8 Experts Share the Best Medical Coding Advice

KIWI-TEK asked medical coding and HIM experts to share the best coding guidance they ever received. Here’s the best advice and what they had to say about it.

“Tell the story of the patient with your codes.” This is the advice I give to my coders.

Director, Auditing Services  |  28 years experience

“Always be open to accepting the challenge of learning to code different patient types.” This is the best coding advice because it encouraged me to take advantage of learning to code anything and everything I could, which has made me a well-rounded, seasoned coder.

RN SNF CDI/Coder | 10 years experience

“Ask your peers when in doubt. Several minds are better than one.” Sometimes I receive differing opinions, but other coders are a wealth of knowledge and a source of inspiration. There’s never a dumb question when it comes to coding.

Small Business Owner | 10 years experience

“Get certified before it is required.” I have never regretted being certified.

Remote Contract Coder | 26 years experience

“Follow coding guidelines because that is the rule. Follow MEAT criteria when coding diagnoses because it will justify medical necessity. Never stop querying for documentation and never stop educating providers because this reinforces good documentation behavior.”

Director, Coding | 20+ years experience

“Never refer to the patient’s primary diagnosis. It is principal diagnosis. If you say primary people will think you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Administrator, Revenue Cycle | 3 years in current role

“Keep code books nearby and consult them regularly. A code may look like the correct one but the index, tabular and/or table may direct otherwise.”

SVP Auditing Services | 36 years experience

“When in doubt, use the book. The alphabetic index can help put almost any coding question in perspective.”

Director, HIM | 40 years experience