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Not worth the money put into CPC

  1. Default CPC exam
    Medical Coding Books
    I just took my exam in the beginning of Sept for the first time and passed. I took the CPC preparation course. It is extremly important to know the guidelines. I also wrote notes on my books and highlighted important words such as 'without' 'with or without', and 'do not code in conjuction with codes'. I also wrote all the prefixes respectfully at the beginning of each chapter. Knowing medical terminology is a must to pass the exam. Best of luck.

  2. Default
    Teresa,
    Thanks for the advice. I have a passion for coding, and it is what I really want to do. I am currently not employed in the medical field, but have gone to school for it. I will try again in the future, Lord willing, hopefully when I have a medical job.

  3. #23
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by juliabiz@hotmail.com View Post
    Teresa,
    Thanks for the advice. I have a passion for coding, and it is what I really want to do. I am currently not employed in the medical field, but have gone to school for it. I will try again in the future, Lord willing, hopefully when I have a medical job.
    I am glad to hear that this is your passion. By all means, please try again for your certification. In the meanwhile, continue studying, reading, and learning about coding. I hope you soon find a job in the medical field. Just that one open door is all it takes. I started in the medical field as a part-time transcriptionist and now 22 years later I am a Certified Professional Coder in that same Family Practice.

    Best wishes in your job search and in the coding field!
    Teresa Collins, CPC

  4. #24
    Default
    I have to agree with one of the posters to look deep inside yourself and make sure this is what you want to do. I have been in the medical field for about 25 years and have wanted to be a CPC since 2001 when I first heard the term. I'd been a coder for years but not certified. I was attracted to the title and the money and I did like coding. I still enjoyed it for the first year and a half, now I hate it most days. There are several things for you to consider before you continue to pursue this field. It is not a waste of time or money if you are commited and if this is what you really want. The number one frustration for me has been the lack of the physicians to really listen to me when I am trying to help them, trying to protect them and trying to educate them about federal guidellines. I am working for a very large company and there is just too much work to abstract everything to ensure proper coding of CPT codes. It's scary to me. The other thing is reading the inpatient hospital notes, there is an emotional toll to deal with, depression, sadness. The people in the hospital are really sick, there is a lot of death, a lot private family issues. Then there is ICD 10 and constantly changing insurance policies. The providers do not understand how this will affect them, they think it is a coders job, they still just put DM or HTN or CKD. Well we need more specifics than that. I would love to find a new profession but at my age this is going to be difficult. On a positive note, I thank God in heaven I have a job every day, I am fortunate and blessed. Good luck Take all the advice given in the posts here, these ladies have given you good advice.

  5. Default
    it's all about time management and preparation. The first time around, i failed due to time management but the second time, i learned from my mistakes and passed because i didn't waste time on the harder questions.
    I'm not saying the test isn't hard but I had great teacher and really the subject matter. I could see if you didn't have that, it could be very frustrating.

  6. Default question on testing
    since I failed the cpc test TWICE, I am concidering purchasing the cpc 2011 study guide. Has anyone used this and what did you think.

  7. #27
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by Alitam_m@yahoo.com View Post
    I have been billing for 12 years in many different specialties and I took this test twice and also did very poorly...I agree 100% not worth the time. See, being a biller we know what the insurance companies are looking for to get payment, but as a "Coder" we have to forget that we are not worried about the payment. Does that make since? You can get your Billing Certification online. The title is Medical Billing Remiembursement Specialist. Its much like AAPC where you have to pay annually and have so many CEU's. If your looking to work for Physicians, get the Billing Certification and it is a national cerification.
    I can tell you that I am a biller and coder, was a biller for about 10 years then took my CPC in 2005 and CEMC in 2009. I think a well rounded "coder" understands and knows the billing/payment process for the carrier's as well. We are looking at getting payment too but we want to make sure the documentation is correct and that our providers are in compliance and that the documentation reflects the services rendered; and if not that's when we educate our providers on payor guidelines, medical policies , proper cpt/dx coding etc.. I know in my role as a Compliance Auditor, I have had my share of appeals and have won alot of them based on my knowledge of billing and coding.
    Last edited by rthames052006; 09-25-2011 at 03:35 PM.
    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"

