Q #6: So not only do you have to really know your medical terminology and anatomy but you should understand the diseases too?
A: Yes. It’s not that you have to have the disease process memorized, but the reason you have to know the disease process and the signs and symptoms of things is because when you have a definitive diagnosis and physician-based coding, you don’t code the signs and symptoms. So, if you don’t know what the signs or symptoms of that diagnosis you might try to code it when you don’t code it, or you may not realize that it’s not a sign or symptom of that diagnosis and it could be coded. This comes with time.
A lot of that is basic knowledge. For instance, if you have a person that comes in and they’re complaining of a cough and they’re coughing up phlegm and their throat is sore, so they got pain in their throat and they have a headache and they’ve got fever and chills, and they’ve got a fever that’s 102. So, the diagnosis is upper respiratory infection.
Well, upper respiratory infection causes a fever, so you can’t code the fever. It also causes chills. And all those symptoms, the cough and stuff like that, a persistent cough, all that’s caused by an upper respiratory infection. We know that, most people know that.
However, if you have somebody that comes in and they have hypertension and they’ve got chronic kidney disease and they’ve got diabetes. And they come in and they’re complaining of urinating frequently, and their throat, they’ve got dry mouth and they can’t seem to get enough fluid in them, and it hurts when they go to the bathroom and pee and all these other stuff, just pain, pain, pain, and everything. If you don’t know what are the signs and symptoms associated with the diseases that they have — meaning CKD (chronic kidney disease,) diabetes, and hypertension, then you may struggle. And this is not hard to learn though, because you see it repeatedly and you can always ask. But yes, you do need to kind of know those disease processes.
Understanding Disease Process – Pain Management Medical Coding – Video
Q #7: OK thanks I just got hired as a coder there and we do ICD-9 and CPT coding we are getting ready for the ICD-10. Everything is done online. Interested in getting certified in this field, I like it.
A: You know what, that’s another thing. A lot of people are doing coding, but they’re not certified, and if you want to make more money you better get certified. Your employer will appreciate it.
Q: I’m looking for a Pain Management Code Mapper, any suggestions?
A: Google it [laughs]. I don’t know of one off the top of my head, but I can tell you that is a really big niche coding market now, because there are pain management clinics popping up all over the place. When I was doing some physician education for the AAPC and I was having to make some calls, and a lot of them in one area were pain management clinics – really, really interesting. So, I would just Google it, that’s the way, if I don’t know where something is, Laureen and I both were Google girls. So, just Google “pain management code mapper,” and I bet you’ll have stuff all over the place. If you can’t find anything, put it in the forum, in the CCO forum, and we’ll work at getting you a good one. If you want to also we can talk about it next month if I can get a real specific question, and I’ll go and do some research for you. A lot of anesthesiologists and stuff are working in pain management.