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Proficiency tests by potential employers

  1. #1
    Richmond, VA
    Default Proficiency tests by potential employers
    Medical Coding Books
    I posted this in my local chapter first, but it's a bit quiet over there so I thought I'd see what everyone else has to say.

    I'm a recent CPC-A, and I also have the RHIT credential from AHIMA. Like many entry-level coders, in my job search I noticed companies are looking for a minimum of experience. This is a big stumbling block for a lot of us, I know, and I've been trying to get around it, but in the past couple months I've seen a few jobs crop up where instead of asking for a year (or more) of experience they state they expect the candidate to pass a company generated proficiency test with no less than a certain percentage correct (usually 80% or 95%).

    I was wondering a) what's everyone's take on this trend? Do you think it represents the need for coders beginning to outstrip the number of experienced coders in the field, or is it just a way of companies simplifying their hiring process by only interviewing people who can demonstrate their skills on paper first?

    and b) Does anyone have experience with these types of tests? Did you find them more difficult than the credentialing exams?

  2. Wink
    If you can pass a certification test, you can pass these employment/proficiency assessements. Sometimes, people are just good at passing tests, like the certification tests; but have no practial or work experience in coding. So, the companies are looking for coders that can actually apply what they know. It's not enough to take a class and pass a cerification test; you also have to have experience or at least be able to prove that you can understand and apply the coding principles. I've taken the TCN and Avia Code tests and I thought they were easier than the CPC exam. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I have seen that most places hiring are requiring the applicants to take some sort of proficiency test - no matter how many years experience they are requiring. I think this is how they narrow down their choices for who to interview and who not to interview. Some are easy, with multiple choice questions, where they are just trying to see if you have a grasp of coding. Others are quite involved where you are coding acutal charts for E/M, procedures and diagnosis. If you have no experience coding an actual chart these may be harder to pass.
    Jodi Dibble, CPC

  4. Default
    I think employer proficiency tests are becoming common place because you would not believe the number of "experienced" coders who can't actually code. They may have 3-5 years of experience, but may not actually be familiar enough with the guidelines to code accurately.

    Cordelia, DRG Auditor, CCS, CPC

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