New to the system


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Hi everyone
I am a new-bee to the coding world and was wondering if I could pick your brains. I am looking at going into coding and have just completed my CIC course along with the Anatomy and Medical Terminology courses. Now comes the fun part.... taking the test. Ugh! But I had a question regarding experience. First, can you get a job in this industry to gain some experience prior to getting certified or must you be certified first? Second, if I should need some help (because I am more of a hands on learner), who can I reach out to that might be able to meet with me to help me? I feel even though I have passed my classes I still need clarification on some things. Your help is very appreciated. One more quick question. I understand that this is a field which allows you the opportunity to work from home sometimes. How does this work and how much experience do you usually require before you are able to do this?

thanks in advance

Pam Brooks

True Blue
Local Chapter Officer
NAB Member
South Berwick, ME
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Oh, how I wish you'd had the opportunity to reach out and ask us all before you started your CIC certification training. This is not an entry level certification, in fact under CIC requirements on the AAPC website it reads, "While there is no experience requirement, we strongly recommend that the candidate have at least two years of experience in inpatient coding or an inpatient coding course. Please be aware that this is a difficult, high-level examination which is not meant for individuals with little, limited or no inpatient coding experience or training." AAPC can't know who purchases these courses, and they assume that everyone's read up on what they're buying.

May I make a suggestion. Get your COC or CPC first. That's where the entry level positions are, and the coding rules are very different between this kind of coding and inpatient facility coding. You can find work as a new coder, but you will need a certification to work in most offices or hospitals. I frequently hire new coders (in fact I'm looking for one now--$16+ an hour to start, but it's not remote and it's not full time), but have a really hard time finding good candidates.

As far as working from home, I do hear through the grapevine that some of the outsourced coding companies will hire brand new coders, but I also hear it's not steady work. The inpatient remote coding jobs typically require RHIA, RHIT or CCS. I have a handful of employed remotely-working coders who have to have several years experience, and meet both productivity and accuracy standards. Typically, remote coders have to be able to work independently which means that they aren't still being trained, which can take a couple years for an inpatient coder. Keep that in your goals, but expect to work onsite for at least a couple of years.

Call your local hospital/physicians offices and ask the coding managers what they look for in terms of certifications and experiences when they hire. This might help you decide what to do next. If you decide to go ahead with the CIC, then I'd encourage you to apply for any position in HIM or Revenue that you can at your local hospital, and be the best employee that they have so that when something opens up, you'll be right there waiting. Keep up with your CEUs and attend your local chapter meetings, so you can maintain your knowledge and network to find out where the jobs are. Good luck and let us know how it goes.


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Hello, "m a new student here. I'm currently studying CIC and it is hard ( since i'm working in a hospital already). I have knowledge how to review record, but i have trouble with a medical terminology and anatomy. Can anybody give me an advise about terminology and anatomy. Thanks.