Coding, Classification & Reimbursement

Topic: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

1.  3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 03-14-2017 09:16
Hi,  I wanted to see if I could get some opinions on Trucoder.  I have always used 3-M.  Our operating sofware is Evident and I am hearing that Trucoder may be imbeded in their software at some point.  

Any input would be appreciated.  

Thanks, 

Pam Radcliff, RHIT
Missouri

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Pamela Radcliff
Director of Medical Records
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2.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 03-14-2017 12:35
We have Evident and have always used 3M and I just got the email about TruCoder.


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Rhonda Schneider
HIM Supervisor
Pinckneyville Community Hospital
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3.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 03-21-2017 09:55
I have been using TruCode encoder for the last 4 years and absolutely love it.  I'm thrilled to be free from the decision tree coding methodology.  The references embedded in TruCode are outstanding.  Coding in TruCode is more like coding directly from the paper book in an electronic book.  TruCode is an outstanding partner in my day to day auditing work.

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Jacquie Zegan
Senior Coding Consultant
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4.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 03-31-2017 23:51
Hi,

I have used both & in ICD10, I totally prefer TruCode because it is more like using the book. Of course, it takes time to adjust to anything new but I hope you enjoy the switch-over!

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Jennifer Loughrey
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5.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-01-2017 09:28
I have used both 3M and at present I use TruCode. I agree that TruCode is like having the book in front of you. I think there is somewhat an advantage to using TC because you make the code choices yourself and it sharpens you as a coder. I would like to add one thing, BE sure and read the added instructions at the code tabulars! By that I mean the "Code also, add additional codes, Excludes info" because choices are not given to you as in 3M  so you need to look deeper at the index and tabular instructions.

As far as procedures, I really like the shortcut of placing a "0" in the "Search for" area. It just brings up the PCS table. I choose my codes from there. I never use the Index for procedures.  

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Dara Bermick, CCS
Inpatient Auditor and Consultant
dbermick@gmail.com
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6.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-03-2017 09:54
I was a TruCode user until I was forced to move to 3M due to a new EMR system.  They would not allow us to continue with TruCode.  I love TruCode and used it for many years.  TruCode Support is awesome and is very user friendly !  I would go back to Trucode in a heart beat !

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Joyce Wright
Health Information Manager
Castro County Hospital District
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7.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-04-2017 08:53
We have used TruCode for several years.  It is like using the book.  We have never had any real issues but when support was needed, they were immediately available.  Would highly recommend. 

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Barbara Razzano
Director of HIM/Case Management
Ellwood City Hospital
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8.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-10-2017 09:05
I've been using TruCode for years and as an auditor I have the option of using 3M - however, I prefer to use TruCode - I love that it is book based and not logic based.  The only time I go to 3M is to try to identify where in the decision tree the coder miss stepped.  Would be very unhappy if I had to utilize only 3M.  Good Luck!

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Elizabeth Amara BS, CCS
Inpatient Auditor and Educator
Axea Solutions, Inc.
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9.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-17-2017 14:31
Edited by Amber Clouse 04-17-2017 14:31
I have used both TruCode and 3M and I gotta say that I LOVE TruCode a lot more than 3M! I agree with everything everyone else has said.

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Amber Clouse
RHIT
Pratt Regional Medical Center
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10.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-21-2017 10:41
I guess I am in the minority here. I hated True Code. I pretty much hate every encoder I have ever used other than 3M. I love and miss 3M. To me if your encoder is going to be just like the book you might as well just use the book.

And I'm sorry to hear you have Evident. Its a HORRIBLE system. I use it on my second job and it sucks.

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Melissa Shelton
Lead CDI Specialist
Nuance Communications
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11.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-22-2017 08:15
I have been coding since ICD-8, so I started out as a book coder.  I have used various encoders, and 3M is the best.  As the previous poster wrote, if you are going to use a book-style encoder, you may as well just use your books.   Neither system will make a person a better coder once she understands what she should be doing, but the 3M encoder is faster.  The book-style encoders with which I have worked require one to only use the terms as they are in the book.  For example, if one had to code "bipolar", all one would need to enter into the search field in 3M is the first part of the term, and the logic prompts would appear.  "Bipolar" is not even an entry in the code book.  One has to know that "bipolar" is the same as "manic depression".  "CHF" does not appear in the code book as a search term, but if one enters that into 3M, one will receive a list of prompts.  And really, can anyone say that she enjoys looking up codes for complicated pregnancies in the code book?

