Work Experience???

Ltarpeh

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I am just wondering how those of you are gaining experience. I got my CPC-A in March, and here it is the end of July and I still have no job. My question is how am I supposed to gain experience, if no one is willing to hire me to gain experience. I know about the internships by there are none in my area. Those with experience how did you land your first job? Coding was a career changer for me, but now I am thankful I have a BS degree to fall back on even though I love coding. I am considering just looking for a job in the field I have my degree in. I need some feedback on how you all are gaining experience. Thanks in advance!!!
 

Codergirl93

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I luckily found a hospital that was willing to take a chance on me being so new to the field. I graduated from school back in Sept of 2014 and by Jan 2015 I was hired as coder. Now when i graduated I didn't have my CPC yet I just had the basic CBCS which the hospital accepted till I got my CPC. You just have to put yourself out there, send your resume out daily. I have been working for the hospital for a 1 1/2 year now. Within that year being here I got my CUC and CPMA. I know you are getting upset about not being able to find a job right now but you will. If you love coding don't give up on it just yet. To me it seems like the summer months is a slow time when people are hiring, that is what I have noticed. You will get a job in coding you just have to be patient. There is a company that will give you a chance. But the one thing is getting your resume out there and keep putting your resume out there.

You got this. Just don't give up on coding.
 

steels816

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I am just wondering how those of you are gaining experience. I got my CPC-A in March, and here it is the end of July and I still have no job. My question is how am I supposed to gain experience, if no one is willing to hire me to gain experience. I know about the internships by there are none in my area. Those with experience how did you land your first job? Coding was a career changer for me, but now I am thankful I have a BS degree to fall back on even though I love coding. I am considering just looking for a job in the field I have my degree in. I need some feedback on how you all are gaining experience. Thanks in advance!!!

I am in the same situation as you. I got my COC in October and my CPC in December of 2015 and still cannot find a job. No one wants to take a chance with me. I only applied for one coding job and the rest was entry level positions. It just seems to be me no one wants to give you a chance. I understand it is money involved but even entry level. I am so frustrated right now and thanks for letting me vent.

Anna Burnham, COC-A, CPC-A
 

hperry10

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How is your resume?

If you are not getting calls it may not only be the lack of experience. You may want to take another look at your resume or have someone else look it over for you. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. Read the job posting carefully, my boss gets lots of resumes from out of state applicants hoping to work remotely although the ad clearly describes work that must be done in the office. Research the company you are applying to and gear your cover letter to that organization. I was advised by my career counselor at the community college I attended to use an online resume service as opposed to a Word template. You have to pay for this service but it is worth it. Many cities have career counseling services open to the public to help with resume building, interviewing tips etc. My boss discards many resumes after a quick glance because of errors, fonts that are difficult to read, etc.

For my own experience, I responded to an ad for a clinic that was looking to hire someone who had a CPC or was working towards it. I was almost done with school at the time and I got the job. There are employers who are willing to train. In the mean time I suggest looking for work in medical records or front desk, especially if you do not have much knowledge about insurance, it's a great way to learn. Many times the billing department needs help and people are pulled from other departments to assist.
 
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espressoguy

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At the age of 55 in March 2010 I went back to school to learn medical coding. I passed my CPC in December 2010. It took 9 months for me to find a job. During that time I had exactly 3 coding interviews (1 was a recruiter). In October I celebrate my 5 year anniversary with my employer.

Prior to my career change, I had substantial business management/ownership experience, along with a strong sales background. I believe this background was essential for me to get past the front door. Once in the door, I scored the 2nd highest on my employer's coding exam. 3 of us were hired at the time and all 3 of us are still here, but I was the only one hired without previous coding experience.

There are companies that will hire without prior experience, but as hperry10 says, it may not be lack of experience that is preventing your phone from ringing. Look over your resume. Would you hire you if all you saw was that piece of paper? What story does your resume tell? If you manage to get an interview, look at yourself in the mirror. Do you present yourself professionally?

Good luck in your job hunt.
 

CodingKing

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I was already working at an insurance company when I got my CPC. It was perfectly timed with an opening a few weeks after. Of course coding area is not busy enough so I'm mostly doing my old job :( Related work experience does help, such as front office at a medical clinic or in the billing department. Maybe look at see if there are any local insurance companies, Medical claims processing doesn't typically require a CPC but you get the experience dealing with codes (plus you typically make more working for the insurance company)
 

igrooms

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Wondering the same thing....

How did all the current coders get their experience before they were hired for the first time? I'm still to sit for my CPC certification exam, but I graduated from a Professional Medical Billing and Coding program with honors and already have a Master's in Linguistics which can be very beneficial to my coding career (if I have a chance to even start it). My resume looks good if not great. I've applied to several positions and nothing. We all hear about the rising need for coders, but yet very rarely do you see companies hiring new coders. Companies have their own proficiency tests; just give us a chance to prove that you're missing on some outstanding professionals!
 

Ltarpeh

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Thanks for all the advice. I will take another look at my resume although I know it is great, employers call but the "need for more experience" is always a deal breaker. I do love the coding field so I will just keep waiting patiently for someone to give me a chance.
 
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espressoguy

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Also, how much networking do you do? Do you attend your chapter meetings? A large percentage of jobs are filled because "someone knows someone." When I had my own business I much preferred to hire someone who was referred to me by a trusted employee versus a complete stranger.

