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From The CriticsReviewer: LouAnn Schraffenberger, MBA, RHIA, CCS, CCS-P(Advocate Health Care)
Description: This is a textbook used to teach medical coding, most likely in a condensed course that includes ICD-9-CM diagnosis coding, CPT/HCPCS procedure coding with related billing and compliance topics. It is written for a basic level of understanding of the subject matter.
Purpose: According to the author, this book "introduces you to the skills you will need for a successful career in medical coding." It includes the basic structure and function of the two major coding systems, ICD-9-CM and CPT/HCPCS. The book encourages accurate and truthful coding and stresses the importance of the student gaining a coding certification credential.
Audience: The book is intended for students enrolled in a basic coding course. It presumes the student has an understanding of medical terminology and fundamental anatomy and physiology. It appears to be a book that is used in a classroom setting supplemented by instructor lectures and presentations. The book may be used in a medical assistant program or a coding program directed toward physician practice coding. The background of the author is not included in the book.
Features: The book is divided into five major sections. Part 1 (33 pages) contains the instruction for the coding of diagnoses and health conditions using ICD-9-CM. Part 2 (46 pages) contains the instruction for the coding of procedures and services using CPT/HCPCS. Part 3 (16 pages) discusses coding linkage (relating diagnoses to procedure codes) and compliance with billing rules. Part 4 contains 45 worksheets to be used with Parts 1 and 2 to practice the code assignment process. Part 5 contains three quizzes. An instructor's manual is apparently available upon request that contains answer keys, presentations in PowerPoint and a test bank.
Assessment: This is a good introduction to ICD-9-CM and CPT/HCPCS coding for students who do not require an in-depth command of the two coding systems. This would probably be applicable to health career students, such as medical assistants, who do not do full-time coding but need a basic understanding for their position. The chapters are nicely organized with objectives, key terms, and "why this is important." I especially liked the introduction on how to get the most out of a coding course, for example, how to study and how to manage time. The book does not cover coding in-depth, but focuses on the coding fundamentals. The author stresses that students need to gain a coding certification credential. It is my opinion that this book would not be comprehensive enough for a student to pass one of the national exams without further instruction or experience.