Will practicode open up more job opportunities for me?

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I received my CPC-A in July and still have not been able to get my feet wet in the coding world. Has anyone done the practicode courses to get the apprentice A off their credential? I am concerned the longer I go with out coding that I am going to lose the base of information I learned from the course. Any insight and thoughts are much appreciated.
 
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PractiCode

Hi there!

I am also new to coding and enrolled in PractiCode. I received my COC-A in June 2016 and decided to get my CPC-A in September 2016. With a BS in Biology, two coding certifications but NO experience, I have not been able to land a job. I had the same concern as you in regard to losing some of the information I had learned. Ultimately, this is why I enrolled in Practicode. I can honestly say that it does keep you on your toes and with every exercise you will learn something new or remember what you've already learned. To keep your coding speed up I recommend using AAPC Coder, which can provide lots of insight into codes that our coding books do not offer. Besides, when you begin coding, you will be using encoder software anyway, so let that also be somewhat of a resume builder. You will get CEUs for completing PractiCode, also. Oh, and look for packaged deals on it; I got practicode enrollment free when I paid for two years of membership dues.

Bottom line: enroll in practicode, keep reviewing CPT/HCPCS/ICD10 guidelines. Review something every day - repetition and consistency really does work! Engage your local chapter officers and attend the events. Network Network Network! Do well in Practicode so that if you get an interview you will have something to show and you will feel so much more confident with the experience I assure you.

Good luck my fellow apprentice !
 

SAllard607

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Unfortunately without experience the additional education will not always make a difference. Even if the A were removed from your credential you would be in the same position without any coding experience through an employer. The best thing to do is apply to local hospitals, they often will hire coders with no experience at an entry level position. If you cannot get into a local hospital coding department, then I would suggest applying to other positions within the hospital and getting your foot in the door.
 
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I finished the practicode it actually give me an idea about coding real medical records but unfortunately i still can't find a job even entry levels requires at least a year experienced
 
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So, does anyone know how we can gain experience in this field? I work in a hospital as a Patient Access Rep in the Emergency Department. I have been contemplating buying the Practicode program, however, the feedback I have read leads me to believe the program could be a waste of time and/or money. I really am confused on what to do!!!!!
 

DrKitty

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practicode

hey everyone,just want to know is practicode effective ,,i mean do they proviede only questions or do they give answers too ,how does it work,,, i am new in this so please let me know thanks
 

HangarPilot

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I'm also new and figuring this out as I go along! I just started Practicode this week.

There is NO training in it whatsoever. It's meant to be practical experience ... so there's no educational modules. After a short intro to explain how it works *boom* ... here's chart number one - code it! After I stared at it for 30 seconds my training kicked back in ... ok ... that's right ... I know how to do this.

Just like you were filling out the fields of a CMS-1500 or some electronic encoder, you enter the CPTs, Modifiers, Units, and Dx codes you would bill and tell it to grade it. For each chart, there are a certain number of "points" ... for example, 4 points if they are looking for 1 CPT, Units, and 2 Dx. It will tell you that you got 3 of 4, show you the chart, and if you keep scrolling to the bottom you will find the rationale. You put this CPT but the correct one is this. You are allowed to retake and practice as much as you like so you have to go back and do it again and cannot continue until 100% correct (but you now have the correct answer so that's not a problem). I haven't reached the assessments yet but 70% is required to pass and you only get 3 attempts on those.

It's not bad. One could even argue it's like real life... you enter the codes, send if off to the insurance... and they say "nope, not paying it, try again!" :)

I looked through the forums when I was trying to decide to buy it and saw numerous complaints about "wrong" answers. Even though I'm only on chart #30 of the first 200, I've already run into it. There's a big disclaimer during the brief intro that the answers were "crowd sourced" to real coders the the "correct" answer is what the majority of coders in the field would code. The problem I've seen is that I will get a dx wrong and it will say in the rational something like "since the dx is vanilla icecream with chocolate and sprinkles, the correct dx code is: XYZ.123" ... I re-read the chart 5 times and there is no mention of chocolate or sprinkles anywhere which is why I coded XYZ.1! Oh well, it's annoying that I got it "wrong" and have to redo it but there's no penalty for being wrong. Even if there ends up being an error or two in the assessment it shouldn't keep me passing so no reason to make a big deal out of it.

