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Ashley Sparks

Inpatient Category

Amanda Hobson

Outpatient Category

Amanda Hobson from Greenwood, Indiana and Ashley Sparks from San Marcos, Texas received a total of $5,000 in cash prizes for achieving the highest average accuracy scores for their assigned inpatient and outpatient cases respectively. Ashley received an 87% inpatient accuracy score and Amanda received a 72.4% outpatient accuracy score.

Meet the 2018 Winners

Inpatient Winner – Ashley Sparks

What motivated you to sign up for the contest?
Ashley: Winning last year and wanted to try again. I am not a full-time coder anymore so I like to test my coding skills doing compliance – test skills. My current role is in the Compliance Area and I perform internal audits and QA in house coders. 

What are you going to do with your winnings?
Ashley: I will be using the winnings for an upcoming vacation in September 

What was your biggest challenge in completing all the cases? 
Ashley: I really didn’t have any challenges, I completed the contest in one sitting. I knuckled down one Saturday,  got on a roll and completed the contest cases in 4 -5 hrs. including the video and sample cases. 

What advice would you give to contestants participating in next year’s contest?
Ashley: Contestants need to be confident in there coding knowledge and keep up on coding clinics. 

They should also carefully review the contest guidelines since each organizations guidelines are different. For example, when I was reading the contest guidelines I saw that I needed to code for fetal monitoring.  I made a note of that since my organization does not code fetal monitoring.

What is your favorite thing about the Central Learning application?
Ashley: It was easy and straightforward to use – it did not take me much time at all to learn how to use it and get started.

How did you find the complexity of the cases?
Ashley: I thought the complexity was a realistic mix of cases since coders never know what they will get. I do know that Spinal fusion cases are an area of industry focus and that was good to see.  I was able to code this type of case because my organization provides education to our coders but not all organizations do.

Outpatient Winner – Amanda Hobson

What motivated you to sign up for the contest?
Amanda: I thought it would be a fun thing to do and also beneficial as a part of my continued education since it was worth 6 CEUs. I never thought that I would win!

What are you going to do with your winnings?
Amanda: I was thinking about purchasing a new laptop and putting the rest into savings.

What was your biggest challenge in completing all the cases?
Amanda: My biggest challenge in completing all of the cases was to not only make sure that my coding was accurate but that I was making sure that I wasn’t spending too much time on a case.

What advice would you give to contestants participating in next year’s contest?
Amanda: My advice to the contestants would be to make sure that you read all of the rules and guidelines prior to starting and also make sure to familiarize yourself with the application layout so that you can easily navigate. Have your codebooks at hand and organized. Remember that you can save and come back to what you were working on if you start to get tired or overwhelmed.

What was your favorite thing about the Central Learning application?
Amanda: My favorite thing about the application was the layout of the chart. I felt like I could easily go to different areas in the chart, such as the H&P and the procedure note as they were clearly labeled.

How did you find the complexity of the cases?
Amanda: I thought that complexity of the cases were fine for the most part. I did think that the surgical cases were pretty easy and I would have liked to have had a more challenging surgery to code….but not too challenging!!