If you’re getting ready to take the CPC exam soon, no doubt you are practicing already. But I think
coding in real life is different than coding on the exam. Both pose different challenges. For this post I want to focus on how you can get the answer for questions on the CPC exam by using process of elimination.
Want to watch the video about this instead? Go HERE.
Take this question for example:
A 60-year-old patient presents to the emergency department with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. The physician performs an exam, and orders diagnostic tests, including an abdominal ultrasound and laboratory studies. The patient is diagnosed with acute appendicitis and is scheduled for an urgent appendectomy. Medical decision making was high level. What level of E/M and ICD-10-CM codes should be assigned?
A. 99284, K35.80
B. 99285, K35.80
C. 99282, K35.20
D. 99283, K35.30
- Read the answers first. I like to start with the ICD-10-CM codes
- Go to the tabular of the ICD-10-CM book and look up codes K35.80, K35.20 and K35.30
- Skim the question and look for the diagnosis code
- Go back to the answers and eliminate the wrong choices (Choices C and D)
- Now go to the CPT book and find codes 99284 and 99285
- Go back and reread the question and look for keywords for the CPT
- Go back to the answers and eliminate the wrong answer (Choice A)
- The answer is B
Again, this is just a test taking technique to help you save time while taking the CPC exam. Coding in real life is much more involved than this and is a whole different thought process. Good luck to those of you taking the exam soon! If you’d like to see more posts about this, please comment below. You can also find more medical coding videos on my TikTok and Youtube channel.
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