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Very discouraged

  1. #1
    Detroit, Michigan
    Default Very discouraged
    Medical Coding Books
    Is any one else out there getting the run around when it comes to finding help from the AAPC? I have taken the extern route and got totally screwed. The company had no intention of training me as a coder. I really am getting frustrated I passed my coding test exactly one year ago in hopes of changing professions. And so far I have not found anything close to a coding job. I have absolutely no experience in the field except for the year my instructor told me I have with my certificate. I live in Michigan where jobs are already scarce to begin with.

  2. Default
    I'm sorry to hear that. Are you sure the company's intentions were not to eventually give you mentoring and exposure in the coding field? I know some companies will have interns start off in other positions/departments and eventually work them into the desired position/department, to give them a good understanding of the billing process. I've never done the externship through the AAPC, but that has been my experience in the field.

    All I can really advise is that if you're sure of the company's intentions were as you stated, then I'd definitely give feedback to the AAPC regarding that AOES. Other than that, just try to be patient and keep trying. Perseverance will prevail.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by nturley; 12-30-2007 at 04:07 AM.
    Nicole Turley, CPC

  3. #3
    Detroit, Michigan
    Thank you for the reply. Yes I was originally told that I would be trained in mostly facility billing and some coding. Then I guess they liked my work and they were going to actually hire me. Then they said I would only be doing follow up work. Understand that this all happened in less than one months time. Their stories kept changing. I will be reporting them to the AAPC. I just don't understand how they think that someone who is looking for coding experience will just settle for what they need. I feel used actually.

  4. Default
    Well my friend you are diffently not alone. Here is my situation. I have been ceritified for 2 years. I went to go work for a hospital/physician practice hospital. I was told when I was hired on ( in March 2007 ) that they were glad I had my credentials because 2008 they were hiring a new medical coder. So my intentions were to work there until the position opened up. I left a job close to home taking a 1.00 an hour paycut to travel 40 minutes a day (5 days a week) making 10.00 an hour with gas being sky high.
    So my boss tells me 2 weeks ago... " Val I am sorry to tell you this but the hospital decided to CUT the medical coding position for 2008." after they told me a month ago it was in the bag! I was hot! I am still HOTT over it! Not just that but my boss has asked me not to leave but I cannot see me working for a company and not wanting to pay me anymore than I make now. Not just that but I was actually helping the coders! Yeah I was helping them ( free cheap help) so I told my boss... I am not helping the coders anymore. If they want one they need to hire one not give false hopes. So here I stand... with my 5 years medical billing experince, working in outpatient pre certification and provider credentialing. They have 2 coders to a 58 dr facility and they send all the office visits to a bunch of non educated non trained "data entry" people to code and "key" into the computers, the only qualification they need? To read an ICD9 book and be able to key things into a computer. They have had so MANY mishaps and mess ups from the data entry people that the 2 coders we have now... are about to have a mental breakdown... My thoughts, " If the hospital want to screw up and hire un educated people to work for them, loose millions, and then turn around and complain. That is their own Darn Faults! Screw em! " I am stickin around until something better comes along ( wither it is coding or not! )

    Another thing... I am so sick of hearing all these ads on the radio and TV about how " awesome and terrific " it is to be a medical coder. " money money money! Guarenteed a job!" All I can say is, " think twice before considering to be a medical coder" because like any other hospital job... you have to know someone to get a good job in the first place. TOO POLITICAL for me.
    Last edited by VRcoder29; 12-30-2007 at 11:25 AM.

  5. Default
    Neither of you are alone, but I tell you one thing, persistence is the key and it will definitely pay off in the long run. It may not have happened for you this year and it may not happen next year, but keep on searching and you will find. What God has for you it is for you. Your time will come; you won't get an interview with every company you apply to and you won't get hired after every interview, but keep applying and interviewing and you will get what is yours. I am a certified coder as well, but that is not my title on the job, my title is Office Coordinator/Administrative Assistant but I am working in the capacity of a front office clerk and I do not receive coder pay. I am thankful that I do have a job, even though it is not the type of job that I want. I mean I do the billing and with billing some coding comes naturally. I would love to work in the capacity of a coder and have coding as my main and only job function, but it just has not happened for me right now, but I tell you one thing, I will not let anything discourage me. Regardless of the number of rejections I get from employers or not getting call backs from a job that I applied for, I am going to keep on keeping on and that's what you have to do. I see jobs all time requiring five or more years of coding experience but you know what, I apply for them anyway, to me it doesn't matter if I have one year, two years, five years or no years of experience, I take the chance of applying for the job anyway because I know that I can do the job. Who knows that may the job that is for me. So keep your head up, don't get discouraged and encourage yourself. Things will happen for you when the time is right.

