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"sometimes" i feel like my cpc is a joke.

  1. #11
    Medical Coding Books
    I understand your feelings totally. I was also under a lot of stress and looking for a way to provide for myself and my family when I was approached from a school about billing and coding. Before that I would have never considered it. Now, I am stuck with a big college debt and no job. I have a physical disability that does not allow me to work in a stand up job anymore. That's why I went back to school. I feel kinda stuck in a corner, not enough education to do anything else and not enough experiene to to this. I dont understand. Nurses get hired right out of college, and you would think that employers would want them to have more experience that Coders. It's not like were doing brain surgery here. We can do this and be trained how the employer wants it done. I also understand the comment about spending the money on CEU's to keep your certification, because I wouldnt want to go through that again!!

  2. Default
    What a waste of time, money and effort taking and passing the AAPC course. It was a big lie. No jobs to talk about. I felt cheated. Here I am an RN but could not land a coding job which I thought I could do when I retired as a Nurse.

  3. Default
    If you're looking for a coding job in a hospital & all things inpatient, then yes, you'll need the CCS. If you're looking for a coding job for physicians & all things outpatient, then you'll need the CPC.

    This isn't a conspiracy theory. I realize that many are frustrated and angry and placing blame everywhere they can, but the organization (AAPC or AHIMA) has nothing to do with it. We all had to start out somewhere, we weren't just handed a job like some posters have inferred. We, too, had to work hard and put our time in to get where we are now.

  4. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by huguezbrian View Post
    Tell me about it, I have had about 15 phone interviews and they always ask for many years of experience (did they not see my resume). One interview for a Vascular Surgery group told me that they were looking for someone with 20 years of experience? Really? I am 25 years old, go figure!!! I took the same test as any other person who has a CPC and can't find a company that is willing to hire me. So now I am looking to get credentials with AHIMA as a CCS, but kind of hesitant because $$$ is an issue. Good luck and don't give up.

    Brian Huguez, CPC
    Speaking to you all, I have been coding without credentials in my medical billing jobs for the past 39 years. When my last physician boss retired, I was out of work and could find no other, with loads of experience, but WITHOUT A CPC. Having gone to school to get a CPC and still interviewing all the time, I can't tell you how many prospective employers drooled over my experience but said to come and talk to them once I had that CPC in my hot little hands. Keep your chins up. No one is getting hired without one, I can attest to that! KS

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by espforu View Post
    Ready your post, as someone in the field for many years I do understand that it is hard to get employed when you just start out. This is with ANY TRADE. Not just the Medical Field. It is unfortunate that you feel that it is the industry. I have spoken to many coders who have both credentials (CCS and CPC) and did this not because one was more recognized but to gain knowledge as well as hospitals are more familiar with AHIMA as they are the leader(in my opinion) in Hospital records but AAPC is billing focused.

    I think that the economy has alot to do with it as well not the orgainzations. There are many unemployed people in the US out there then the past. Everyone is struggling for the job many over qualified people are taking the entry level positions because they need to work. I have never heard of a employer asking for 20 years experience. Yes 2-5 but never 20.

    Good luck on your search. Keep positive!

    Believe it or not the company was:

    Certified Professional Coder/Medical Biller
    Vascular and General Surgery Associates
    (employer detail)
    Los Alamitos, California
    Date Posted: 5/31/2011

    Job #: 1208674
    Full Time/Part Time: Full Time
    Permanent/Temporary: Regular
    Employment/Contract Work: Employment
    Visa Waiver Available: N/A

    You can see their job posting on the AAPC website under the jobs section. I had a phone interview with the lady and she was asking for 20 years of experience.

  6. #16
    Yes, I agree. 20 years experience...that's a bit much! Somebody like will more than likely be heading toward retirement, and not another job.

    I'm really sorry that you have been having trouble finding a job. Are you willing to maybe do billing (such as follow-up on denials, payment posting, etc.) just to get your foot in the door at a good company?

    That's what I did. I was a CPC-A and I worked for a large ortho practice in my area posting payments, following up on denials and unpaid claims for Medicare and Medicaid. Believe me, the information that I learned during this time proved INVALUABLE later on in my career. Not long after I passed my exam, a physical therapy coding position opened up within the company. I did that for about 2 1/2 years (4 years total with that company), got the "A" removed and went on to work from home as a remote ED coder for 3 years (at which point I was able to learn alot about E&M coding) and I currently work as a surgery coder for a large hospital in my area.

    I say all that to say, it can be done! Don't give up! If you don't have any medical billing background, maybe trying starting out posting payments, etc. I hope it all works out for you!

