I Am AAPC: Loriann Gillette, CPC, CCS

I Am AAPC: Loriann Gillette, CPC, CCS

I worked in production for more than 12 years, but when the company relocated their facilities to another country, I decided to change careers. I enrolled in an occupational program and started a year-long course in accounting. Half way through the program, my dad had a terrible car accident. The doctors who were involved in his care and rehabilitation would talk to me using words I did not understand, which was very frustrating. A few months later, my mother ended up in the hospital and needed my assistance in her recovery and treatment plan. It was then I decided to make switch to a medical career; I joined the administrative medical assistance program.

Making the Switch to Coder

I completed the course and interned at a local doctor’s office. When interviewing for jobs, I brought samples of some of the medical terminology and coding practices I did in class. I landed my first job in the medical field as a data entry operator. We had one coder who worked at night, but she was rarely in the office. Our company acquired a new billing client and needed more coding services, so I began coding full time, coding mainly radiology and physician claims. At the same time, my boss bought the AAPC independent study program, which I studied at night. I passed my Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) in 2000, after only a year on the job.

Changing Gears to Hospital Coding

I was interested in learning hospital coding, so I applied for a job with a local hospital, did well entrance test, and was hired. My on-the-job training started in outpatient and emergency room abstract coding. I took an advanced hospital billing/Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) prep online, and I received my CCS credential in 2014. I was also able to make the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 after a lot of company-sponsored training. I now work remotely, full time in Arizona while caring for my mother.

Spreading Knowledge through Mentoring

My career goal is to develop a program or mentor people interested in coding as a profession. I want to help new coders understand how to start, what will be required, and if coding is the right career choice for them. I have been blessed with an awesome career and a great team of people to work with, and I want to share what I’ve learned with whomever is interested in a medical coding career.

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9 Responses to “I Am AAPC: Loriann Gillette, CPC, CCS”

  1. Sarah Nemeth says:

    What an inspirational story. It sounds as if you didn’t let circumstances get in your way and you instead, made things happen. I’m an RN trying desperately to get out of patient care. I’m looking at coding programs. My goal would be a specialty clinic. There are cardiac and ortho clinics hiring in my area. I’m leaning towards AAPC online training for CPC. Is this a good start?

  2. Sheila Taylor says:

    Dear Loriann:

    I wanted to let you know how timely your story was for me. I decided to pursue medical coding after my mother’s health declined. I was an educator for almost 15 years. I wanted to take care of my mother and have the ability to work from home. Thank you for sharing your story and letting me know that this is possible!

  3. cheryl says:

    What an incredible journey you have had. Thank you so much for those words and for letting us know that even though there are many steps in a process, if you work hard enough and never give up, you can achieve your goals.

  4. Ramakrishnan.c says:

    I am doing coding since 2011,major area is out patient e/m and i need your guideness to improve my coding knowledge in cpt and icd10 for my carrier growth.

  5. Coreen says:

    Great Job. I am a CPC and ICD.10 proficient. However I do not code and am losing my skills. I feel like I need to strengthen my anatomy knowledge and at some point look at becoming a CPMA. I would like to be mobile as well and would love for you to mentor me. I hope you can gI’ve me some guidance. I can be reached at crennie23@yahoo.com. Thank you.

  6. Melisande says:

    Thank you for telling your story. I too made the switch to coding recently, and will sit for the cpc exam in August after finishing the cbcs course in May 2015. Unfortunately plans were derailed due to a cancer treatments, but completed them in December 2015. I appreciate any advice on this on the test and looking for work.

  7. Teri Rees says:

    I have heard that you can get coding jobs and work from home. I recently took the online course through AAPC. I have worked in the medical field for 20 years and I’m ready to get out of the hospital setting. How do I get started??

  8. Trina Warren says:

    That is a great story, I have been coding for 12 years now first being credentialed with the AAPC with my CPC in April 2002, however I didn’t get an opportunity until 2004 to begin my coding career. I now have my CCS as of September 2015 and I am excited to embark on some different type of coding, ie., SD Surgery, OBVS, etc. I just landed a job doing such and would love to talk with you.

  9. Jameka Bowman says:

    I am new to the coding world. I have an associates in Medical Office Administration and a certificate in Medical Coding. How many years did you work in the physicians setting before transitioning to the hospital setting? Would you recommend starting out in the doctor’s office first or diving into the hospital setting after getting certified CPC?

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