Wiki Shortage of Coders


Modesto, CA
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Just saw an article in my inbox this morning saying there is a shortage of coders and that Baptist Health has even taken it upon themselves to train coders to meet the demand. In looking through the forums and trying myself to find a position, I just thought this was riduculos. Every position wants an experienced coder and there is not enough apprenticeship programs. I think this is the problem. There are coders, just nobody giving new coders a chance.
This isn’t a new issue. I had trouble finding my first coding position 13 years ago. Every new coder has been in the same situation. No, there aren’t enough programs for entry level coders to gain experience, and unfortunately there probably never will be. Like in any industry, we need to work our way up. Apply for HIM clerical positions. When a coding position opens up, you’ll stand a better chance of getting it
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Maybe things are looking up...? I just completed an 8 month 2-part online course offered through a community college here in North Carolina. This course was offered at a 100% scholarship from the state, covering tuition and all coding books. I'm hoping this kind of thing is becoming more common to help address the "shortage". This course was rigorous - they advertised 20-30 hrs/week but honestly I spent ALOT more time than that. It has prepared me to sit for either the CPC exam or the CCA from AHIMA. I'm finding that my progress in this field will be solely dependent on me - there is no one to hold my hand through the learning or seeking out information or getting hired. I get the feeling that there are a ton of new coders out there just like myself, and I see a whole bunch of positions advertised on LinkedIn. Some of them are for new coders with no work experience yet. So maybe that's a positive change from the recent past! Hope so because I need a job pronto, lol. Get your professional profiles updated, and get that resume in tip-top shape. I will be applying to many jobs with a note that my certification exam is coming up in July- hope that's ok? Please comment if you don't think so! Also, any tips or recommendations for starter positions are highly valued.
My experience has been the same. When we posted coder openings it was very rare that someone with experience would apply. So we hired and trained CPC-A's and this actually worked out well for the most part. There are more coders than there are openings by far. We actually participated in the apprenticeship program but that was shut down due to liability which I don't understand. I've never seen anyone get injured at work that was non-clinician. I encourage more companies to reach out to CPC-A's.
Been coding since 1995. Basically the field is flooded now. Money is in teaching coders, not employing them. New companies are offering experienced coders of 5+ years or more, low ball offers of less than 22 per hour. Most smaller companies do not have the finance or manpower to train CPC-A. Companies require experience because there is a high production rate per chart and accuracy is profitable.