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Pre-employment coding testing for CPCs-Is it really to asses your coding knowledge!

  1. #1
    Lightbulb Pre-employment coding testing for CPCs-Is it really to assess your coding knowledge!
    Medical Coding Books
    Hello Fellow AAPC coders,

    This thread is to get coder’s candor on pre-employment testing, particularly ASC.

    I would like to put forth the argument that pre-employment testing is to do anything but asses your coding aptitude and current knowledge. I believe corporate entities put forth coding test to hold down a coder’s wage. I am kind of sick of walking into interviews and rectifying horrible mishaps on employee entrance tests; Does anybody else have this problem. Most likely if the employer renders a test in the interview with mishaps it is most likely their reporting practice will be in complete chaos for a production coder, hence leaving a burdensome task for a simple task complicated by the company’s incompetence with coding.

    I say this because every corporate entity I have applied to in the past tried to mark my code selection wrong through listing codes the way the reimbursement process is for their particular reporting practice: e.g. listing Sx integrals and omitting conditions that are clearly more robust. And I am sure as some of you have read from the Coding Edge magazine: Reimbursement should never drive correct coding-(Quote: Kevin Shields Journalist/writer for the AAPC coding edge magazine)

    Isn’t it true the whole logic behind employer entry exams is to assess one’s knowledge on ethical correct coding; not coding the way the insurance companies incur upon services since that varies extraordinarily from geographical location-some don’t but most do.
    Last edited by 007CPC; 04-09-2008 at 07:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Default preemployment coding testing for CPCs-Is it really to assess your coding knowledge!
    we have a similar situation with an organization, whom shall remain nameless....in March '08 the assessment test for ER coding was revised from 2006 to 2008....the inpatient assessment test has errors caught by more than 1 coder and has not been revised...the outpatient assessment isn't offered due to reduction in force....also the organization has computerized coding which is not correct most of the time (coding NS w/additives, using -24 with all post-op E/Ms relating to the surgery, using 1995 guideline software with 1997 coding tools, etc.)...pretty much I would favor bringing the errors to the attention of the HR Mgr and if there is no adequate f/u along with your ability to retest with an accurate assessment test, I would contact CMS regarding their coding practices (whistleblower)

    Quote Originally Posted by neuropathy View Post
    Hello Fellow AAPC coders,

    This thread is to get coder's candor on pre-employment testing, particularly ASC.

    I would like to put forth the argument that pre-employment testing is to do anything but asses your coding aptitude and current knowledge. I believe corporate entities put forth coding test to hold down a coder's wage. I am kind of sick of walking into interviews and rectifying horrible mishaps on employee entrance tests; Does anybody else have this problem. Most likely if the employer renders a test in the interview with mishaps it is most likely their reporting practice will be in complete chaos for a production coder, hence leaving a burdensome task for a simple task complicated by the company's incompetence with coding.

    I say this because every corporate entity I have applied to in the past tried to mark my code selection wrong through listing codes the way the reimbursement process is for their particular reporting practice: e.g. listing Sx integrals and omitting conditions that are clearly more robust. And I am sure as some of you have read from the Coding Edge magazine: Reimbursement should never drive correct coding-(Quote: Kevin Shields Journalist/writer for the AAPC coding edge magazine)

    Isn't it true the whole logic behind employer entry exams is to assess one's knowledge on ethical correct coding; not coding the way the insurance companies incur upon services since that varies extraordinarily from geographical location-some don't but most do.
    Rachele Porter, AS, CPC, CPC-H, CEDC
    no weapons formed against me shall prosper

