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Whinning new coders? I was shocked.

  1. #11
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    Exam Training Packages
    I just passed received the new Coding Edge in the mail. As you know it list those who have passed for credentials. A shift has taken place since I first passed my test in 1999. Now there is 1 page and 1 column for Newly Credentialed. There are 3 entire pages for the apprentices. It used to be the reverse. I believe it is because there is so much incorrect information out in the world. That without any prior medical employment you can learn how to code and go out and get a job. Its not all there is to being a coder then someone who can look up codes. There are a multitude of insurance regulations to navigate, being a resource to the billing staff as well as the physicians that hire you. They expect more for the salary they pay out then someone new in the field with no other experience. I feel badly for the new coders who did not have a clear understanding of how a Medical office runs and what is expected from coders. Ill Medicaid alone VS St Louis Medicaid has different rules and criteria that as coding staff our employers expect us to know. I could go on for days all that coding truly encompasses but that is why having a minimum of 2 yrs experience is needed. Good Luck to all of you. Jobs are hard to find these days for everyone. Perhaps try to start out as a receptionist, medical records, or billing dept to get your foot in the door. You worked hard to get your credentials so don't give up now, maybe just understand all that they want from us.

  2. #12
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,101
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    Educators rarely have any say-so in how their services are marketed. That is unfortunate, but some folks in recruiting and marketing are making those decisions. Some schools intentionally mislead, I've seen that, even posted comments on the forums here related to that topic. Most not-for-profit schools will not embody that type of recruitment effort.

    I can recall my own disappointment at not being granted certain jobs for which I applied. That is really just part of being an adult, accepting your own limitations and stategizing through obstacles. It seems to me that the job searching techniques aren't being taught or learned. I'm confounded on why. Regardless, the expressed frustration at not having opportunities in the field is relatable. Unfortunately, professional association members can only recommend changes in approach and share personal experiences. The majority of us are no longer hiring officials, never were or aren't yet.

    In my experiences, coders do have some element of control, usually if they are practice managers or involved in the hiring process. Human resources rarely has the final say--unfortunately, HR doesn't normally know enough to make good decisions without other input. If we educate our physicians (as members of their staff), they may be more willing to follow our leadership. It's a good point that new coders are competing for the same jobs as some experienced coders. That means that both parties have to deal with all the implications the exist in that reality.

    Finally, it seems the tides are changing for non-certified coders. Whether employers sponsor the venture or not, I do believe it will be requisite in the very near future. Not only that, I believe multiple credentials will be required for some of the higher-paying opportunities in consulting and auditing. The slant is already visible. With that being the case, non-credentialed coders may find themselves pushed into other roles or obligated to attain a certification--even if they've years of experience. Hopefully that will create a few vacancies for which our apprentice coders may fill.
    Last edited by kevbshields; 12-27-2011 at 06:18 PM.

  3. #13
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    I think that the schools have a tendency to provide unrealistic expectations about students' employment prospects, once they graduate; and that, as a result, many newly certified coders feel entitled to coding jobs, and are given a rude awakening when they don't land them right off the bat. I see the same thing happen with certain collegiate-degree fields (Mass Comm, for example) - new grads become frustrated that all of their time was "wasted" getting an education, since no one will hire them without experience.

    Look, you have to have some experience somewhere; and if you don't, you can't feel like you're too good to start at the bottom to get it. That's "Having a Career 101", for any profession. No one's entitled to respect - you've got to earn it; and there's a serious difference between being a reliable (eg, experienced) coder, and merely passing a multiple choice test on the subject. It takes practice to build skills, and they want to know you've really gotten it, ahead of time.

    I can see how you would have interpreted a gripe as being overly harsh, but I've also read dozens upon dozens of posts from people who are "too good for filing", who have no more experience coding, than the filing clerk at the place they want to work - they're frustrated, and absolutely baffled by their inability to get a coding position - it does get old to read, and is discouraging to those who don't mind rolling up their sleeves in a 'mundane' position, to get their foot in the door.

    If you can't get a job without experience, then get some experience any way that you can. Intern, or use the AAPC's resources (like Code-A-Rounds), to get the "A" off of your credential, and keep trying. If you don't give up, you'll eventually succeed, and it'll all have been worthwhile.
    If you think that someone should just hand you a job, simply because you completed your course work, then I'd say yes, you have totally wasted your money and time, because the world simply doesn't work that way. So, I guess it's subjective.

