Recommendations for self-study in coding?

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donna0924 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania

42 months ago

Sue in Des Moines, Iowa said: I am a former physician assistant (12 years ago) looking to re-enter the work world in medical coding. I would very much appreciate advice from those of you who have done self-study on your way to certification. From reading previous posts, I know some of you are out there, but I have no way to contact you directly.

CPC and CCS seem to be the most commonly requested certifications in my local job listings, and my study goal is to prepare for a certification exam. I just completed a 6-week online class with my community college that covered the basics of ICD-9 and CPT coding I am just about finished reading the textbook "Understanding Health Insurance: A Guide to Billing and Reimbursement" by Green and Rowell.

Can anyone recommend self-study resources to further prepare myself for a certification exam?

Thanks much!

Good Luck! Are you unemployed? Check with careelink. They maybe able to help you free of charge.

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Sue in Des Moines, Iowa

42 months ago

donna0924 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania said: Good Luck! Are you unemployed? Check with careelink. They maybe able to help you free of charge.

Hi Donna0924. Thanks for the good wishes! I am unemployed by choice. I've been home full-time with kids, and homeschooling the last two years. I will be ready to return to work this fall.

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Sue in Des Moines, Iowa

42 months ago

Kristy, thanks so much for the resource suggestions! I've read a lot of positive comments about the Carol Buck books. Since I've already had a course in basic coding, I was giving some consideration to Carol Buck's "The Next Step: Advanced Medical Coding." Do you have any knowledge of that resource?

After that step, I think I will be ready for exam prep. I noticed that Carol Buck also has a CPC exam prep book. It is less expensive than the AAPC study guide. I would welcome any comments in comparison of the two.

Thanks also for you link.

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Kristy Rodecker in Berlin Heights, Ohio

42 months ago

Sue in Des Moines, Iowa said: Kristy, thanks so much for the resource suggestions! I've read a lot of positive comments about the Carol Buck books. Since I've already had a course in basic coding, I was giving some consideration to Carol Buck's "The Next Step: Advanced Medical Coding." Do you have any knowledge of that resource?

After that step, I think I will be ready for exam prep. I noticed that Carol Buck also has a CPC exam prep book. It is less expensive than the AAPC study guide. I would welcome any comments in comparison of the two.

Thanks also for you link.

The "step-by-step" vs "the-next-step":

Step-by-step: this book covers a lot of the coding guidelines, how to look codes up, how to pick one code over the other. I think it's example and exercises are closer to what you will see on the CPC exam. This is the book I used to study from and it is the book I use to teach my CPC coding course.

The-next-step: This book is mainly case studies. The book is filled with actual cases, office note, and operative note. It teaches you how to read a record, pull out the correct info, and then assign codes to it. It is an extreamely useful book to learn real world coding, but it is less like what the CPC exam will be like. I usually suggest it for students after they have passed the CPC exam if they are interrested in getting their CPC-H or CCS.

I will have to check my library to see if I have a Carol Buck study guide....

by the way, the step-by-step book by carol buck does not change that much from year to year. If you were planning on taking the CPC exam in 2011 you would be fine purchasing a 2010 edition (it will be much cheaper).....

I'll ge tback to you on the study guide if I have one to compare to.

Good luck

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JanD in Tucson, Arizona

42 months ago

Career Step is an accredited school. You can go to career step's website and they say there is a 92% success rate.
Jan

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Sue in Des Moines, Iowa

42 months ago

Kristy Rodecker in Berlin Heights, Ohio said: The "step-by-step" vs "the-next-step":

Step-by-step: this book covers a lot of the coding guidelines, how to look codes up, how to pick one code over the other. I think it's example and exercises are closer to what you will see on the CPC exam. This is the book I used to study from and it is the book I use to teach my CPC coding course.

The-next-step: This book is mainly case studies. The book is filled with actual cases, office note, and operative note. It teaches you how to read a record, pull out the correct info, and then assign codes to it.

Thanks, Kristy. That's helpful. I didn't realize the distinction between the two. I went to the website justcoding.com and downloaded their free practice questions. That was very helpful to me in getting an idea of what the questions on the CPC exam might look like.

My basic course did not cover HCPCS Level II, Anesthesia, and a couple of other areas. So...Buck's Step-by-Step might be a good choice for me even if some of it is redundant. THEN I could move on to exam prep.

Thanks again. This has all been very helpful to me in planning my course of study and doing it as economically as I can.

