Financial Benefit

Financial Benefit

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Well my friends, Friday has arrived, and we have reached the last, but certainly not the least, benefit of being a traveling Clinical Documentation Specialist. You read about professional growth opportunities yesterday and next to that benefit, the most often recognized benefit to traveling CDI is the financial benefit.

For any facility, the time and money spent in recruitment, the application and interview process, orientation and ramp-up is significant. The option to obtain excellent CDSs who have worked in CDI for several years, and who need little ramp-up time can be very appealing to any facility. The traveling or contract CDS can ‘hit the ground running’ after a brief orientation and the necessary introductions.

Compare that to the general consensus that it generally takes about one year for a new CDS to feel comfortable in the day-to-day job requirements, and ordinarily another year before they are viewed as an expert CDS. This is validated by the 2 year requirement of working in the CDI profession before attaining eligibility to sit for the CCDS (Certified Clinical Documentation Specialist) examination.

Some facilities may find that the money otherwise spent for the orientation and significant ramp-up time for a new CDS employee is a willing expenditure for the convenience of having an expert contract CDS working efficiently within a few weeks. Those who understand the tremendous ROI that a stable and mature CDI program brings to the quality metrics and bottom line don’t hesitate to utilize the expert contractors found in a top staffing company to accomplish their goals.

For the traveling CDS, the financial benefit is apparent in a great salary and benefit package. There’s no doubt the money is good, as it should be. I know traveling CDSs who have paid off their mortgage, are debt free, have their children’s secondary schooling paid for, and who have a healthy retirement portfolio, none of which would have been possible without traveling.

As we close another successful CDI Week, I will leave you with this thought – you may begin to travel as a CDS after identifying only one of these benefits as your goal; however, consider the other four as ‘bonuses,’ if you will, plus you will reap benefits far beyond the 5 benefits mentioned this week!

I want to end by letting you know is that I have worked for MedPartners, a top ranked staffing company, for almost 5 years, and traveled with them for 3 of those years. Because of my experience with traveling, I know without a doubt that considering traveling is a big step because I have been there, done that!

I want to share my email with you in case you have any questions about traveling CDI, or if something that you have read has piqued your interest and you would love to learn more. My mission is to set people up for success! Please don’t hesitate to contact me at



Karen Newhouser, RN, BSN, CCM, CCDS, CCS, CDIP
Director of Education, MedPartners


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