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How do you break into this field?

  1. Default How do you break into this field?
    Medical Coding Books
    Is there someone who can tell me how to break into this field? I have 22 years of healthcare experience (mostly critical care and surgical) and recently graduated from a billing and coding program with a 3.9 GPA. I recently obtained my CPC-A. I also have my CCA, CBCS (certified billing and coding specialist) and my CMAA (certified medical administrative assistant) certifications. My next goal is to obtain my CPC-H within the next couple of months.

    I do some billing now in my current position.

    Any suggestions? I am getting a bit discouraged at this point.

    Thank you.

    Last edited by lisa915; 01-29-2009 at 05:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Milwaukee WI
    Default I sent you a private message
    I sent you a private message.
    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  3. #3
    One way to break into this field is to write articles, be visible amongst your peers. The Coding Edge, The Coding Alerts, and The Pink Sheets are always looking for writers.

    Also, get involved at the Local Chapter level. Come to meetings, volunteer, and consider an officer position. It will all lead to bigger things for your career in coding.

    Terry A. Fletcher BS, CPC, CCC, CEMC, CMSCS, CMC, CCS-P, CCS
    Healthcare Coding Consultant

  4. #4
    Louisville, KY
    If you're working on the billing end, then you certainly have yourself inside the industry. That's a great place to be if you want to move up and around.

    However, with your already working with billing, I'm not sure what your expectations are for "breaking into the field." It looks like you've already done that. I know lots of folks leave the coding/billing/reimbursement education programs expecting coding jobs, but the industry is made up of certified coders on many sides--not just in coding.

    It takes all kinds to make the industry work and function. My recommendation is to keep doing whatever it is you're doing and approach advancement in your career at a gradual pace. Don't be fooled into allowing your own blinders to limit your view of this industry.

    Good luck to you!

  5. Default
    I am not totally in the field. I work as a healthcare tech in an intensive care unit. I do some charges now as part of my job. 95% of my day is doing patient care, the other 5% (IF I have time) is doing charges for the hospital. I am looking for a full time coding / billing job.


  6. #6
    Westin, FL
    Default How to get started
    I found the easiest door to open as a new coder who wants to code, not do billing, is to work in a billing center coding Emergency Dept. charts. You do the coding, other departments do the billing, etc.
    It is how I got started, straight out of school, it is usually intense training, lots of audits, great ICD-9 experience with all over the place CPT coding. You could be coding ortho one minute and cardiac arrest with resusitation the next minute.
    From that I was able to move into Governmental Risk at an insurance company, traveling to provider offices to audit charts.

    Good luck
    Jody Reiner, CPC-H

  7. Default
    I need help breaking in this field too

  8. #8
    Hello: Coding is not easy for all to break into. Unfortunately, schools give the impression jobs abound and all you need is a good coding education. Having a coding education is certainly an assett but most coding employers want expericenced coders. Exxperience is preferred for a number of reasons.
    1) you need experience reading medical records
    2) you need to understand anatomy and physiology for your specialty
    3) coders often work under extreme conditions (deadlines, noisy environment etc.). If you have worked as a coder, you are probably already aware of this.
    4) coding can be stressful; employers want to be certain you can take the stress and still produce effectively
    5) you need a background in coding in order to be trained to code wherever you are hired. If you don't already have one via your education, someone would have to provide one before your training.

    If you really, really want to be a coder, you MUST network and get to know people in the industry. Go to local chapter meetings and talk to people. You never know when a job will be available and you new coder friend can say she knows you.
    Be siure your resume and cover letter are perfect. Have some one read and critisize yours so that you can improve it.
    Apply for every job you see for which you believe you could be trained.
    You must be determined if you truly wish to 'break into' coding as a career.

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