    P.S. - Office experience is good enough for medical office experience in most cases. If you can use a computer and Microsoft Office programs, you're usually qualified. Don't sell yourself short - you're on the right track. Good luck!
    __________________
    Brandi Tadlock, CPC, CPC-P, CPMA, CPCO


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Brandi,
    Thank you for your advice. I have 8 1/2 years of office experience in personal lines insurance (auto, home, motorcycle, recreation vechicles, etc.) as a Risk Management Associate and I was hoping that would show that I was a serious employee. I will keep up on my skills : )

    Dianne.
    Last edited by Butler; 12-28-2011 at 06:44 PM.

  4. #14
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    Look I live in Tampa Fl. Medical Billing & Coders here over satuarated. There are too many of us. I gruaduated in 2/2010 and can't get a job even in Medical Records or as an ROI, although I had wanted Billing. I am also a certified Unit Secretary and have been an ad Administrative Assistant/Executive Assistant in the past and I cannot get any interviews. I did have 2 interviews in 2 years and the person (s) hired was one very young-with no experience (about age 22); no work experience at all; the other had 5 yrs experience from out of State and moves to Tampa and takes a job from us. I am a CPC-A and they did away with the special training to remove the A. I am moving on to another line of work, as I have to work. Now I am looking for a Sitter, or babysitter or nanny position because I have to work; and I am in my early 60's. Had I known I could not get a job as a MBC without 2-3 yrs experience I would not have taken this course! I don't put all my experience on my resume, but can't get my foot in the door. I blame schools for grabbing the money and not letting students know there is no work until 2013! I am not renewing my membership and giving up my CPC-A, I wasted the last 3 years of my life. I interview very well and am polished & well dressed (had to be as an Exe Assistant). But the bottom line there are no jobs in Tampa, FL and if there are a few, they want the very young ones with no no no experience. Some Coders I have spoken to are not even certified, yet they have been working for years, and employers could care less about being certified. This is not whinning, this is realty, esp if one needs work & money, and wastes years getting retrained for the job market.

  5. Default
    I have been reading the previous quotes with interest. I have taken the CPC exam twice in the last six months, and came just short of passing. I was angry at first. I am working in a field where I had experience from previous jobs. I truly enjoy coding, and am not going to give up. I keep applying for jobs in the medical field, and have had some interviews, but to no avail. I will retake the exam in the future, and pass at some point. I am not certified at this point, but will be someday.

  6. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by btadlock1 View Post
    That's the point though; you're not spending the time and money to become an instant coder; you're spending it to become a coding apprentice.

    No one is going to give you a homerun, just because you made it to first base. It's not that easy; if you're not willing to accept the fact that passing the test is just step one, and that you need practice to be hired as a coder, then good luck finding a job. You'll need it.

    Anyone can make it in this industry, and can gain the experience they need to get to where they want to go, but you have to be willing to start where you're able to. If that means you're a file clerk at first while you learn, then that's how it has to be. Even doctors have to complete a residency period before they're considered employable as doctors. No one's immuned to the 'experience' aspect of this field - the credential wouldn't mean anything, if it didn't represent true professionals, and you're not a true professional, if you've never actually done the job.
    I am eager to get the practice that it takes to be hired as a coder. Where do I get the practice that the profession will recognize? there ar residency programs for doctors where they gain experience in practicing medicine. I want to gain experience in billing and coding, not filing.

  7. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by ajs View Post
    I love to, and do, welcome newly certified coders into this field. Please realize this is not an industry, it is a profession. Unfortunately, coders don't hire coders, doctors and human resource directors hire coders. Just like in a lot of other professions, they want to see that you know how to do this job in the real world, not just the classroom.

    For some who have been working in this profession for many years, it can be hard to see the "newly certified" out there vying for the same jobs we are. With the economy in turmoil there are fewer jobs, but more people applying for them. Competition is tough no matter how much experience you have!

    I have been in the trenches since the mid-1980s and worked through the E/M coding changes in the mid-1990s. Now we are all gearing up for the big ICD-10 changes in 2013. I got certified on my own through many years of on-the-job training. There were no "coding training classes" with promises of gainful employment; just yearly seminars, bulletins from the various agencies, and trial and error. We learned when the new books came out every year. I paid for my own exams and CEUs for a lot of years before employers started seeing the benefit of helping keep the certifications going.

    So, I do welcome the new coders, but please realize that it takes a lot of hard work to get to where you see some of us "certified coders" out here on the job. As a mentor and President of my local chapter, I have assisted a few "newly certified coders" in finding that first job,or moving into a better job. I am always willing to help where I can.

