Forum - Questions & Answers

Feb 19th, 2016 - pmontoya 3 

Student

Hi, I am new to this forum. I am a student taking an online Medical Coding and Billing course. I am in the tail end of the program working on a ton of medical records to code. Was wondering if I could use this forum to help me with my coding questions. It would really be nice to have medical coders to communicate with now and when I go out to the work place. Thanks

Feb 19th, 2016 - petunia 195 

re: Student

I don't see why not. I'm sure if somebody knows the answer to your question they'd be happy to help. Speaking for myself I would be happy to help

Feb 19th, 2016 - codinqueen 57 

re: Student

As a coder who uses this forum, I answer questions when I can and have asked a few myself. But as a student, it is important for you to try to answer the question yourself by researching every reference available to you before turning to others for the answer, or you are cheating yourself out of learning how to be a good coder. I use the usual coder "Bibles": Coding Clinic for ICD-10 by the AHA and CPT® Assistant as well as HPCS Assistant and Faye Brown's Coding Handbook, as well as the official Coding Guidelines,an anatomy book, and a dictionary for medical terms, abbrevations and synonyms.

Most of us are happy to help others to learn the trade, but we all have productivity goals we all need to make, and some days you will not get a fast response, depending how much work the other coders who frequent this site have on their desks. Also, different coders excel at different types of coding and feel comfortable answering questions for the type of coding they do. I like to know if the pt is an outpatient or inpatient, or if the question is from a Dr's ofc, because all types of coding differ a little. I specialize in Outpatient surgeries at a hospital facility. I gather there are many DRs ofc coders on this website, & not too many facility coders, from what questions and answers I have seen. And just because we give an answer, doesn't mean it is the correct answer. We do the best we can to give accurate answers according to coding guidelines, but some coders are not very experienced or don't have access to many official references. You will still have to research any answers given and since you are the one with the documentation at your disposal, and any coding guidelines from your employer, you still get to decide what the final answer is. Welcome to the Coding world!

Feb 19th, 2016 - pmontoya 3 

re: Student

Coding Queen, Thanks for your reply. The biggest problem I am having is that there are so many variables to each group of codes that sometimes its hard to pick the correct one.

Feb 19th, 2016 - codinqueen 57 

re: Student

Yes, there are a lot of variables, and as soon as you think you know how to code something there are constant rule changes, but it is an interesting and rewarding career. As you gain experience, you will make notes to help yourself and eventually you will find that you don't need to review your notes as often. Make friends with coders in your area, through Health Information Management Associations, buy references as you can afford them, and attend as many seminars as you can afford. You will make yourself more marketable in the job industry if you achieve certification through the exam by the American Health Information Management Association or the American Association of Professional Coders, or both. You may find that you want to pursue further education and go for an RHIT or RHIA title or possibly even a Master's degree & teach it. There are many different jobs in Health Info Mgt, some of which you can do remotely from home. This is a job we have to constantly learn. I have over 25 yrs in this career and I love it. The need for qualified medical coders is growing daily, and some employers require certification to land that perfect job. Good luck on a long career.

Feb 20th, 2016 - pmontoya 3 

re: Student

Thanks for the advice Coding Queen. I already belong to AAPC. I do plan on taking the CPC as soon as I finish my course. Since I started my course before ICD-10 became a reality, I still have to take a Fast Track to ICD-10. Thanks again for all your advice. I hope someday I can too be a coding queen!!!

Feb 19th, 2016 - pmontoya 3 

re: Student

Petunia, Thank you so much for your reply. It's nice to have someone to talk to.



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