Receptionist Position Paves the Path to Career Success
Landing a revenue integrity manager position takes dedication.
By Michelle A. Dick
AAPC National Advisory Board members aren’t the only ones who have had to work their way up the ladder to success in their careers. That’s how many of AAPC’s members roll. Michelle N. Myrick, CPC, CPC-I, is a prime example of someone who began with a low-paying entry level position and applied each of her learned skills to new career opportunities. She explains how her receptionist position sent her down an unknown path that has led her to a successful career.
How did you get to where you are
now in the industry?
When I was first introduced to the coding industry, I didn’t realize I had made the decision to start a career. I just needed a better job. I had medical terminology experience from a medical assisting certificate program six years earlier, and I could type 35 words per minute. That’s all I needed when I went to a staffing agency looking for an office job. They placed me as a receptionist making $6.25 an hour at Medical Radiologists, Inc. (MRI) in Kettering, Ohio. It was a great opportunity; I was previously making $4.75 an hour as a receptionist for a construction and glass company.
As a receptionist, I was responsible for answering phones, directing calls, accepting patient payments, etc. I was also responsible for Medicare secondary billing — I copied the remittance (everything was still paper then), matched claims to their respective remittance page, and mailed them to the secondary payer. I loved everything about what I did and was eager to learn more.
Once I realized my love for the business side of medicine, I sought opportunities to build my resume. With each new position, I looked for another area of the industry I had yet to learn.
Was the decision to start a coding career
a turning point in your life? If so, how?
The day I started at MRI in 1995 was a new beginning for me, but I didn’t realize it until 5 years later. January 5, 2000, I received a call from Melissa Caperton, RHIA, CPC, CPC-I, CFPC, in response to submitting my resume for an education specialist position with the University of Florida Jacksonville Physicians, Inc. (UFJPI). That phone call was a real turning point in my career. As Melissa explained the job duties, I realized the job description was written with me in mind. I anxiously set a date for the interview, at which time I was offered the job.
On November 17, 2014, just under 11 months at Sheridan Healthcorp, I was promoted from provider education specialist to revenue integrity manager of audit and education. Ryan Scott (the CEO of Signature Healthcare Search) told me when he sent me to Sheridan, “Within a year, you will probably be promoted.” He was right! I am having so much fun in my new position that I forget it’s a job, which is the true reward to years of hard work.
Why do you think hard work is important
for healthcare business professionals?
Standing still will get you run over by others. Healthcare business professionals who are not “lifelong learners” quickly become outdated and useless. One thing that made my career path bumpier and longer was the lack of a degree. My higher education has always been the result of on-the-job training. I’m now working toward a health information technology degree.
Is there anyone who helped you to achieve your career goals?
There are many who have helped me in my career. It takes a village to raise a coder! Everything about Melissa has always lifted me up. Others who are very special to me and who have contributed exponentially to my career are Greg Bell; Wanda Brown, CPC; Nancy Carr, CPC; Terry Scott, CPC; and, of course, my parents, who have been a constant support. They helped me to relocate and take a chance on a new career opportunity. I think it paid off!
Michelle A. Dick is executive editor at AAPC.