  3. #3
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by racheleporter View Post
    we have a similar situation with an organization, whom shall remain nameless....in March '08 the assessment test for ER coding was revised from 2006 to 2008....the inpatient assessment test has errors caught by more than 1 coder and has not been revised...the outpatient assessment isn't offered due to reduction in force....also the organization has computerized coding which is not correct most of the time (coding NS w/additives, using -24 with all post-op E/Ms relating to the surgery, using 1995 guideline software with 1997 coding tools, etc.)...pretty much I would favor bringing the errors to the attention of the HR Mgr and if there is no adequate f/u along with your ability to retest with an accurate assessment test, I would contact CMS regarding their coding practices (whistleblower)
    I had the same thing happen to me, I went for a surgical coding position and I was told my dx was incorrect, the coder who adminstered the test isnt'the one who coded the charts so she said she wasn't sure if I was right or wrong, so i pulled out the icd-9 book and had her look up the codes and I be damned if I wasn't correct, I still didn't get the job but atleast it was brought to her attention.
    Roxanne Thames CPC, CPC-I, CEMC
    rthamescpci@gmail.com


    "Remember the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the heart of true friends"

  4. #4
    Lightbulb Whistleblowing...... not in my custom
    Whistleblowers are important to the coding community for certain aspects that keep corporate entities in-check. Me personally, I grew up in a economic environment were government did absolutely nothing to help my fellow peers around; why should one jeopardize their personnel integrity, formally or informally, to help out an entity who never helped them. When I use to code for a PBS about 60 percent of the claims incurred upon by CMS were wrong; the documentation wasn't sophisticated to a point were one CPC or CCS had to profoundly discern for correct encryption- you could just look at code selection and tell it was wrong. The disappointing point about the whole industry to me was, after hearing on C-SPAN, a representative making a case that CMS at most times purposely incurs upon wrong claims so later can sue for more money. If any body would like to refute that is not corruption, please do, I would love to hear it. Sorry to digress from why I will never whistleblowe-rat-or narc; if CMS purposely takes such action, what business is it of middle-lower class civilians, such as myself, to go around gossiping about a corporate entity whose incompetent coding is incidental and not intentional. I'll start busting crooks once CMS or the FBI employes me-which is not a superior goal; until then my coding energy will be more focused on attaining employment at a statistical driven based coding environment, were I hope not to deal with the federal healthcare program, to pay my way through pre-med school.

    Neuropathy

  5. Default
    Neuropathy, I see your point. However, whistleblowing is important because if the files in question get to the right person, such as a clinican/HIM professional, then that professional can use the experience, knowledge, and training that he/she has as an clinican/HIM professional to keep the right or right the wrong and potentially save or recoup a few bucks for Medicaid and/or Medicare for the future. I wouldn't judge everything that's wrong with CMS on some officials you see on C-Span. The front-liners are the ones who are truly fighting the battle and know what's really going on. Just my opinion.

  6. #6
    Lightbulb Frontliners V.S. CSPAN and book TV
    Member7, I understand your point. I take your post as if you think I am one of those individuals who watch the news ( I don’t watch the news, I read books) for 5 seconds and believe every thing I hear; I can assure you I am not that gullible and that big of an egg head! I wouldn’t make such comments in my prior posts about CMS if I already experienced the coding incompetence of CMS. I have very good proof to bolster my above sentences but don’t feel it is necessary to divulge confidential information at a forum- that is kind of digressing from the initial point of my whole thread. The Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network is more reliable of a source than the front liners or headliners such as the News stations. I am confused as to what you mean by front-liners? Please be specific when you write a post directed to me. The person who made the comment for which why you wrote your post was a representative of a state in America. Not just "some officials".
    Last edited by 007CPC; 04-14-2008 at 06:18 PM.

  7. Default
    What do I mean by front-liners? There are reviewers who perform coding and auditing functions for CMS that are not the decision makers for CMS. These people are behind the scenes. They may work for CMS or be contractors of CMS. I guess I take exception, even though it's your right, to seemingly discourage whistleblowing especially when in many cases, it seems to be effective in getting recoups or saving money for the Medicaid and Medicare accounts for the future (although I don't believe I'll get any of it). I can appreciate the frustration that you have had with CMS. I've known people that work directly or indirectly for CMS that have frustrations with the bureacracy as well.

    Going to your initial point about pre-assessment tests, I guess I would be concerned if the employer is just simply looking for someone who will cross the line to get the bucks. The other concern is if someone applied who was an accurate coder and didn't get the job would that ban them from ever being hired with that employer.

  8. #8
    Lightbulb
    Oh. My misunderstanding.

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