Now that I am a consultant, I have used quite a few different systems.  One large system had a combination of 3M HDM, Optum CAC, and Epic. Optum is a book-style encoder, and 3M is 3M.  This was miserable because Optum and 3M do not play well together, and the coders' speed and accuracy suffered.  The only reason I can think of for using Optum CAC instead of the 3M HDM CAC is that 3M costs more.  I believe in getting the best tools possible in order to try to obtain the best results possible.

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Cynthia Brunette
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12.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-23-2017 11:26
Our facility just transitioned to Optum CAC and it now has both logic and book coding options available. This allows the coder to choose which works best for them as well as allowing a coder to switch back and forth between the two based on the situation. I used to prefer book-based encoders as I felt 3M slowed me down, but since the transition to Optum CAC I've found I prefer the logic encoder for CM and flip back and forth between logic and book for PCS, depending on the procedure.

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Patricia Keller
Hospital Inpatient Coder II
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13.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-23-2017 15:49
Hello,

   Definite difference between book based N-coder (TRUCODE) and logic based N-coder (3M) .  I have used Quantim/Clintegrity, 3M and TruCode and like TruCode best. Great functionality, Support and freebie CEU's / AHIMA approved. I am a forever book-based  TruCoder . 3M impacts my productivity, takes the Coder down the wrong path.  TruCode is  the best and most reasonable N-Coder on the market today. Jan Dupre, RHIT CCS AHIMA Trainer


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[Jan ] [Dupre RHIT CCS AHIMA Trainer]
[Coding Consultant]
[Trinity Coding Solutions,Inc]
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14.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-24-2017 12:47
As someone who learned coding back in the ICD-8 and H-ICDA days and has been involved in all that the coding profession has to offer, I am happy to voice my opinion on the merits of TruCode versus 3M.

When you consider that the pecking order for making a coding decision is the coding conventions and organization of the classification system first, followed by the Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting and then finally AHA's Coding Clinic, using the book-based approach or logic stands a better chance of assuring correct code assignment.  When I was doing in-classroom coding instruction, we were in the process of transitioning from having the 3M encoder in the lab to moving towards a book-based encoder system.  In order to be totally fair to the students, we spent a full class  "playing" with the encoder system.  The students learned that it was critical to have absolute command of their A&P knowledge as well as a high level of spelling accuracy with regards to medical terminology.  The comments I received at the conclusion of the class have stuck with me over the years....these students felt that using the logic screens as presented by 3M would have a potentially negative impact on their coding accuracy and that working with a book-based logic system would assure they would continue to hone their coding skills and become the best coder possible.

As a coding manager/director/auditor, I cannot count the times that a respondent to an audit has claimed they were correct and the auditor was wrong because "the encoder told me to code it that way".  In every last one of those instances, it was the same encoder at the root cause of the coding errors identified in the QA process.

I subsequently had responsibility for overseeing an in-house apprenticeship program and several of the people hired to facilitate this training project had only been exposed to 3M during their careers.  After working with TruCode for a matter of weeks, they were singing the praises.  It emphasizes the correct approach to coding  - the way we teach newcomers to the field - and places reliance on the coder having the right skills and being able to use the coding references as they should be using them.  These staffers have all gone on to other positions and are bemoaning the fact that they no longer have access to TruCode.  So this is not just my opinion but an echoing sentiment from several coding professionals.

TruCode is straightforward, the design is clean, the ability to search all the references easily is awesome and the fact that it was developed and maintained "by coders and for coders" makes it my preference.  They took the time to get it right before they rolled it out and it has been consistent and reliable over the years.  The support staff is tremendous and whenever any of my staff had a question, it was answered promptly and you can be relatively sure it was an issue that was addressed in one of their followup education efforts.  They are simply the best for dedicated coding professional.  It is coding as coding should be.

One last point - for auditors, it is a gift beyond compare.  The ability to set a customized configuration that addresses your particular audit client is a real asset.  All the financial information and alert information that you may need in the audit process is right there at your fingertips.  You just cannot go wrong with TruCode.


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Karen M. Karban, RHIT, CDIP, CCS
Director Coding Services
The CSI Companies
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15.  RE: 3M ENCODER VS TRUCODE

Posted 04-24-2017 13:38
Once you use TruCode you will not want to go to any other encoder.  The references that are presented on each code is my favorite part, I never have to guess if there is a coding clinic on this code.   I have many other favorites but I think everyone above has captured them.

Give it a chance and you won't be disappointed!

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Cathy Brownfield

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