Medical coding is one the best career option for all the life science graduates. But, to sustain in this field for long time medical coders need to work really hard. I myself have finished 7 years in medical coding and I really enjoyed this journey. One thing you should always remember, whatever you do in life always enjoy it to the fullest. Initially I was very scared that how I will be able to make a career in medical coding. My first year as Medical coder was full of struggle. Since, I was new to this field I have to learn everything about it. But, later I learnt about ICD, CPT, HCPCS codes and got familiar with these medical codes. Few years later I cleared CPC (Certified Professional Coder) exam and I am still trying to learn the other facilities in medical coding. This was in short I told my story. But, today I will share all the tricks I followed for clearing CPC exam and what new things should be followed for 2017 CPC exam.
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Be Updated with ICD 10 and CPT codes
From 2017, we have lot of changes in ICD 10 and CPT codes. The diagnosis codes have again increased in number. Since, ICD 10 codes are little difficult to learn, it is very important to focus more on diagnosis coding. Always remember to follow ICD 10 coding guidelines before answering any question in CPC exam. Same goes with the CPT codes, you should always follow the codebook. The CPT codebook will always guide you to the correct CPT codes. Do not forget to read the notes below CPT codes, many answers will be hidden in these sections. Try to highlight all the important section in ICD 10 and CPT codebook, so that you should be easily find them during CPC exam. Time is very important during CPC exam, which needs to be used very carefully. If you give proper time to each question you can easily find answers for most of the questions.
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Be Confident with ICD 10 codes
If you want to clear CPC exam in 2017, you should be thoroughly prepared with ICD 10 coding guidelines. For examples, coding for Sepsis, pregnancy complication, use of Z codes, external Cause of injury codes etc. needs to be taken care. These topics generally requires two or more than two ICD 10 codes, hence one should not waste time during exam to find the multiple codes. Hence, be prepared with tough topics of ICD 10 and save your time in exam. Even CPT surgery questions requires lot of time, so divide your time among ICD 10 and CPT codes, to answer each question correctly. Also, in ICD 10 the initial, subsequent and sequela encounter codes need to be taken care. These section of ICD 10 codes might confuse you during CPC exam, hence be prepared with all these chapters in ICD 10.
Read also: New CPT codes changes in 2017
Be Prepared with CPT section
The main section for CPT codes in the surgery section. The question paper of CPC exam starts with surgery questions. I always suggest medical coders not to attempt the surgery questions in the beginning. These questions eat lot of time and hence should be attempted at the end. First try to solve the one or two liner questions which will take less than a minute to solve. Once, you have finished answers all the short questions, then go an attempt the big surgery question. Always remember, you have to finish the entire question paper and attempt all the question. Since there is no negative marking, you should be able to answer all the CPC exam questions.
Avoid silly Errors
Most of the time we do not focus on silly errors and these errors decreases our CPC exam score. First of all, finish your question paper before 30 minutes so that you can check your entire answer sheet for any unanswered question. Most of time, coders leave some questions to attempt them in the end, but in the end they might forget to answer those questions. Hence, try to check your answer sheet once before submitting to the invigilator. Secondly, do not waste time on single question, since we have to attempt all the question divide you time in such a way that, you should be able to answer all the questions. CPC exam has no negative marking; hence coders should always attempt all the questions in the question paper. Finally, be focused during CPC exam, if you are scared you will not find the answer but if you concentrate and read the question correctly you can easily find the correct answer. The more stable you are during CPC exam, the more the chances you have to pass CPC exam in 2017.