No Coding Jobs for inexperienced Coders

dcraven

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New Coders

Apply for any position - then do it well. about 26 years ago I began as a receptionist, then moved up to transcription and on to billing and finally into Office manager and then I went for my CPC and stepped into a coding position. It is not easy - especially if you have not worked in a medical setting. The best advise - accept what you can get just to get your foot in the door and then prove yourself.
 
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New Coders

Very well said, Debby. I began in the Medical field as a part-time transcriptionist and then worked as receptionist after graduating from college and later worked in insurance/billing and enojyed it so much that I became a CPC. The experience you gain along the way will be invaluable when it comes to coding/billing. Debby is right....it's not easy, but it is well worth it.

Teresa Collins, CPC
 

kevbshields

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Gosh, this post has a lot of information and opinions.

Normally, I try to keep quiet on the issues of graduates finding employment and the difficulty of coding exams.

However, this time I have something to offer.

What novice and new-graduate coders must understand in the hiring process is the mitigating role an HIM or Coding Manager plays. On one hand, the managers have a vacancy to fill. Certification probably is required; after all, that seems the defining feature for candidates. And, that requirement supports and validates that a coder has at least the minimum qualifications for the job duties.

On the other hand, you have Human Resources and Recruiters. These folks are not schooled to understand coding credentials, education and generally have little insight of the nuances in qualifications for coders. They must rely on the information supplied to them from the hiring officials. Human resources may not, for instance, understand the variances of being a CPC and a CPC-P. If the words in a candidate's Resume do not match the words listed as qualifications on the announcement, that candidate is unlikely to gain interview. For example, an announcement may request that a coder be "certified" through AAPC or AHIMA. HR folks likely don't understand what qualifies as "certified"; they may forward non-certified coders' Resumes forward for managerial review. The point is, your Resume should factually state in detail what your credentials are (e.g., Certified Professional Coder through AAPC). Take nothing for granted.

I've found that HR can sometimes believe coding managers too stringent in their screening. I don't necessarily believe that to be the case.

It's important to also keep in mind that sometimes the hiring officials are actually members of larger hiring groups. In these models, a board or committee may choose the candidate's salary based on qualifications. With that being the case, those folks can sometimes (conversely) believe that managers choose "minimally qualified" candidates.

Hiring is a fine line to walk for the selecting officials. A newly approved position or vacancy is valuable to the hiring organization just as well as to the candidate. Choosing the right coder takes effort and commitment on both sides.

I wish you all luck. It might be wise to look at non-traditional options. Coders are employed all across healthcare in a variety of positions. It makes sense to explore those.
 
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JS235

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As you can see, I am very new to this site. I'm currently studying to take the CPC exam later this year. Medical is not my background (MBA-business, AS-computer programming), but I find the coding class extremely interesting and always love to learn new things. I'm not going to delude myself into thinking I can get a coding job easily, but I'm hoping that the CPC designation and my business background will get me into the medical environment.

I actually have only about 15 more years to work before I can officially retire if I wish to. My main goal is to work until I can't work anymore and I'm hoping that eventually I will find a job where I'll be able to code from home by the time I'm in my early 60's.

I just want to thank everyone for their information and comments. I look forward to learning more from everyone on this site.:)
 

ollielooya

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I've kept my eye on this thread ever since it started. In my case luck and knowing the right person helped me get a foot in the door. At my age (60) don't have the time to think about creating a long job profile for this new love of my life. Did that during my tenure as a music teacher for 30+ years. One must be realistic in their expectations, so my odyssey will be to learn as much as possible for the new job that I do have, hunker down, and be the best employee I can be in this particular specialty for my remaining work years. Had I started this business 30 years ago, the path would have been much different, but at the moment, I am deeply contented, motivated, and passionate with this first job.---Suzanne E. Byrum, CPC-A
 

harrison8160

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Dont give up

I just took the exam for CPC a few days ago (8/1/09); but I have been doing A/R in the healthcare field for 9 years. I went on the internet and posted my resume to every job board there was; they should have a job board that helps find jobs in your local area - not only that I sent my resume to every hospital, clinic and urgent care facility within a 50 mile range from my home. I went on many interviews. I received a call from a hospital that I sent my resume to months ago. I was blessed with an offer for a coding job because I was taking the test. I start the job 8/17/09 and I pray I past the exam..
 

