Interviewing Coders

Tdeutsch

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I am the Revenue Integrity Manager for a mid-size group. We will be hiring coders on staff for internal auditing functions. Do any managers have any advice for questions to be asked or tests to administer? I would like to have the interviewees (sp?) take a test of sorts to evaluate their skills. Thoughts? Help?
 

ajudd

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I am sure there are tests - even though a coder took the CPC exam, a lot of places still have a short quiz to make sure the coder is current or a little knowledgeble in the positions they are applying for. I applied at a Radiology place, and I had to take a 10 question quiz.
You might even think about creating something specific for your office - that way you'll have something geared specifically for the line of business you do.
 

rthames052006

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I am the Revenue Integrity Manager for a mid-size group. We will be hiring coders on staff for internal auditing functions. Do any managers have any advice for questions to be asked or tests to administer? I would like to have the interviewees (sp?) take a test of sorts to evaluate their skills. Thoughts? Help?
Do you already have any coders on staff, if so have them audit some charts, visits etc...

Then have the applicants audit them too, just to see where they are in experience, every coding position I have ever applied for will usually give you some type of quiz/exam usually short ones of maybe 5-10 questions but in your case of auditing charts you could give them maybe 2 or so, depending on how long you want them to spend auditing them.

I've been to interviews for surgery coding and have always been given 2 surgeries to code, one is usually straight forward and the other is usually more involved/complicated.

Hope this helps,
 

Tdeutsch

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Thank you for your replies. I realize cpc's have a;ready taken a test as I am one. However, I studied and did well but had no real auditing experience at first. Some coders use their skills in other areas besides auditing "real" charts.
The other answers were very helpful. Thank you.
 

rthames052006

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Thank you for your replies. I realize cpc's have a;ready taken a test as I am one. However, I studied and did well but had no real auditing experience at first. Some coders use their skills in other areas besides auditing "real" charts.
The other answers were very helpful. Thank you.
Your very welcome, anything to help a "fellow coder" out...

Good luck with the interviews,
 

gared111

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They have already taken a test. It is called the CPC or CCS exam.
The passing of the exam is an obvious plus but can not be compared with actual experience. I passed my exam 5 years ago & looking back, the knowledge I obtained in the real coding world runs circles around what I learned in order to pass the test. Perhaps it was the course I took but I don't think that was the case. I can definitely see why employers want a minimum of 2 years experience. You just don't get the entire picture from the schooling process, you have to get in by doing actual coding.

BUT...in all fairness I also think newly certified CPC's need to be given a chance. You can't get experience if no one will hire you. I think pre-employment exams are the perfect solution for that. Make them in depth, make sure you have a mixture of easy & difficult scenario's to see exactly where the CPC stands as far as actual knowledge. If they can prove they can do the job then HIRE THEM! As an employer you'll save money on salaries & they will get the real life experience they need. Both people win.
 
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rthames052006

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The passing of the exam is an obvious plus but can not be compared with actual experience. I passed my exam 5 years ago & looking back, the knowledge I obtained in the real coding world runs circles around what I learned in order to pass the test. Perhaps it was the course I took but I don't think that was the case. I can definitely see why employers want a minimum of 2 years experience. You just don't get the entire picture from the schooling process, you have to get in by doing actual coding.

BUT...in all fairness I also think newly certified CPC's need to be given a chance. You can't get experience if no one will hire you. I think pre-employment exams are the perfect solution for that. Make them in depth, make sure you have a mixture of easy & difficult scenario's to see exactly where the CPC stands as far as actual knowledge. If they can prove they can do the job then HIRE THEM! As an employer you'll save money on salaries & they will get the real life experience they need. Both people win.


I couldn't agree with you more, can I get a AMEN!!!!
 

gared111

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I couldn't agree with you more, can I get a AMEN!!!!
AMEN!!!

I was fortunate enough to have an employer that was willing to hire me to code prior to having my certification. They paid for my schooling to obtain my CPC & continued to pay for my membership & whatever courses I needed to obtain my CEU's for the length of my employment there. Opportunities like that unfortunately are few & far between. I got lucky!
 

rthames052006

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AMEN!!!

