Medical Coder Profile: Denise Hattub — Video

Denise, are you still there?

Denise: Yes, I am.

Alicia: OK we try, we recently started doing this where we did a student interview or a special guest interview with somebody that have used our products and found success with them. So, Denise is our special guest tonight. She is a CPC-A. Denise, what products did you use with CCO?

Medical Coder Denise Hattub – Video

YouTube video

Denise: I definitely used the Blitz DVDs and I swear by them. I just love Laureen and bubbling and highlighting and all of her tips were just terrific.

Alicia: Now, had you tried to take the CPC exam before or did you hear about Laureen’s Blitz and then take the CPC exam?

Denise: Oh no. I went to school and I finished a year program at a local school and I didn’t feel like I was ready so I attended an online school from Arizona and I thought I was ready, so last year I took the exam and I actually failed it by one question.

Alicia: Oh, that’s horrible.

Denise: That is so painful. I was just wretched so I was looking online and Laureen just really jumped out at me and I ordered her DVDs and they were a blessing. So, I started doing her DVDs for nine months and I retook it and I passed and I owe it all to her.

Alicia: That’s fantastic. It is true the Blitz does make a difference. I know that students that I’ve had that have taken the exam, they didn’t pass, they went to the Blitz and they did. What do you think it is about the Blitz that kind of…? Is there one thing about the Blitz, if you could pick one thing, what do you think it was that helped you the most? I know it’s hard to name just one, but what do you think it was?

Denise: It is hard, I say bubbling and highlighting and her notes. Her notes were just awesome. I wrote all of the notes that she wrote. I know I’m not picking just one. And also, her guidelines for the E/M and the “pick out the HEM” was just terrific. It was just perfect.

Alicia: I know in a teaching atmosphere you can explain E/M until you’re blue in the face, but it does make a difference. The Blitz just kind of opens it up and you see them start to say, “Oh! I see that.” Well you didn’t say it like Laureen. [Laughs] She’s got a really down- to- earth method and uses good examples too, so that’s great. Now, going forward what are your plans?

Denise: I have been working in the field; I have been a coder for almost two years now. I had been very lucky when people did give me the chance. I find that a lot of former students, I mean co-students that I went to school with are having a lot of trouble getting jobs because you need experience, you can’t get experience, that sort of thing. I was very fortunate that I was able to get a job. I first started out in the homecare industry and coded for them. Now, I’m working in an acute care hospital doing both inpatient and outpatient coding.

Alicia: That’s fantastic! That’s excellent. Good! Just picking your brain then since you’re doing inpatient and outpatient, do you have a preference as to – they are very different – but there are a lot of people out there they are wondering, do I want to go and deal more with inpatient or do I want to do outpatient? What do you see as a difference?

Denise: Well, inpatient coding is, you need to do a lot of concurrent coding which means that a patient obviously stays in the hospital for more than one day. So you need to keep up with the coding because the patient could have a new diagnosis that arises every day maybe, so you need to keep up with that. You need to also pay attention to the DRGs and the relative weights and which goes according to the compensation of what the person’s insurance. Outpatient, it’s more a lot of E/M codes and stuff like that. I personally prefer inpatient.

Alicia: Inpatient, I have friends that go to our local chapter meeting, some that do inpatient, some that do outpatient. They like where they’re at; and some will say “I don’t want to do inpatient.” And vice versa, I don’t want to do outpatient.” Back and forth, it’s kind of funny. I think you find your niche and what works for you and that’s kind of the nice thing about coding. There’s so much diversity that you can do that it never gets boring, I would say.

Thanks Denise, I really appreciate you being here tonight and sharing that the Blitz was helpful to you. If you could tell anybody one last thing about the products that we have, what would you say? Or, about the coding field, some type of an encouragement, what would you say?

Denise: Never give up because I was at AAPC local chapter meeting last night and they said that they definitely took a poll or whatever and they said they’re going to be a lot of coders that are going to be retiring especially with ICD-10 coming out so there are going to be more of a demand. So, never, ever give up. There was one woman that just passed her CPC last week. This was her fourth time taking it. She said she was a registered nurse and she took her nursing boards and this was by far the hardest test. But she was very driven and she took it and she took it and she took it and she finally passed it and she feels very much accomplished.

Alicia: Great! That’s fantastic. That is encouraging to know that it’s okay not to pass the first time. Sometimes, people who are more skilled or have more medical background or coding experience sometimes struggle a little more than people that are new because the past exam is not the same as real world coding and you have to follow CMS guidelines not what Medicare or Medicaid wants or Blue Cross Blue Shield, and so, that’s good to know.

Thanks Denise, I appreciate you being here. I’m going to go ahead and mute you so you don’t have to worry about being quiet anymore, okay?

Denise: OK, thank you.

Alicia: Bye Denise.

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