Meet CodePath: A Guided Solution for Students to Select Appropriate Medical Codes

Published January 7, 2020

Mary Johnson

CodePath cures Skip Fever: Classrooms are filled with medical coding students who exhibit signs and symptoms of this condition. No matter how many times you, the instructor, answer the same questions over and over students are still skipping essential information that directs them to the correct code. For instance, skipping symbols that are right there to remind them they need another character to code to the highest level of specificity or the Add-on code symbol indicating this code needs to be reported after the primary procedure code.

Remember, medical coding is a complex process, like nothing your students have ever experienced before. It’s intellectually and emotionally challenging for both your students and you. Students need guidance for selecting the most appropriate codes. CodePath, included in McGraw-Hill Connect® for Safian/Johnson Let’s Code It!, provides that help to reinforce correct code selection. So, allow CodePath to provide your students the optimum opportunity for success by coding real world encounters with a guide by their side … CodePath.

The aim of CodePath is to instill the valuable habit of locating and checking each element that could impact determining the correct code whether it’s ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, CPT® or HCPCS Level II. Building good habits=retention=success! CodePath guides each student through the coding process one question at a time prompting them to check official guidelines, symbols, notations and modifiers. Students select the best answer from a dropdown box format and may receive feedback upon submission to build confidence as they sharpen their coding skills. Through this interactive learning style, students master the coding process and develop a routine that boosts their ability to apply this method to each individualized encounter.

Here’s an example of the CodePath...

Bob Hurt, a 42-year-old male, was found unconscious by his wife, Pattie, who rushed him to the nearest ED. Dr. Scrubs asked about his medical history and Pattie said he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 2 years ago. After lab work, Bob is admitted in a diabetic hypoglycemic coma.

Watch the CodePath guide the student through the coding process so no critical information is missed, the most accurate code is assigned, and the student’s success rate grows ...

Where should you begin to look up the code in the coding manual?

What is the key term?

What type?

Do any of the following apply to the condition?

With or Without Coma?

Begin to code the encounter.

Did you verify the code in the Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries?

Is there an Includes notation?

If so, does the Includes note help to clarify?

Is there a Code first notation?

If so, does the Code first note apply to the case study?

Is there a Code also notation?

If so, does the Code also note apply to the case study?

Is there a Use additional code notation?

If so, does the Use additional code note apply to the case study?

Is there an Excludes1 notation?

If so, does the Excludes1 note apply to the case study?

Is there an Excludes2 notation?

If so, does the Excludes2 note apply to the case study?

Is there a symbol indicating additional characters are required?

Do you need to use the placeholder “X”?

Did you code to the highest level of specificity?

What is the correct diagnosis code?

Overall Feedback:

E11.641: Diabetes>type II>with>hypoglycemia>with coma

This example of CodePath illustrates the entire scope of steps necessary for successful coding. By answering the leading questions, students are guided through the complete coding process. Each ensuing question continues adding layers of precision directing the student to identify each vital component like Type II diabetes with hypoglycemia and coma. CodePath then prompts the student to turn to the Tabular List where each element impacting the determination of the correct code is examined. For example, where to look up the key term diabetes … in the Index to Diseases and Injuries to recognizing notations such as Use Additional Code notation and if it applies to the case study to verifying the optimum code E11.641. The results of CodePath=Accurate code assignment.

CodePath is designed to open the minds of students, encourage interest and teach them to solve problems as they learn the methods of CodePath with clarity. CodePath features a smooth educational map that reinforces fundamental coding habits and boosts retention in an engaging fashion. CodePath develops a strategy and lays a plan that intertwines critical understanding and dexterity to achieve the objective. CodePath … the guide by your side … providing students the knowledge, skill and confidence to bring their coding goals to fruition.