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Very very dissatisfied with AAPC

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3
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0
I got my CPC A a few months ago after many tries. I did preparation and education through CareerStep and even though I passed with honors, I had issues taking the exam. I had to do it four times before I finally passed and have been looking for jobs, internships, ANYTHING to put it to good use.
I cannot find anything.
Even externships weren't willing to take me on. I can't afford the 250 to remove my A.
I am very dissatisfied with AAPC and wasting my time and money on trying to become a coder.
AAPC charges you through the nose for the things you need to do well. Or even just to start your career. I even had to bite my tongue recently when dealing with one of AAPC's rep about going to Healthcon and had to say MULTIPLE TIMES that I cannot afford it, nor can I afford anything else to get what I need to do well.
I have no experience in this field, and I really wanted to do well in it, but feel financially blocked by AAPC (EVEN WITH DISCOUNTS) to do what I need to do.

I want my money back. I want my time back. Now I am forced to find 3 part time jobs at **** wage just to make 2,000 dollars to make up the time and money so I can switch careers and eventually go into IT.
 

prayercoder

Networker
Messages
66
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0
Take the AAPC Training to be CPC

I took my CPC training through AAPC and passed the first time! It was difficult, but I was prepared for the test. I used the AAPC practice exams, went to every class, read and reread my assignments, listened to the instructor, followed the AAPC guidelines and handouts. My on the job training helped me a lot. You must put effort into the studying as this class is difficult and it is for adults. Don't expect someone to hold your hand during class or while you take the exam. My only complaint is my local chapter doesn't usually teach me anything beneficial, people seldom talk or discuss coding, and it is difficult to get the CEU's and they are VERY expensive. Much more expensive than my RN CEU's. I have to have MORE CEU's for my CPC than I do for my RN and neither of them count toward the other. I wish they could be combined.
 

KellyLR

Guru
Messages
207
Location
Leonardtown, MD
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0
Dissatisfied with career path with AAPC

Raymond,

I can only suggest at this point, the next career path you choose, do a bunch of research on certifications for that career, how to get experience and education to get where you are going and what it takes to keep your certification/degree in good standing. At the bottom of the bucket, you can only do one thing, climb out!

Good Luck Sir,
 

Pathos

Expert
Messages
410
Location
Beaverton OR
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0
Sounds like you've already made up your mind about switching careers, so I wonder how much of a help my post would be. However, I do see both disappointed posts from coders every now and then, and then I see the success stories. While trying to figure out the coefficients and other factors that make a successful coding career, I have to keep in mind a few things:

-What were your expectations when signing up for the CPC? There are truly positions out there which accepts CPC-As, and I have seen some hiring managers who actually prefer CPC-As, as they can mold them in the direction they want. I don't know what was promised you by your instructor when you took your coding courses, however with every other single field, no job is ever guaranteed.
-What are you doing to land your first job in your coding career? While you might get lucky and get a coding job right off the bat, this will not always happen. Sometimes the way into the coding field is through Patient Registration, Billing, Claims, Customer Service, Medical Office Specialist, and other jobs that might touch on coding but are not fully coding jobs. Through some networking, you should be able to get into the coding job you want from there.
-How are you job hunting? When I don't get much response from my resumes, I tend to review them again and see if I could improve anything. Landing a job is almost just as much as timing as it is being qualified. It stinks, but that's the truth. I have been qualified for jobs that I almost had, but because of the timing wasn't quite right (company budgeting, posting taken down, etc.) I didn't get that job. Frustrating, but use those experiences to grow and then move on.
-What do you really want to do? If it isn't Medical Coding, then why did you sign up? Yes, IT is always looking for competent analysts, but even in that field you need to have some networking and probably an internship (depending on the company you want to work for). My career path keeps getting fine-tuned as I attain more knowledge and experience. Think on what you would want to do in 10-15 years...even 5 years from now and go grab that dream.

Final words:
If you are truly upset with AAPC, go talk to them directly and don't flame on these forums. I doubt the right AAPC staff is checking these forums (but might be lurking), and at best you might get some response 6 months down the road...maybe. If you really want to express your dissatisfaction, give them a call or chat by using the Contact page on the AAPC website.

Medical Coding is not for everyone, and if someone from CareerStep misled you by conjuring an image that you can easily get a job right off graduation then perhaps they should try and apply as a CPC-A. It's not easy, but definitely not impossible if you're willing to put in what's required.
 

asiekierski

New
Local Chapter Officer
Messages
4
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0
Dear Raymond

Raymond,

I'm sorry to tell you this, but this lies on you. And as a loyal AAPC member, I'm pretty offended that you would blame AAPC for your inability to find a job. Obviously, you made both financial and time commitment to change careers (which I have done myself and understand the sacrifices), but did you research the kind of jobs available for a CPC-a coder with no experience? A simple search on Indeed.com would show you there aren't many coding positions for someone with your qualifications. It might be even more limited by your geographical region which would be something to consider before changing careers. But HIM isn't just coding. Have you considered applying in medical records, billing, patient registration, etc? Are you on LinkedIn? Does your local community college have a Career Resource center? Ours does and it's free to the community whether you attend the school or not. Have you had your resume reviewed? Are you participating in online training? There are a lot of free videos etc. Check out the Medicare Learning Network for free CEU's. Start somewhere! Also, join your local chapter, become an officer - we charge $10 for 2 CEU's! Network, continue to learn, volunteer if you can. It will all help.

