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No Coding Jobs for inexperienced Coders

  1. #171
    Thumbs up
    Medical Coding Books
    Quote Originally Posted by dclark7 View Post
    I would like to add a few words to Pam's post. I have also been in this field for a very long time (30 years). I recently started teaching the billing portion of a Coding and Billing class offered by a local Community college. While I try not to discourage any of my students, I was very surprised to find that many of them thought they could take their Certificate of Completion (it's not a dregree program) and get coding jobs. Many did not even want to sit for the CPC exam.

    I agree with Pam completely, many of the new coders have not done their research. Many of my students are taking this class because they've seen ads that say coders will earn $35-40,000/year. They also hear that you can do coding from home. With the large amount of coding courses available, the market has been inundated with new, inexperienced coders. The problem with this is that with all the government regulations and policy changes doctors and hospitals don't have time to train new people, they need someone who has at least a basic understanding of how the system works; and three months in a training course is not going to give you this.

    One of the other things Pam mentioned was the amount of errors in resumes and people coming to interviews in inappropriate clothing. I have a very large physician network and this is a common complaint when they are looking to hire. People, LOOKS DO MATTER! Hide the tattoos, remove the piercings and dress like a professional (no ripped jeans or belly shirts). Have someone proofread your resume and correct mistakes (grammatical and spelling) and remember this is not a text message to your BFF. If some of the posts I've read lately are any indication of coders education, we need to add an English course to the requirements.

    Another issue I've heard from physicians and Medical Records Directors, new coders do not know how to abstract information from a chart or note. Nearly anyone can pass a multiple choice test, but real medical records are not multiple choice. As Pam said, do your research.

    I've been doing this long to enough to know that times will continue to change. Years ago doctors could hire anyone off the street and train them. They no longer have that option, They need people who are sticklers for detail, aware of current laws and regulations, able to keep up with changes in the law and able to keep them informed. Three months in a coding class is not going to give them what they need.

    Doreen, CPC
    That is so true, Doreen! Practice is the key! I am very detail-oriented and enjoy looking for and finding the correct codes. I also agree on the great importance of keeping up on laws and regulations and especially "Communication" skills as coders need to ask a physician, etc. for more information in order to code the diagnosis and procedures correctly so that the claim will not be rejected.

  2. Default 4848@frontiernet.net
    Hi don't feel that you are alone. Like many others I have applied for everything from receptionist to coder. It is very dishearting to realize that you have spent your time and money to learn this challenging career only to find that the doors you though might open are closed to you due to lack of experience. I have tried the externship, volunteering but to no avail. I even applied for housekeeping. Nothing. Sort of make you wonder why. I have taken a part time position as a ROI which has messed up my unemployment. So I can no long volunteer funds shortage. I wish you the best of luck in your search. If you find a way of opening the doors let us know and I will do the same.

  3. Default job hunting
    I am having trouble the economy down turn didn't help any. I don't have the actual Dr office experience. I do have 13 yrs with Aetna medicare part B but I left that job in 85. my frustration is that coding experience lacked customer contact, And all my recent experience is totally phone and customer contact. But that is a retail setting and doesn't seem to translate. I have been certified now with -A- for 2 yrs. I am in a small town in oregon and there are no extern opportunities unless I move to a larger city 3hrs away.. I find it really scary to see all the newly certified names each month. I know many are already working. But the apprentice column is large as well. I wish every one much luck and success. AND IF ANY ONE know if my medicare experience is valid now let me know

  4. #174
    Thumbs up Getting Apprentice removal online
    This just came out last week. This sounds very promising and wonderful. As soon as I get certified, I am definitely going to try this out.

    http://ht.ly/2CmAe

    Virtual Experience: Apprentice Removal

    As an alternative to on-the-job experience, a CPC-A may earn the removal of the apprentice designation by accurately coding 800 operative notes virtually. The operative notes are real, redacted notes representing 17 specialties and are available to code online. We believe this experience will closely simulate coding in a multi-specialty practice. This will serve two purposes for the CPC-A. First, it will enable the removal of the apprentice designation without having to get a job, which is often difficult to obtain without experience. Second, it gives the coder a proficiency score to show to potential employers to provide evidence of coding skills.

