Getting Back Into Medical Coding After an Absence

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Let’s talk about Getting Back Into Coding After an Absence. This question came in and they asked:

I’ve been out of the coding field for a while. I have kept my CEUs going but I have not physically coded for over 2 years. I have been raising my kids and my daughter is going to kindergarten so I was wondering what is the best way to start edging my way back into the field. Coding changes all the time and I feel lost as to where to start.

I’m assuming the person that wrote this has maintained their credential; they didn’t lose it. There’s a couple things you could do. You could do a Review Blitz with us or do the CPT and ICD-10 Update to get up to speed with the changes that happened in the last year. I think the CPC Review Blitz is really good because it basically goes through the CPT book from cover to cover almost. And we do a brief overview of ICD-10. We do have the ICD-10 Blitz as well. Those two together, the CPC and ICD-10 Blitz, that really gives you an overview of all the key coding concepts that affect any credential and type of coding.

I don’t know, can you think of any other advice, Lori?

Lori: Practice exams.

Laureen: Practice exams.

Lori: Those are always good to get you updated in practicing and getting back into the groove.

Laureen: Mm-hmm. And AAPC does have Practicode which they purchased from Aviacode this past summer. Practicode is a database with real medical coding cases that the Aviacode folks would have their employees practice. The personal case information is redacted though of course. You can compare your code answers to – I don’t know if they’re the original coder’s answers or if the AAPC has changed them but they do have a little bit of a rationale. So that’s another option and you can pick, I believe, what specialty you want. That’s another way to kind of practice and get back into the swing of things.

Other things you could do is maybe do an internship. That’s becoming very popular. We just started our own internship program. I talked to a couple of people today about items worked when participating in someone else’s internship program. Now they want to do ours. I said, “Okay, you’ve become an internship junkie. Let’s get to a job.” But you could do something like that. Consider doing an intern just to kind of get in touch. Join the club because in the club we’re talking about real-life coding stuff that is happening on-the-job. That’s my advice for getting back into coding after an absence. Just jump in, get into discussions and network! Monitor what people are talking about regarding medical coding and what may be really affecting them on the job.

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