As for your dissatisfaction with the cost of everything, have you checked out how much the "other" professional organization charges for CEU's? Conferences? Training classes? Credentialing exams (for which you get one shot each). AAPC is always member-centric, reasonably(not cheap, but reasonable) priced and you can ACTUALLY speak to someone when you call.

I think you need to realize that being a coder is NOT an easy job and it's definitely not an entry-level position. Revenue cycle runs on codes and we keep the lights on! Becoming a coder takes time, tenacity, perseverance, experience and even then, it's tough. There's a reason we all started with an -a on our credential. And why did you become a coder to eventually go into IT? Maybe meet with a Career Counselor at a community college.


You are here now, you fought hard to earn your credential and if you change your mindset, you can still succeed in the field.

Good luck.
 

Chelle-Lynn

True Blue
Messages
630
Location
Modesto, CA
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0
There is a new company developed by Stephanie Cecchini to help new coders get the experience needed to get hired in the medical field. Stephanie worked with and for AAPC for many years and started this new company to help those in your circumstances. I have added her information below for your reference.

Another suggestion is to work with your local chapter and see what opportunities there are for apprentice programs and hands on training. The chapters are only as good as the participants and this may be a chance to start a new avenue to help yourself and others.

On another note, often billing and coding offices look for any type of medical office experience; get a toe in the door as a registration clerk, medical records, etc it a great way to go. I started my career by registering patients in the emergency room. That opened the door to other opportunities.

I wish you luck and hope that you will not give up on this field. It can be difficult to get a toe in the door, but it is very rewarding. I appreciate your frustration and concerns regarding the cost. I hope that you will follow up with your chapter or with AAPC directly as I found them very helpful. Good luck!



Stephanie Cecchini, CPC, CEMC,CEPFG, CoderScore 916
CEO, CompetentSee, LLC
https://coderscore.org
 
Last edited:
Messages
3
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0
Dear Raymond

Raymond,

I'm sorry to tell you this, but this lies on you. And as a loyal AAPC member, I'm pretty offended that you would blame AAPC for your inability to find a job. Obviously, you made both financial and time commitment to change careers (which I have done myself and understand the sacrifices), but did you research the kind of jobs available for a CPC-a coder with no experience? A simple search on Indeed.com would show you there aren't many coding positions for someone with your qualifications. It might be even more limited by your geographical region which would be something to consider before changing careers. But HIM isn't just coding. Have you considered applying in medical records, billing, patient registration, etc? Are you on LinkedIn? Does your local community college have a Career Resource center? Ours does and it's free to the community whether you attend the school or not. Have you had your resume reviewed? Are you participating in online training? There are a lot of free videos etc. Check out the Medicare Learning Network for free CEU's. Start somewhere! Also, join your local chapter, become an officer - we charge $10 for 2 CEU's! Network, continue to learn, volunteer if you can. It will all help.

As for your dissatisfaction with the cost of everything, have you checked out how much the "other" professional organization charges for CEU's? Conferences? Training classes? Credentialing exams (for which you get one shot each). AAPC is always member-centric, reasonably(not cheap, but reasonable) priced and you can ACTUALLY speak to someone when you call.

I think you need to realize that being a coder is NOT an easy job and it's definitely not an entry-level position. Revenue cycle runs on codes and we keep the lights on! Becoming a coder takes time, tenacity, perseverance, experience and even then, it's tough. There's a reason we all started with an -a on our credential. And why did you become a coder to eventually go into IT? Maybe meet with a Career Counselor at a community college.


You are here now, you fought hard to earn your credential and if you change your mindset, you can still succeed in the field.

