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Thread Topic: Medical Coding Student looking for help/resources
Topic Originator: Me
Post Date December 1, 2012 @ 6:13 AM
Medical Coding Student looking for help/resources

December 1, 2012 @ 6:13 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I am a coding student currently taking a course at a technical High school which runs from this/last September to May. We are using the Buck 2012 Step by Step Coding books and workbook. Our teacher has said that everyone she has trained has passed the CPC-A, which will be the exam I will be taking after I May, I'm guessing. Though, I think I will want to take the CCS test as well, as it seems that commands a higher salary.

There are a few things I'm concerned about. One is this course (a continuous class from September to May) does not include an etiology class. While We did have medical terminology, what we'll have to know is what diagnosis goes along with the symptoms. While the medical terminology will tell you what appendicitis and nephritis are, it won't tell you what causes them, what symptoms go along with them.

And, suppose someone has pain in their right lower quadrant, and they find appendicitis and Nephritis, how would you know which one goes along with their symptoms, both perhaps? Our teacher says "Well, you're going to have to learn this (once again there is no etiology class) you're going to have to google often" Do you think this is a good way to learn, sounds kind of crude to me. For those of you who have passed a certification test, how did you learn this?

I'm looking for some resources to practice coding, with answers. I have the AHIMA 2009 Clinical Coding workout and Basic ICD-9 Coding 2009 coding books, which are somewhat dated. I'm wondering if there are any free practice resources online, and if I get them wrong, I could ask someone WHY I got it wrong, and what I should have done differently, which is also something I'll need.

I understand also doctor's don't want to give you the specific information when coding. For example, the specific place in the body a bruise was, that they will say something like "Oh, that's not my job, my job is to take care of the patients, yours is to code" Well, yes doc but I am required to code accurately and they don't like NOS codes, it could come up on an audit. Any current coders have this problem? There's no way I can know, unless the doctor tells me specifics. I'm told pathologists are specific, however.

December 1, 2012 @ 3:51 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

It appears you are taking a very basic course  to obtain a CCA.  In my experience this certification will allow you to be groomed to advance in your career path.  If you are able to take an anatomy class for coding, disease and pathology, pharmacology basics this will help tremendously.   Laboure College in Boston, Mass has a great program with sound, solid course curriclum.   Everything cannot possibly be learned with one program; comes with years of exposure and understanding.   I would look for a job in a medical records department or medical billing company.   Solid exposure to both sides of the coin and experience with software.

December 2, 2012 @ 5:53 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Yes, though this instructor claims everyone she has taught has passed the CPC, you don't sound so convinced it seems. I requested her on linked in (found her facebook though, not gonna request that) , hopefully that will shed some light on this.

I would be plenty PO'd if after all this money I have spent (not nearly as expensive as some other programs, but still a few K) goes to waste and doesn't do what it's supposed to.

I've heard about that program at Laboure, one thing that really concerns me is it is Dorchester, which I would need to travel to, which isn't the safest area.

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