I Am AAPC: Tammy Reed, CPC, CPMA
I was working in an optical store selling eyeglasses and occasionally would help the optometrist’s receptionist. When they fired the receptionist, they asked me if I wanted the job. I hesitated at first because she had left behind a mess. I finally took the job, and my work was cut out for me. There was a backlog of insurance claims she hadn’t filed, and I knew nothing about filing insurance. With the help of a couple of friends and a lot of phone calls to the insurance offices, I figured out how to fill out the HCFA 1500 paper claim form (now known as the CMS-1500). At the time, the office had no computers and all insurance filing was done by hand and mail.
After a few years on the job, I decided I liked coding and billing, so I enrolled in a medical coding and billing course at a local business college. I took classes at night and graduated a year and a half later with a diploma. Now came the hard part: trying to find a better paying job with my newfound skills. I ended up getting a job at a hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a medical coder, advancing my coding career to a new level. I worked there for several years, until I moved to Pennsylvania.
I got a job at a hospital in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, as a medical coder. I worked as a coder for about 10 and a half years before I was promoted to coding education coordinator, further enhancing my coding skills. With this new position came new responsibilities and a requirement to be certified within two years. I joined AAPC and started studying for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) exam. I bought AAPC’s study guides and practice exams and commenced studying for the exam. I was very nervous, and it was a very hard test, but I passed on the first try with a very high score. I was proud of myself.
“I worked as a coder for about 10 and a half years before I was promoted to coding education coordinator, further enhancing my coding skills.”Tammy Reed, CPC, CPMA
About a year later, I started looking for a job working from home. I was hired as a consultant and am now using my coding skills for auditing. I love my job. I have since obtained my Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA®) certification. Thanks, AAPC, for all the help you have given me.