ssullivan

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I am one of the lucky ones I guess. I replied to an inquiry for experienced professional coders and had just recently passed certification for CPC. I decided that it would not hurt to apply for the job and I was offered it! I have now been working for the same practice for over a year and have gained the experience. My suggestion is to not overlook jobs that are looking for "experienced" coders because you may have other qualities that make you an asset to the company and are willing to train you for the rest. Best of luck to you and don't overlook your hidden qualities. SS
 

hrojzen

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Wonderful to be reading reports of success. . .Harrison8160, can you share whether the hospital position you got is for inpatient DRG/ICD-9-oriented coding? Or, rather, is your new position a continuation of your focus on AR coding, which, I assume, was more physician-service-oriented. . .I've lately noticed that the coding world seems to be demarcated clearly along lines of either CCS/DRG coding or CPC/AR coding, but possibly I am oversimplifying?
 

harrison8160

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Wonderful to be reading reports of success. . .Harrison8160, can you share whether the hospital position you got is for inpatient DRG/ICD-9-oriented coding? Or, rather, is your new position a continuation of your focus on AR coding, which, I assume, was more physician-service-oriented. . .I've lately noticed that the coding world seems to be demarcated clearly along lines of either CCS/DRG coding or CPC/AR coding, but possibly I am oversimplifying?
Outpatient. The hospital outpatient clinic's use to have a agency doing all the a/r and coding work but they bought it in house back in May or June of this year. There is a total of 9 clinic's. The majority focuses on Orthopedic surgery, but there is also Vascular surgery, and internal med.
 

vwaner

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I lucked out on finding a job.

I graduated from a tech school in Kansas this last Jan. I didn't look for a job right away because I was pregnant but in Jan I did post my resume on Career Builder and I got many phone calls for interviews. I didn't interview with a job until July and I got the job. Now I'm a coder/biller for a hospital's sepciality clinics. I going for my speciality creds after the first of the year. I believe I am grossly under paid but I am a CPC-A and I still don't know how I landed this job. I work by myself and I am the only coder for the clinics. Also, I audit some hospitalist once a month and I do inpt coding as well. It was a lot to take in when I first started but now everything is going smoothly now. I would like to take on a second job working from home but I can't seem to find anything. I'm happy with my job even though I was just kind of thrown in the mix and under paid but I could not have a job right now. I look at this job as getting my feet wet in the medical field because I'm not going to stay here.
 

michaelrcpc

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Truth be told, experience is the key because providers dont want to be held liable for an error in the office. I speak at many coding and billing schools and I tell them like it is, it's going to be hard to land that first job but there are many ways to get in as most companies hire from within. Try temp agencies, network at your meetings, get yourself some liability insurance and use that as a tool and the number one thing I tell them. Start at the bottom if you have to. If there is a lower end position that is open apply for it because if you get it you now have your foot in the door and you have just increased your odds GREATLY of being able to promote within. That's exactly what I did 5.5 years ago, I took a position as a medical collector and since then I have not only gotten to where I wanted but surpassed that into an even more higher position We are putting on a "Getting your foot in the door in the medical field' workshop in Jan. of 2010 I would be more then happy to provide you with acopy of that slide.


Michael A. Reynolds, CPC, CCP-P, OS
Project Manager
Corporate Compliance
Sharp HealthCare
San Diego, California
858-499-5757 Desk
858-499-3020 Fax
michael.reynolds@sharp.com
 

sweetk0928

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I'm in the same bolt as you. There has to be a way things can change. I live in the Chicago area and Im having the hardest time getting my foot in any companys door. I dont have no experience in the coding area, but along with my CPC, I do have a bachelors degree in accounting. If any one know any place hiring in the Chicago area please forward it on to me. I would really appreciate it. My email is kristine_tyler@att.net
 

LeeShimano

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So California and Project Xtern

I read this entire thread and felt compelled to answer. I work for a large IPA/Medical management company in the low desert and we are a Project Xtern site. Some of you may have called or emailed me. I post using my real name and don't hide behind a cutsey avatar. I realize that some of you use your real names as well, which I really appreaciate as an employer. I will address what I mean by that in a second.

