CPC-A's in need of experience & jobs

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Hello,
Please post a thread to this e mail if:

1. The Xternship locations in your state are not within a reasonable distance to attend or you have not had any response to your inquires to the sites. Also, if you have not had a positive learning experience attending.

2. Are having an extremely difficult time landing that "foot in the door" position we often hear about.

I have sent AAPC's CEO an e mail regarding Xternship location concerns and other issues. I'm very curious how many CPC-A's are experiencing same difficulties I am and trying to see what can possibly be changed to improve the process of gaining valuable coding related experience and increasing chances of landing a coding related position.

Thank you!
Have a great day!
 

ksd

Networker
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I read this post and felt compelled to respond. First to let you know, I went through what you are going through with my own personal tribulations coming to the mix of needing employment. I came from the automotive industry and was a product of the downsizing. I was unemployed for the most part other than picking up odd jobs here and there for the better pary of 4 years before I took the plunge to obtain a billing and coding course through a local learning center. Once I graduated with honors and a 4.0 I was lucky to have proved my worth to be able to work from home for my externship as I had a newborn I needed to care for. This was with no hope of employment however. Well, I finished this and then applied to over 1000 places. I am not kidding about that number. I aplpied in my own city and found nothing, in my own state and found nothing, then eventually to places in other States for anything. I soon found what you did and discovered I could not get any employment without experience. Eventually I found a job scheduling for a clinic. I moved up in that office accepting postions that required me to travel and not even make enough money to break even. Lucky for me my wife worked. Eventually I found a company that hired me to code full time. IT WAS not easy but I do love what I do and do not regret it. You have to remember that the medical field is still uncertain of it's future with the healthcare law coming out of the courts deemed constitutional. Plus with the economy the way it is government numbers aside (this is not a political statements as both partied play with numbers to come out with a more favorable unemployment figure) he rate is actually over 12%. People are training for new careers and the job market is overwhelmed with new graduates (this is for all fields not just billing and coding) and experienced coders laid off for whatever reason. Ok, sorry for the long post but to the real reason I am responding to this.
I do not feel it is the responsiblity of AAPC to find you work or provide you with externships. They do help and it's members do care about people who love to and want to code as a career. AAPC is great at what they are set up for. This is my opinion again of their purpose. I see the AAPC as a vast resource of coders to share their knowledge in a great networking service. And they provide certification to coders to show they have a minimal knowlege of coding guideline. The CPC does not mean you are qualified or experienced it just means you passed a test. I do not feel AAPC owes us anything in the way of finding employment (the fact that they do to the extent the do says a lot about them). I believe the schools that are selling their curriculum have th responsibility to be honest with you and we have the responsiblity to research the health and requirements of the fields we are choosing to go into for obtaining employment.
The reason I put the long post in the beginning is to show you my struggles as I am sure most of us had who went into this field. It is not easy, but I do not think any field is going to be easy to start out in. My suggestion is to be open for anything in the healthcare as well as volunteering. Also if you are serious about this loko for jobs in other locations. there are parts of the US that are desperate for coders they will hire uncertified coders and train them. Good luck to you and again sorry for the book I responded with. (And the grammar/spelling).
 

cordelia

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ksd- thank you for your wonderful post. This field is hard to break into, the path is not easy, but there are no shortcuts in life, and the things worth having require work.

It is not AAPCs responsibility to find you a job, to provide you with an extern site. They can not force employers to provide an externship or to hire their coders. They are simply a credentialing organization.

To the orginal poster- have you voiced your concern to your school? did you write them a letter in regards to not providing an extern site? Are you contacting classmates to see if they have also had struggles?

Your concerns are valid, but you are aiming them at the wrong people. You should be upset with your school and yourself for not researching this field before handing over your money.


Cordelia, CCS, CPC
 

dclark7

True Blue
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KSD, I think your post is great. I would like to add that companies that do participate in Project X-tern do so voluntarily, the AAPC has no control whatsoever over companies in their decision to participate or not.

I've said in other posts and I will say it again, physician practices are being bought out by large hospital corporations, some are closing, older physician's are retiring early all because of the changes in the healthcare field. While there has been a rapid increase in the number of coders taking the certification exam, there has NOT been a corresponding increase in the number of job openings. This leaves a surplus of coders many with experience and many more without. Unless and until the job market turns for the better many people are not going to get their dream coding job or even close to it. This is not AAPC's fault and it is not the fault of coders who are currently working in the field, it's just the nature of the beast and the law of supply and demand. I think your suggestions are excellent and they are the same ones made by many many others on these forums. There are no quick answers and no easy fixes. Blaming the AAPC and trying to get them to "fix" things is an exercise in futility. AAPC cannot fix the economy and they can not force employers to hire inexperienced coders. So KSD, thank you for your honest post.
 
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Cpc-a

I agree with everyone and the following:

It is not AAPCs responsibility to find you a job or to provide you with an extern site.

Check out the job posting on the AAPC website and temp services in your area.

Contact classmates to see if they are also struggling.

Be open for anything in healthcare, because this will get your foot in the door. (This is what I'm doing now). I just had the "A" removed from my CPC two weeks ago and I just got laid off.

Don't give up!!!!!!
 

nbcummings

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Things are tough all over . It's the recession not AAPC . Rethink your approach and job hunting strategies. Network with AAPC members and attend meetings to find job leads.
Best of luck to you !
 

cingram

Guru
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sometimes to get into the field you have to think outside of the box. My school didnt offer an externship so I contacted my cousins mom who is an MA/biller for a pcp and I got to volunteer there you could try calling offices to volunteer for a couple of months that way you can add that to your resume. Or go to your local hospital and sign up as a volunteer they do allow volunteers in the HIM department which is another good thing to add to your resume. I was about to start as a volunteer for a local hospital here and the day before I was supposed to start I got a job offer.Keep your head up high. and apply for every position. Even if by the description you are not qualified for what they want let them make that decision not you. So even if it says they want 10 years expierence apply anyway.
 

YueQu

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No Hope and no Dream

Since passing the exam, I am trying everywhere in the whole USA, anythere there is an opportunity for extership or volunteer or a part time position, but I failed, I passed exam, I am preparing CPC-H and CCS, I could assign some code wihtout opening the ICD-9 and APC-4, but I still can not find a job, no expereince, nobody will hire you!!! Do not waste your money and time, try find a job in other area, I am current doing back my business.
A black area!!!
 
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