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Letter to the President of AAPC

  1. #31
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    Medical Coding Books
    Medicare and other regulations are making it nearly impossible to hire anyone that doesnt have extensive experience. Back in the day when coding was unheard of, there were not the requirments there are now therefore you could learn as you go....its just too much of a chance to take any more. Being certified doesnt make you a good coder; some of the best coders i know dont have their certification but they've been doing it for 20 years and have grown with the system. On the flip side, some of the worse coders i know are certified. if you want a job in the coding field, you're going to have to do what you can to get in the door and then hope to get the chance to mentor with someone but i think the days of being brought on board to be a coder (without having experience) is practically over. Just my opinion....
    Dawnelle Beall, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I
    Licensed AAPC PMCC Instructor
    AAPC ICD-10CM Certified Trainer
    Previous AAPC Local Chapter President & VP

  2. Default
    I personally did not read ehines post and think it was an attack on AAPC. Quite the contrary; obviously ehines is concerned about something that is important to ALL of us. I appreciate the comments on a topic that will not seem to go away.

    New coders need the opportunity to GAIN EXPERIENCE. Whether they start in the file room or as a receptionist... and believe me, even that is difficult in these times. Let's not be so hard on eachother.

  3. #33
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    I'm a CPC but I do billing. I spent over 12k at a trade school with the hopes of starting a new career. At the time I was unaware the AAPC even existed or I'd have started there instead of shelling out all that cash on something I could have obtained for half the cost, if not less. I was one of those who did not properly research the field before I entered. I was, however, lucky enough to get a position as a biller before I even graduated. I've been working at a pediatrics office for 3 years as the only certified coder, unfortunately here that means little. Since being here I've been able to have my 'A' removed and with the 'medical' experience I'm looking to transition into a more coding based position or at least somewhere I can develope those skills. It's definitely not been easy, I'm fully aware I'm lacking the experience desired but my major problem hasn't even been the 'coding' aspect of the job, it's the fact that as a biller at a pediatrics office I have no Medicare experience. Most employers want that 'extensive' backround in Medicare.

    What noone bothers to tell you is this field is overly saturated. It's the easiest field at this time to jump into, it take little time and its 'evergrowing' but at a rate unable to keep up with us. I haven't given up hope and neither should anyone else looking. Good things come to those who wait... I know the frusterations. I've read the posts. We are all having the same problems, but the time will come.

  4. #34
    Location
    Oklahoma City Oklahoma
    Posts
    9
    Default
    I personally agree with nrod2201. New coders do need the opportunity to gain experience. I have come to these forums many times for advice. I have tried networking, applying for jobs other than coding to get my foot in the door, and tried to apply for Project Xtern...and nothing is working. Since I have received my certification all I have experienced are rejections. I try to keep my head up but it's hard sometimes. I have my moments when I wonder if my certification even means anything? CPC-A's just want a chance to prove that we can do the work and not just pass a test.

  5. #35
    Location
    Charm City - Baltimore
    Posts
    103
    Default
    I have been reading everyone's posts regarding ehines' post and I can see all sides.

    I was a stay-at-home mom going to night school for coding when I decided to go back to work and I found a job as a medical biller. I had no working medical experience, but I continued with my courses at night and saw an ad in the paper (dating myself). It was for a point-of-service biller. I interviewed, told the manager I was going to school for coding and if she took the chance on taking an "uncertified coder" I would do my best or leave gracefully. She took that chance. Within 6 months I went from front desk fee tickets to Surgical Coding - no credentials yet. Six months after that I took my CCS-P and then the following year I took my CPC. I did that for years and now am back in school going for my RHIT and working in Compliance.

    The local community college where I first took my coding classes was not all that great and when I enrolled they said coders made 60K and up. (Stop laughing). The reality was quite different - but determination, honesty and perserverance has me where I am today.

    I know quite a few CPC-A's and I feel for them. I have known people who got jobs just to temporarily fill a spot until someone with more experience could be hired. While I find that practice distasteful, the flip side is experience was gained.

    I would advise anyone, CPC/CPC-A who is struggling to find a job to take anything - insurance verfications, registration, etc. and be honest with your manager. Let them know you find this step temporary that your end-goal is coding and who knows, maybe a coder will be moving on and that manager will think of you first.

    It is difficult having to had to spend the money and know that you know you can do it and not have someone else believe it, but look at different routes that will ultimately let you end up where you want to be.

    Good luck to all of you!

    By the way, Baltimore's Charm City has an extern program if you are in the area.
    Crystal, CPC, CCS-P

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    Hi Roxanne,

    I agree, it is very hard for any of us to find a job with the market the way that it is, all of you complaining might want to contact your government represenatives not the AAPC! With some of the posting that I have seen over the past several months, I can't blame anyone for not wanting to hire some of them....can't follow directions, spell, and have a bad attitude!

