A Main Goal In Writing Multiple-Choice Test Questions Is To How to Spot Wrong, Dead-Wrong Answers on the CPC Exam

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How to Spot Wrong, Dead-Wrong Answers on the CPC Exam

For over ten years, instructor Pamela Biffle CPC, CPC-I, CHCC, CHCO has been preparing people to pass the Certified Professional Coder exam, so we were thrilled when she agreed to share with us some of his wise counsel.

Think Like a Teacher

Biffle teaches coders new to college classrooms, as well as coders with extensive work experience who want to advance their careers with CPC. And despite their lack of experience, coders from college classes have a head start when it comes to the exam, he reports.

That’s because people in school have just learned to “think like teachers” because their success in class is tied to how well they predict the kinds of things to put in their teachers in quizzes and exams. But experienced coders — who are more used to the real world — can improve themselves if they spend some time developing CPC exam skills, says Biffle, who spends most of the class which he taught for the Coding Cert to try to get.

Biffle advises experienced coders to ignore idiosyncratic guidelines from carriers while taking the test. To properly answer CPC questions, you must rely on the official guidelines in your ICD-9 and CPT manuals, and some coders dealing with carriers are not very familiar with the official guidelines. as they need. can pass the exam.

Can you answer this CPC sample exam question?

When teachers write multiple-choice exams, they often want to include one choice that’s true (a gimme), one choice that’s wrong, and a couple of plausible choices., Biffle explained. And the people who write CPC think like teachers too. You’ll save yourself time on the exam if you eliminate the “wrong, wrong, dead wrong choices right away,” he says. As you choose between the more plausible answers, it’s helpful to consider what coding principle the question is trying to test you with.

Let’s see how it works with this simple sample CPC exam question.

Provide the correct ICD-9-CM code for choledocholithiasis with obstruction.

A. 574.50

B. 574.51

C. 574.91

D. 574.90

The correct answer is B. To understand how to answer a question like this quickly, let’s turn to the 574.xx section of our ICD-9 manual.

If we look at the pink box under 574 (Cholelithiasis), we can read that we use the 5th digit 0 for “without mention of obstruction” and the 5th digit 1 for “with obstruction.” Since the question mentions “with obstruction,” we immediately have two “wrong, wrong, dead wrong” answers – Answers A and D, with the 5th digit 0.

Many questions on the CPC exam try to get you to look at the details of the coding scenario in order to correctly select the codes. Unlike other doctors’ documentation (which can be vague, as experienced coders know), exam questions tell you what you need to know to select the correct code.

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