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Thread: Need help and advice - new member

  1. #1

    Question Need help and advice - new member

    AAPC: Back to School
    Hi there,
    I was hoping someone out there can help me. I have just recently completed a diploma program for Billing and Coding and am now currently enrolled in my A.S. in HIT. My school has not given any of out student direction or definitive information on credentialing.

    I have never worked in the medical field prior to this past year of schooling. I have done well maintaining a 4.0. Am I/should I sit for my CPC exam? I was told I needed 1 yr of work experience but then heard controdicting infor about being able to sit for an "apprentive cpc". What is that?

    I cant get a job w/out credentials and I dont know how to go about getting them?

    Please help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Everett, WA

    Default finding information

    Well, it takes some digging, but the first thing you need to do is find the information posted within this site. Click on the "Certification" menu and bring up CPC. Once there scroll down to beneath "prepare for exam", and you should notice the menu tabs, the last one "apprentice status". That should be a good starting point. Also there is some information in the FAQ menu as well. I was one who took the CPC exam two weeks following completion of our local college's medical coding/billing course with no prior medical training or experience.---Suzanne E. Byrum, CPC

  3. #3

    Default Go For It!

    I would definitely try to do your exam as soon as possible. I too have no medical office experience and was about to finish my Medical Coding / Billing schooling at my local college when I took the CPC-H & the CCA with AHIMA. I passed them both and was glad I took them right off the bat. Now the problem I'm having is finding a coding position. It's been over a year and I keep getting the excuse "we want 2+ years medical office experience and apprentice and starter coding credentials aren't acceptable". My husband is active duty Air Force and a year ago we relocated to a very small country cow town with hardly any medical job opportunity it seems...plus with the economy being the way it is, it's hard for us new coders to get a foot in the door. I'm hoping that with time my hard work will pay off and I will find something....eventually! Good luck to you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Swainsboro/Statesboro, GA

    Default Same exam

    You would be taking the same certification exam; there is no apprentice exam. The difference would be in your credential upon passing the exam. If you do not have experience in the coding field, your credential would be CPC-A. If you do have experience, and I think it has to be at least 2 years, then your credential would be CPC.

    Good luck!!!
    Freda Brinson, CPC, CPC-H, CEMC
    2014 President AAPC Swainsboro, GA Chapter
    Past President - 2012, 2008; Past Vice President - 2013, Past Education Officer - 2009 of Savannah, GA Chapter
    Past Member AAPCCA Board of Directors (2009-2012)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Philadelphia, PA


    I too am new to coding (although I did work for a medical insurance company for 13 years). According to the AAPC website (I forget where I saw it though) the time you spent learning in school is equal to 1 year of experience. Is this true?

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