Equal pay for equal work - CDIS RN vs. CDIS Coder

Our CDI team is made up of 6 RNs and 1 Coder (who has CDIP certification) Since they are doing the same work, I am trying to make a case for equal pay for the Coder or to at least narrow the pay gap considerably for both retention and recruitment purposes. My coder reports that "head hunters" are telling her that our pay scale is way below what others are paying but that she wants to stay on our team if we can help narrow the gap. In the most recent ACDIS CDI Salary Survey, it was reported that "...it's important not to underestimate the value HIM/coding professionals bring to CDI efforts." and some of the input from the respondents was that "..all CDI professionals should be paid the same because we are all doing the same job and learning CDI at the same time".

If you CDI team includes RNs and Coders, are they are on the same or different pay scales? Are they paid the same as your HIM/Inpatient Coders? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you, Bill


  • I do not have current  salary information for Coders, but can state that our CDI team is composed of coding professionals (RHIT, RHIA). RNs, and FMGs.   Many of us have either the CCDS or the CDIP.   The job description, workflow, responsibilities are identical, and we are all on the same pay scale.  I do know from previous experience with my employer that the CDI teams generally are paid at a higher scale than the coding team.  Hope this is helpful.

    Paul Evans, RHIA, CCDS, CCS, CCS-P
  • Our CDI team is composed of RNs and coding professionals.  Entire CDI team is in the same pay grade.  The CDI pay grade is higher than the Inpatient Coding pay grade.  
  • edited September 2018
    As an RN I am hesitant to discuss individual pay scales but I want to explain that RN’s working clinical or management are usually paid according to the number of years clinical experience plus any number of years in management on top of their clinical years.  I do not know how pay scales for RN CDI are determined but I would assume their rate based on nursing experience may come into play in determining that CDI RN’s salary.  
  • same job- same expectations should require same pay scale. Variations may include number of years employed at the organization (seniority) and of course merit pay increases. We need to support that the credentials do not mean more pay if the individuals are doing the same job. If the pay is based on RN vs coder- does that mean NPs or PAs in the CDI role should be paid more? This could get really crazy.
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