  6. #6
    I have to agree with Nakitta on this one. I had to go through 2 jobs before finding the perfect one. The first one was more billing/data entry for the most unethical lady I have ever met. When I would try to let her know that she couldn't and/or shouldn't bill for certain this she made it very vocal that she was not happy. I stayed there for a year. As I was taught in my classes to obtain my CPC ethics is very important. Now she is under investigation! I'm so glad I got out of there when I did. Second position was in a Cardiology clinic. This I thought was the ideal job at first. Until they hit me with the work bomb. Billing/AR/payments/coding for 5 cardiologists.....ahh that got old fast. What got me to leave is they started to get greedy, everything started to become a level 5 with no documentation to back it up! Again, ethics. When I would go to them and tell them they needed proper documentation to back up the level 5's, again tongue lashing. I stayed there for 2 years. Finally I found a audit position. Now I get to help the doctors with there E&M. It's great to educate them, ethics. So, like Nakitta says I think everything happens for it's strange reasons.

  7. #7
    New Port Richey & Gulf to Bay
    Thumbs up It's difficult, but rewarding!
    I often try to tell new comers to keep being persisitant. I graduated in 2006, and it took me nine months to find my first coding job. My first job was working in the hospital. When they laid me off due to downsizing, I was crushed. I thought I would never get back into the field again! Then 3 months later, I found a job that honored my CPC-A, and brought me into the new income bracket.

    The moral of the story: It takes persistance! I had been on hundreds of interviews and sent out thousands of resumes. I also drive more than an hour commute, but I know it will be worth the experience I'm getting. From what I've witnessed through other indiviuals, when you are credentialed and have a minimum of three years, you can go anywhere and will always have a job!

    It's terrible what these associations and schools do to people. They make it seem automatically you are destined for a job, making 35,000 plus a year!!! That's not true in any field of study! I've learned education and credentials help alot, but experience is the most important.

    When you get into the door, start pursing your education and credentials. This will make you an even more valuable asset. However, I only suggest getting your credentials through AHIMA and the AAPC. The other organizations are schemes to make money, and no employer really recognize them. At least the greater majority, anyways.

    So keep will come! I'm living proof! Continue to make sacrifices to get experience, and from there broaden your horizons. Maintain your CPC, get that CCS, and go to school for your RHIT and/or RHIA. From there you'll be a coding powerhouse! Best wishes!

    Check this site out

  8. #8
    Detroit, Michigan
    Thank you so much for your support. My situation is a little different. I have been a school bus driver for 22+ years and since my children were little my full intention when they left the nest was to go back to school. However since I didn't want another 6 years of school I looked for the so called up and coming job. And since I have a background in medical terminology and wanted to be a problem solver I researched medical coding.
    I was talked into getting my certificate, because then I could get a job right away, at least that was what I was told.
    Now in the last 12 months since I got my certificate I've been on 4 interviews and this internship came along. Of course inorder for me to accept it I had to cut my hours at work of which I can not get back until the next school year.
    I will not give up, but I will also not accept a position that will never result in a future in coding. I really enjoyed the course work and miss it.
    An dright now I can't afford to take anymore classes but that is my goal to at least get my associates.
    Again thank you all for your responses.

  9. #9
    Default finding experience
    While I was in school for Medical Coding my instructor was very adament that the best way to start a coding career was to get your feet wet in Health Information/Medical Records. I think you have to keep in mind that no matter what career you are in you have to start from the ground and work yourself up. I agree that it can be very hard to get into a clinic unless you know someone on the inside, especially when your in a small town, but I also agree that persistence will get you somewhere. It took me 10 months and many applications for many types of jobs before I finally got a position in a medical records department at a clinic a45 minutes away. I was still in school at the time. Then 3 months later a Physician Coding position opened up in the town that I lived in and I got it. I am very happy things worked out the way they did because what I learned in Medical Records helped alot in my coding position. I am still looking for my perfect job but the small steps I am taking now I have faith will get me to the place I want to be later. Keep your mind open and your expectations realistic when starting out a career. You'll get where you want to be.

  10. #10
    Hartford, CT
    I've been in the medical record, coding field for over 25 years. When I was looking for a new position because the doctor I worked for was moving out of state I was hired at a university hospital as a "Coding/Reimbursement Specialist". They advertised that they wanted a certified coder to do "complex billing". The job turned out to be insurance follow-up work. The university also hired non-certified people to do the date entry and there were alot of mistakes that I ended up correcting. When a coding position opened up I applied foe it and was told I wasn't qualified (not only have I been coding for 25 years, I've been certified with AAPC for seven). I lasted a year there and now I work for 3 Orthopedic doctors doing the coding and the billing. My point is don't give up. Even if you have experience you might not get the job you really want, or you will be disappoiinted with misleading job titles and unscurpulous employers.

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