Development of an Online Training Module for Resident Education in Surgical Pathology Billing and Coding.
Margaret S Ryan, Maxwell L Smith, Francisco G La Rosa, Stephen S Raab. University of Colorado, Aurora
Background: In many pathology training programs, residents have little to no formal didactic education and do not actively participate in billing and coding of surgical pathology reports in daily practice. To fill this educational void, we developed and tested an online training educational module in CPT® billing and coding.
Design: We designed a three-part introduction to billing and coding for residents. First, we created an online pre-test module, including 10 surgical pathology reports that the residents coded. Secondly, we developed a billing and coding Powerpoint presentation as part of a weekly didactic lecture series, which was then also uploaded to the online module for later reference. Third, the residents took an online post-test module consisting of 35 surgical pathology reports which had to be appropriately coded and billed. On both the pre- and post-test there were two questions regarding the cost of surgical pathology codes and questions about each resident's self-assessment of their level of knowledge and the helpfulness of the module.
Results: A total of 19 residents (PGY1=8, PGY2=3, PGY3=4; PGY4=2, PGY5=2) participated in the online pre-test. Out of a total of 33 possible billing codes, the residents missed from 9 to 32 CPT® codes (mean 14.5, median 12). Of the residents who completed the first 10 cases of the post-test module, 2 to 17 codes were missed (mean 7.6, median 7), with correctly-coded improvements ranging from 5 to 23. The residents who completed all 35 post-test reports had a mean pre-test score of 46.1% correct (range 3-72.7%) and a mean post-test score of 74.7% (range 61.3-93%) correct with improvments ranging from 8.3 to 60.6%. On the pre-test every resident selected the wrong amount billed for the codes 88305 and 88342; all selected choices were less than the amount actually billed. On the post-test, one of the questions regarding the amount billed was unanimously answered correctly and 42% of the residents answered the second question about the amount billed correctly. All of the residents felt that the training module greatly helped to clarify the basics of billing and improved their self-assessed level of understanding of the topic. Unanimously, all participants answered that residents should have more responsibility in coding.
Conclusions: An online module with surgical pathology reports and an associated lecture are effective in improving residents' understanding of CPT® billing and coding and providing them with a stronger grasp of the financial aspects of the business of pathology.
Monday, February 28, 2011 9:30 AM
Poster Session I Stowell-Orbison/Surgical Pathology/Autopsy Awards Poster Session # 77, Monday Morning