it is necessary to speak with higher management to make a final decision.

Legal issues involved in this case include the possibility of violating non-compete clauses in the coder’s work contract and the facility’s policy. Additionally, information confidentiality may also be a concern if the new job involves coding for patients in the same facility.

When providing guidance to the employee, ethical considerations should be taken into account, including the principle of honesty, obligation to the employer, and professional integrity. It is necessary to provide honest and accurate advice and avoid any conflict of interest. If the policy prohibits secondary employment with a competitor, it is the duty of the supervisor to convey this information.

In conclusion, as a supervisor, it is essential to adhere to the facility’s policies and the AHIMA Code of Ethics when addressing secondary employment issues with employees. Ethical considerations should guide decisions and ensure that obligations to the employer are met while maintaining professional integrity.

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