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Entry level Medical Billing Jobs

  1. Default Entry level Medical Billing Jobs
    Medical Coding Books
    Hello, I live in the northern region of New Jersey and about a month ago, I graduated a medical billing and coding school. Right before I graduated the school, I took the AAPC certified Possessional Coder exam and passed and am now looking for a job. I graduated at the top of my class with a 4.0. Now, for the past Month, I have been looking for a medical billing job around the Morris County area. I have mostly seen jobs offering $12-$13 an hour some with benefits, and some without. Before I even attended this program, I made $15 an hour working in a Gym without any college degrees. While attending this program, I was told that I could easily ask for $18 to $20 an hour as a starting salary especially because I'm certified, which I have now realized is not the case. I have also realized that being certified as a medical coder means nothing because to even do any coding I would need at least two years of experience. I paid $13,000 for the program and can't find a job that I can afford to take that would enable me to live and even pay my bills. Not only that, there are almost no jobs around where I live. Every job I have gone to is about an hour away. Is this situation normal for this area of the country, or is it just me? I would appreciate any advice someone could give me.

  2. Default Not Just in North Jersey
    Unfortunately this seems to be the case nationwide. But you are doing the right thing trying to get into the field on any level. I teach medical billing/coding and have been up front with the students about employment for recent CPC-As. There are a few reasons for this. The economy of course is a factor. Off shoring of many coding jobs is another factor. And the number of schools, courses etc out there churning out CPCs is another factor.
    Having said all that, don't give up. Healthcare remains a good field in a bad economy. One thing I would reccomend is specializing. there are a number of CPC specialty exams available. Becoming a specialist I think will give you a better shot at employment and eventually better pay. But even with specialty cert you might have to go through low paying entry level work for a while.
    A couple of other things. network as much as you can afford to. Linked in is free for a basic membership. And there are many sites on it including AAPC. Take any free seminars you can find. Usually the local medicare carrier will offer free seminars with CEUs. Go to chapter meetings.
    I've been discussing the idea with AAPC of anm emplyment rountable in an upcoming Coding Edge. This would bring together industry leaders to talk about the employment situation, their advice to CPC-As etc.
    Keep an eye out for it. And good luck to you.

    Jim Strafford CEDC MCS-P

  3. Default You are not alone
    I feel your frustration, because I became Certified in June 2010 and have yet to obtain a position. However what I'm being told by other entry level coders, is doing the following helps.....1) Get with a couple coding/healthcare staffing companies, 2) Set up your app with HCA, and frequently check online and apply for any positons, and 3) Just get your foot in the door. Ive been told start out volunteering in a doctors office or hospital facility, is one way, get hired as a medical receptionist, or anything entry -level in the medical setting gets your foot in the door. Ive personally been applying as Mail room clerk, medical patient representaive, medical receptionist, and etc. Ive even applied for a data entry coding job, and didnt get it only b/c I was too bubbly, and they didnt think that I would be good in a solo sitting all day position. You cant give up, spent too much money and time to get here. Just know you are not alone, im in Tennessee and still searching, I do have a job interview dealing with inputing medical insurance, and customer care (heck its the healthcare industry) coming up so im hoping that goes well. Take no position less than 11.00hr, because you are Certified, and that counts.

  4. Unhappy Entry level Medical Billing Jobs
    Thanks for the advice so far! I have been attending some chapter meetings and so far they don't seem too big on networking and/or mentoring but I will keep going. I go on Linkedin as well. As far as getting my foot in the door...I did front desk (not medical) for about 1000 years and the reason I went to MBC school was to get away from that. I just wish someone told me all this before I signed up for school because honestly I may have made a different career choice. Not giving up yet but getting close.

  5. Talking Missy Mess
    Don't ever give up keep networking as much as you can. That's the only way. I found out it's not really what you know but it's good to know what the hell your talking about. Most important is who you know. Network Network Network with the right people and don't give up keep coding stay on your game I hope this helps

  6. Default
    It would seem that this is going on everywhere. At this point...if I can get in the door at where I want to be and work my way up to billing or coding...that is what I will do. My class was told that they have to work at least 1 year in order to take the coding exam...how were you able to take it faster?

  7. Default
    I also understand where you are coming from. I graduated from my school in September of last year and I also am looking for a job. I interviewed with one company about a billing and coding job. I can't even manage to get that person on the phone to talk about that job. Every job listing that I have come across wants at least 2 years of experience. How do we get these jobs if nobody will hire? So I decieded to go back to school again and go into a different program. I am now taking Medical Assistant and Administrative classes. Maybe we should all get together and start our own business and make an awesome team. That seems to be the only way to go

  8. Default
    I don't know why you were told you needed a year experience to take the exam. I just registered on the AAPC website and took the exam at one of their chapter locations. I don't understand how we are supposed to get experience if no one is willing to let us! As for interning...I already worked for free for 2 months...I can't afford to do that anymore and I also can't afford to go to school for something else. Opening our own biz sounds like the best idea so far.

  9. #9
    Please don's sell yourself short or give up on the career. I've been in the field for over 12 years and I can honestly say I LOVE IT. The issue is that we're just flooded with entry level coder and some the programs are lacking. (I don't want to sound too critical, because they some good ones there too). Getting certified means a lot. It shows you are committed to maintaining high standards and want to move upward.

    As far as landing a job...I'd recommend you apply for a a job insurance verification or basic insurance follow-up (collections) even if you have to volunteer at a physician's office. If you get 6 months OJT it will allow you to really connect the dots to the skill set you've obtained in coding. Your coding/billing training will help you soar in these roles and you'll get a feeling for how important that front-end work is needed to getting the claims paid timely. Reimbursement is driving by clean coding/timely claim submission and sound account setup/demo/authorizations, referrals. Neither is more important than the other.

    It's easier to get these positions and it will allow you to connect with a seasoned coder/biller that can mentor you. Most coders are eager to share their knowledge but you have to make them feel comfortable that you're there to learn, be reliable, and retain the information they provide.

    Don't give up if you really want a career change. Coding and Billing is definitely not boring! It is "food for thought." I learn something new (and interesting) EVERY DAY.....12 years later!

  10. #10
    That's what I just point out earlier in my post I will just repost here out of frustration. Also for AAPC to REALLY make sure the only one required to take certification exams are the ones with experience since inexperienced certified coders seem to just waste their time, money and effort for a career change to NOTHING:

    What's surprising is AAPC letting inexperienced coders like me take CPC exam, pay exam fee, pay membership, pay coding courses, pay CEUs, pay coding books needed for the exam. All out from our own unemployed pockets. Hoping for a better career. Like inexperienced coders like me who successfully passed the exam, FIRST try, passed coding course with flying colors. Only to be shut down by employers because we don't have experience which ironically we will never EVER have if we are not given a chance.

    Is successfully passing the exam and and coding course NOT enough for employers? Yes!

    So I hope AAPC change their requirements in taking CPC exams. Don't let inexperienced coders waste their time, money and effort. Only to be rejected again and again and again.

    Since the coding field is OBVIOUSLY only for experienced non certified coders.

    Maybe employers should also have the ABILITY AND WILLINGNESS to train inexperienced CERTIFIED coders. Who are MORE than willing and able.

    I agree with one poster who was told you need at least 1 year experience before taking certification exam. I hope you follow that instruction because it is a FACT. You won't get hired if u have no experience. PERIOD.

    And for the guy who is inexperienced and already paid for certification exam... welcome to unemployment.

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