  5. #175
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by semaxwell1 View Post
    This just came out last week. This sounds very promising and wonderful. As soon as I get certified, I am definitely going to try this out.

    http://ht.ly/2CmAe

    Virtual Experience: Apprentice Removal

    As an alternative to on-the-job experience, a CPC-A may earn the removal of the apprentice designation by accurately coding 800 operative notes virtually. The operative notes are real, redacted notes representing 17 specialties and are available to code online. We believe this experience will closely simulate coding in a multi-specialty practice. This will serve two purposes for the CPC-A. First, it will enable the removal of the apprentice designation without having to get a job, which is often difficult to obtain without experience. Second, it gives the coder a proficiency score to show to potential employers to provide evidence of coding skills.
    This is really great news!

    I'd also like to reiterate how important getting your foot in the door can be- a good resume and importantly, a COVER LETTER, can go miles. And of course, dress for success, practice interview questions and have common questions ready to answer beforehand. Practice proper grammar and sentence structure with a friend- impressing is the key in a an interview. If you have a colloquial style of speaking, now's the time to try to assimilate yourself.

    If you don't have a lot of experience, try using a student or skill-based resume format, which highlights your skills and education rather than previous employers. These are particularly helpful if you're making a career change.

    Don't forget- formatting and format are essential. If you're unsure, and it's an online or email submission, send your resume and cover letter in a universal format! It's of no use if the hiring manager can't open or read it.

    If anyone would like someone to look over their resume, let me know.

    If you're having trouble finding employment in a physician's office, try your local hospital websites, of course you're posting your resume on different employment sites (don't forget craigslist), and if all else fails, try a mass mailing of your resume.

    And do try for other medical positions, such as medical records, HIM, front desk, etc. If you do get in, try to be 500 times more professional than you think you can be- never be late, be full of knowledge and helpful with tasks, and always cheerful. Once they know your skills, you may very well be up for a promotion soon!

    Good luck!

  6. Default
    Ladies -you are absolutely correct! I am one of those CPC-A's. I bought the salary info, the demand information and everything I read on AAPC. I did not do my own research and that is my mistake. The only outside questions I asked were of my PCP and his nurse while I was at a Dr. visit and they were very positive about my plans - however - I know now that I should have spoken to their office mgr. regarding the "real" needs of the office. Three months of training and a multiple choice test (although I am proud to have passed the 1st time) is not enough training. We were exposed to some abstracting of notes, however, not enough to walk into an office and be ready to go.

    I am willing to take responsibility for my own mistakes, and I am trying to correct the problem, but I don't know how to go about it. I don't have the typo or dress code issues that were described, and I know how the CPT, ICD-9, and HCPCS code sets are used.

    Thank you both for your honesty.

  7. Default
    I too am a CPC-A without coding experience, so I've tried to get my foot in the door as a receptionist in an office. On my last interview I was told that I am over qualified for the position. With secretarial experience in a legal office and a tax office I am over qualified to be a receptionist. How do I get out of this catch-22?

  8. Default Foot in the door
    My best advice for you is to get your foot in the door somewhere. Prior to my current coding position, I worked in ED registration and precertification while attending school and it helped me greatly. Any type of medical administrative background will most certainly help you in your future coding endeavors. I know my supervisor gives 'fresh starts' a second look if they are certified and have some other type of medical admin background. GOOD LUCK!

  9. #179
    Default
    What I tell my students who are frustrated by this same situation...you have to get your name out there. I suggest to all my students that you attend your local chapter meetings every month and start making contacts and networking. Make up business cards that are short and sweet. Include you name, your credentials, and what your degree is in or going to be in. Include a phone number and an email address.

    I have 1 student who actually took my advice and got out there and met with people at her local chapter meeting and she pursuaded them to take her on in an internship program while she was finishing her schooling. She has no medical coding/billing or health care experience for that matter but when she graduates she will have along with her degree.