Part of the problem with using externs is the state law in California. It does not allow a company to have extern do the same functions as an employee without being paid at least minimum wage. In the past, externs were a "win/win" for a company-the company gets caught up on some coding for free and the extern gets some much needed experience. Now I have to have budgetary allowance to have an Extern come and help us stay on schedule, which can be impossible when you have to convince a bean-counter to spend the money.

I also speak at our local technical college and probably will not be asked back. Why? Because I don't believe in telling someone that the certificate of completion that the college gives for a "billing and coding" course will get them a high paying job. Because the reality is that it won't. Yes, you may have paid 30K for that piece of paper, spent 2 years of your life in class and received good grades, however, the material they are teaching is just not enough of "real life" to be able to perform the job duties that are required.

Most of us "old timers" began from the ground up-I have been the chart room filing clerk, appointment scheduler, receptionist, check-out clerk, etc as well as the biller, billing coordinator, project manager, department supervisor and department manager. You have to be willing to take any job in an office and eventually, you will be there to get the coder job when one becomes available.

Now, back to my soapbox and what I meant by "cutsey avatars" or user names. As a hiring manager, anyone that I consider for one of my positions is already in the interview process when I look over their resume, speak to them on the phone or respond to an email. My advice is save your creative usenames for Facebook or Twitter and get one that means business and that you are to be taken seriously.

I am always happy to help anyone with any questions they may have. Please feel free to PM me.
 

tjlock

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I had the same problem. It took me 11 months to find a position. No one would even interview me because I didn't have any experience. My advise is stay where you are until you get a few years experience, then you can go wherever you want.
 

nmbenite

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Medical and Billing Certificate

I graduated from Salter College in Westboylston, MA last year 2008 and I did my Externship with Fallon Clinic in Worcester in coding. I went to take the test two weeks ago but I fail because I'm not working in the field. I'm working in Banking. I graduated from Data Entry and Bank Teller. I went back to school to take another career because my husband became legally blind. I have been applied in any position as a Medical Record, Service Representative etc. Could you help me find a job in the medical field.
 

karana

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dISCOURAGED

I have recently been certified as a CPC-H. I thought i was alone with this lack of experience thing, i almost feel even more discouraged knowing that im not. I have dedicated the past 2 years of my life to getting educated in this field of billing and coding and all i need is a chance to prove my dedication. If i knew 2 years ago what i know now, i dont believe i would have wasted so much time and money to get nothing in return. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!!!!!! THERE ARE QUALIFIED PEOPLE THAT WANT JOBS!!!!!!
 
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I am going through the exact same things you are going through. Our stories are identical, and like you I am so discouraged. I am thankful that I have a job but I hate it and I spent a lot of time money and effort to get my certification and I feel it was all a huge waste of my time.
 

KKayWilson

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Thank you all fellow coders!

My Dear Fellow Coders,

We have all had hard times. Yes, we all went into this with open hearts and open minds(and credit cards), to be discouraged.

I just want to thank you all for sharing your stories. I feel your pain.

I am thankful for you seasoned coders who give advice. Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedules to help.

God Bless all of you!
Kathleen Kay Wilson
:)
 

ksue

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CPC-A - 3yrs and still no coder job found in CA

I wish someone had told me this before I spent all the time & money to become certified, the AAPC is happy for you to pay the money to join their organization but needs to be more honest about how hard it is for entry level coders to find jobs. I have 19 years experience in the healthcare field and I can't even get an interview for a coder position. If I could get at least an interview yes I could relay how much healthcare experience I have but I can't even get an interview...yes all the CPC-A's need to demand more help in obtaining internship/training I think we deserve this as member's. Also I never get a reply from anyone listed on the Xtern site.
 

lakeesha

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I have been having the same problem. I finished my the coding program in May 2009 and I still have not found a job. I have received many calls but they all want more experience. My thing is how can we ever get any experience if no one is willing to give us a try. I have gotten so discourage about the situation that I feel like I wasted my time on this medical coding when I could have went to school for MA at least they have many job that are much easier to fill. I am really trying not to give up.If anyone have any info pleas contact me at LCHICKMAN@YAHOO.COM
 

Sonjagirl

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Many are discouraged about this situation, thinking that there was a demand in coders, a safety net for us that offered job security. It's totally the opposite--at least for us who put in 2-1/2 years of school. Fortunately, I didn't go to a private school.

