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Thread: A Career Change

  1. #1
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    Unhappy A Career Change

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    It seems to me that some are having a hard time getting a job as a coder, and are seriously thinking about making a career change. This applies to some who have and have not passed the CPC exam (after several attempts), and are still unemployed. It can be extremely frustrating. It can be quite scary during these tough economic times. Everyone is going through something. I’m willing to keep trying, and I encourage everyone to do something on the side to bring money in. After all, that’s what it bottles down to. There’s so much to coding; it can seem like a challenge. I didn’t expect things to be this way.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonjagirl View Post
    It seems to me that some are having a hard time getting a job as a coder, and are seriously thinking about making a career change. This applies to some who have and have not passed the CPC exam (after several attempts), and are still unemployed. It can be extremely frustrating. It can be quite scary during these tough economic times. Everyone is going through something. I’m willing to keep trying, and I encourage everyone to do something on the side to bring money in. After all, that’s what it bottles down to. There’s so much to coding; it can seem like a challenge. I didn’t expect things to be this way.
    Me either Sonjagirl! I wouldn't of ever have entered this industry if conscious of hungry money managers hovering over coders spines.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2007
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    Virginia Beach,VA
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    I would be considering a career change if I did not love coding/billing so much! I passed my exam 2 weeks ago and am an apprentice, and I was so proud! But now everyone wants experience, and so I apply for the entry level jobs to get my foot in the door and then I am told I am over-qualified?! A little confusing to say the least. I have applied for literally over 50 jobs in the last month and I have had 2 interviews. One job they wanted somebody who spoke spanish and the other said I was overqualified for the billing specialist position. I am not sure how that is when I just finished school to do that specific job! Very frustrating!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoopeedew View Post
    I would be considering a career change if I did not love coding/billing so much! I passed my exam 2 weeks ago and am an apprentice, and I was so proud! But now everyone wants experience, and so I apply for the entry level jobs to get my foot in the door and then I am told I am over-qualified?! A little confusing to say the least. I have applied for literally over 50 jobs in the last month and I have had 2 interviews. One job they wanted somebody who spoke spanish and the other said I was overqualified for the billing specialist position. I am not sure how that is when I just finished school to do that specific job! Very frustrating!
    Sorry to hear that, I assume they said you were overqualifed because they probably do not want to pay you what you are worth... Just my opinion. I started on the Medical Billing side and have been on this side for over 15 years.

    There is another thread on this site that makes the comment that billing should have a coder within the dept. I just happen to be a Billing Supervisor and I do use my "coding skills" on a daily basis, I don't do much charge entry but I do review charge entry on a daily basis making sure we submit clean claims.

    Maybe when you go for another interview and they tell you "your overqualified" you could mention some things that you could be very helpful with in the billing cycle.

    I wish you luck.
    Roxanne Thames CPC, CPC-I, CEMC
    rthamescpci@gmail.com


    "Remember the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the heart of true friends"

  5. #5
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    rthames052006:


    That makes so much sense! When the interviewer found out I was taking my CPC in 2 days something seemed to change in the interview. I never thought about it until you mentioned it, I feel a little better now Even though I am frustrated, I just think it was not meant to be, and something better is waiting for me down the line!

    Thank you for the great advice! I just have to acquire some patience and know it will come.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoopeedew View Post
    rthames052006:


    That makes so much sense! When the interviewer found out I was taking my CPC in 2 days something seemed to change in the interview. I never thought about it until you mentioned it, I feel a little better now Even though I am frustrated, I just think it was not meant to be, and something better is waiting for me down the line!

    Thank you for the great advice! I just have to acquire some patience and know it will come.
    Your very welcome! Someone once told me that "every disappointment is for good", it may not seem that way now but hopefully in the near future you can look back and "laugh"....

    I know I have done it!
    Roxanne Thames CPC, CPC-I, CEMC
    rthamescpci@gmail.com


    "Remember the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the heart of true friends"

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeytheShark View Post
    Me either Sonjagirl! I wouldn't of ever have entered this industry if conscious of hungry money managers hovering over coders spines.
    I thought that it would be easy to get into once I finished my 2-1/2 years of medical insurance billing courses. Now I'm at the point where I'm hitting all of these road blocks--as if the odds are against me as far as getting a job. For example, the certification exam has gotten tougher since 2008, and on top of that, coding operating reports seems to be a struggle since we weren't taught extreme coding in the schools I went to. I'm wondering if I chose the right career, and experience coders have told me what it is like in the real world of coding. You have to be on "top of your game," because you will always be questioned or interrogated. Okay . . . I guess I have to take one day at a time if I ever get hired.

    I think there should be a public school which teaches long term courses just for these two "road blocks." It makes me wonder how long did it take for some to dissect these operating reports. I have two books with answers that I'm studying, but when I check my answers against the answer keys, I'm not close to getting all of the codes right! I guess I have to read the guidelines for each diagnosis and procedure before I come up with these codes. I was told that this is the real world of coding. I'm sure CPCs don't have time to look up all these guidelines before coding each diagnosis or procedures--especially if they have a 75 reports that have to be completed in one hour.

    Does anyone know of a public school in the Los Angeles area that consistently teaches how to dissect operating reports? If not, what about a private school? I know these private schools want you to take all of their classes within their curriculum, but I've done that in the schools that I went to. I just want to focus on coding.

    Do employers expect you to dissect an operating report within 2 minutes--let alone 60 within an hour with 95 percent accuracy? That's overwhelming for a novice.

    I really like coding, but it seems like I can't win. Once again, the odds are against me--plus I need three years' experience after getting certified. It's like we're being deliberately held back. It looks like to me that there will always be a shortage of coders.

