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I Am AAPC: Tara Purnell, CPC, CRC

I Am AAPC: Tara Purnell, CPC, CRC

I always wanted to help people, which is what led me down the path of becoming a psychiatrist. Well, as you can see, that has not happened.

During college, back in 2001, I was able to work with my aunt, who was a health information management director.  For four years, I pulled paper charts and filed them. I knew there were various positions in the department, such as billing and coding, but I never had any interest.

Upon graduation, I wanted to get a better job to support myself, and I ended up finding a receptionist job at a surgery center. This led me to a job in durable medical equipment billing. I was a reimbursement specialist, but I loved the billing side.

This led me to various jobs in billing such as dermatology and government contracts. At the dermatology office, I was prepping for the Certified Professional Dermatology Coder (CPDC™) examination, but funding was cut, and I could not finish the class. At this point, however, I was determined to become a medical coder.

I took a course in medical billing and coding in 2008. This led to me receiving my Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) credential in 2009. Soon after that, I started a job in hierarchical condition category risk adjustment coding. I did that for nine years, and I was so excited when I learned AAPC had a Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™) exam. I took the CRC™ exam in 2015 and passed on the first try!

Now I am a research billing compliance analyst at one of the top #10 universities in the country. I am taking an AAPC course to obtain my Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO™) certification.

Although I am not a psychiatrist, I love the flexibility the medical coding and billing world offers.


3 Responses to “I Am AAPC: Tara Purnell, CPC, CRC”

  1. Jazinique says:

    This is awesome to hear about flexibility within medical billing and coding. The more experience one is exposed to is a stepping stone to another certification. Congratulations!

  2. Rajeswari Ramar says:

    Hi Tara I liked the way of your successful journey in medical coding, now itself your my inspiration. THANK YOU

  3. Tara Miller says:

    Nice! Just starting my coding journey and excited about what the future holds. Thank you for sharing your story.