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Thread Topic: Coding Books
Topic Originator: Natalie
Post Date April 30, 2005 @ 7:18 PM
Coding Books

April 30, 2005 @ 7:18 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I'm writing about a site that I found for coding books (I need to get my own copies to sit the CPC) and the cheapest that I found was on At least $10.00 cheaper that the others including Amazon.

Thought you might like to know.

May 27, 2005 @ 5:48 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Excellent site for books. I agree with you Natalie.

I just purchased the CTP 2005 Book as they are offering a 10% discount if you purchase it before the end of the month. May 2005

Thanks for the link Natalie.


John D
August 6, 2005 @ 9:31 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

yeah great site, thanks very much for pointing it out, great prices.


December 15, 2006 @ 2:07 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Can anyone please tell me if it is possible to just purchase coding books and study by oneself and be able to pass the certification exam with NO prior knowledge or experience in coding?

Since there is no educational prerequisites to sit for the coding examination can one purchase all the necessary books and study for it to cut down the cost?

So in my case, could you please tell me what basic coding books, terminology books... are good to study from since I have no classroom guidance.

Or is it possible to go my route at all?  Your frankness will be much appreciated and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.  Thank you.  Amy

December 15, 2006 @ 6:49 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Although it's certainly possible to self-educated (a lot of us here never took a course at all - we're completely self-taught) you will need to at least buy or borrow a text book - you can't just pick up an ICD-9 book and hope to pass the CPC from it - the book just contains data, it does not give instruction on what to do with the data.

I'm assuming you have no work experience?

December 15, 2006 @ 4:07 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

You're correct, I have no work experience at all in this.  I was a music major in college and have a premed background.

I would love to be able to buy all the necessary books and study hard for this without having to enroll in a certificate program.  I feel that I have the will to do this on my own but at the same time, afraid that I might not be able to understand since I have no prior work experience in coding.

Do you think that studying and passing on my own is realistic or do I need classroom instruction?

Also, if I were to do this on my own, then I would need basic books so I can build my knowledge on since I am starting from scratch?  Which books can you recommend?  Looking forward to hearing from you soon and thank you for your time.  Amy

Steve Verno
December 15, 2006 @ 7:03 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top


There are people who take courses and do not pass the test.  There are people who do not take courses and pass the test.  Whether you pass the test or not, the real question to ask is, without the proper training, how effective will you be to the doctor?  I've seen people who have passed the test and have quit the coding job after 10 minutes because they could not code for real.  As I have said many times, this is a very complex business.

Ask yourself this:  If you needed an operation, would you go to a person who never went to medical school but read a book on appendicitis?  If you were in trial for your life, would you go to someone who never went to law school but read a law book?  If your car broke down, would you take your car to someone who read a book on auto repair? If you were building a house, would you want someone to install the electrical wiring who just read a book on wiring? Would you take your sick child to someone that read a book on pediatric illnesses?  If you were in an auto accident in downtown NYC, with your arms, legs, and neck are broken, and someone walked up and said they read an EMT manual, would you want this person to remove you from the car and take you to the hospital?  If you were a doctor, would you want someone in charge of your finances and your medical career who read a coding book but never underwent training to be a coder?

Without training, would you be comfortable with looking at a medical record and coding it with 100% accuracy and be assured that the claim with your code will not open the doctor to an audit or cost the doctor his/her medical license?

Just for giggles, you have a mother who brought her 7 year old daughter to your doctor because she has a tick imbedded in her left thigh since yesterday.  The area shows a small tick on the inner aspect of the left thigh and there is some minor swelling and redness.  The doctor removed the tick with an immersion of the area in oil, cleaned the area and placed a small bandage on the area.  He administered a tetanus vaccination.  While the child was there, the mother asked the doctor to perform a well baby examination and she needed the doctor to sign a school form so the child can go on a field trip. During the medical exam, the doctor find the child with a case of head lice where he prescribes qwell shampoo and gives a pamphlet on the care of head lice. The child also needed a smallpox, TB tine and Diptheria booster which were administered by the nurse. The doctor also signed the form for the school.  

Ask yourself, how would you code the visit both with CPT and ICD-9 codes.

Here is another.  A 19 year old female patient stubbed her large toe on the coffee table this morning.  The doctor sends the patient out for an x-ray that shows a compacted fracture of the large right toe at the distal end of the phalanx.  He tapes the toe to the next toe for stabliization and applies a metal protective splint.  The patient has Medicaid and Medicaid does not pay for fracture repair of a toe.  

Just giving you some food for thought that's all.  Now, like I have said, I have seen some excellent coders who have had no training and became excellent coders.  I have also seen some real bad coders and the results of that bad coding.  Unfortunately, those bad results have become very costly to the doctor.

December 15, 2006 @ 7:43 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Amy, yes, it is possible to self-teach and pass the certification.  But, taking Steve's post in mind, if you want to be successful, I would suggest simultaneously taking a job in a related field (front desk, maybe, as the front desk is often responsbile for keying charges) or payment posting (so you can see how successful coding is billed and how bad coding is denied) while you're teaching yourself.

One reason is some of the certifying organizations require experience before you can even sit for the exam.

But to answer your original, fact-finding question - yes, if you are motivated and have above average intelligence along with a good textbook, it is well within the realm of possibility to teach yourself coding.

I recommend a structured course but realize that doesn't fit into everyone's lifestyle for a variety of reasons.

December 15, 2006 @ 7:46 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I forgot to add - if you have access to a community college bookstore and the college offers a reimbursement course, that's the book I'd recommend.

Remember, I'm talking strictly coding - if you're interested in billing, too, I would have to modify my answer a bit.

January 30, 2008 @ 4:16 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

If anybody knows of any job websites for medical coders to find medical coding jobs if you dont mind please email the websites. Im looking to get started in finding a coding job not sure of many entry level medical coding jobs out there though.


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