    I'm wondering what it will be like when ICD-10 is incorporated. Will things be easier for us? Should I study for it? I don't know.
    Last edited by Sonjagirl; 06-15-2009 at 04:29 AM.

  8. #8
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    Kokomo, IN
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    Default career change

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonjagirl View Post
    I thought that it would be easy to get into once I finished my 2-1/2 years of medical insurance billing courses. Now I'm at the point where I'm hitting all of these road blocks--as if the odds are against me as far as getting a job. For example, the certification exam has gotten tougher since 2008, and on top of that, coding operating reports seems to be a struggle since we weren't taught extreme coding in the schools I went to. I'm wondering if I chose the right career, and experience coders have told me what it is like in the real world of coding. You have to be on "top of your game," because you will always be questioned or interrogated. Okay . . . I guess I have to take one day at a time if I ever get hired.

    I think there should be a public school which teaches long term courses just for these two "road blocks." It makes me wonder how long did it take for some to dissect these operating reports. I have two books with answers that I'm studying, but when I check my answers against the answer keys, I'm not close to getting all of the codes right! I guess I have to read the guidelines for each diagnosis and procedure before I come up with these codes. I was told that this is the real world of coding. I'm sure CPCs don't have time to look up all these guidelines before coding each diagnosis or procedures--especially if they have a 75 reports that have to be completed in one hour.

    Does anyone know of a public school in the Los Angeles area that consistently teaches how to dissect operating reports? If not, what about a private school? I know these private schools want you to take all of their classes within their curriculum, but I've done that in the schools that I went to. I just want to focus on coding.

    Do employers expect you to dissect an operating report within 2 minutes--let alone 60 within an hour with 95 percent accuracy? That's overwhelming for a novice.

    I really like coding, but it seems like I can't win. Once again, the odds are against me--plus I need three years' experience after getting certified. It's like we're being deliberately held back. It looks like to me that there will always be a shortage of coders.

    I'm wondering what it will be like when ICD-10 is incorporated. Will things be easier for us? Should I study for it? I don't know.
    Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I can tell you from experience that it can be overwhelming at times, but it can be done. I changed careers when I was close to 50. I had worked in the laboratory for over 18 years and was very comfortable there. I was the "go to" person if there was a question on a procedure, computer issues etc. I was in charge of the office and had several employees under me that I was responsible for training etc. Then, I started getting into the coding. I took a couple classes, then I took the course (with no intention of changing jobs), then I decided I wanted to do this full time. I completed my schooling and started applying for jobs. I KNOW I got very lucky in that where I work now was okay with hiring an uncertified person. I did get my certification within months of hiring (I was scheduled for the test). I didn't know anyone who was certified outside of my fellow employees (not CPC but AHIMA), we only had 2 in my class taking advanced coding. When I hired, there wasn't a lot of recognition yet for coders and it wasn't that very long ago. They were just starting to hire certified. Then I worked as a facility coder doing outpatient procedures, labs and such. The procedures they started me with were ASC procedures which are generally (not always) not as technically advanced as a lot of the inpatient procedures. It gets easier after awhile to dissect the reports and I can tell you that everyone messes up sometimes. We are human, therefore we make human mistakes. The problem is not really making the mistakes, but knowing that they need to be corrected.
    You will make a great coder, I can tell because you are already asking questions. LOL. Asking questions will get you answers and that will make you a better coder in the long run. If you check out the forum, you will find we don't know everything either. We all (even those who have been here for awhile) are learning every day. That's the life of a coder in the real world, learning to ask questions and research for answers. You have to want to learn and be willing to make the changes necessary. We are not sedentary in our learning capacities.
    Yes, we do have people standing over our shoulders, but everyone does. The OIG, CMS, just to name 2 (not even going with the insurance companies), and there are several out there, that are always watching and waiting. Most everyplace you work will require you to be productive, and they will have their own standards they want you to go by. Unfortunately, I think some of them set those standards by what an experienced coder can do instead of what a normal or novice coder can do.
    Anyway, by saying all this, I just want to encourage you to continue to follow whatever path you feel is appropriate for you, it will make you a better employee if you are where you want to be, not where you feel someone else wants you to be.
    Best of luck!
    Anna

  9. #9
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    Apr 2007
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    Charleston, South Carolina
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    640

    Cool

    Anna and Roxanne make some very good points.

    Fortunately (and I know how fortunate I am) I never had to struggle finding a job in coding, as I say "I grew up in it." I have been in medical office management, billing, coding and anything related for about 25+ years. It is quite a challenging field and you will never know anywhere near everything, lol! I work as a consultant and some days its very frustrating. I have to create a coding summary for a company making a "widget." Something that has never been used before, something the device company came up with and now they want a coding solution (i.e. reimbursed!). First of all, I dont have notes (which is really hard sometimes as this is how we are programmed), second the device company wants reimbursement (dont we all!) and third, just because they have a new device or product or procedure, doesnt mean there is reimbursement for it.

    My point I guess is it never gets easier per se. There will always always be challenges. DO NOT give up. You will find something. Feel free to email me, or probably any one of us here, if you think we can offer any other advice, or if you just want to vent. We all have our struggles and some days you just want someone to listen who understands.
    Last edited by mmorningstarcpc; 06-15-2009 at 11:25 AM.
    Machelle Morningstar, CPC, COC, CEMC, COSC
    AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer

  10. #10
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    Apr 2007
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    Disclosed too much !!!
    Last edited by 007CPC; 06-26-2009 at 05:07 PM.

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