Health Information Management

Trivia winner

JustCoding News: Outpatient, July 25, 2012

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Karen S. Sweeney Leighton, BA, CPC, neurosurgery coder senior at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCUHS) in Richmond, Va., who correctly answered this question:

What is the correct CPT® code for excision of an intradural neoplastic lesion of infratemporal fossa, parapharyngeal space, petrous apex; including dural repair, without a graft?
a. 61601
b. 61605
c. 61606
d. 61608
Answer: C
Here’s a little bit about Karen:
What are your current job responsibilities?
I code surgical procedures for Department of Neurosurgery at VCUHS. My responsibilities include all aspects of coding both inpatient and outpatient. I code interventional radiology mainly head and neck, spine procedures, as well as intracranial procedures. I do surgical as well as E/ M coding. I have been with VCUHS for 20 years. (There is much more to my job, that I have not mentioned!)
A few years ago, I taught coding, medical terminology, medical office systems, and hHealthcare reimbursement (show me the money) classes for a local college (Bryant and Stratton) and provided in-services locally for other groups.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in health information management?
I sort of fell into coding. After graduating college (at Radford University), I began a career in sales and marketing. I got tired of long hours and lots of travel and took a job as a manager of a clinic. At this point, I started to learn a little about coding. I got coding books, studied, and found a new career. I got a chance to really learn when I first took a job at VCUHS for Department of Anesthesiology as a coder and reimbursement specialist.
What do you like most about your job?
One of the things that I like best about my job is that I will occasionally get to code once in a lifetime procedures and unusual anatomy. There are some cases that you just don't see very often. I enjoy the variety of procedures I get to code. I also like that I don't work weekends or nights. I am married and have two children and enjoy the time I get to spend with them.
What is your favorite area of coding?
My favorite areas of coding are anesthesiology, neurosurgical procedures, pain management, spine procedures, and head and neck interventional radiology.
What is your least favorite area of coding?
I don't think I have a least favorite area of coding. I am always willing to help out with other areas, and I view it as keeping the skills up! It makes for a nice change.
What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy reading, swimming and walking. I am involved in several non-profit organizations. I am the current Senior State Chaplain for the Virginia Society Children of the American Revolution, the oldest patriotic children's organization in the nation. I am the State Corresponding Secretary for Virginia Dames of the Court of Honor. I have served as national officer for Colonial Dames 17th Century. I have been a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames 17th Century for over 25 years.
Do you have a personal motto that you live by?
I don't have a personal motto but do try to live by the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

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