Cheermom68 is right and not only are the hospitals hurting but all physician's offices are. Insurance companies have cut payments for procedures and E/M. On top of that Medicare one of the largest (if not THE largest) payers has been in a sort of limbo for quite a while now. The fee schedule has been a mess for the last 2+ years and it doesn't look like there will be any real resolution to this. At one point this year it looked as if physician payments were going to be cut by 21% which is huge especially when you consider a physician's office's overhead. At this point we are looking at an almost 30% cut on January 1st if the SGR isn't corrected/fixed. Physician's offices are scrambling to cut costs as much as they can in the event that this cut comes to pass. So far it has been stalled/delayed several times but the possibility makes everyone very tense.
I will admit I got very lucky in getting the job I did with absolutely no experience and right before the health care issue blew up. In my area no one starts off at what my employers started me off at even with experience. It took me 6 months to find my job but it was well worth all of the interviews and resumes. I just kept plugging away and mailing resumes, studying, reading everything I could about coding and using every free resource I could
For new coders the best advice is what everyone else has been saying. Apply for everything, be willing to start anywhere and work your way up, keep studying and perfecting your skills. A good employee who has proven themselves willing to work, willing to be flexible, and willing to grow and learn in the field is even more valuable in the healthcare field now than ever before.
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