Most of us always think that to be a professional one should take a proper training which obviously requires investing money. So, those who have money goes ahead and the ones who don’t choose a different option. I was into the same kind of situation when I choose medical coding as my career. I was unaware how to enter into this field. I was also told to take basic training to know how to read and code icd 9 and CPT code in a medical report. If you are have done the basic training you can appear for basic Medical coding Certification exam for Professional medical coder. For me, I was preparing to clear my CPC exam after my basic training. I was very serious for CPC exam preparation and finding out all the tips and techniques of passing CPC exam. I was learning through all the sources or websites for medical coding and trying to code all the sample medical coding charts available online. Here, I would just share few tips about how to become a professional coder without any training and spending money.
Image courtesy: http://www.studease.in/
Be professional and learner from the beginning
Now, here what I mean to say, keep your eyes and ear open to take a note of everything about medical coding. I have seen professional who have started collecting notes or printout about medical coding once they serious to make a career in it. There is lots of information in internet which can help you. First start learning how to search a code in ICD 9 and CPT books. Now, we have new ICD 10 codes replacing ICD 9 codes. I have shared main difference between ICD 9 and ICD 10 codes, which will help you learn these new codes. Like this you can search and learn the basic technique how to reach to correct code. For ICD 10 lovers, do read the how to code for unilateral and bilateral diagnosis codes. For CPT codes, interventional radiology and surgery codes need more attention. You can get the best sample CPC exam guide here which will surely help in clearing this exam.
Be focused while Reading Code books
Code Books are the real game changers, if you treat them as your best friend. The code books always lead to the correct icd and CPT code. As long as the ICD 9 codes are considered I would strongly suggest following the ICD coding guidelines given in the beginning of the book. If you know them, you can easily find the correct code. For CPT codes, there are few facilities like surgery, interventional radiology (IR) which needs more attention. For IR procedures like tube placement, stent placement, biopsy etc require more attention. If you want to learn coding of chest tube placement, nephrostomy tube placement, coding of Sentinel node injection and lymphoscintigraphy you can refer my blog post. For coding CPT code for lung biopsy also you can learn here. Do, check the codes in code book and read the notes below each code. If you miss them, you may lead to incorrect codes. Some codes require guidance like 77003, fluoroscopic guidance for spinal procedures or Supervision and interpretation like 74740 for hysterosalpingography. Hence, always check the code description and the includes and excludes below each CPT codes. If you follow these tips you can easily clear the certification exams.
Always be updated about Medical codes
As we know there are always new codes introduced in October for ICD and January for CPT. Also, there are few codes get deleted and some get revised. So, use an updated code books to learn and prepare for certification exams. For example, this year we have new modifiers in 2015 XE, XP, XU and XS. So, be prepared how to use these new modifiers in future. If you have any questions related to new modifiers you should be able to answer them. Using of XE modifier and XS modifier can be checked in my blog post. The new CPT codes and the revised CPT codes should be able to identify in code books. Finally, you should be prepared with all and every aspect about medical coding. Keep learning and do not stop, because medical coding is like an ocean, so every day you learn new things. The more you practice the more you learn.
Do follow the above tips, it helped me and I am sure it will help you also. Do share this article if you have loved it.