I have over 15 years coding and medical management experience, but the bad economy cost my husband his job and we had to sell our home and move to somewhere else in the country cheaper to live to start over. I had a well-paying job as an AR Manager/CPC, but daily did not use my coding all that much. Unfortunately, my salary wasn't enough to carry us and he couldn't find work so we packed up, sold off most of our stuff and hit the road. 6 months later I live in another state, have a job with benefits making about 1/2 what I used to, but he has a fulltime too (which is good for him, us & our marriage) and now I code 8 hours a day for a family practice. I have a lot less stress, I make enough to live on because it's a LOT cheaper where I live and overall I consider myself "lucky". BUT - I searched for 6 months for work, took many temp/part-time jobs and applied for jobs as a receptionist, scheduler and file clerk - just to get my foot in the door somewhere. I ended up getting a job that pays better than most around here and requires me to be a CPC - but what got me the job was partly networking (I knew someone who knew someone to get me the interview) and part experience - they wanted a strong player, comfortable working directly with providers who wouldn't be too intimidated to interact directly with them to improve their coding and compliance. That takes someone who knows how to research, get their facts lined up and have the confidence & knowledge to back them up when the doctors/NPPs want to question "the Code". That isn't going to be something someone new to the medical field would have been comfortable doing! I'm also helping to teach other non-certified coders and encourage them to get their certification.
All I can say to new coders is keep networking, take a job ANYwhere you can - medical office or not - you are much more hireable if you are already working - and keep going to chapter meetings & keep up your skills, the stars will align for you someday when preparation meets opportunity for YOU!
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