Medical Coder Profile: Joanne Sheehan (Success Story)

Medical Coder Profile: Joanne Sheehan (Success Story)


Now, let’s talk to Jo-Anne. Jo-Anne has
been with us for a while, but she is the one that has been doing the ICD-10 coaching for
the Mini course. She also is taking students for the PBC course, and soon she will have
written her own curriculum for the Physician Practice Management Course, CPPM certification,
is the one that that qualifies you to sit for. Are you there Jo-Anne? Jo-Anne: Yes I am. Alicia: Oh! You already know Jo-Anne is sitting
in a cabin in Maine, keeping her toes toasty warm. Jo-Anne, how long have you been in the
coding field? Jo-Anne: Well, I’m dating myself here. But
I’ve been coding and billing for over 33 years, so you can basically say I witnessed
the evolution of healthcare where claims were on paper and diagnosis and procedure codes
were actually written in full description, and now of course everything is electronic
communication so it’s really evolved a lot. Yeah, I’ve been doing it a very long time. Alicia: Good. What is it that you really like
about coding? Jo-Anne: I like the challenge. It’s just,
you have to have a certain personality, I think, for it because there are a lot of gray
areas and I just like brainstorming and trying to figure out the best possible answer and
rationale. I don’t know, it’s just a good feeling to be able to solve a puzzle. Alicia: I hear that a lot, people say that
a lot. How did you actually find CCO? Jo-Anne: This is funny. I was actually on
the American Academy of Professional Coders, the AAPC instructor forum. I was looking for
creative ideas to help my students understand coding
concepts a little bit better. And Laureen’s website and YouTube videos were recommended
nonstop by the other instructors, so I decided to view Laureen’s presentations and I was
just so totally impressed that I went out and ordered her coding course and Blitz DVDs
because she has a visual way of teaching, which really taught me even more about coding
in-depth. So, I wanted to use her teaching style, so I contacted her, I had to make sure
that I could do it legally and the rest is history. We just hit it off and our business
relationship just took off. And that’s all I used, and I’ve seen many curriculums and
I just think that her program really helps coders understand things, particularly those
who do not have a background in healthcare. I think her way is great. Alicia: Yeah, I agree with that. And I like
you, kind of came to it the same way. You mentioned something that reminded me of myself
is that you learn things watching her videos and so did I. Not only did it make you a better
coder, even though you had experience coding, but it made you a better instructor because
you could replicate what she was doing to get the points across. Jo-Anne: Absolutely. Alicia: Tell me a little bit about the PPM
course that you’re working on. Give a little highlight about that to see what to expect. Jo-Anne: This program is awesome. I love it
but I guess you have to understand that it’s the
course that — I work with doctors and practice managers every day. It’s a course that I
think that even if someone is a practice manager, they should take it because there is so much
information in the program that would benefit a practice, and I don’t know how to say
it, it’s just that it’s a very specialized field. Most doctors hire managers and they
think they can do the job and they can’t, they don’t have the knowledge. And I really
think that anyone that gets the CPPM credential, it will be a blessing for any doctor that
gets that person because I can tell you firsthand that a practice manager wears many hats and
they’re the conductor in that orchestra and they have to make sure that everything
is flowing, and it’s amazing how many doctors cannot get good help. I know in the East Coast, the practice managers
that I deal with and many of them do not even have the background of the PPM, they make
between $40,000 and $70,000 a year and they don’t even have the expertise. It’s a
nightmare for us that have to work with the doctors because the cash flow is poor, the
employees are distressed, the coding and billing departments are in chaos at all times because
no one even knows what they’re doing. So, I really think that this program came at the
right time. Maybe ten years ago, would not have been as important; but with physician
quality reporting and healthcare reform and just everything that is required now to be
understood in the practice, it really is important to have a handle on it. Alicia: I agree. I actually ordered the practice
exam that the AAPC offers just to see with my
experience how well I could do on a practice exam for this curriculum and thinking that
I knew part of it, when I took it I was kind of shocked. I agree with you, it really would
be essential for an active physician’s office or not active physician’s office; it’s
going to be helpful. Well, thank you very much Jo-Anne. Jo-Anne: You’re welcome. Alicia: She’s going to stick around for
a little while and may help me out on a slide or two if I call her out. Jo-Anne and Laureen
both have excellent background skills working in multiple specialties, so that’s something
that you don’t usually get when you have an instructor. I think that really benefits
CCO.

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