Coding Resources

It’s imperative that you have the correct coding resources available to you. It does not matter if you hire someone to code for you, or if you do it all yourself. You need the learn how to code (something that got left out of my program). It directly affects your bottom line.

So where can you learn this mysterious art? There are lots of resources available to you on line, books, forums and email lists just devoted to coding and billing.

If you are in a specialty area, often times, the professional associations will publish for their members, codes that are specific to that area of practice. For those of you in general practice|primary care|family practice, here are some resources for you.

Family Practice Management – They have loads of resources for your office. Templates for documentation, coding resources, and much more. Every year they publish a short and long list of ICD-9 codes that are most commonly used in Family Practice. Even though I have lots of stuff on my PDA, I keep a copy of this list in each exam room….and I use them.

Medical Economics Magazine – When you go to their site, you’ll find all sorts of information on practice management, coding and daily operations.

Practical E/M I don’t own this book, yet…but I’ve been hearing lots of positive things about it. It’s written by a physician who has been struggling just like the rest of us to get paid. I understand it’s very practical, full of examples and tips to make sure you are coding correctly. Not an easy task these days…I can tell you.

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Physicians Practice – Another website that is geared toward office operations with a bit of clinical information thrown in. Again, good information.

Coding911 – If you can get past the bright colors and busy website, you can find all sorts of good information. Several of the mailing list around coding comes from here…I belong to one, and it’s an excellent source of information.

Modern Medicine – A new site with a coding section. You will have to register, but it’s free.

Flash Code – This is one of my favorites. It’s a yearly subscription, plus with their special you get the books. I like it, as Ican log in and search for any code I want – ICD9, CPT, HCPCS, J-Codes, etc. To me, much faster than searching a book. And since our workstations all have computers with internet access, everyone can have access.

Comments 4

  1. I agree about using FlashCode. They offer a great free service that can refine diagnosis coding.

  2. I have a question about coding. I want to give two scenarios, as I am a little unclear about modifier 25 and modifier 21.

    Here is one scenario. A new patient comes in for an annual wwe. In addition, she has shoulder pain for a year. I coded this as a 99386 for the wwe, and then a second e/m code of 99212 and attached modifier 25 for the shoulder pain. My question is, was this correct? Is she now an “established” patient after the first visit for the well woman exam (wwe), and even though the other visit was simultaneous on the same day, is it established as a 99212 or should it have been a 99202? I also heard there needs to be two separate notes written up..

    Scenario number two: Another new patient comes in for a wwe. Part of her wwe includes a gynecological problem that she wishes to discuss and be worked up. She also wants counsel and ocp start. I figure all of this has to go under the 99385 code. Now she also had an eating disorder and rapid unintentional weight gain, and wanted to discuss this and get thyroid testing, as three of her family members had thyroid abnormalities. So I drew blood, and worked up her weight gain issue. So, is the ICD 9 of unintentional weight gain under a second E/M code of 99212 with a modifier 25, or would this all go under 99385 with a modifier 21 for extra time, as the visit took one hour? Anyone know? Carla Anderson, Healing Presence Family Practice, PC

  3. what were the responses to this? I’m interested to know.
    I also would like to know how we come up with the costs for our CPT’s. Thanks.

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