Last October at our chapter meeting, we were told that we need to take a four unit anatomy class and a four unit physiology class from a community college; which I don't mind at all, but I as well as others need a job.

Some of the teachers from these private schools have spoken up loudly complaining that their students have spent $10,000 to $13,000 and now they can't find a job. It looks like we're all in the same boat. :confused: That's unfortunate. Looks like I have to starting thinking about Plan B; and that is finding another career. This is sad.
 
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Judy from Chespeake, VA

I also have been trying to get into coding. I got my CPC-A last year and have been working in medical transcribing which is a dying job. I am now at home taking care of a grandchild and would like to get something in coding at home. I have another friend who is in my same boat. At our office they will not hire us because we don't have any coding experience and they said they don't have anyone to mentor us. J
 
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judy

Hi, it's me again. When we took the coding class which was very expensive, we were told that we would be hired if we passed the coding test. I feel like we were mislead and all they wanted was the money that we could pay. Then on top of that my instructor told us that if we passed the test we would be reimbursed. Only the people who were already coding were reimbursed. I feel we were treated badly at our office.
 

rouge62950

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medical coder

Hello Everyone,

Does anyone know of internships for a new CPC in the Atlanta area?:) Thanks

June McGill Prelowski
770-330-5965
 

L.Broadaway

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Hello. I can feel your pain too. I completed an 18 month ASMBC in September. We also found out that our program included plenty of coding but hardly any billing studies. Now realizing that the students graduating this year are not prepared to even take the exam we've been encouraged to complete yet 2 more classes 11 wks. total to "review" this material. I have not even tried to get any type of coding position since I'm not yet certified, but I joined AAPC, enrolled in the additional classes etc. but I really have to work! Somewhere, anywhere! Can't even seem to land a receptionist job in a medical office. Tried to apply for my old retail jobs but my newly completed education is putting the brakes on that too! This is a catch 22 situation for us and I'm not sure whether to change my course or pretend I never got this degree.
Louise in Alabama
 

mcandia

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No jobs

The certified medical coding field is becoming over saturated and as a result it is becoming more and more difficult to secure coding positions not only for the inexperienced but also for the experienced.

Years ago the same thing happened in nursing and it wasn't until there became a nursing shortage that jobs became more prevelant and the salary structure increased.

Maria CPC, CPC-H, CEMC
 

jimbo1231

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Scrbes

This is a long string so it may have been mentioned. But one growth area in this field is Scribing. The reason is the move to EMRS. right now most of the jobs are in EDs. They tend to be entry level jobs. So for a mature coder it might be a pay cut. But for a recently trained or certified coder, Scribing could be a good opportunity.The work is at the ED, so no working at home. But if I were starting out I'd look at Scribing since you work closely with the doc while the doc is treating the patient. That is experience beyond anything you will learn in coding school.

Jim Strafford CEDC MCS-P
 

annbusiek

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I have been trying to "break in" for over 2 years, though more intensely for the last 5 months since passing the CPC exam. I have had all of 2 interviews with no offers. Positions are being posted in my area, but they are all requiring 2 to 3 years experience. I have been trying the Xternship route, but no one has the time to take on an intern, when they bother to respond to inquiries. I have been applying for jobs as receptionists and other entry level positions within the various clinics/hospitals in my area to just get my foot in the door, but no luck yet, and no way to find out why I'm not being considered a candidate.

There is a shortage of qualified people with experience, how can they meet the need without going into the growing pool of CPC-A's? Some of these postings have been up for months.

I feel the pain of the others in this situation with me. The current economy isn't helping.

Ann CPC-A
 
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Abril

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Scare

Hi I just graduate last year from medical coding and billing. When I was in my Xtern they offer me a job as a receptionist but I turn down the offer because they want to pay me the minimum 7.25 and I have had get pay more working at the local mall. Now I feel sorry I didn´t stay. I pass my CPC test last week. Since after I did my Xtern I have been looking for a receptionist position but without luck no call not even for interview. I am getting frustrated more that I have been reading all the comments before I feel like I spend soo much money in school for nothing. I need a job so I can have experience!!!!!:confused: I live in El Paso Texas
 

