How to become a medical coder without going to school
“You can learn a little bit about coding in 6 weeks, but a 6-week training program without other experience or skills may not be sufficient to land that first coding job,” according to Pamela J. Haney, MS, RHIA, CPC-H, CIC, CCS (“The Myths and Realities About Becoming a Coder,” Healthcare Business Monthly, February 2015). “Coding requires life-long learning and constant skills improvement. Hospital-based positions in particular require formal training with courses in health information management and various classification systems with a practical component or on-the-job experience to be proficient.”
Those who are properly trained and certified are more likely to find a medical coding job.
When employers say they want experience, what they really mean is “demonstrated skills.” They want to know that you can perform the job. Internships and practical training programs can help prove your skill set. The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed more than 50,000 employers and found that managers unanimously ranked internships and volunteer experience above relevance of coursework, college GPA, and college reputation.
AAPC’s Practicode is a web-based training program allowing new medical coders to get real work experience. Complete the program while training for your certification exam to remove one of the two required years of your credential’s apprentice designation.
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