Coders crave certainty
We coders don’t just want to do it well, or fast. We want to do it right. 100% of the time. We want our practices and healthcare organizations to be successful and collect the revenue they’re entitled to collect. But we never want to submit a claim that is wrong.
Uncertainty costs enormous amounts of time
This desire for certainty can paralyze us. How much time do we spend in groups of two or three or four debating the accuracy of a procedure code, the level of E/M service, or if a modifier is correct? As coders, we need to accept that change is a constant in our work lives. Coding requires lifelong learning, as we increase the depth and breadth of our knowledge. We also need to be willing to accept that uncertainty accompanies our profession in the form of rules and regulations that are not always clear and straightforward, and that are interpreted differently by different payers.
Lifeline—phone a friend
When I’m uncertain, I’ve been known to call a friend. (Let’s say her name is Shelley.) Shelley is the best researcher I know, combining CPT resources, LCDs/NCDs, and information from Medicare manuals until she is confident she has found the answer.
Some departments build in scheduled time when coders can meet to discuss the case(s) they are having trouble coding, or a rule that they are having trouble finding. A short, set time can be more effective than “Hey, would you look at this” discussions throughout the day.
Increase your coding confidence
Our mission at CodingIntel is to increase your coding confidence. I have followed Shelley’s example and use CPT and CMS citations to produce in-depth print and video resources. I want you to be able to answer the question “are you sure?” with confidence, and spend less of your day in uncertainty.
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