  7. Unhappy
    I am just as flustered as everyone else! I have always been a quick learner and got good grades in school, but I still can't find a job! I even passed the CPC exam before I was done with my billing and coding course. I feel like it was such a waste of money because places won't even give me the chance to prove how good of a worker I am.

  8. Default
    I sincerely empathize with everyone. True, it can be unnerving to have no results or response to your applications and resumes; however, don't give up. This is a type of journey when a lot of encouragement is needed. It's been a year since I've been a member, and found many job searching encouraging words and good advices from CPC professionals in these discussion forums; such as, "proofreading" our resumes, etc. Also, has anyone thought of adding in your cover letters that, through AAPC you're "continuously receiving current coding traning and education?" As former billing and coding students, we learned that staying current with our state's insurance, CMS, and other healthcare rules and regulations is part of the coding process to submit clean claims; therefore, include how you're staying CURRENT with state healthcare laws, etc. It will stress that you are keeping up with today's coding trends; you have initiatives; and, are still very serious about a coding career. With focus and endeavors, keep reading current coding news, researching, etc.; and, stay proactive in your journey. Use job searching and resume advices to help your chances of getting notice. We just never know what may happen next day or next month--provided we don't give up. The reality is, coders will always be needed. Good luck to everyone's job seeking endeavors, as I myself keep looking.
    Last edited by Jessica Garcia; 06-09-2011 at 05:22 PM.

  9. #19
    When I started out in billing and coding I was in charge entry making peanuts. As much as I proved myself, was put on special projects, received rave reviews, and went above and beyond the call of duty I was stuck in charge entry for 3 years! I was still in charge entry when I got a second job teaching evening classes on coding! But I was able to use that experience to get a coding position at another hospital. Some people started even lower than I have, as billing clerks and what have you.

    Start small, work hard, and climb up.

    Although some of it really depends on regional needs.

  10. #20
    Dover Seacoast New Hampshire
    Quote Originally Posted by vwhitby View Post
    Although some of it really depends on regional needs.
    I agree with this, and want to encourage those of you who have done well in school, passed your CPC and continue to look for work. But vwhitby is right. Small, rural hospitals and small private practices typically don't hire a huge staff of coders/billers, and some practices simply have "a girl in the back" posting charges off a fee ticket. (these very words came from a physician in a state that will remain nameless). And the opportunities in larger metropolitan areas sometimes remain open for a long period of time because the market isn't quite as saturated.

    I guess you have to ask yourself, "what am I willing to do to enter this field?" Are you willing to relocate? Are you willing to start out in a job that pays less than you had hoped? One of my best coders started out in dietary, serving meals to patients. She wasn't too self-important to accept such a job, and it paid off for her, because she was privy to the internal job postings. In this economy, you may have to re-locate or commute. We all would like a job that's 15 minutes from our homes, but that's not always possible, and everyone should be thinking 'long term'.

    Don't just think about coding jobs. There are other places in a hospital or healthcare facility where you can start out, and work your way up. (remember, coding is not an entry-level job, as you all have learned). Patient registration, scheduling, billing (including payment posting and customer service), medical records, front-desk representative, administrative assistant, mail room clerk, file clerk, and even dietary, housekeeping or maintenance positions can place you inside a facility, where many jobs are posted internally and not released to the outside public. That's a well known fact....most facilities hire from within. The idea is to get in...however you can.

    I would urge you to consider volunteering. Most hospitals use deliver flowers to patients, to assist visitors, etc., but sometimes you can volunteer within clinical departments. Those volunteers are considered "employees" in our facility, and have access to job postings just as a regular employee would. Plus, you get to know people and the politics....very valuable information to have.

    I have posted on this topic before, but I interview quite a bit, and have found that some people are just unprepared for a job interview in a healthcare facility. Some big boo-boos are:
    too much cologne
    attire that violates the dress code
    smokers (we can smell you), and although we legally can't exclude you because you smoke.....we probably will.
    You don't ask questions
    Haven't researched the company
    are too timid (not a good thing...the docs will eat you alive)
    Swear (no kidding).
    Don't know where you want to be in five years. This means that you don't understand the industry enough to figure out where you will fit in.

    I realize that this information isn't going to pay the bills, but if you're really committed to a career in the coding field, please keep positive, and learn to sell yourself...great grades and a CPC are good, but lots of people have accomplished that. Figure out what makes you an ideal candidate, and emphasize your strengths. Good luck, everyone.
    Pam Brooks, MHA, COC, PCS, CPC, AAPC Fellow
    Coding Manager
    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
    Dover, NH 03820

    If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney

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