Region 1 – Stay Connected and Network

Staying connected and networking can be very valuable tools when advancing

AAPC Northeast Region Representatives

your career within the coding industry. Often, we turn to each other for advice when it comes to each other’s coding expertise and by seeking advice we are doing a few things. One, we are showing that we are humble and that we do not know all the answers, and two that we want to learn and expand our knowledge. People who show initiative to expand their horizons may prove to be a valuable asset when it comes to employers. Social media, in addition to in person networking such as HEALTHCON, is fast becoming the new way to help take our community of coders to the next level together. When we look at our Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram pages we see both newly credentialed coders and season veterans alike all helping each other learn. Sometimes when a question is answered it is not always correct and someone else with additional information can teach not one but two people! This can even spark a lively debate. That is what is so great about social media, it is fast paced, and we have the benefit of thousands of members all with the same goal of helping each other get the correct answer. By reading and responding to posts we not only may brush up on knowledge we may already possess but also may learn something new. We also encourage you to ask questions when you can as well; get to know your fellow coding peers. Being socially active in a productive and professional way gets your name out there and recognition for your accomplishments. ~Stephanie Sjogren

To expand on what Stephanie has said above, I have found that like anything it all starts with one. For instance, this past week I attended our regional conference in Washington DC, surrounded by amazing speakers, fabulous attendees, and terrific AAPC staff. Every person I passed had a smile on their face, which I instantly mirrored back. What better way to start a day then with a friendly hello, how are you, where you from, come join us! Thank you for your kindness to each other. One smile, one question asked in front of a large audience, one opinion posted on a web page, can change someone’s day. Coding is hard, denials can be confusing, compliance may be brutal, and don’t get me started on the gray areas of auditing; but we have one thing I believe some organizations lack, a fellowship. A fellowship is defined as “a group of people meeting to pursue a shared interest or aim”. We are a Team not competition, together everyone achieves more. I know it’s a little corny, but if you find you are alone in your endeavors, look to your AAPC social media pages, and you will find you are far from that. If you think you can’t ask the tough questions, think again. If you believe that your voice isn’t heard, speak up! It takes one person to make a difference, and our fellowship in this world of healthcare is to enact change. Whether it be to change a behavior of a physician, a coder, a payer, a biller, a manager, you have a voice. Find it and let it be heard. And as always reach out to your NAB, BOD, or local chapter for guidance and support. We will always be there to support each other in our common goal. ~Stephanie Thebarge

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