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I Am AAPC: Abby Hart, CPC, CPMA, PI

I Am AAPC: Abby Hart, CPC, CPMA, PI

I graduated from high school without a clear career path in mind. I thought I might want to do something in the legal field, so I began college studying pre-law. I quickly decided that pre-law was not for me and transferred into a criminal justice program, which I loved. I even worked part time as a corrections officer for a year while I earned my degree. I contemplated becoming a police officer or working for the FBI, but those roads did not pan out. So, after completing my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, I found myself at a crossroad. It was then that I decided to do a complete about-face and accept a position as a scheduler at a urology clinic.

Forging a New Path

Taking the urology clinic job marked the start of my coding career. Working there gave me a thorough understanding of the entire billing and payment process, from appointments and insurance claims to procedures and tests. I found the process fascinating and captivating. The urology clinic offered to pay for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) course and exam through AAPC if I agreed to stay for a year. This opportunity seemed like the perfect next step for me. To prepare for and pass the exam, I enrolled in AAPC’s online CPC® course and took the practice exams. Throughout this journey, I was fortunate to receive unwavering support from my husband, Eli, and the guidance of my friend Andrea, who is also a coder.

Stoking My Inner Fire

While I found my career in medical coding fulfilling, my passion for criminal justice still burned within me. After a decade, I pursued my long-standing desire to become a licensed private investigator (PI). Upon getting my PI license, I found I could combine my investigative skills with my coding and auditing expertise by joining a special investigation unit as a coding quality analyst at an insurance company. I love digging for answers, whether they are medical or otherwise. My distinct set of skills, together with my drive and enthusiasm, has led me to a career that allows me to use all three of my abilities in a fulfilling way.

Passing On What I Have Learned

Your path to medical coding may be different than mine, but for those aspiring to enter the field, I recommend starting by working in a medical office, especially if you possess a CPC-A designation. Building experience in medical billing positions can make it easier to transition into coding roles, since coding and medical billing are closely intertwined. I found that my understanding of coding significantly improved by first gaining experience in billing and authorizations.


We want to feature you in Healthcare Business Monthly! Tell us in fewer than 500 words why you became a member of AAPC, how your AAPC credentials have helped you in your career, and the best part of being an AAPC member. Send your story and a digital photo of yourself to iamaapc@aapc.com.

Lee Fifield
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About Has 179 Posts

Lee Fifield has a Bachelor of Science in communications from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, and has worked as a writer and editor for 17 years.

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