Good luck.
This particular reply really stuck out to me. So I am replying to this directly.
First of all, and I really feel like I need to remind you specifically of this: EVERYONE has a different journey in life. If they have an issue with a specific thing that absolutely could be changed, it makes no sense to get offended on behalf of that organization. I am dissatisfied. If you are an empathetic person, you wouldn't be offended on behalf of an organization.
That being said, a few points: I think you are a dick to say that this lies at my feet. I worked hard for what I did. I didn't give up immediately, and I absolutely take offense at your comment insinuating that either I didn't work hard enough or that I am going about this wrong. I assure you, I did everything you mentioned and more. I've dotted my i's and crossed my t's.
But here's the thing: in no way did I assume I'd get a job right out the gate, I never assumed that it would be easy to get a job, in no way did I just give up when the going got rough. I'm giving up because it makes no sense to keep sinking money into something FOR ABOUT A YEAR, when I have no related job to show for it. I applied to every single externship I could. They all said no. I can't afford Practicode to remove my A. I got turned down for multiple receptionist jobs straight out the gate simply because I do not have any medical office work experience.
What I am REALLY trying to say is that there is no way nor reason to keep doing this financially *when I have no job to support it*. They charge through the nose for everything. Please don't discount that.
I also have no false notions about it being an easy job. I know it's hard. I did everything in my power to learn as much as I could.
It makes no sense to me why you would be so offended at me stating my inability and dissatisfaction for me to pay what AAPC is asking for.
I COULD address all your other points, but there is no point if you are this upset about me stating the very simple fact that I am upset that AAPC is basically extorting people for money they don't have for a job I can't even get in the first place.
So, whatever points you made, I read, but I don't care because of your attitude. I am not going to defend the fact that I did everything in my power to do what I needed to do, but AAPC is definitively the obstacle to me even POSSIBLY getting into coding because of what they're charging.
So, because I feel like you would be offended by my struggles, let me put this tactfully even though I *REALLY* don't want to:
I worked hard for where I wanted to go, was blocked by what they were charging, you have no right to be upset at me for being upset at the organization when they are in fact responsible.
I find you to be a very disingenuous and unsympathetic person and you need to get that checked. I'm just glad that you aren't involved in actual patient care based off of your judgmental attitude.
 

dolldazed

New
Messages
2
Location
Frederick
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0
I got my CPC A a few months ago after many tries. I did preparation and education through CareerStep and even though I passed with honors, I had issues taking the exam. I had to do it four times before I finally passed and have been looking for jobs, internships, ANYTHING to put it to good use.
I cannot find anything.
Even externships weren't willing to take me on. I can't afford the 250 to remove my A.
I am very dissatisfied with AAPC and wasting my time and money on trying to become a coder.
AAPC charges you through the nose for the things you need to do well. Or even just to start your career. I even had to bite my tongue recently when dealing with one of AAPC's rep about going to Healthcon and had to say MULTIPLE TIMES that I cannot afford it, nor can I afford anything else to get what I need to do well.
I have no experience in this field, and I really wanted to do well in it, but feel financially blocked by AAPC (EVEN WITH DISCOUNTS) to do what I need to do.

I want my money back. I want my time back. Now I am forced to find 3 part time jobs at **** wage just to make 2,000 dollars to make up the time and money so I can switch careers and eventually go into IT.
I feel you. The CPC examination was crazy without barely enough time to get your answers. I too can't find a job but going to try and continue. Everyone wants experience.
 
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3
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I want to clarify something here. I do appreciate all of your responses here. Though I did have to put someone on ignore for being a judgmental jerk so please don't do that. I'm not gonna sit here and listen to anyone insinuate that I didn't work hard enough, or that I am naive in thinking this is an easy job to get into, or anything along those lines that has anywhere near a judgmental tone or insinuate that I am not doing all the right things to get there. But going forward, I will just mute anyone that does judgmental or victim-blaming bullcrap. First and final warning.

So all that being said, I do want to clarify:
I really HAVE done everything in my power for finding a job or job adjacent employment in the field. It hasn't worked.
I am not giving up because "it's too hard".
I am giving up because it's too expensive. I shouldn't have to "pay for internship" nor should I have to "pay an annual fee to keep credential so you can get a job you can't get"
I definitely do want a refund. Failing that, AAPC will definitely get an angry call from me soon.
I REALLY *honestly* have done everything I could. But it just doesn't make financial sense to keep paying a greedy AF organization MORE money so I can struggle to find a job that I am basically paying someone access to.

Now yes, you can argue, "won't you have the same issue in IT?"
Short answer, not really.
Long answer: While they do indicate that certifications are a plus, there is no bloody membership fee and the expirations happen in longer durations. I could go into more detail about this, but I will just say, compared to AAPC, IT seems to be a bit more reasonable.

This isn't about it "being too hard" I can do challenging. This is about "heck, why the heck is this organization so bloody expensive and could take lessons in extortion?"
If you really think that it's intelligent and the right idea to keep paying into something that you are failing to find the work in, we have nothing else to discuss. My membership is up for renewal at the end of July. I still haven't found a job with WHAT I HAVE, and I would need to sink EVEN MORE MONEY I DON'T HAVE TO MAYBE GET A JOB in the field I've sunk so much money into.
That's what I'm having trouble with.
Not the material. Not how hard it is. Not the job search, necessarily. It's AAPC and their predatory behavior.
 

mitchellde

True Blue
Messages
13,302
Location
Columbia, MO
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0
I just want to point out that is a professional forum. while you are entitled to your opinions you really must do so in a professional and respectful manner. It is shameful to have read something that is filled with such distasteful language.
 
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