Alicia: Okay great. Now, I understand, Diann, you’re a nurse, right?
Diann: That’s correct, yes. I’m a registered nurse.
Alicia: Okay, registered nurse. What made you decide to go ahead and get into medical coding?
Diann: Actually, my employer is encouraging all the staff to become certified in medical coding. Alicia, I believe it was you that had mentioned the magic the HCC, which the hierarchal condition categories, because part of my role is, I did do 10 years of clinical work. I’m an educator for physician practices. And the key here is to try to help them and to show through coding and documentation how sick their patients are, or how complex they are. And what I do is, I serve like an educator to kind of encourage them to be more specific in how they document to make it easier for the coders. So, you don’t have to kind of hound them down and try to get that information.
Alicia: Yes, I think that tends to be one of the banes of physicians and coders is that the coder realizes the work or what needs to be coded or can be coded, but there just isn’t enough documentation to have that, to get to the most precise code. I think Laureen is putting up your letter real quick on the screen.
What do you think about the Blitz that helped you pass? Because, obviously you have the medical background; the terminology probably was easier for you than for most people. What… and real quick, the experience that I have with nurses is that they don’t like coding because they were forced to deal with coding and they weren’t probably trained, and so they just tried to avoid it which it’s really an integral part of their job, more so now than it was before. What do you think about the Blitz that assisted you the most?
Coding Certification for Nurses – VIDEO
Diann: Oh, golly, there’s so many aspects of it. I mean, it was just overall really well organized. I just think, for me, the little pointers you had to learn E/M coding because that… I was just perplexed. I couldn’t figure that out to save my soul, but your little tips and tricks on the E/M piece; that was magnificent. And then, the highlighting and bubbling, oh thank you. Because when you’re taking that exam, the time is just really tight, and I will be honest with everyone, I didn’t finish it. There was probably about ten questions left, and I mean, for me, this is also on the AAPC website that I would highly recommend getting your confidence up and going just flipping through the book and going to the sections that you’re strongest. And you’re absolutely right, the very first place I went was the physiology terminology to get those questions and to feel really good about getting into the exam; but yeah the time is really tight, and so all of your tips and tricks were extremely helpful.
Alicia: That’s really good. And that’s coming from a person that again has medical background. It doesn’t matter if… we have a lot of people that don’t have a medical background, but they know that’s what they want to do; they want to get involved in coding. And so, it’s not like you have to have that to succeed, if it’s help anybody, I think is helpful to know.
Diann: Oh, absolutely, yeah, definitely. And even if the medical terminology isn’t your strong suit, yeah there’s a lot to learn. And to your point about clinicians not kind of… when you go to medical school, in my case when I was in nursing school, we were trained in theory, but unfortunately like I look at the ICD-9 book as kind of like a dictionary.
Diann: And unfortunately, I think we were not trained to use the terminology in the ICD-9 book that mirrors what we perform. Yeah, it’s going to be a long road with ICD-10 coming.
Alicia: Nope, it’s going to be great, trust me, it’s going to be wonderful. We will have stuff on ICD- 10 soon. Laureen and I are going to give you some information about that. One thing before I let you go, you mentioned the E/M and as a physician educator, E/M is what they’re being reimbursed on. And so, it’s so important that you as the coder and as working as an educator are able to tell that information to the physician so that they understand so that they can give you the documentation they need, so that they can be reimbursed for what they’re doing. And ultimately, it’s all about patient care; that gives the patient better care over all. And being a nurse you know exactly what that… how important the patient care is, that’s a nurse’s job and the doctor’s job first as patient care and the money fall second most of the time. Right?
Alicia: Well, we really appreciate you being on here, Diann. Is this the first webinar you’ve gotten to attend?
Diann: Actually, this is my second.
Alicia: Okay, good. I’m sure you’ll be able to come many more times and visit with us, and we may even pick your brain as a physician educator in the future.
Diann: Yes, most definitely. At least I could do for helping pass the exam.
Alicia: There you go!
Laureen: And come and join us on the discussion board, our forum — /forum. It is really growing and getting a lot of good people there helping each other. It’s just really warm and friendly. I’m very proud of it. So, I’d love to see some post there from you, too, that would be great. Thank you, Diann.
Diann: I’ll do that.
Alicia: Thanks, Diann.
Diann: Thank you.
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