  8. Default
    I employed the following strategy and passed the CPC exam on my first try with an 84:
    1. Skip any question that is a page long - there are only a couple of them, and they aren't
    worth the time investment.
    2. View the exam as a timed puzzle which you have 5 hours and 40 minutes to solve - it's
    not all about the knowledge - you won't have time to look up the vast majority of the
    codes anyway.
    3. DON'T read the question first - go straight to the answer options. By the time you
    determine what codes to look up and then find them, you will have forgotten what you
    read anyway.
    4. LOOK FOR PATTERNS!!! What you want to do is quickly eliminate 2 of the 4 options.
    Look for codes that appear in identical form in more than one answer option.
    5. If a code appears in identical format in all 4 options, ignore it, because it MUST be part
    of the answer, and you don't have time to look up codes that will not help you determine
    the correct of 4 choices. If a code appears in identical form in exactly 3 of the 4 answer
    choices, it is likely part of the answer, so eliminate the option that it does NOT appear
    in, and then ignore that code as well.
    6. If a code appears in identical form in exactly 2 of the answer choices, look THAT CODE
    up in your books (if you have a choice of ICD-9 vs. CPT, ICD-9 is easier - less to read).
    THEN, read the question. If the code fits with the information, delete the 2 choices that it
    does not appear in. If it doesn't fit, delete the 2 that it appears in and concentrate on the
    remaining 2 choices. Remember, the name of the game is to quickly eliminate 2 choices,
    so that you only have to deal with 2 possibilities.
    7. Once you have narrowed your choices down to 2 possibilities, look for SIMILAR codes
    between them - codes that differ from one another by only one numeral or decimal
    point, etc. Again, ICD-9 is easier than CPT if you have that option. Pick 2 similar codes,
    look those up, note the difference between them, and refer again to your information to
    determine the correct fit. Mark your answer and MOVE ON TO THE NEXT QUESTION.
    8. Remember, look up ONLY those codes that will help you narrow down your choices. You
    don't have time to look up everything. You must use your time judiciously and only look
    up those codes that are going to help you find the MOST LIKELY answer in
    approximately 2 minutes, because you have only 340 minutes to answer 150 questions.

    Best of luck to you. I passed my exam 15 months ago - still no job. Practically no one hires coders with no experience, so the trick is to find that "sidedoor" to slide in through - access registration specialist, HIS document imaging tech - these are two of the ones I'm shooting for. No luck yet, but I'm persistent. Everything is supposed to change in October 2013, so I'm trying to maintain hope.

  9. #29
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by bettinadodd View Post
    I employed the following strategy and passed the CPC exam on my first try with an 84:
    1. Skip any question that is a page long - there are only a couple of them, and they aren't
    worth the time investment.
    2. View the exam as a timed puzzle which you have 5 hours and 40 minutes to solve - it's
    not all about the knowledge - you won't have time to look up the vast majority of the
    codes anyway.
    3. DON'T read the question first - go straight to the answer options. By the time you
    determine what codes to look up and then find them, you will have forgotten what you
    read anyway.
    4. LOOK FOR PATTERNS!!! What you want to do is quickly eliminate 2 of the 4 options.
    Look for codes that appear in identical form in more than one answer option.
    5. If a code appears in identical format in all 4 options, ignore it, because it MUST be part
    of the answer, and you don't have time to look up codes that will not help you determine
    the correct of 4 choices. If a code appears in identical form in exactly 3 of the 4 answer
    choices, it is likely part of the answer, so eliminate the option that it does NOT appear
    in, and then ignore that code as well.
    6. If a code appears in identical form in exactly 2 of the answer choices, look THAT CODE
    up in your books (if you have a choice of ICD-9 vs. CPT, ICD-9 is easier - less to read).
    THEN, read the question. If the code fits with the information, delete the 2 choices that it
    does not appear in. If it doesn't fit, delete the 2 that it appears in and concentrate on the
    remaining 2 choices. Remember, the name of the game is to quickly eliminate 2 choices,
    so that you only have to deal with 2 possibilities.
    7. Once you have narrowed your choices down to 2 possibilities, look for SIMILAR codes
    between them - codes that differ from one another by only one numeral or decimal
    point, etc. Again, ICD-9 is easier than CPT if you have that option. Pick 2 similar codes,
    look those up, note the difference between them, and refer again to your information to
    determine the correct fit. Mark your answer and MOVE ON TO THE NEXT QUESTION.
    8. Remember, look up ONLY those codes that will help you narrow down your choices. You
    don't have time to look up everything. You must use your time judiciously and only look
    up those codes that are going to help you find the MOST LIKELY answer in
    approximately 2 minutes, because you have only 340 minutes to answer 150 questions.

    Best of luck to you. I passed my exam 15 months ago - still no job. Practically no one hires coders with no experience, so the trick is to find that "sidedoor" to slide in through - access registration specialist, HIS document imaging tech - these are two of the ones I'm shooting for. No luck yet, but I'm persistent. Everything is supposed to change in October 2013, so I'm trying to maintain hope.
    Bettinadodd, what a great post you've written and the attitude you have goes a long way !

    I wish you all the luck in securing a position!
    Last edited by rthames052006; 09-29-2011 at 07:34 PM.
    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"

  10. Default Eliminate
    Look at the answers and get rid of the questions with distractors, pay attention what section your being tested in, and know your modifiers..

    Thats scary for me. I am taking the test the 2nd time in a week. I thought it was hard the 1st go round myself. I'm trying to take notes here that I did not do before as I finished the test with 10 minutes to spare the 1st time.
    I will:

    1. take a highlighter
    2. mark in my exam book (didnt think I could before)
    3. Choose from the answers given - instead of looking up the codes
    4. Leave the questions I get stuck on for later
    5. Make sure I read the entire question as 1 one word could make the difference

    Is there any thing I missed?
    Thanks in advance[/QUOTE]

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