Newly Certified… Confused about Job Search

coderccm

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I just got my CPC-A in Nothern NJ, have started job searching and just had my first interview. Many questions, few answers. I have been told it is difficult to get a coding job with no experience, so you need to get your foot in the door first. I just went on an interview for a billing job. They said usually they only take experienced people, but I am still being considered based on my interview. The manager said also said that the coding is being done by the doctors (not that she is happy about it) and that it is fairly common. The billers know limited coding and may use a modifier occasionally, but not much more than that.

How does this or any other billing job set me up for a coding job? If I took the job I will still have little if any coding experience. And does the billing experience count toward removing the “Apprentice” from my certification? I am having difficulty understanding how to “hop-scotch” my way around the job market to get to where I want to be… Having a “CPC” (not CPC-A) with a job in coding. I keep on hearing I need to get a “foot in the door”. I don’t want to find out two years from now that it was the wrong door and I just wasted two years.
 

twizzle

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I just got my CPC-A in Nothern NJ, have started job searching and just had my first interview. Many questions, few answers. I have been told it is difficult to get a coding job with no experience, so you need to get your foot in the door first. I just went on an interview for a billing job. They said usually they only take experienced people, but I am still being considered based on my interview. The manager said also said that the coding is being done by the doctors (not that she is happy about it) and that it is fairly common. The billers know limited coding and may use a modifier occasionally, but not much more than that.

How does this or any other billing job set me up for a coding job? If I took the job I will still have little if any coding experience. And does the billing experience count toward removing the “Apprentice” from my certification? I am having difficulty understanding how to “hop-scotch” my way around the job market to get to where I want to be… Having a “CPC” (not CPC-A) with a job in coding. I keep on hearing I need to get a “foot in the door”. I don’t want to find out two years from now that it was the wrong door and I just wasted two years.

I would certainly advise you to take the job were you offered it. Any kind of experience in a medical office environment will stand you in good stead to proceed to the coding ladder. To get AAPC's billing certification you definitely need to know something about coding other than 'using a modifier occasionally'.

Doctors, being intelligent people, think they know how to code. Unfortunately, the majority don't, leaving them open to 'abusive' claims submission, and often many dollars left unclaimed. Having a certified coder in their office could be just the stimulus they need to make them see your true value.

If you get offered the job, do not turn it down.
 

michellepilcher

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After I was certified (without an A), the first job I took was as a coder. Things weren't kosher and there was no desire to code or bill anything correctly, so I left.
I ended up working in billing. I'd never billed before but they were excited about my CPC and figured I was trainable. I worked there a little over a year and then was hired at my current job. Working for my employer was my goal from the day I started school.

If you're offered a job, take it!

Once they figure out what your knowledge can do for them, things will work out.
 

Brenda720

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Newly Certified

I can feel your pain. I have had my RHIT for 13years, but I specialized in comparisons of terminologies and classifications, very difficult to find any job similar to that now. In Feb 2016 I tested and received certification CPC-A. The CPC-A has not done any good; because, employers want you to have some experience. HUH -- I am currently working on the AAPC Practicode-to remove one year from the apprenticeship. I kick myself because I didn't think I would be considered an apprentice since I already had my RHIT. I haven't done medical billing for 15 years, and I've been told, I'm not qualified anymore. Not sure what has changed but maybe the software, but I guess this particular employer wasn't willing to even train an employee on the software. So -- I've heard I'm under-qualified and over-qualified. Personally, I think being over 50 is the real reason. I've been told to get a BA in Healthcare Management. LOL
 

coderccm

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I would certainly advise you to take the job were you offered it. Any kind of experience in a medical office environment will stand you in good stead to proceed to the coding ladder. To get AAPC's billing certification you definitely need to know something about coding other than 'using a modifier occasionally'.

Doctors, being intelligent people, think they know how to code. Unfortunately, the majority don't, leaving them open to 'abusive' claims submission, and often many dollars left unclaimed. Having a certified coder in their office could be just the stimulus they need to make them see your true value.

If you get offered the job, do not turn it down.

Hi twizzle. thanks for your response. I am still concerned that if I work here for a year, there is no where to go but billing. They have 35 doctors and 15 billers and no coders, they are not changing the way they do coding. Doctors will continue to do it. If I then apply for another job after a year, next employer will say you have CPC-A and still no coding experience. Maybe then I could apply for a billing job with another employer that has coders and hope to move into coding over there after an additional year? It seems like another year wasted. Maybe a 3 month externship in coding with no pay would be worthwhile in the long run?
 

jettagirlfl

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Hello

Yes, my advice is , if they offer you the position take it! That's exactly what I did, worked in a billing office for a year to gain experience for my resume.
 

coderccm

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Yes, my advice is , if they offer you the position take it! That's exactly what I did, worked in a billing office for a year to gain experience for my resume.

Thanks for the advice. That is what I am hearing. I knew that changing careers would involve a lot of time and effort and lowered expectations, but it seems to be even more difficult than I had imagined. I kept hearing lots of opportunities in medical coding. That may be true, but it is still difficult to get started.
 

twizzle

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Hi twizzle. thanks for your response. I am still concerned that if I work here for a year, there is no where to go but billing. They have 35 doctors and 15 billers and no coders, they are not changing the way they do coding. Doctors will continue to do it. If I then apply for another job after a year, next employer will say you have CPC-A and still no coding experience. Maybe then I could apply for a billing job with another employer that has coders and hope to move into coding over there after an additional year? It seems like another year wasted. Maybe a 3 month externship in coding with no pay would be worthwhile in the long run?

Well, maybe you could look into their coding and see just how well they are doing. If you happen to uncover some 'issues' whatever they may be(leaving money on the table would wake them up), then they may just say, 'hmmmmm, this person has more knowledge about coding than we do and they can make us money', then you will be their hero for ever more.
Go for it. Foot in the door and all that. You'd be foolish to turn it down. At the end of the day, are there tons of entry-level coding/billing/ medical office environment jobs available where you live? I very much doubt it.
 

coderccm

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I remember this feeling. If coding is what you want to do I would not really settle for billing. It actually took me a year before I got my first coding job. However it is easier to get in the door with HCC coding . That was my first job as a CPC-A. An HCC coding job. Look up a company called OS2 Healthcare Solutions on Indeed.com They are hiring right now. I got my first job with them and it opened up the doors of heaven. You just need that first break. They are also a remote company. You can work remotely from home. Send them your resume and pass the test. They teach you a lot of information and They are contract and seasonal but again, if you just want to start somewhere, here is a good place. Good luck on your search

Thanks. I found the job listing on Indeed and applied even though they are asking for at least one year experience. We'll see what happens.
 

coderccm

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Well, maybe you could look into their coding and see just how well they are doing. If you happen to uncover some 'issues' whatever they may be(leaving money on the table would wake them up), then they may just say, 'hmmmmm, this person has more knowledge about coding than we do and they can make us money', then you will be their hero for ever more.
Go for it. Foot in the door and all that. You'd be foolish to turn it down. At the end of the day, are there tons of entry-level coding/billing/ medical office environment jobs available where you live? I very much doubt it.

I was hoping to get a foot in the door with a company that at least had a coding department, not that I expected to get into the department right away. I am hearing things similar to your sentiments. Get into the healthcare industry first. Any entry level job is hard to find. I am in Northern New Jersey.
 
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