DLGSMITH

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Yeah, that was wrong of you not to take the position that was offered to you after the Xtern. Sometimes its not what you know but who you know. If they did not feel positive about you working in that office then they would have never offered it to you. Sometimes you have to crawl before you walk and with alot of us not having the experience in coding or the medical field for that matter we should take what is offered to us just to get our foot in the door and prove ourselves so eventually new positions may become available.
 

jacklucas

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Jacklucas

Although im still in school, im beginning to wonder if this was a good field to get into. From what i have read here, people are having a hard time finging employment in this field?:confused:
 

GSCoder07

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I live in Louisiana and can only speak for myself. While I was in college getting my coding diploma, I went to four different coding sites to observe. When I was at my third coding site, on my second day, I was hired there. I left there and was immediately hired at a large hospital here. I left there and have been at a large clinic since January 2008. Please don't give up. I wish you much luck!!
 

aguelfi

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My sister-in -law is thinking about this as a career and I feel bad about this but I discourged her from doing it because of all the unemployed coders without experience. She has planned to go to school and get certified but i suggested trying to find a company that you could get thes experience with, hopefully have them pay for the certification and then move on from there.
 

CJBAKERCLINE

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I have been searching for a coding job for over 5 years. I have an associate's degree in MOT and I am now a CPC. I am still searching for a job. I have done externship with an AAPC accredited company. Still there are no jobs available in my state for those with no experience. What can we do as a community to change this. I spoke with the president in my local chapter. She speaks as if we can not change the way things are. I believe that we can if we all pull together and work hard for what we believe in. I want to know is there anyone else out there that is having this same issue. I know of several other people in my area. Someone please help me to change this. I am not going to give up. Though at times I do get a little discouraged about this. I am 30 year old single mother of three and in dyer need of a job with a lasting career in the medical coding field. I have many other talents but they are not a challenge to me only this medical field is my biggest challenge. So if you hear me, feel me and understand me help me please! We are counting on helping hands and those of you who are having this same issue. To push this through all states around the world to give people that do not have experience to give them the opportunity to gain experiene with varies companies besides just dong volunteer work which is a great thing. But after you have taking that step where do you go from there. I have been faxing my resume, posting my resume and building my resume. I am not looking for a hand out just a breakthrough. I will work hard for what I believe in and this is something that I will work hard for to change. I just need people on y side and to help shjow me the way. Thanks
Tanisha Saunders Atlanta, Georgia native. I can be contacted through email: ttsaunders1@bellsouth.net. DESPERATELY SEEKING FOR ANSWER:)

Tanisha;
If you live in Georgia, look up a company called PerSe' Technologies, or McKesson Corp. They do hire new coders, and will help you with more training. I used to work for them, but I had to move to MO and now I am out of work...
Good luck-
CAROL
 
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Student

OMG!!! I am in my last semister of my training getting ready to take the CPC exam in May. I have been trying to get my feet wet, been asking questions, getting ready to start my 2nd internship, (20 hours) for school. I am finding that there are just no jobs out there for CPC-A coders. In the school catalogue under the courses they state where there are internships available, but now that I can actually go do one, the're reply is I have to go find one myself. Which I have, twice!! But it is all so misleading. The school and the professor all just want your money. My class is getting ready to take the exam, about 35 women. I hear next semister is already full. How on earth are we all going to get jobs!!! They didn't tell me that this field was so hard to get in to!! Now that the end is in site, I can't seem to get any employer to look at me seriously.

I am going to go through the AAPC internship program, but don't think this will be enough!! Really frustrated and let down. I had such high hopes at the begining, but found all this out through my own research. My moral is really down, and am going into the CPC exam like this!!! Dam. Makes me mad. I too have medical field experience, administrative experience. I think no one wants to hire me in a lessor field, because when they see my resume they know that I am ultimately looking for a coding job and won't hire me either!

It seems like a catch 22! All I can do is hang in there!
 

rejraji

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I live in woodbridge Virginia, I got a certificate from NOVA for billing and coding. I will take CPC test on June. I tried to look for a job vainly. As you said everybody is asking for experience. I AM FRUSTRATED and I don t know what to do...

Sally
 
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Jobs

Check your local Temp Agency. That is how I got my Job and have been there for 2 years. Now I have experience and can look elsewhere for employment.

I hope that helps.
 

mgauvin

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same problem

I live in Northern Maine and recently passed the CCA exam. But again no matter where I look there are no places for us inexperienced coders. I interned for 6 months as well but with the program I graduated from there is not even a course for 3M.


