New CPC-A problems with understanding Practicode

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So I passed my certification exam in December, got up-to-date with ICD-10, and spent two weeks waiting for Practicode to work. Now I'm using it, still on the first module, and I'm having trouble with knowing how detailed I'm supposed to be when coding, especially long cases. My trouble seems to stem from over-coding, because they count off if you add more than what they required. I'm frustrated because if this were an actual work setting, I could ask someone for quick clarification and/or query the provider, but that's not an option with Practicode. Then again, I guess that's what the forums are for.

I'll give an example: say you're looking at a case for an ER visit, with multiple physicians chiming in on the record. Am I supposed to code for everything from intake to discharge, or just for the latest entry at the top? Say the pt. came in with a dislocated shoulder, got it reduced, and had post-reduction RADs done after. Would I code for the whole visit (incl. E/M, reduction, and RADs), or just the RADs? I have done it both ways and gotten it wrong both ways. I feel like I'm missing something. Can anyone help?
 

MxTej94

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Same here! I have one case for example where the patient has a tab for clinical record, another for a supposedly past visit/history (but contains records of a much later visit and already included the Dx and CPT codes)... and different formats for the other modules.
 

JMaga

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Practicode Possible to rework completed modules.

Hi,
I just finished my first module in practicode and I was wondering if it is possible to rework a finished module. I can't seem to figure out how to do that if its even possible. I would have loved better instructions. I agree with other posts that some of the answers seem to be incorrect. Does anyone know how the assessments work? Thank you.
 

leenapCPC

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Review

Hi,
I just finished my first module in practicode and I was wondering if it is possible to rework a finished module. I can't seem to figure out how to do that if its even possible. I would have loved better instructions. I agree with other posts that some of the answers seem to be incorrect. Does anyone know how the assessments work? Thank you.
I have not been able to rework any of the modules.
But you can go back and look at all the exercises you have worked and sort of review the whole thing.
On your practicode module, at the far right upper corner there is a Icon which looks like a Bar Graph, click on it and then go to the drop down menu towards left and select Exercises completed. You can review various exercises here.
It is your only way of reviewing. Good Luck!.
 

lgarand

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I'm having difficulty with Practicode too! I'm in the first "beginner" module and I'm doing poorly! I did well in the AAPC's online course, passed the certification exam and now feel like I learned almost nothing. The explanations are generic and not helpful. Very discouraging.

While reviewing your answers there is a "Feedback" tab on the left of page. Send your questions and it will give them a screenshot of the exercise. They will email you back with rationales. But it doesn't help that the exercise has already been scored.
 
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Indianapolis, IN
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Practicode

I'm having difficulty with Practicode too! I'm in the first "beginner" module and I'm doing poorly! I did well in the AAPC's online course, passed the certification exam and now feel like I learned almost nothing. The explanations are generic and not helpful. Very discouraging.

While reviewing your answers there is a "Feedback" tab on the left of page. Send your questions and it will give them a screenshot of the exercise. They will email you back with rationales. But it doesn't help that the exercise has already been scored.
The first module of 200 questions is a bear. Very different than academic coding such as what we experienced in class and with the big exam. But as you progress, the most frequent the "AH HA" light bulb moments will become. This is a great education and honestly will put you way ahead of everyone else who has never attempted real-world coding before. When you go into a future interview and they hand you their in-house pre-employment exam, you will know how to tackle it because of what you learned with Practicode.
 
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I've been frustrated with the Practicode as well...sorry I don't have any advice as I am struggling through it as well. I am already a CPC-A and trying to get the A off the credential and have found this to be very discouraging and confusing.
 

rdowers

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So I passed my certification exam in December, got up-to-date with ICD-10, and spent two weeks waiting for Practicode to work. Now I'm using it, still on the first module, and I'm having trouble with knowing how detailed I'm supposed to be when coding, especially long cases. My trouble seems to stem from over-coding, because they count off if you add more than what they required. I'm frustrated because if this were an actual work setting, I could ask someone for quick clarification and/or query the provider, but that's not an option with Practicode. Then again, I guess that's what the forums are for.

