Kristi Gowan-Fisher, RN, HCS-D, COS-C, HCS-O, HCS-H

Kristi Gowan-Fisher’s life-long learning helps reduce clinicians’ workload


Kristi Gowan-Fisher, RN, HCS-D, COS-C, HCS-O, HCS-H, has healthcare in her genes. “I remember following my mom in and out of home health locations when I was young,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to go to nursing school so I could work helping people in some way.” Find out how her deep understanding of coding, nursing and home health helps her solve her customers coding challenges.

How did you get into the healthcare industry?

I knew I wanted to be a nurse since I was little, but once I had kids I wasn’t sure how to make that happen. I got into coding as a way to work while going to school. This was when the switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 was happening, and I got that certification which allowed me to continue working and start nursing school. After nursing school, I was able to get my OASIS certification. Having that and my nursing degree helps me review care plans more knowledgeably.

What made you interested in doing coding work?

The biggest thing for me is that I feel like I learn something new every day, which keeps me on my toes. I like the challenge of learning new codes and new OASIS items and using that knowledge to help our clients.

How do you use your nursing background in your role?

In nursing school, I could dig into disease processes, which helps me better understand what’s going on with patients. This helps me see which symptoms are part of a disease process and apply that understanding to coding — for instance, not putting a general code on top of something more specific. A lot of my team has coding experience only, not nursing experience, so I bring a different perspective and can teach my team while using my education to help our customers.

What does it mean to your customers that so many of your colleagues have worked as clinicians?

The diversity of industry experience in our staff means we’ve been in those clinicians’ shoes. We’ve worked with these patients, we know what they’re dealing with when they’re in the field, we’ve handled the paperwork. We put our education and knowledge about OASIS and coding to work knowing what it’s like to handle all those challenges.

What is the best thing about your role?

My favorite part of my job is being a leader and making sure my team has the education and support they need to help our customers achieve their goals. The educational piece of my job is what I really enjoy.

What do you think is most important for a service provider that supports home health and hospice agencies?

The most critical thing to look for in a service provider is accuracy and accountability. Both of those things bring peace of mind for customers so they can focus on more important things, like delivering care to their patients. If providers like us are accurate and accountable, then the agencies we work with know we’re taking care of the billing and coding piece for them.

What are the top challenges facing the home health and hospice industry right now?

The biggest challenge is simply the continual changes in guidance and making sure our staff is up to date on all those changes. We know there’s an annual change on October 1 no matter what, and sometimes guidance is issued at other times. We educate our staff and our customers so no one is left behind when all these changes happen every year.

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MatrixCare provides an extensive range of software solutions and services purpose-built for out-of-hospital care settings. As the multiyear winner of the Best in KLAS award for Long-Term Care Software and Home Health and Hospice EMR, MatrixCare is trusted by thousands of facility-based and home-based care organizations to improve provider efficiencies and promote a better quality of life for the people they serve. As an industry leader in interoperability, MatrixCare helps providers connect and collaborate across the care continuum to optimize outcomes and successfully manage risk in out-of-hospital care delivery.

MatrixCare is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ResMed (NYSE: RMD, ASX: RMD). To learn more, visit and follow @MatrixCare on X

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