medical coding

Mary’s Message for Coding Mastery

Many of you know me, but for those who may not, the following quote by Albert Einstein conveys the essence of my approach for mastering the coding industry:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” 

I love this quote because I believe in keeping it simple.  Einstein also said,

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

So my goal is to apply this idea to the 6000+ codes that we will be getting this year in ICD-10/PCS.  Everyone is trying to make it complicated, however for me “it is no big deal”!  For ICD-10-CM you will have your Index (however, it is not as good as ICD-9-CM, in my opinion, and I am allowed that in America) and your Tabular.   You will also have your Documentation (some good and some bad).

It really is not as difficult as you may be lead to believe.  I say that because one main reason for the increase in the number of codes is due to laterality.  For example, we will have over thirty (30) codes for diabetes with ocular disorder because left, right, bilateral and unspecified have been added.  And remember, we have five (5) types of diabetes and each has to have the ocular conditions added with the laterality.  Anyway, you get the picture.

What about PCS?  Remember every PCS code must have seven characters.  Example:  Zooplastic was added as a device for coronary artery bypass as a 6th character.  Well, it had to be added six (6) times to show the different 7th character qualifiers that can be used with a coronary artery bypass open approach.  It was then added six (6) more times for the percutaneous approach with the different qualifiers.  There are a lot more codes, however, there really aren’t a lot of new procedures.  Got it?

So don’t push the panic button!  Life will go on after October 1, 2016.

Welcome to the future of coding!

Happy coding and remember… “Coders Get Paid to Think”!



  • Tina Simpson, BSN, RN, CCS, CCDS

    I loved your presentation on Finally Friday!!!

    • Tiger

      Thanks for your thhsogtu. It’s helped me a lot.

  • Sugar

    You really saved my skin with this intofmarion. Thanks!

  • Cheryl (Bluii) Brooks

    Hello Ms. Mary!! My name is Cheryl..let me first start out by saying the myself and a collegue love and follow your teachings on youtube. We are bothe preparing to take the COC Exam and I would like to know if you will have any videos coming up on You Tube with information that can help us to better prepare for this exam. We each have taken it and each missed it by 3 and 4 points. We would truly love to hear from you on about this or really love to see a video on it! When I tell you we absolutely love you! we really do! You are the best thing in guidance of coders that we have seen in a while, we appreciate you! I have been an Outpatient SDS/ER/Anxillary invasive coder for 18 years who has had professional on the job training and my accuracy is 90 percent. I am just not a strong test taker but I refuse to fail again! with your help, my co-worker and I can do it! Please contact me at your convenience. Kindly, Cheryl