    I work in billing compliance and with the health care laws and the alphabet soup of government auditing agencies out there now, health care faciliites cannot risk having a coder without some kind of experience...the doctors themselves are enough of a liability sometimes!

    Like a lot of others, I too started off in the medical field in an entry level position in customer service at a DME company. I think a lot of fault does not fall with either the AAPC or AHIMA, but with the marketing promises of big money and work-at-home jobs that has overwhelmed the market with people from other companies who teach the medical billing/coding classes...some of which I wouldn't pay you a penny for after seeing what they are teaching some of the people that I have worked with!

    My husband and I were trying to relocate to Florida for him to have better opportunities for training for his career and you would think that someone in Florida would have wanted someone who was a CPC with over 14 years of coding/billing experience and compliance/auditing also, but no luck. So please don't blame the AAPC for not being able to get a job, because many of the leads that I followed and applied to were found on the job board here and I appreciated the ability to find those.

    Tracey

    Quote Originally Posted by rthames052006 View Post
    Nothing in life is guaranteed and that includes a job after schooling; I have 3 children who have gone to college and are entering the job market and I hate to tell you.... it's not just coding that people are having a hard time in finding a job. When my kids decided they wanted to go to college I asked " What do you want be" , have you researched your field, have you pick up a newspaper( local or not) to see what qualifications they are looking for, is your field in demand. These are things you must ask yourself before you jump, leap etc...

    As many of the posters, Like Machelle, Pam and Deb have said, it's not easy!! I know coders who have years of experience who are having a difficult time finding a job, so it's not just newbie coders who are having this issue it's across the board.

    And I must agree with Machelle, Pam and Deb that it does seem like the AAPC is being blamed for this, they cannot force a physician office, hospital, payor to accept the Project Xtern and then cannot force them to take a newly certified coder on either.

    These companies can pick and choose to hire and do what they want to do, thats like some companies who will only hire CCS or CCS-P's it's their choice.

    It gets really old, really fast to continue to hear people complain, remember there are several hiring managers who are on these theads, reading what you are saying....

  7. Default Industry
    I think that employers are way to picky when it comes to hiring. I have been coding in a mental hospital for about two years and have had no luck finding a coding job in a medical hospital. They all want specific experience. It is not enough anymore that you do have experience in the field maybe just not the right experience. You practically have to pay the employer for you to work for them. Also, how is one going to obtain experience, if no one wants to hire them?? As far as the AAPC, I know that everyone needs to make money but, their prices for classes, seminars, and meetings are outlandish.

  8. #38
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    This is the reply I got from one of the hospitals here in response to it being hard to find a job without experience- "With the economy the way it is, they are holding out positions bc they know they will be able to find someone with the experience they want." Yeah, that really boosted my confidence. What about the people who really need a job and have families to support!!!!!! Im not giving up... just not gonna settle for that excuse. I believe if hospitals and doctors cared about the economy they should help by hiring new people. I thought Dr.'s and hospitals helped people. Please employers... give us newbies a chance to be the employees you want!!

  9. #39
    Default
    The best thing that a newly credentialed coder can do is get your foot in the door. I personally started out in my organizations customer service department which allowed me to work closely with the department I desired to be in.

    Everywhere you look these days its a get rich quick, and stay at home advertisment for medical coding, there are a lot of people at this time taking these coding classes and sitting for and passing their exams. It is hard work and like many other jobs you must be willing to work your way up. I know very few people that started out coding. It is a career that you work towards but nothing in the work force is ever just handed to you.

    We have students that come to our department and the first advice I give them is to take a position to get their foot in the door and if possible one that allows them to learn as many of the systems that our company has.

    I love my job and am proud of it, however, I worked very hard and worked my way up 3 positions before getting here.

  10. #40
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    12,531
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerbell73104 View Post
    The best thing that a newly credentialed coder can do is get your foot in the door. I personally started out in my organizations customer service department which allowed me to work closely with the department I desired to be in.

    Everywhere you look these days its a get rich quick, and stay at home advertisment for medical coding, there are a lot of people at this time taking these coding classes and sitting for and passing their exams. It is hard work and like many other jobs you must be willing to work your way up. I know very few people that started out coding. It is a career that you work towards but nothing in the work force is ever just handed to you.

    We have students that come to our department and the first advice I give them is to take a position to get their foot in the door and if possible one that allows them to learn as many of the systems that our company has.

    I love my job and am proud of it, however, I worked very hard and worked my way up 3 positions before getting here.
    You are awesome! I love stories like yours. Keep going and never give up!

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

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