What Does CPR Training and a 99214 Have in Common?

At the practice, we’ve been going through our share of challenges. As a result, I’ve been a bit unmotivated to do things that aren’t absolutely necessary. So when the time to sign up for a coding class came along, I wasn’t feeling it.

What could they possibly teach me that I haven’t heard before? I’ve heard her speak several times; does she really have something new to say? Should I sign up my doc or is her time better spent seeing patients? We go to these things all the time, is this time really necessary? These were all questions that came to mind. I was ready to let the class slip by with the excuse that I had too many things to do and so did my doc.

A few days later, the doc asked if I had enrolled her in the coding course. I gave her all my excuses as to why I didn’t think we should go. She agreed.

But then, she said, “… you know, CPR training is pretty much the same as it always is, yet we still go every couple of years to reinforce what we learned last time. Maybe we should just look at the coding class like we look at CPR training.”

Ding! Ding! Ding! Her words hit me. I said, “you are absolutely right!”

I always say that the practice has two priorities.  The first priority is the patient; and the second is profitability. CPR handles priority number one, and that is why it is important to stay current in matters that meets priority number one.

Likewise, priority number two is equally important and that is what the coding class is for; which is, make sure there is enough to go around so we can continue fulfilling priority #1.

I wanted to kick myself for nearly losing sight of the big picture. Needless to say, I signed us both for the coding class.

How was the coding class?

Excellent! And as usual, we were glad we went. If you’ve never heard Donelle Holle  (http://www.pedscoding.com/) give a coding class, well let’s just say you are missing out. You never hear the word fun and medical coding in the same sentence. It is like rice and mango. They just don’t go together. But when you add Donelle to the dish, it does become fun.

More important, Donelle pointed out something that we weren’t coding properly. That tip alone (and there were many) will account for nearly $10,000 in revenue. That is right. By correcting how we have been coding something that we do hundreds a times a year we will make an extra $10,000.

So was it worth to go? Lets just say that if I only implement that single tip, I can give myself a $5,000 bonus and the practice is still coming out ahead.

Just like CME requirements or CPR certification, coding classes are a must. Don’ do what I did and dismiss the next coding class that comes across your desk. Because if you do, you may (almost guaranteed actually) be leaving money on the table.