What Do HEDIS Nurses Do? A Nurse Describes Her First Remote Nursing Job

‘Tis the season! That’s right, HEDIS season. 

If you’re looking for a gateway remote nursing job with year-round flexibility, HEDIS may be right for you. 

Read on to learn more about how one Texas nurse got into HEDIS work and what a typical day looks like. 

1. What is your nursing background, and how did you break into remote nursing?

Texas nurse was a NICU nurse for about a decade. She casually searched for a remote nursing job for a few years, but nothing worked then. She says, “I wish the Nurse Fern website had been around five years ago!”

After becoming more serious with her job search, she stumbled across HEDIS job postings and decided to pursue the role.

2. What is HEDIS?

The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is a long-winded way to explain that there’s a set of performance measures used in the healthcare industry to assess the quality of care provided by health plans and healthcare providers. These quality measures are tied to healthcare reimbursement, and NCQA is the governing body. 

HEDIS nurses look at medical documentation to find data to support whether these measures are met. The process of searching for and tracking this data is called data abstraction. Data abstraction can be a full-time year-round role, but HEDIS is a subspecialty within data abstraction and is usually a seasonal contract job. HEDIS work coincides with annual healthcare reporting and measurement cycles.

3. How does HEDIS work?

With HEDIS, Texas nurse explains that there are several measures you may look for, like outpatient blood pressure readings, for example. You review charts, and once you find that information, you put those into another program for a separate team to track and aggregate that data. Texas nurse says there are about 100 different measures you may work with, and she has experience working with about 25 of them. 

4. What was the timeline for being hired for HEDIS?

Texas nurse believes her HEDIS journey was impacted mainly by being at the right place at the right time. She applied a little too late with her first solid attempt and barely missed the hiring window. In the second year, she got the job.

Here’s an idea of the general HEDIS timeline:

  • October: Early recruiting
  • November: The majority of candidate applications
  • December: The majority of candidate interviews
  • January: Candidate onboarding and season start
  • May: The majority of the season ends
  • June and beyond: Some HEDIS still takes place, but this is considered “off-season”

“The best time to get into it is in November,” Texas nurse recommends. Once she had a phone interview, she was hired almost immediately without prior remote nursing job experience. 

5. What type of company do you work for, and what are the benefits?

Since most HEDIS remote nursing jobs are contract work, they don’t have typical employment benefits, like:

  • Paid time off
  • Health insurance, FSA, or HSA accounts
  • Retirement accounts or employer matching
  • Guaranteed hours

Texas nurse works for a large health insurance provider, but an agency hired her. The agency works as a third party to do the bulk of the candidate screening and interviews before onboarding. The agency also handles logistics like paystubs.

After making a positive impression last year, the insurance company invited Texas nurse to apply again.

6. What is your compensation?

HEDIS nursing generally pays between $35 to $40 per hour, Texas nurse explains. The salary is negotiable, and she points out that you have some leverage if you have HEDIS or data abstraction experience. Texas nurse works full 40-hour weeks during the season, with occasional optional overtime. 

Note: When working through an agency, the salary structure can be more flexible due to the arrangement between the agency, the third party, and the nurse. With agency positions, you may have more luck successfully negotiating a higher rate because the company is also not paying for traditional W-2 employee benefits, like health insurance. 

7. Is HEDIS flexible?

Texas nurse shares she has metrics to meet regarding measures she has abstracted and research she has done. But her company doesn’t track things like mouse movement or clicks. 

She mentions that she doesn’t have issues flexing time or getting time off. However, since this type of contract work doesn’t offer paid time off, it’s risky to miss work. Once the season ends, so does your paycheck.

8. What are the best and worst parts of HEDIS?

Like every remote nursing job, HEDIS nursing has its pros and cons. 

Texas nurse explains it like this:

  • Pro: Having flexibility and being able to work at home
  • Con: Struggling with work during the off-season. She says some people pick up PRN or other contract work. Others may choose other remote freelance work, sometimes unrelated to nursing. Texas nurse looks forward to starting this HEDIS season soon.

9. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Texas nurse loves crafting, creating digital artwork, and taking her dogs for walks. 

Ready for Next Season?

HEDIS is a seasonal remote nursing job, structured as a contract position. If you’re new to remote nursing and want to take a break from a patient-facing role, you might enjoy HEDIS data abstraction.
If HEDIS sounds like your next career move, start preparing your resume and interview skills now. Check out the Nurse Fern resource guide to get started.