Should Medical Coders Rely on Medical Coding Software?

Steve Verno, a seasoned and experienced certified medical biller and billing instructor has shared the following:
"I've seen billing companies undergo audits, sanctions and fines because their medical coders became too reliant on medical coding software.  They couldn't code without it."

Here is an interesting story taken right-out-of-real-life illustrating what can happen if medical coders aren't properly trained bottom up to know how to hand-code using their manuals and books:

"We were hiring some coders at one time. 10 of them came in.  All nurses with certification. They were put in our training room. All they had were the CPT and ICD-9 manual and paper charts.  Some of the coders asked where the computers and software were.  They were told there would be no software.  They were all told they had to code using what was provided to them.  Only one passed the coding test. She lasted one day on the job.  She went from coder to coder asking them what code they would choose.  She even came to me and I didnt have coding training at the time.  The owners found her using the internet to get her codes.  At her outbriefing she said she used coding software at her last job.   The ones who demanded the software hired a lawyer saying the test was unfair.  They lost their lawsuit.  The company eventually hired some coding students who just graduated from school.  Brain power makes the best coders.  Software never guarantees 100% accuracy with coding." (Steve Verno, Certified Medical Biller).

To read more real-life anecdotes and medical billing tips from Steve and others visit our Medical Billing Community forum.

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