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Sue in Des Moines, Iowa

42 months ago

JanD in Tucson, Arizona said: Career Step is an accredited school. You can go to career step's website and they say there is a 92% success rate.
Jan

Thanks for the tip, JanD. I took a look at their web site. Their program looks quite comprehensive, but I think it is more that what I need at this point, and the cost is beyond me right now.

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Sue in Des Moines, Iowa

42 months ago

One more question about the CPC exam itself. Is there any need to have or know Vol. 3 of ICD-9?

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MJINATL in Atlanta, Georgia

42 months ago

Just adding my 'two cents' regarding schools because I'm speaking from experience when I, in the past, made the mistake of finding/attending the wrong schools. When looking for a school, make sure that the course you are taking is accredited through the accrediting folks. Example: AHIMA is the accreditation for health care management/coding. That being said, going over their website to explore schools/courses is a sure way to know that you are not being scammed by so many of these so-called schools. Career Step may be 'accredited' but by AHIMA (or even AAPC) standards?

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Kristy Rodecker in Berlin Heights, Ohio

42 months ago

I did not have a Carol Buck study guide to compare to the AAPC study guide. I am assuming it is similar to the text book though, and the text book does a good job of preparing for the CPC, so either one will most likely be adequate.

Good luck on the exam

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Sue in Des Moines, Iowa

42 months ago

Thanks for checking, Kristy.

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Manaswini in Phoenix, Arizona

26 months ago

Im really interested in taking up the CPC exam. is it possible for me to prepare on my own with out taking classes? i have no prior experience in medical billing and coding. but aren't the book good enough to learn? pl advice.

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newatcoding09 in Deerfield Beach, Florida

16 months ago

hi folks,
I too am interested in self study because I don't want to waste money on schools/courses that may be too drawn out and unnecessary. I feel I can learn the material easily. My background is that I studied physical therapy for 2 1/2 years about 10 years ago and completed 3 internships. I earned a B.S. in health sciences as part of a 2 + 1 program. I have a good memory. Is medical coding something that can be learned at a quicker pace? What are the main books needed? I recently purchased a small Billing and Coding pocket Guide, "Provider's Coding Notes" by Alice Anne Andress. Thanks for any feedback. I want to be able to pass the CCA and then earn the CCS after I gain employment in the medical coding world. I also hope to obtain the RHIT or RHIA.

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Madeline A Meyer PhD in Winter Park, Florida

16 months ago

Yes, we have a cost-effective, proven program for CPC and CCS certifications. We've trained hundreds successfully.

See: medicalcodingprep.com/

Dr. Meyer

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Topaz07 in Poughkeepsie, New York

14 months ago

CodingCertification.Org is an online Medical Coding education website where you can study at your own pace, but also you will have a certified coding instructor (coach) that you can talk to if you get stuck or have a question. Very valuable! Excellent curriculum, videos, practice exams, free webinars. Check out the courses offered here: bit.ly/1axmoG5

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newatcoding09 in Pompano Beach, Florida

14 months ago

Thank you for your comment. You have given me motivation to continue my studies. Have you tried Buck's step by step work book?

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Topaz07 in Poughkeepsie, New York

14 months ago

newatcoding09 in Pompano Beach, Florida said: Thank you for your comment. You have given me motivation to continue my studies. Have you tried Buck's step by step work book?

Yes, I worked through that workbook during my Physician Based Coding course at CCO, CodingCertification.Org: bit.ly/12Y7fxj Quite valuable! However, since then CCO has switched to the same curriculum as the AAPC, and Buck's workbook is no longer used, I believe. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a good workbook, certainly Buck's workbook would be a helpful choice. Happy studying!

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G Michaels in Youngstown, Ohio

13 months ago

This is a really good course for self study and it is inexpensive for what you get. medicalcodingpro.com/prep-course.html.

There is a coupon code that worked the last time I checked it to save fifty dollars too. I think it was "save50". Hope this helps and good luck!

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angel in League City, Texas

7 months ago

I took a coding and billing class and finished in 2009, but never gotten a chance too take my state exam at that time. Its been heavy on my mind too look into studying too get my certification. Just don't know which route too take. Tried a refreshers course but the class wasn't offer enough. Now I'm thinking just go and take a continuing education course too refresh my mind or just find a goods study guide. Been layoff over a year now, been trying too find employment but its hard.

Thanks in advance for any feed back.

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nikishere33 in Oswego, Illinois

13 days ago

Hi,

Question? I am a nurse and I am currently not working.

I want to sit for my CPC. Is it possible to study on my own and pass?

Thank you,

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