Welcome to the “2015 Coding Certification Review Blitz.” Because we are going to be cramming in a lot in two days, that’s where the name came from, the “blitz” because you’re going to feel blitzed, how exhausted you are after doing a two-day workshop. So, we try and keep questions, like, about, “Hey, on my job, we do this…” We really don’t have time to do that here. I’m more than happy to help on the break or afterwards or even email. That’s what we do – we research questions and help people out. But for this, just try and hold your questions until the break, unless it’s like a clarification thing, like, if I said something too fast, that definitely stop and say, “Can you repeat that?” I have no problem with that because sometimes I get excited and I go a little fast, so feel free to slow me down.
I do want to say upfront that this entire thing is being recorded in two ways. You will have the live video feed that people are seeing right now; so in about ten days or so, Boyd, the videos will be available. It will be nice little segments so you can go right to the E/M one, right to the Integument, surgery. So, relax, if you zone out a little bit, or if you didn’t get every single point that I said, you’ll have that opportunity.
In addition, I’m going to actually take you to the website where you logged in, and in a few days yours is going to look like this, this is for the 2014 version. But right here it says “Video of Laureen’s CPT Manual – 2014 (No Audio).” My entire CPT manual is going to be available for you to watch as a video and you’ll be able to… Let me show you a section here, I’ll go right to Integument. And so these are the videos of these, it’s just the videos of my book scrolling.
For copyright purposes, obviously I can’t just hand out copies of my CPT manual. But you can do this and you use the scrubber thing and move it forward and then you can stop – “Oh, I want to copy that note and see how she wrote this.” So that way, if you want to see every single page of my manual, you can now; and so, this worked out really well. But I just wanted to show people this so they didn’t, “Where’s the audio? The audio is not working.” There is no audio with this; it’s just literally a video of my document camera taking pictures of my book. So, I want to draw your attention to that.
Then you’ll see here, it will say, “2015 Blitz Videos” it’s going to be laid out just like this. They’re going to involve in nice little segments that you can jump into and watches often as you want, there’s no limits, and you’re going to have a year to access this information. And there’s a subscription for a year, so if there’s new things that we add, you’ll get them as well. We used to do versions of 2014, 2015 and you have to pay for the upgrade. We don’t do that anymore, it’s just a year subscription, and if you want to continue the subscription, you can do that for $12.95 until you don’t need it anymore.
Also what’s included is you’ve got this practice exam here, which we recommend that you do after you go through all the videos and do it in a timed fashion. So when you get ready to do it, give yourself two hours, print out the exam booklet, and the answer grid – I’m going to show that in a minute – and then take it like a real practice exam. It’s 60 questions. There are 150-question practice exams on our site, which we recommend at the very end. We’d like you to do the mini ones because it’s just easier to find a two-hour chunk of time where you’re not going to be interrupted versus five hours without going to the real exam.
So, I did want to show you around that a little bit.
2015 Medical Coding Exam Review Blitz – Module 1 | CPC Exam Review – Video
We do have this bonus area as well. Hopefully, you got to look at the bubbling and highlighting video. I’ll be reviewing that again in this morning session, but that’s nice to have to go back and review. It’s actually a very simple technique, but it’s really become the hallmark of how we teach. I used to be a very type “A” personality and would want to make it super neat; I finally got over it because you can’t… you just got to do bubbles.
I have to give a shoutout to my friend Barbara Chiappini [? sp], she’s one of my older instructors from when I first started out many years ago, and she has bubbled and highlighted my CPT book every year for probably the last ten years, but this year she got sick, like, pneumonia. She was just down and out so I had to do it. She started it but she couldn’t finish. I literally just finished before I got on the plane [laughs]. It took so much time, so I have a renewed appreciation for how much work is involved in it. But all the students tell me, or I said, “If there’s one thing you could share with other students who are coming along, what would you share?” They said, “The the bubbling and highlighting is worth it,” so I will pass that on because it is tedious but it pays off, and it really helps with real coding too because it makes you visualize how the codes work together; so definitely don’t skimp on that.
If I worked with people that needed to do, I call it a “retake strategy call,” like, they didn’t know about my videos and they’re going to do take number two and I said, “OK, let’s have a game plan.” We’ll normally have a phone call and I’ll say, “The three main steps for passing is, number one – you have to have had a course. The review videos are just – this is a review; you’re supposed to have a base knowledge of coding before you’re coming to this, so it’s not a course replacement. It enhances it.” So, that’s step one, have some sort of course, or real-world experience. It equals that, like, you did your work at a multi-specialty surgery center or something where you don’t necessarily have to go back to basics.
Then, step two is doing a review like this and marking up your book so that you’re kind of prepared for the exam and you’ve got that high-level guideline understanding. And then step three – and this is probably the most important that a lot of people skimp on is timed practice exams. So, when I talk with people, said, “Yeah, I did a few practice exams.” I said, “How did you do it? Did you time yourself?” No, I just want to see that I could get the answer right.” I said, “That’s not really… You are checking that you know content, but that’s what you use textbooks for.”
The practice exams, use them in a timed fashion because then you’re going to learn how to do process of elimination, how to move quicker, and you get that almost pressured feeling and you have to practice that. So, don’t skimp on doing practice exams. You get one with the Blitz, What they’re really testing you on is your ability to read and interpret guidelines as they’re presented in the manuals.
So, if you have a coding situation where it would be very easy to look it up in the index, confirm it in the main part of the book and be done with it, that’s not what they’re going to test you on.
CPC Exam Tips – This is a biggie, a lot of people that are working currently in the field as billers or coders but they’re working toward certification, sometimes have to take twice to take the exam because their knowledge of the billing, they think is correct coding, and it’s not, and it messes them up. So we have brand new people, I had people that were hairdressers who want to get in the field and they ace it. I mean, they get like 89, it’s amazing, but it’s because they were not affected by billing knowledge. So if you have that, really think when you’re looking at the question: What principle are they testing me on? What guideline are they making sure I understand in the CPT or ICD manual?
Confidence is really important, that’s going to come from doing the practice exams and from having gone over these tips. You’re going to feel so different about your manual, if you haven’t bubbled and highlighted it yet, by the time you get to the end you’re really going to – I joke about it, but you’re going to be one with your manuals. They’re not going to feel like this cold thing that you’re trying to learn. You’re going to feel like, “I can do this. I’m resourceful, I know how to get to the codes; I know how to do process of elimination.” Process of elimination isn’t just for board exams, it’s for real world coding.
Time Management is another one. This is really tough for people because you get a board exam in front of you and you’re nervous, you want to feel successful. So you do that first question, you’re taking your time, and you’re just going along, you feel as long as you’re getting each question correct, you’re going to pass this thing. Really, what we need to do is skip the harder questions, what’s hard to us and get to the easy ones and get those answered correctly so that we have 45 we can miss, but we’ve gotten our threshold.
And I cannot tell you how many people get like 68 on this thing, so they miss it by one question.