I agree with so many of the above post. You need to get your foot in the door. You may not be a coder right away but any knowledge of the facilities computer systems, their rules and regulations, how an insurance company works, how to do follow up, what does the patient receive once the insurance has paid, any knowledge will help. I currently work for a group of doctors and listed on the job postings include a Patient Advocate and Scanner / Clerk. The patient advocate reviews a patients account, lets the billers know if they need to do something with the accounts, they may even find and verify the patient has other insurance they never told us about. The scanner scans in all encounter forms and EOBs. I started out doing follow up calls for a surgery center. I would call and find out why a claim was not paid and reported back to the biller on what needed to be done to get a claim paid. Small offices will often hire part time patient billers and allow you to go to school. Prior to taking the AAPC exam I had my office manager write a letter about my experience to AAPC and also my advisor at college. I passed on my first try and never had the CPC-A attached to my name. I would suggest trying to get a job in the medical field prior to starting or during college and not wait until you have the CPC attached to your name.
Another thing is NETWORK. It often is not what you know but who you know. I was able to help my friend get a job 3 months prior to her completing college. We both worked for an OB/GYN until the office manager asked us to do something we did not agree with. My husband helped me get a temporary job at a multi-specialty group and when a permanent position became available I took that. I was able to get my friend into the temporary position and she is now permanent. If you are a good worker then it will pay to know people.
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