    I have been working in this profession for 25+ years, and since I seem to have a knack for it, I will probably be here until my brain shuts down. I wish you luck in your search for a meaningful coding job. It can be a rewarding profession, but it is not for everyone. And please be patient with those of us who have been out here for a while, sometimes the world is a scary place!
    i appreciate your honesty. and I am not looking to replace someone with years of coding experience. I couldn't touch that. but I am disheartened by the lack of direction to start out in this profession. May I ask , what would you say are reasonable to expect first jobs, for someone who has 20 plus years of office experience (non medical), strong computer skills, database experience, and has a cpc-a certification?

  8. #18
    Default
    I obtained a coding position with no healthcare experience about 9 months after I got certified. I'll be the first to admit that I was a little lucky. After 30+ years in sales, I decided to make a career change. My wife is a manager at one of the local hospitals and she suggested I look into coding. She knew the coding manager and the coding director and was reasonably certain she could get me in the door. Towards the end of my studies at the nearby community college she got me an externship at her hospital. When an entry level coding position opened up several months later I got an interview, but was not offered the job.

    Fast forward to this past September, and I got a call from another nearby hospital and, long story short, I was offered the position and started on October 3. I was one of three new coders hired within a six week period, although I was the only one without experience. Once I got started I quickly realized that real world coding bears little resemblance to classroom coding. As someone mentioned upthread, it's not just about looking up codes. My supervisor and 2 of the experienced coders have spent a lot of time bringing me up to speed. There are not a lot of organizations that are able to invest that much time in a newbie. It's easier to hire experience.

    As far as being sold a bill of goods by my school, it didn't happen. I considered programs at 4 local community colleges and I talked with advisors at 2 of them. One of them actually tried to discourage me.

    I know how disheartening it can be looking for work. However, I am living proof that a person without previous healthcare experience can get a coding job. There is another poster on this forum who also got a coding job without experience. I believe the in-coming president of one of the local Seattle area chapters is a CPC-A who got his first job without experience. The other day my wife mentioned that her hospital has 2 openings for Coder I's. Under minimum requirements it says, "New grads welcome."

    All I can say is be encouraged by my story. Don't give up.
    L. Mark Kozu, COC, CPC, CCC

  9. Smile
    Quote Originally Posted by ajs View Post
    I love to, and do, welcome newly certified coders into this field. Please realize this is not an industry, it is a profession. Unfortunately, coders don't hire coders, doctors and human resource directors hire coders. Just like in a lot of other professions, they want to see that you know how to do this job in the real world, not just the classroom.

    For some who have been working in this profession for many years, it can be hard to see the "newly certified" out there vying for the same jobs we are. With the economy in turmoil there are fewer jobs, but more people applying for them. Competition is tough no matter how much experience you have!

    I have been in the trenches since the mid-1980s and worked through the E/M coding changes in the mid-1990s. Now we are all gearing up for the big ICD-10 changes in 2013. I got certified on my own through many years of on-the-job training. There were no "coding training classes" with promises of gainful employment; just yearly seminars, bulletins from the various agencies, and trial and error. We learned when the new books came out every year. I paid for my own exams and CEUs for a lot of years before employers started seeing the benefit of helping keep the certifications going.

    So, I do welcome the new coders, but please realize that it takes a lot of hard work to get to where you see some of us "certified coders" out here on the job. As a mentor and President of my local chapter, I have assisted a few "newly certified coders" in finding that first job,or moving into a better job. I am always willing to help where I can.

    I have been working in this profession for 25+ years, and since I seem to have a knack for it, I will probably be here until my brain shuts down. I wish you luck in your search for a meaningful coding job. It can be a rewarding profession, but it is not for everyone. And please be patient with those of us who have been out here for a while, sometimes the world is a scary place!
    Hello,
    I usually do not post on any subjects except the cardiology discussion. I just happen to see the title of this forum" new coders should stop whining". I want to add my 2 cents. I know what it is like to be a new coder as you can see. All of you new coders should listen to the experienced coders taking the time to post here. Brandi and the others. What they are saying is the truth. Keep on trying and learning, you will earn a job in the coding field, but it does take time to gain experience. When I was a newly credentialed coder starting out I thought I knew alot about coding. Not so. It takes alot of time and work. Dont give up or change your profession it is worth the effort.
    Theresa CCS-P CPMA CCC ICDCT-CM

  10. Default New coders
    Being new to coding myself -- I will tell you that getting that first job is not an easy one. But if you are willing to volunteer at different facilities and get your certifications, there are people out there willing to hire you. I was fortunate because an ER Billing facility looked to our school where people had just passed their CPC and were hiring new coders. It is a great field to be working in -- don't give up

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