Minute with a Member
Belinda Caballero, MBA, CPC
Medical Billing, Coding, and Collections Specialist, BC Medical Billing, LLC
Tell us a little bit about how you got into coding, what you’ve
done during your coding career, and where you work now.
I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field; I just wasn’t sure which aspect I wanted to concentrate on. After I graduated as a cardiovascular and X-ray technician in 1998, I took the Florida state exam to become a licensed X-ray technician and began working in healthcare. Throughout the next several years, I also worked as a phlebotomist, a medical assistant, a front desk assistant, and in August 2006, as a practice manager and medical biller. I knew I was where I wanted to be. I continued my studies and received my certification. In 2012, I received my Master of Business Administration in Healthcare. I went on to successfully open BC Medical Billing; and I have been coding, billing, conducting and speaking at seminars, providing insurance contract services, and providing revenue cycle management consultation ever since.
What AAPC benefits do you like the most?
I love Healthcare Business Monthly magazine because it always has pertinent healthcare information. The member forum, webinars, and workshops are also a great resource.
How has your certification helped you?
My clients want to feel confident that the person providing their coding knows what they are doing; after all, this is their bread and butter. The billers and coders in my company are required to have either an AAPC certification or obtain one within the first three months of employment. I offer my clients the security and confidence that our staff is well equipped and trained to perform their jobs effectively and efficiently. Having a certification is an essential part of my company and has allowed for a high level of excellence in provided services.
Do you have any advice for those new to coding and/or those looking for jobs in the field?
Learn anatomy and medical terminology. Some new coders might not initially think about this, but knowing anatomy is an important aspect of coding. It’s important to know what to look for when coding. Reading an operative report and knowing how to interpret and code what you read is difficult; not being able to comprehend fully what you read makes this an impossible task. I also recommend taking advantage of internship opportunities. AAPC offers its members internship opportunities with partner billing companies. BC Medical Billing is one of those partners. There is no better way to learn than on-the-job training. A new coder may find it difficult to find employment in the field without experience; however, taking part in an internship gives you hands-on training and experience that you can include on your resume.
What has been your biggest challenge as a coder?
The biggest challenges I have encountered are the constant changes. My staff and I attend conferences and seminars to keep current with changing trends and technology. We also receive industry magazines and resources, such as Healthcare Business Monthly, that have relevant information on changes and healthcare topics. Healthcare is an ever-changing industry and it’s essential to keep up; success in this industry requires you to stay current in every aspect.
If you could do any other job, what would it be?
I cannot imagine doing any other job! I am where I have always wanted to be. I have my own billing company and a great staff.
How do you spend your spare time? Tell us about your hobbies, family, etc.
I spend most of my free time with family and friends. I love outdoor activities including mountain biking, running, and snorkeling. I love to learn and I look for all sorts of classes to learn new things. I recently began taking piano lessons with my brother and have started triathlon training with my son.