I'll give an example: say you're looking at a case for an ER visit, with multiple physicians chiming in on the record. Am I supposed to code for everything from intake to discharge, or just for the latest entry at the top? Say the pt. came in with a dislocated shoulder, got it reduced, and had post-reduction RADs done after. Would I code for the whole visit (incl. E/M, reduction, and RADs), or just the RADs? I have done it both ways and gotten it wrong both ways. I feel like I'm missing something. Can anyone help?
This is exactly my problem, especially with the ER cases - it seems like if it's an ER report, we're not supposed to report radiology or lab services, and we shouldn't report external causes. But we do report EKG/rhythm strips. I had a shoulder dislocation exercise just now, and they wanted it as just the reduction, no E/M, no post-reduction films, and just to make it fun, the external cause for his accident was listed on a second set of correct answers, so there it was optional. I guess we assume that radiology and lab do their own coding unless the report is only about a radiology or lab service? That's as best as I can come up with.

Granted, I haven't gotten very far with it yet, but it would help to at least have some guidelines as to what parts of the case we're supposed to be coding, especially with those long ones. :)
 

Cdarata

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Practicode ECG coding

I've only just begun the practicode exercises and I feel the rationale is not helpful. It was an ED visit. First, it blatantly expresses this is a Medicare patient which I was told in class that if it says Medicare, code from HCPCS so I did the E/M code form HCPCS, which was wrong (but I did choose the correct level). Does anyone know a simple way to know when to use HCPCS ED codes vs CPT?

Also, it coded two ECG codes. 93010 (ECG, routine with at least 12 leads) and 93042 (Rhythm ECG, 1-3 leads). From the report I could only gather that the physician did a rhythm ECG so that's what I coded. Under what circumstances are both codes used? I guess I just don't understand.

Also, are labs never coded separately for ED visits?

I'm feeling like I've learned nothing and I have CPC and COC.
 

rdowers

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Here's an answer from Practicode re the ER stuff:

It is common practice that radiology and lab services are not billed by the ED physician. The radiologist and pathologist will be the physician reviewing and interpreting these services. For these exercises, when it comes to x-rays and labs performed in the ED...stay away from coding them.

So it looks like we ignore those (for ED visits). Good to know!

(For what it's worth, I got that answer by clicking the Feedback link on the exercise I messed up on, and AAPC sent it to Practicode, and Practicode sent me an answer. So maybe the Feedback link on the left hand side is worth using if something looks odd.)
 

lgarand

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The first module of 200 questions is a bear. Very different than academic coding such as what we experienced in class and with the big exam. But as you progress, the most frequent the "AH HA" light bulb moments will become. This is a great education and honestly will put you way ahead of everyone else who has never attempted real-world coding before. When you go into a future interview and they hand you their in-house pre-employment exam, you will know how to tackle it because of what you learned with Practicode.
Thanks for the encouragement!!
 

lgarand

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New Haven
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The first module of 200 questions is a bear. Very different than academic coding such as what we experienced in class and with the big exam. But as you progress, the most frequent the "AH HA" light bulb moments will become. This is a great education and honestly will put you way ahead of everyone else who has never attempted real-world coding before. When you go into a future interview and they hand you their in-house pre-employment exam, you will know how to tackle it because of what you learned with Practicode.
Here's an answer from Practicode re the ER stuff:

It is common practice that radiology and lab services are not billed by the ED physician. The radiologist and pathologist will be the physician reviewing and interpreting these services. For these exercises, when it comes to x-rays and labs performed in the ED...stay away from coding them.

So it looks like we ignore those (for ED visits). Good to know!

(For what it's worth, I got that answer by clicking the Feedback link on the exercise I messed up on, and AAPC sent it to Practicode, and Practicode sent me an answer. So maybe the Feedback link on the left hand side is worth using if something looks odd.)
Thanks for the info! But we DO still figure in labs and xrays when considering risk for MDM?
 
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Working on practicode

I am working on this, too, and having some frustrations. I know that some of the answers must be wrong: One of the exercises just had a labral tear (articular cartilage) coded as a sprain (which would mean a ligament) of an unspecified site (labrum is specific) of the shoulder. Another report indicated contusions of the chest, which was coded as contusion of the Thorax, unspecified site (as opposed to front). Another had a pt admitted from the ER, which I thought was supposed to by coded as initial hospital care, but wasn't.