I was fortunate enough to have an employer that was willing to hire me to code prior to having my certification. They paid for my schooling to obtain my CPC & continued to pay for my membership & whatever courses I needed to obtain my CEU's for the length of my employment there. Opportunities like that unfortunately are few & far between. I got lucky!
There was another "thread" talking about employers paying to keep us certified and up to date on coding things. Just wanted to ask you how was your employer about you leaving their employment.

My employer pays for 1 seminar of my choice, they only pay the cost of the seminar no lodging, food, gas etc... they also pay me if the seminars/classes are on work time, I think thats enough for me, I don't want them doing too much because some employers feel like they "own" you.

I pay to keep my certification and all other seminars besides the 1 they pay for which is usually my local chapter end of year meeting it's worth 8 ceu's I wouldn't miss that even if my employer didn't pay for it. It's not that expensive for $ 150.
 

007CPC

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I agree with simonewill7!

KEEPEN IT REAL!!!!!!

May God have mercy on us!
 
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ajudd

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I couldn't agree with you more, can I get a AMEN!!!!
AMEN!! Everyone needs experience so someone has to be willing to give it to them!! Just because you think you don't "have time" to train a new coder - but you could be missing out on one heck of a fantastic employee!!! You just never know!
 

007CPC

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Keepen It Real

This thread deserves 5 starts solely because of what simonewill7 said.

Every hiring manager in the industry should take that person's comment into account!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T -----Giving each other space (Quote: Deborah Grider NAB President of the AAPC)
 
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mmorningstarcpc

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I worked for years for a physician that would not pay for anything as it "benefited me" not him, even though he was very encouraging. Right!!!

Then I moved and worked for a small group that paid for my exam, membership, etc. Three months after getting cerified I resigned and left.

I felt bad a bit, but not really, and they said don't worry about it.

I reduced their A/R major substantially while I was there, taught them to code/bill much much better and they were making a lot more money. So, I feel, and they felt, they more than got the cost of what they spent for me to get certified.

Just my two cents!
 

Tdeutsch

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Interview Questions

Any thoughts on Good "tell the tale" interview questions for coders? I start interviewing tomorrow and really want to analyze, through my interview questions, the candidates coding skills/abilities. :confused:
 

amycypert

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Interviewing Prospective Employees....

One this I have learned in the past few years is many people cannot read or cannot do basic math.

In our office I was so tired of misfiled charts that I began to give prospective employees spelling tests. I also give prospective employees a basic math, insurance terminology quiz and basic EOB test. The sad thing is, most people cannot spell nor can they do basic math, I even had a CPC that could not calculate patient responsibility on a basic EOB nor could they tell me what an allowable amount was.

You will learn alot by giving these tests.
 

007CPC

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That is very true

Did you coders know that half the people in the world are still illiterate? I use to see the same thing at the last entity I worked at, but I think errors happen at some companies because of the low wages; hence leading to betrayal and lazy errors. Bad arithmetic vs. not being able to add or count, I don’t think a person who is competent enough to get their CPC wouldn’t be able to add or count; I think that is an exaggeration and a low blow to the AAPC. That person probably just needed a calculator-( read Coding edge issue April: Deborah Grider's article: "RESPECT" and see if you interviewers can comprehend the underlying message). I had the same problem at my last employer.
People are morons because their taught by morons. You don't need to render paper test to coders.... The PERSON GIVING the INTERVIEW should be COMPETENT enough in dialogue with an interviewee to identify weather that person being interviewed has the qualifications for that position. Don't embarrass a person by saying, "you failed": what is the purpose and what are you going to do with that ideology besides boost your own ego.

If an interviewer cannot properly ingage with basic psychological assessment to determine a persons intellectual capacity: YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED to RENDER an INTERVIEW.

