Archive | May 2013

CPC Medical Coding – Pros and Cons

CPC Medical coding could be an excellent choice for a career. It can offer a great amount of possibilities for those interested to make it a profession. A Certified Professional Coder or CPC has proven to be a lucrative as well as a very essential profession in the healthcare industry. Medical coders always work side by side with medical billers and although many people confuse these professions as the same thing, medical coders and billers have different responsibilities individually.

Even though there are several softwares nowadays that could help with medical coding, still, the demand for medical coders is increasing. Let’s face it; you can’t always rely on computers, anyway. That’s why companies hire people who are qualified to enter codes for physicians’ patient diagnosis as well as follow up on the most important data about the hospital, the insurance company and patients.

As a medical coder, you are expected to have a broad knowledge about computers. Simply knowing how to type and click just is not going to cut it these days. To be an excellent medical coder, you have to have be savvy when it comes to technology. This being said, CPC Medical Coding is not a job for everyone – especially not for those who can’t tell the difference between Microsoft Word and Excel.

Another is that medical coding does not have much to do with patient care. If you’re expecting to be running alongside emergency room nurses, then you’re completely wrong. In all its simplest sense, medical coding is a whole bunch of clerical work. But nevertheless, it is a profession that needs to be done by a certified individual, since any discrepancies on the part of the coder could mean harm to both patient and hospital.

Furthermore, medical coding is a profession that requires a lot of detail-oriented work. Not everyone pays attention to details as much as we should. That’s why medical coding is not just for anyone. In fact, before you could call yourself a certified medical coder, you have to go through a certification exam first.

Certification exams such as the CPC or Certified Professional Coder exams encourage at least an Associate’s Degree before submitting an application for the exam. Furthermore, the CPC’s will have 150 questions that come from various medical and healthcare system topics. These topics range from Anatomy and Biology to Medical Terminologies and System Security. Every aspiring medical coder is advised to take review classes before taking the exams.

Still, with all the studying and exams one has to go through to be a CPC, the medical coder salary with being a certified coder would surely make it worthwhile. According to http://www.Salary.com, Certified Professional Coders in the US earn as much as $62,000 per year.

With the healthcare systems changing, more and more professional coders will be needed in the coming years, opening a wide window of opportunity for those wishing to enter this industry.

How to Manage Your Time during the CPC Exam

The Certified Medical Coder (CPC) exam offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) is highly regarded by medical coders because of the better prospects it offers in terms of career progression. People who have taken the exam successfully have gone ahead to get better jobs and higher salaries due to the high demand for coders by employers.

1

The exam usually consists of 150 questions that you are supposed to complete in a period of 5 hours and 40 minutes. When you make your calculations, you find that you need to answer each question within 2 minutes without a break in between. You have the freedom to refer to reading materials for answers, but the main issue here is time. If you do not know how to use the time you have, you will end up answering only a few questions. The following guidelines will help you manage your time well when taking the CPC exam.

The Multiple Passes Strategy

The good news is that there is a strategy that has been tried before and found to work effectively. The questions that you will encounter are not all equal; some will be hard while others easy. This strategy works in a way that you go through the question paper in three passes. The first pass will be to identify and answer the easiest questions, the second pass to handle the moderately hard questions while the last pass the most difficult questions. This will give you more time to concentrate on the most difficult questions that require a lot of thinking.

Keep Track Of the Time

You need to monitor your progress as you answer the questions. The CPC answer sheet provides you with five columns each holding 30 questions. You can allow yourself one hour each column so that you have 40 minutes at the end to review what you have done. When you are stuck on a question, move to the next one so that you can progress.

Attempt all questions

When you have attempted all the questions, you are sure of, use the remaining time to come up with answers to the difficult questions. Do not be afraid to guess because you will get a 25% chance of getting the question right. This is because each question has four choices for you to choose the best.

Practice, Practice and More Practice

The best way that you can apply the strategies discussed above is to practice. Various resources offer sample exams for you to take. You can use past exam papers or online simulations to increase your confidence and speed.

Once you know how to handle the time in a CPC exam, you will avoid any stress that comes with knowing that the time is limited yet you have not answered all the questions. IF you are looking for a great CPC certification online course, click on the link.