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Hi my name is Manisha. I did my bachelors in India. I am a certified CPC-A for quite a long time. I am not getting job in either billing or coding since I don't have any experience. I am thinking to do an associate degree in Medical coding. Do you think that getting an associate degree helps to open door for me to get any entry level position in medical industry? And can any degree can be substitute from experience in medical field? Also if I pursue associate degree, should I do it in medical coding or Health information management?

Thank you!
 

csperoni

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The answer to this could vary greatly from employer to employer, and even hiring manager to hiring manager.
If you are looking to get your foot in the door with a more entry level (non coding) job at a physician office or hospital, then typically a college degree is not required. Many physician offices will hire billers, front desk, etc. without experience (particularly if you passed the CPC). That is my usual recommendation for someone getting started in the coding field. For hospital, there are more options - intake coordinator, medical records, unit clerk, etc. Look at insurance carriers as well. Most employers that require a set amount of experience will simply not consider education (no matter how many years) in lieu of experience.
My personal opinion is that all coders should fully understand the work of a biller. A coder who never had to:
  • wait on hold for 45 minutes with an insurance company and then get disconnected
  • argue and fight with an insurance company for deserved payment
  • explain a patient's bill to them several times
  • justify and explain an unlisted code to an insurance carrier
  • explain to an insurance rep that there are 3 pages of your document, and they are only reading page 1
will often not fully comprehend the A/R cycle as well as someone who had.

There are many posts and threads here about this same topic. There are exceptions all the time, but most of us recommend to get your foot in the door with any position, show your employer how amazing you are, and then transfer to the career you really want.
 
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