Coders need to loose the narcissism


You know what the religious people say: they who judges will be judged ( I am not a religious person)
 
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rthames052006

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Did you coders know that half the people in the world are still illiterate? I use to see the same thing at the last entity I worked at, but I think errors happen at some companies because of the low wages; hence leading to betrayal and lazy errors. Bad arithmetic vs. not being able to add or count, I don’t think a person who is competent enough to get their CPC wouldn’t be able to add or count; I think that is an exaggeration and a low blow to the AAPC. That person probably just needed a calculator-( read Coding edge issue April: Deborah Grider's article: "RESPECT" and see if you interviewers can comprehend the underlying message). I had the same problem at my last employer.
People are morons because their taught by morons. You don't need to render paper test to coders.... The PERSON GIVING the INTERVIEW should be COMPETENT enough in diaglogue with an interviewee to identify weather that person being interviewed has the qualifications for that position. Don't embarrass a person by saying, "you failed": what is the purpose and what are you going to do with that ideology besides boost your own ego.

If an interviewer cannot properly ingage with basic psychological assessment to determine a persons intellectual capacity: YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED to RENDER an INTERVIEW.

Coders need to loose the narcissism


You know what the religious people say: they who judges will be judged ( I am not a religious person)
Oh Neuropathy...

After chuckling a lil bit after reading your first paragraph I realized what you were responding to.


Your comment about people being morons because they are taught by morons I don't completely agree with, if your being taught by a moron and you have any common sense you will verify what people are telling/teaching you... that's like saying you believe everything you hear.. I sure don't.

In an employers defense and from what I have seen with my own eyes... there are some people out there who can "go with the flow" but once you put them on their own they are lost in the sauce... not to say we are all like that but some people "fall thru the cracks" so to speak...

Someone could apply for a coding position for the radiology dept who has never coded any type of radiology services, this is not to say that they couldn't muddle their way thru it but wouldn't you pick the candidate who shows the experience in radiology over someone who doesn't... I am not knocking anyone but for example myself personally I have been employed by an Internal Med practice for just about 11 years now, I don't do and haven't done any kind of radiology coding in my life.... except what was on the cpc exam 3 years ago. ... I am a firm believer in if "you don't use it you lose it"

I recently was told about a position in an office who needs help with billing, the staff they currently have is not really knowledgable in billng because the a/r is out of control, or should I say the insurance a/r is out of control no payments coming in and no one knows why... because no one is working that a/r to find out what is going on they are getting these eob's in and the "billing people" don't know how to read the eobs or don't know how to pick up the telephone and call if they don't understand an eob... Yes it could be that the people are lazy too....
 
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007CPC

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Oh Neuropathy...

After chuckling a lil bit after reading your first paragraph I realized what you were responding to.


Your comment about people being morons because they are taught by morons I don't completely agree with, if your being taught by a moron and you have any common sense you will verify what people are telling/teaching you... that's like saying you believe everything you hear.. I sure don't.

In an employers defense and from what I have seen with my own eyes... there are some people out there who can "go with the flow" but once you put them on their own they are lost in the sauce... not to say we are all like that but some people "fall thru the cracks" so to speak...

Someone could apply for a coding position for the radiology dept who has never coded any type of radiology services, this is not to say that they couldn't muddle their way thru it but wouldn't you pick the candidate who shows the experience in radiology over someone who doesn't... I am not knocking anyone but for example myself personally I have been employed by an Internal Med practice for just about 11 years now, I don't do and haven't done any kind of radiology coding in my life.... except what was on the cpc exam 3 years ago. ... I am a firm believer in if "you don't use it you lose it"

I recently was told about a position in an office who needs help with billing, the staff they currently have is not really knowledgable in billng because the a/r is out of control, or should I say the insurance a/r is out of control no payments coming in and no one knows why... because no one is working that a/r to find out what is going on they are getting these eob's in and the "billing people" don't know how to read the eobs or don't know how to pick up the telephone and call if they don't understand an eob... Yes it could be that the people are lazy too....

Thank you for saving me rthames052006
 
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