Michele Gauvin CCA
 

semaxwell1

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After reading all these posts, I never knew the outlook of trying to get employment for those without coding experience is negatively overwhelming and very discouraging, especially the many posts from people who have taken the CPC exam and passed it a year or so ago and still haven't found a coding job, either due to lack of experience or the CPC–”A” is holding them back.

I recently graduated from a local community college and took some coding classes, one in which prepared me for taking the CPC exam. A few years ago, I was interested in medical transcription, but eventually my interest changed towards medical coding, partly due to the changes that MT has gone through.

It appears the work experience a majority of employers require is either direct medical coding or working in a medical office environment in some capacity.

I am currently a bill reviewer of workers' comp medical claims. Though I don't do any actual coding, and I rely a lot on bill review software, I am very familiar with what needs to be filled out on the claim forms and if any documentation is needed in order for the insurance companies to reimburse the providers. I wonder if this would be considered any kind of experience to help me get my foot in the door towards a coding job. I even asked the supervisor of the department at our company that performs coding logic review with the primary focus on E&M codes, and the coders must be certified and experienced. She didn't specify what kind of experience, but I'm pretty sure she means coding experience.

I still plan on taking the CPC exam this summer, but I guess I'll be in the same boat as the other apprentice coders and just try to get my foot in the door to get that “A” off. However, it won't be easy.

I cannot afford to take an entry level clerical/admin position that will pay a lot less than what I am making now, and I don't have the time to take on a second job to make up for the loss in pay. I might be overqualified due to my past experience and knowledge to take a lower level position. And if an employer knows I don't plan on staying at a position for very long because I'll leave as soon as a position comes along that I believe will get me closer towards a coding career, they may not want to hire me.

I know I shouldn't have a negative attitude about all this, but it's hard not to feel a little caught in what seems to be a catch-22 situation. :confused:
 

jjhamer1

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Don't take "no" for an answer!!

I am also a "newbie"...but, persistence is the key to success.
I had applied online to the position I now hold...at the time, I was still in school, uncertified, but eager to learn as much as possible. When I applied, the ad read: Certified coder 3-5 years experience...I applied anyway...wanted to see if anyone was actually looking at these online resumes!! I recieved no response!!
Three months later, I was performing my externship, and during that time, I went back online, only to find the same position was still open...only now they wanted a certified coder with 3 months experience. I was all over it. I had planned to take my certification test in mid-December. Anyway, I found out who was in charge of hiring for the position. I literally made a pest of myself, and finally got in front of the supervisor. I assured her she would not find a more dedicated individual who would put forth 110% of effort all the time. All I needed was a chance to show what I could do.
Found out I passed the certification test on Christmas Day, and started my new job Dec. 28th.
I have been here for three months now, and apparently doing well, as I have been given many more responsibilites besides just the clinic coder (eleven clinics). I am auditing the docs, coding anesthesia for the hospital, and charge entry. I am always willing to meet the challenge when I am asked to do more...the more I learn, the better the job security.
And did I mention, I am a grandfather...age 53. If I can do it, anybody can!!
Don't take "no" for an answer!!
Good Luck!!
 

Eddie

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Kochina Coders-Mesa,AZ
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No Coding Jobs

I have been volunteering my time and effort to two major hospital in the AZ. I graduated in July 2009 and was unable to find a job in the medical coding field or medical record area. I started to volunteer and have learned the medical records background as well as front office EMR. I am also learning the INS AND OUTS of EMTALA. I am greatful for what I have learned. I have great family support that are telling me to hold on and something will brerak through.

KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. SOMEONE WILL SEE YOUR GREAT DESIRE TO WORK IN THE FIELD.
 
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twizzle

True Blue
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1,179
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Sarasota FL
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Inexperienced/don't give up.

I can identify with all of you and particularly jjhamer1. I had no experience, just a CCA certification and 25 years in England as a dentist. When it came to finding a coding job I almost gave up; all wanted experience. I got a job alert about a position at a billing company who I really, really wanted to work for but they wanted 2-3 years coding experience preferably in cardiology. I had none of that but applied, got the interview, got the job and love it.
I have been there for a year now, passed the CPC first time, am soon to take the anesthesia specialty certification. I too am a grandfather(55)....there you go. It can be done. Don't give up.
 