    It is a tough job market and you need to think outside the box in securing placement in the medical and dental field. That are a lot of other options besides working in a doctor's officer or a hospital as a medical coder or biller. Look at your local Medicaid office or Medicare office for an entry level position, look at health insurance companies also in your area, talk to your dentist, your doctor, the school nurse. The jails and prisons utilize health care, there are positions in utilization review and data entry for billing offices. You can also look at home care agencies or a software company that specializes in electronic health records or practice management systems. Look for jobs in the referral department or pre-authorization areas, or benefits and eligibility departments. The list of jobs for health information management professionals is endless and do not just stop with medical coder or medical biller.

    The harsh reality of the situation is that without actual hands on experience most people will be hesitant to hire you. The billing and coding process is vital to the financial health of a health care organization and they are not going to feel comfortable turning over this huge responsibility without knowing you have a proven track record. While your schooling is to be applauded and having your credentials is an awesome achievment also think about where they are coming from when the bottom line of the organization falls to the medical coding and billing operations to bring the revenue in. They want to be sure that the money they are entitled to is being handled by coding and billing professionals that have a work history that shows there knowledge and expertise. So while you are frustrated, you also need to understand why they are hesitant to perhaps hire someone without experience.

    Get out there and network at your local chapter meetings and get to know people. Networking is so very important as you embark on your new career or if you are changing roles in the medical billing and coding field.

    I started out as a file clerk in a home care agency many years ago...I then got my coding credentials and my bachelors degree in health care administration and now I am a health care fraud specialist for a federal health insurance plan and an instructor for medical billing and coding courses.

    But I cannot stress how important it is to get out to your local chapter meetings and start networking. The jobs are not going to just end up in your lap and your hopes of getting to work from home in a remote position without any actual coding experience are slim to none unfortunately even though I hear this a lot from my students that this is why they are going into medical coding and billing.

    You can see from the posts from the very experienced coders both certified and non-certified, it is a tough job market out there.

    I wish everyone luck in their search and to stay positive even though it can be very frustrating.
    Ali Coleman ~ CFE, CPC, CEMC
    Defense Health Agency
    TRICARE/Department of Defense
    Health Care Fraud Specialist

  10. Default CPC-A Jobs
    Hi everyone

    It is frustrating that they need experience before they can offer a job to a CPC-A. I became a CPC-A in September and honestly there is no hospital, building, clinic, urgent care,employment agency, career builder, etc,etc that does not have my resume.

    I applied everywhere not only for coding, but also for patient registration, dietary aide, and medical records. Just get your foot in, work for 6 months and then you can start applying for the inside jobs in coding. Meanwhile make friends in there for connection, go to your charter meetings and network.

    Almost always you can meet someone that knows a place that hires. Also, I think what helps is you take the extra classes in CPC-H, E/M, and the ICD-10. I am almost done with my CPC-H, and in November I will be taking my E/M class, and in January my ICD-10. All that I made available information in my applications for jobs.

    It has been barely two weeks and I got my first job interview for an outpatient coder for a big Hospital. I am so excited and I hope I do well in my interview and my coding test for the job. So, be patient, pray to God for help, network, go to charter meetings and show interest in getting more certifications. Good luck to all and I do pray for all to get a job very soon.

    If anyone is interested to take online classes for CPC-H, E/M, and ICD-10 they are only a couple of months, and taught from one of the best AAPC credited instructor. Her name is Lynn Schoeler, I have taken my classes from her.

    Her website is www.certifiedcodertraining.com and her e-mail is lynn@certifiedcodertraining.com. Her phone is Toll free: 866-737-3701. Please mention that her student (me) referred you to the school.

    Take care all and good luck

    Emmie Gouvisis CPC-A

    REMEMBER, YOU ARE ALREADY A WINNER, YOU PASSED A DIFFICULT CODING TEST. HOW MANY DO YOU KNOW WHO WERE ABLE TO DO THAT- FORGET YOUR CLASSMATES, I AM TALKING ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE YOU MEET IN YOUR EVERYDAY ROUTINE.
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by emmieg1@yahoo.com; 10-06-2010 at 01:33 AM.

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