If You’re Not Using This Coding Pocket Guide, Here’s Why You Should Start
Whatever you call them—pocket guides, quick references, notes on “coding for dummies”— medical coding cheat sheets come in handy when you’re trying to choose the best CPT® code for a patient visit.
The long, complicated CMS guidelines for using CPT® codes spawned a “cottage industry of templates, cheat sheets, score cards, tool kits and the like,” coding expert Emily Hill wrote for FPM over 15 years ago. Her words are still true because the Medicare documentation guidelines are still burdensome.
A quick search for coding cheat sheets online returns hundreds of thousands of possible resources, some free, others for sale. Wading your way through coding and billing cheat sheets can seem almost as daunting as tackling the CMS guidelines themselves!
The MDCodePro app is much more than just another cheat sheet for physicians and other practitioners. But we can easily recommend the best medical coding cheat sheet out there.
It’s the cheat sheet you make yourself.
Benefits of Making Your Own E/M Coding Guidelines Cheat Sheet
Why spend time and effort making your own cheat sheet when so many are already available? Here are only three reasons:
- Making your own cheat sheet ensures its relevance to your organization.
No one else knows which codes your practice most frequently assigns or which payers you deal with most often. Creating your own medical coding and billing cheat sheet is a valuable exercise in matching specific codes with what specific insurers pay, as billing expert P.J. Cloud-Moulds explained for Physicians Practice. Doing this work reveals which codes generate the most legitimate revenue for you. A cheat sheet prepared by outsiders won’t prove as relevant or profitable.
- Making your own cheat sheet can improve your organization’s coding consistency.
Inconsistent coding within a healthcare organization can lead to administrative confusion, lost revenue, and even greater risk of third-party audits. But having providers prepare and compare their own cheat sheets can improve all of these problems. Reviewing homemade cheat sheets can expose out-of-date or inaccurate knowledge, or clarify how to interpret specific coding choices your organization repeatedly faces, as AHIMA reported. Making your own E/M coding cheat sheets offers the chance to get everyone on the same page, literally.
- Making your own cheat sheet forces you to learn more about medical coding.
Professional medical coders often wish physicians knew more about coding. In an AAPC survey, one coder expressed frustration with doctors who dismissed coding guidelines in ignorance: “I feel all Physicians should attend coding seminars each year . . . This should be written in their contracts.” That may not happen, but any practitioner who prepares her or his own medical coding cheat sheet will discover how to code more accurately and effectively every day. The project is a great model of practical learning.
Enhance Your Cheat Sheet with an MDCodePro Coding Education
At MDCodePro, we support any effort to improve practitioners’ firsthand knowledge of medical coding, from making your own cheat sheets to taking formal CME courses. That’s why we developed an app to convey a working knowledge of the Medicare documentation guidelines’ essentials as painlessly and as profitably as possible.
Make your cheat sheet even more helpful by grounding it in a solid understanding of not just what your organization’s optimal CPT® codes are, but why. Sign up for your subscription to MDCodePro today.