HEALTHCON Regional 2022 | Stay Current. Stay Engaged. | Join today!

Get Experience as a Newly Certified Coder

Get Experience as a Newly Certified Coder

I do a lot of mentoring and networking. And as a result, I hear from newly-certified coders, who have their CPC-A  and who are having trouble finding a job because most employers are looking for people who have experience. It feels like a Catch-22 because a new coder can’t get experience to have experience for the job openings. This is extremely frustrating after all the studying and finally passing the difficult certification exam.

No Easy Way to Get Experience

There is no easy answer to the problem. I can tell you that you will not get a remote position, working from home, just starting out. Coding is really learned when you start working with codes in a live environment. Coding is a profession that you learn on the job, working with real charts, other coders and providers in a real-world environment. No school can duplicate that experience.
One suggestion I have made to those I have mentored is to consider taking a job as a biller. Don’t pass up billing opportunities because you may find it is the route to your desired career. Although you will not be coding, you will deal with codes every day in billing. You will be able to identify possible mistakes and correct them before they get into the pipeline. Incorrect codes will mess up the revenue cycle very quickly, so billers who know coding are gems.
Once you show your employer what you are capable of, you may get into posting payments and working denials. These positions in revenue cycle management also demand coding knowledge to determine if the denials are valid and if there is information in the chart that can correct the claim and make it payable. If a denial is invalid, then the denial must be appealed, which requires an understanding of the codes, medical necessity, and other rules that justify payment of the claim.
Before you know it, you will have gotten your two years of coding experience while working in billing and revenue cycle. Congratulations! You have earned the experience to remove your “A” and become a full-fledged CPC®.

Experience Sets Your Path

You may find that you like revenue cycle management and want to continue on with it as your career progresses. Or you may want to take the experience you have gained and look for a coding job. You now can compete with other experienced coders in the job market because you have experience to go with your education and certification.

CPB : Online Medical Billing Course

Barbara Cobuzzi

About Has 99 Posts

Barbara J. Cobuzzi, MBA, CPC, COC, CENTC, CPC-P, CPC-I, CPCO, CMCS, is CEO of CRN Healthcare Solutions and formerly owned a medical billing company. Cobuzzi is a subject matter expert in otolaryngology coding. She provides litigation support as an expert witness for providers and payers and often presents for many local and national organizations. She is also a consulting editor for AAPC’s Otolaryngology Coding Alert newsletter. In 1999, Cobuzzi was named AAPC’s Networker of the Year, and she is a past member of the National Advisory Board. She is one of four founding members of the Monmouth/Ocean, N.J., local chapter and is still active with the chapter.

No Responses to “Get Experience as a Newly Certified Coder”

  1. Beya says:

    Good Morning Barbara,
    I am a CPC-A and would like to talk to you about mentorship.
    Below is my email address, please send me a message.
    Thank you.

  2. Stephanie Morris says:

    I’m interested in mentorship.

  3. Sandra Ramlakan says:

    Hi I am interested in mentorship. I am a CPC-A

  4. Sabina sangma says:

    Hi I am interested in mentorship. I am a CPC-A

  5. Maureen says:

    Good morning Barbara, thank you for your time. I am interested in sitting for my Oncology Specialty Certification sometime next year (my background is as an Oncology IV Tech, I’m a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician with over 7 years experience in an IV room). I just received my CPC-A last November and have just completed formal on-line training and reasy to start job hunting. So you think having a COC would also help or is getting a few classes for the Tumor Board a better option for me. Thanks so much for any advice you can give. Take car3, Maureen

  6. Stacy Barrett says:

    I’ve been working in Revenue Cycle for 20 years doing billing. I got my CPC-A in October 2017. Would I already qualify to get the A dropped or do I have to wait until October? What is the process to get the A dropped?

  7. Beryl says:

    Would anyone like to mentor me
    I am in need of help to take CPC test

  8. Jennifer Mitchell says:

    I saw this on LinkedIn and I am interested in mentorship.

  9. Shameeka Latrice Vines says:

    I’m a medical technologist looking to transition into this field. Any advice?

  10. Barbara Cobuzzi says:

    Stacy Barrett, You need to provide letters from your employer attesting that you have at least 2 years of coding experience. If you are doing coding in your job in Revenue Cycle, you should be able to get that reference/attestation and that should remove your A from your CPC

  11. Barbara Cobuzzi says:

    Stacy Barrett,
    You need a letter of coding experience from an employer. If you have been performing coding in your job in RCM, you only need your employer to write a letter to attest to your experience and that it is 2 years or more and submit it to get your A removed from your CPC.

  12. Darcie Stuart says:

    I recently passed my AAPC coding class. This month I will be sitting for my AAPC Exam.
    Very frustrated, my area where I live has no Apprenticeship Program.
    Have no direction about how to enter the coding field! Lost!