There are also some exercises where a pt was given pain meds for chronic back pain (unrelated to primary diagnosis) or IV fluid for dehydration, and these were not coded. I had a conversation with a compliance consultant neighbor up the street, and she tells me this is exactly the type of stuff she looks for (to the tune of $125/hr). Maybe I am missing something, but they only seem to be coding the diagnoses listed by the physician under "IMPRESSION".

What I have figured out is that there are 3 types of exercises:

ER - Usually coded as E/M ER service, and coded from to point of view of the physician. So you don't code radiology or medicine services, unless it specifies "GLOBAL SERVICE" (in which case you do), or if the physician specifies that he did the report (in which case you use -26, unless it's an "interpretation only" code in which case -26 is already implied). You don't code lab services, since those are coded by the lab, but you do count the ordering of lab services in the E/M code. You don't count order of radiology or medicine tests in E/M if the physician is billing for them otherwise. (ADDENDUM: Not all ER cases justify an E/M code, but it seems so far that most do.)

Radiology - You're coding as if you're the radiologist, so -26 unless it's a global service.

Operative reports - The most straightforward, I think. You code diagnoses and procedures.
 
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mcbogdan

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Free Webinar

When I ordered practicode, it said it came with a free one hour webinar that reviews how to code the cases. I could not find it on My AAPC account. So, I went back to the email I received when I purchased Practicode. In the body of the email, there is a link to the webinar. The webinar is extremely helpful if you are unsure of what they are looking for in how to answer the cases. It gives guidelines for the different types of cases and then shows examples. I think that this might be helpful for those of you in the thread that are unsure. I, too, was struggling with my first few practices exercises thinking that I had coded the case correctly only to get a poor score. This webinar has definitely helped.
 

lgarand

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When I ordered practicode, it said it came with a free one hour webinar that reviews how to code the cases. I could not find it on My AAPC account. So, I went back to the email I received when I purchased Practicode. In the body of the email, there is a link to the webinar. The webinar is extremely helpful if you are unsure of what they are looking for in how to answer the cases. It gives guidelines for the different types of cases and then shows examples. I think that this might be helpful for those of you in the thread that are unsure. I, too, was struggling with my first few practices exercises thinking that I had coded the case correctly only to get a poor score. This webinar has definitely helped.
Thank you! I will look for this!
 
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Extremely Frustrating experience

I can relate to all the negative comments made here. I took the training with AAPC program and the Practicode appears to be from a different world. So what I fail to understand is if we are having difficulty working with Practicode than either the AAPC training was lacking in some manner or the Practicode is lacking in some manner. Either way I hold AAPC responsible.
 

apell

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practicode

I'm liking practicode as a tool for some practice coding from real notes. I got my cpc certification a few years ago and have been working at a job where I don't do much cpt coding. I've removed my A through the job, but am using practicode as just that-practice/learning more.

I can see how it might be stressful though if you're using it to get rid of your A, but...In terms of getting help, they do communicate with you if you have questions, and they're responsive.
Email them if something doesn't seem right.
 
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Practicode

I seem to continue to find articles/blogs/threads about Practicode and its' "user friendliness". I passed my CPC exam in November and have to agree with some of these comments..after starting Practicode, it is a bit discouraging..I feel as if I didn't learn anything. I cannot seem to figure out HOW they want me to answer. I will only get parts of answers correct, but I do not find the rationale/explanation is very clear. Does anyone have any advice? Any videos or other links? Do you think contacting AAPC would help? I am starting to wonder if this was even worth the $250...

Thanks!
 

kroth18

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Practicode discouragement

I can relate to all the negative comments made here. I took the training with AAPC program and the Practicode appears to be from a different world. So what I fail to understand is if we are having difficulty working with Practicode than either the AAPC training was lacking in some manner or the Practicode is lacking in some manner. Either way I hold AAPC responsible.
I'm so glad I checked to see if anyone else is having problems. I'm really floundering in the Practicode. Has anyone else found that there are CPT answers missing in the rationales? In several questions in module 2 the rationale gives only a range of CPT codes instead of one that is the correct answer. (And it's clear that not all the codes within the range are acceptable, because my answers are being marked incorrect.) I've had to send emails to the Practicode team asking for the correct answer and it's taking a long time to hear back from them. Consequently, I'm not learning as I go very well.

After reading all the posts from people who took Practicode to get rid of their A but still can't find work it's very difficult to stay motivated with all the Practicode problems. Does anyone from AAPC read these forums and address the problems people are having?
 
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