You should edit your profile to indicate where you are. Someone reading your posts might know someone looking for a coder in your area.
 

mit1017

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I'm having the same exact problem. I have been working at a hospital for 15 years and even they won't hire me as a coder. It took me five months to get a per diem position at a psychiatric hospital, but I have only been asked to fill in for the full time coder for collectively three weeks since I was hired January 2015. I did sign on with a recruiter once, but she said I wouldn't get any job that paid more than $12.00 an hour here in Phoenix. I don't know any other coders either, which doesn't help with networking. Unfortunatly I am realizing that getting my certification was a huge waste of time and money.

Alison
 

JAMETH345

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This may seem like an odd suggestion, but see if you can find medical practices that have a poor reputation among employees. maybe google "I hate my Job". They probably have a lot of turnover, so they might be willing to give you a chance. it probably won't be an ideal job situation, but you might get some experience. If they have a reputation for shady business practices, such as submitting false claims, stay away from them. And if you already have a job, you probably wouldn't want to do this. But if you're unemployed, it might work out for you.

I hope this helps.


John Methgen, BS, CPC-A, CPB
 
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Disappointed

I understand the disappointment and frustration. I received my CPC-A in April 2016 and paid to complete the AAPC practicode which removed the apprenticeship status thinking that would better my chances. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am upset having spent a lot of money to complete the training, testing, etc., and setting here with nothing. I really need to be able to work from home due to a disability that requires a use of a walker. I had to retire from my 20 year teaching career due to safety issues using the walker. Please if there is anyone or business willing to help us newbies get our foot in the door, contact me at karen.beard59@yahoo.com. Thank you in advance. Remember you were a beginner at one time and someone gave you a chance. :)
 

jsalzer50

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Work Experience/Jobs

Catch 22. Experience required when you have no experience. However, I've been told: even when employers say "5+ years experience required", and you have very little or NO experience, go ahead and apply for the job anyways. I have a friend who applied for a transcriptionist position back in the day that said 20 years experience required. She applied with NO EXPERIENCE, and she got the job. : )

How did I get any actual coding experience?

I went to a Career Fair at the Community College. I was prepared with several copies of my polished resume (thanks to career counselors and feedback from my professors). I spoke with an HR rep from Legacy, and specifically mentioned my interest in coding and how my values match the company's values, and BOOM. Not even 3 days pass, and I get a call from my professor, setting up my coding externship, which gave me college credit + coding experience.

Today, I finished the coding externship at Legacy Hospital. I'm grateful to now have at least SOME experience coding using Epic and 3M. With my CPC-A, I now at least have a chance at landing a coding job, but I'm willing to start in billing too, as I'm at the very start of my coding career. The truth is: Despite my education and CPC-A, I have to be flexible (job wise and location wise).

Am I applying for Jobs Online? Yes.
Is that the best way to apply for jobs? To be quite honest, no. Why? That throws your resume into a very large digital pile of resumes.
Is it better to apply online AND send your resume and cover letter directly to a Manager or HR rep/director within a company? In my opinion, Absolutely.
Do I have a direct contact within OHSU? Yes. I mailed her my resume and cover letter (old school, I know, but it was successful at establishing a connection), which resulted in a phone conversation about OHSU coding jobs and emails.
Did I apply for OHSU coding jobs online and also send her my resume? Yes.
Do I have a direct contact with Legacy? Yes.
Do I have a direct contact with PeaceHealth? Yes.
Have I done company research for OHSU, Providence, PeaceHealth, and Legacy? Yes.
Do I go to local AAPC meetings? Yes.

I can understand how people get frustrated finding a job. I couldn't find steady employment for over a year. I think it requires self-reflection, determination, a lot of patience, knowing the right people, and timing, as well as a whole host of other things. I think timing is a big part of it; being at the right place at the right time. When I graduated in 2010, the economy was not doing well, but thanks to my family, I was able to live with my parent's for a while, see a career counselor, call people, make connections, and finally, land a job, though at that time, it took 1 year and 7 months to find steady employment.
 

Tami_F

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Catch 22. Experience required when you have no experience. However, I've been told: even when employers say "5+ years experience required", and you have very little or NO experience, go ahead and apply for the job anyways. I have a friend who applied for a transcriptionist position back in the day that said 20 years experience required. She applied with NO EXPERIENCE, and she got the job. : )

I second this whole-heartedly. At my company, I think the job description says they're looking for 5 years of experience. They have no problem hiring CPC-As - it seems like we always have a couple - but of course the job description doesn't mention that.
 

doctordrakeramoray

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Feels like I'm at a dead end

I currently work for a major regional health system in Revenue Capture and have been there for a little over 2 years. I've always been looking to A) advance in the field and B) move out of my area to a larger city, and coding seemed like the logical next step. I became interested, took the distance learning course through AAPC , and received my COC-A certification in April.

There were several positions open within my current company for which I applied, and surprisingly I was contacted and interviewed rather quickly...of course at this point I thought I was a lock. Unfortunately, 2 months later I still hadn't heard back, so I reached out and they basically told me they were reluctant to hire me because I had no experience. Now they want me to pay $2000 to take a course which is essentially the same as the distance learning course I already finished, so that's not happening. I feel kind of hopless at this point; I feel like if the company I work for won't hire me, no outside employers will either. Is it at all possible to get a job without experience at this point?
 
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cjohns1965

Hello,

I was in the same position a couple of years back. I was newly certified and I started applying but nothing. It took me a couple of months till I was in a position. I posted my resume on Indeed, Monster, and Career Builder. Employers found me for my first and second positions. The quality of a good resume is really important. Network as much as possible. Someone suggested going to Chapter meetings. Get your name out there and start connecting with others in the field. Create a Linkedin account. Good Luck to you.
 
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