Surgeons specialize because it is virtually impossible for one person to be an expert in all of the surgical subspecialties. To be competent at something, you must do it every day. For the very same reason, we require our surgical coders to focus on a surgical subspecialty. Each of our certified coders has a minimum of three years of single-specialty surgical coding experience and then must pass our very demanding proficiency test in that particular surgical coding subspecialty. Unlike the certification tests which are largely multiple choice questions, ours are actual de-identified operative reports from our medical school faculty specialists. The few who pass must demonstrate an accuracy rate of at least 95% on our ongoing random Quality Assurance/Continuous Accuracy Improvement reviews in order to continue working for The Coding Network. Compare this approach to quality to the majority of our competitors, both domestic and offshore in third- world countries; their business model is to offer would-be coders a vocational “trade school” experience designed to prepare them for the certification test. Once they pass, these newly certified green coders are assigned to code for you. Its the equivalent of having an intern perform brain surgery!
Surgical Coding Need
- Well trained surgical specialty coders are difficult to find, expensive to recruit, and their ongoing training can be quite costly.
- Few certified coders have the extensive surgical coding experience and specialty knowledge possessed by The Coding Network’s staff of surgical coding experts.
- With OIG and RAC auditors targeting surgeons, there is no such thing as “a second chance” after submitting Medicare and insurance claims. They must be accurate the first time. The legal and financial risks of upcoding or undervaluation are enormous.
- Surgical specialty coding covers the most complex portion of the CPT codes and presents procedural, modifier, and diagnostic coding challenges.
- Coder turnover creates cash flow peaks and valleys.
- In smaller practices, full time certified coders are an expensive overhead item who often fill their expensive time with other less-challenging non-coding tasks.
What Will I Learn?
- Pragmatic learning approach
- Assessments/polls and feedback (very critical)
- Chart dissection process (learn from scratch)
- Chart coding and code capturing skills
- Case presentation activities (builds confidence)
- Acquire ‘Defend your code’ skills (audit purpose)
- Interview preps