ErikAZ

Networker
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30
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Greenville SC Chapter
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My first coding job was about six years ago. I had called a local college asking about some health billing classes and as I was about to hang up the phone I asked the lady "by the way how do you get your first job in this field?". She said "it's kind of tough, but wait, someone put a card up on the board yesterday...". She got a card and I ended up with a lead. That lead turned into a $10.00 an hour job working for a small billing company. I did coding part-time and learned billing the rest of the time. It was a rough job, sometimes we weren't paid on time, but honestly I'd have worked for FREE for the experience. From there I was called again by the same lady at the college about a year later. She wondered if I was still working there and mentioned "I'm working for this agency and they need some coders". I ended up coding hospital ER physician side charts for alot more money. It was only a temp contract but it's experience and after that it's come one after another. If I had to give some tips they'd be as follows.

1. Don't balk at a lower paying job to get your foot in the door. A medical practice as a job reference is worth it's weight in gold as a reference.

2. Try volunteering in a hospital. You can mention "I'm a coder and would like to volunteer in medical records". Most hospitals I've worked at have allowed volunteers into those departments. Again it's a foot in the door.

3. Network. Go to your local meetings and introduce yourself. Don't limit yourself to "I'm looking for a coding job". ANY job in the healthcare field is a good start. Again get a foot in the door.

4. Research. Investigate the company you're applying with. Research their financials, their officers (if they're big), their history, their community involvement. Don't walk into an interview blind but know the specialty, the history, the doctors (that really impresses them). You wouldn't want someone to fix your car who had never read about your model would you? Of course not.

5. Personality. It's tough these days because of the economy. Alot of people are applying for jobs but remember many of them are not qualified at all. I've seen applications come in from people who have no medical experience at all via careerbuilder. Employers are flooded with these worthless resumes. Make yourself stand out. If you call to ask a question send a followup thank you note. If you get an interview again send an email or a thank you note a couple of days later. You want to make the interviewer remember you.

6. Education. I can't stress how important it is to stay on top of things. We all know ICD-10 is coming up in a couple of years and it's going to be tough. If you want to set yourself above other applicants attend a few seminars, indicate those on your resume, tell a prospective employer you're very excited about the changes and are learning all you can about ICD-10. I can tell you most of the doctors I know are NOT looking forwrad to it and most doctors offices will NOT be prepared for it when it comes. Education is alot more than letters behind your name it's a permanent part of the profession. There are plenty of free resources you can review if money is an issue.

Most important... be positive. It's tough sometimes (I know) but it's essential. You may need to take that non-coding job at first, you may need to take a job not in healthcare, but don't give up the goal. With ICD-10 and healthcare reform and RAC audits and private insurer reviews the role of coders will grow and grow. Gone are the days when a doctors wife can play office manager and his daughter handle the billing. Even if the doctors don't realize it yet they soon will with the upcoming changes. It's going to be a shock for them and educated certified coders are going to be their first line of defense.
 
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I've been reading some of this stuff and...

Seem to realize that if you think negative, you definitely won't get a job. Like Henry Ford said "If you think can or you think you can't. Then your always right." So I would just stay away from threads like these because bad news of any kind just brings in loads of negativity and also just put yourself out there and keep trying until you get your job. If you fail, keep trying, but don't give up because that means you lose once you give up. Also represent yourself well and speak well. Read up on how to be successful on an interview because there are loads of info out there to do that especially the internet and library. So hope you all read this and learn something. Keep your head up because YOU WILL FIND A JOB and when you do you keep up the excellent work in medical coding for more better opportunities.

- Andrew (CPC-A Pending) *I'm positive I passes :)*
 

vj_tiwari

Guru
Messages
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International Member
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Hey Look in to the AAPC forum or jobs section or if u search in "INDEED.COM"

Then you get lots of job opportunities. And also if still you're unemployed then please being in touch with new update on coding, keep in hands with the ICD/CPT coding guidlines. It helps you to get job & also boost your confidence.

Best of LUCK.

VJ.:)
 

CumaMason

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SEMaxwell .. if you have worked in the medical field (billing for WC included!) for two years, you won't get that "A" after your CPC. You just need to have your employer(s) sign a paper stating how long you have worked there.
 
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