I work in Pediatrics and my duties are more Billing than Coding so I signed up for Practicode to gain some more Coding experience especially in other fields. While I wouldn't say I'm super impressed by it (the interface is clunky/slow going question to question or going back to repeat a question)... it's ok for my needs and I feel I am gaining "practical experience" by doing it. It will help remove my "-A" sooner and while I wouldn't put it on my resume or try to claim it as experience to a potential employer, if I chose to change jobs/fields I could at least speak intelligently about things like "open reduction, internal fixation"! Instead of being the interviewee with the deer in the headlights look just nodding my head pretending I understand. :rolleyes:

I'm big on education and this is a tool ... it is what you make out if it. You can get it wrong, enter the right answer and just move on ... or you can compare your choices to the correct answer and see where you went wrong and learn from it... but it's on YOU to do it, the program won't hold your hand. See a term you don't understand, look it up. I've learned a lot this week approaching it with that mindset.
 

CodingKing

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I looked through the forums when I was trying to decide to buy it and saw numerous complaints about "wrong" answers. Even though I'm only on chart #30 of the first 200, I've already run into it. There's a big disclaimer during the brief intro that the answers were "crowd sourced" to real coders the the "correct" answer is what the majority of coders in the field would code. The problem I've seen is that I will get a dx wrong and it will say in the rational something like "since the dx is vanilla icecream with chocolate and sprinkles, the correct dx code is: XYZ.123" ... I re-read the chart 5 times and there is no mention of chocolate or sprinkles anywhere which is why I coded XYZ.1! Oh well, it's annoying that I got it "wrong" and have to redo it but there's no penalty for being wrong. Even if there ends up being an error or two in the assessment it shouldn't keep me passing so no reason to make a big deal out of it.

That rationales aren't that great, for DX it seems some of them were coded in ICD-9 and put through the GEMS to map to ICD-10. GEMS was never meant to be used by coders so i think some translated into the wrong DX. I sent so many corrections in, they stopped responding after a while.
 

annmwick

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CPC-A, Medical Coding Specialist, MN

Hello,

I am very appreciative of the responses re practicode and the hurdles/inconsistencies some have run into. I am somewhat new to the coding and billing profession. During training I thought I was the one not understanding why I could not come up with correct answers, or missed some important detail somewhere. After getting through the training course for medical billing and coding, getting certified as CPC-A, working for 9 months in billing and coding, getting exposure to various applications and resources used on the job, and communicating with members, payers, clearinghouses, CMS, etc, my biggest take is that nothing in this field is black and white. If you allow yourself to become frustrated it will only hinder you from getting things done. (you have to ask questions, analyze the options and use logic and common sense to decide which answer will work best in a given scenario)

Since I am a very literal person it can be a frustrating experience. I have learned to believe that I may have been trained to do something one way, but be prepared to be flexible in your thinking to adapt to a new way especially on the job!

Also, because of the constant change in the health information management field the incidence of inconsistencies from all levels are frequent and when looking for a work environment it will be important to make sure that the company you choose to work for understands this reality.
 

Wiethoff

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Love the Practicode Experience

I passed my exam back in April at first attempt and had to remove my "A" as well as nobody wants to hire an apprentice. I just finished all 3 Practicode in 3 (!) weeks and I liked the exercise. This week I got a job as a new coder without any experience in a medical facility. I was hired based on my achievements, hard work and self-discipline during this whole process.

Believe in yourself and you will find the right opportunity.
 

sjasontaylor77

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I passed my exam back in April at first attempt and had to remove my "A" as well as nobody wants to hire an apprentice. I just finished all 3 Practicode in 3 (!) weeks and I liked the exercise. This week I got a job as a new coder without any experience in a medical facility. I was hired based on my achievements, hard work and self-discipline during this whole process.

Believe in yourself and you will find the right opportunity.

That's all well and good but I've had two employers now tell me Practicode experience won't help me land a job any faster. They agree it's great practice but the selling point of it being considered real world experience you can put on your resume is bunk.
 

CodingKing

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Practicode is for expediting in removing the A. Its not considered experience as in something you will list in the work experience section of a resume.
 

sjasontaylor77

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Practicode is for expediting in removing the A. Its not considered experience as in something you will list in the work experience section of a resume.

Well according to the way they sell it on their site, and the rep I spoke with that I mentioned on another thread, AAPC says it could and should be taken as such. Too bad the employer's I've talked with so far don't feel the same way.
 

cyndizz34

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practicode worth it?

I will have to say that doing the practicode was very helpful since I am new to the medical field but like most people here it does not help get a job. I have only been looking for four months and have not had one interview because of not having any experience. I have started looking for jobs in the hospitals or medical offices just to get in the door.

Also, doing those cases I did come across a lot of them that were coded incorrectly. If you question any of them question them and they will correct your score. Good luck

Cynthia
 
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