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Whinning new coders? I was shocked.

  1. #41
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,101
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    Medical Coding Books
    I read this article on Yahoo! today. Although it isn't particular to our industry, it does embody the spirit required to succeed. The moves, promotions and transitions are exactly what new graduates and those entering the field might have to pursue.

    Regardless, notice the author's positive attitude and willingness to take risk. This is necessary in today's market.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/first-...061900332.html

  2. #42
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    94
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    I would like to point out that some of us have been involved with the health care industry in many ways. I have been in billing/medical collections for eight years and know about billing and how hospitals and physicians charge for services. I've been posting cash for that long. I think that I have my start, but want to get into the coding end of things. That's where I am now and I'm appalled that someone in the industry would be saying that about people who are just showing frustration.
    Meegan Sweeney, CPC-A

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by msweeney76 View Post
    I would like to point out that some of us have been involved with the health care industry in many ways. I have been in billing/medical collections for eight years and know about billing and how hospitals and physicians charge for services. I've been posting cash for that long. I think that I have my start, but want to get into the coding end of things. That's where I am now and I'm appalled that someone in the industry would be saying that about people who are just showing frustration.
    I take it you haven't read beyond the first post in this thread? Or is that you skimmed through, stopping only to read the opinions which validated yours? I imagine that if you'd read all of the posts in their entirety, you wouldn't have made such a comment.

  4. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by btadlock1 View Post
    You may try asking for feedback next time you face rejection, to see what it is that the person that they hired has, that you may be missing. Also, read the career advice on Monster and Careerbuilder, and take it to heart. I heard a quote a long time ago (although I can't remember its origin):

    "If you always do what you've always done, things will always be the way they've always been."

    In other words, if what you're doing's not working, try something else - you have to be your own catalyst for change; forge your own path. I don't know you, or anything about you, so please don't take this as me 'being judgemental' - this applies to anyone who has experienced repeated failure in some venture of their lives, and is something I had to come to terms with, myself:

    Take a good, long, and honest look at yourself. It's hard to be completely objective, because quite honestly, it hurts - people are conditioned to overlook the negative, when it's hurtful; but good introspection requires it. I believe that if you really take an honest accounting of your personal attributes, you'll find some area to improve that will make a significant difference (everyone can - myself included).

    How is your attititude conveyed when you're speaking to prospective employers, from the moment you enter the office to submit an application (or your resume)?
    Are you excited about the potential opportunity, and greet everyone with a warm, friendly smile?
    Are you nervous and anxious - maybe you try to smile, but your heart's not quite in it?
    Do you go in with a feeling of crushing defeat weighing on you, perhaps already contemplating how you'll feel if you encounter the same end-result, again?


    If the last 2 are true for you, remember, that everyone around you can sense it. If you're pessimistic, or if you've got a chip on your shoulder, those negative emotions will seep out of you in countless ways - your facial expressions (even when they're only fleeting), your tone of voice, and your word choices - the things you choose to say, and what you choose to omit, speak volumes. Your body language will betray you every time. How's your posture? What about making good eye-contact?

    Do you exude the confidence that comes from someone who knows that they'll be good at the job, regardless of how little experience they have in the field or position?
    Do you seem happy? Like you're satisfied with your life, despite the bumps in the road you've had to deal with?
    Do you seem like someone who will be positive and upbeat, through the ups and downs that inevitably accompany any job?


    If you can't answer 'yes' to those questions, then you've got a lot of work to do, if you hope to land a job at a decent employer in the near future. Employers don't want people who are negative, or who might be detrimental to their other staff's morale, when the going gets tough. You'll turn them off from the moment you enter the room, if you are perceived in that manner. Think outside of the box, and approach your search from a new angle - look for different positions, at different places/specialties than you've been looking at. Anything could be the key.
    And when you do go in to fill out an app, or for an interview, don't just dress well and run your spell check - hold your head up high, smile at everyone you see, like you've already been given the job. Don't dwell on your failure; be grateful for what knowledge and experience you DO have (which, for you, is considerably more than many of your peers - don't detract from it, simply because it wasn't in a doctor's office - office experience is office experience, plain and simple), and sell the employer on how much you have to offer in any position, as well as how eager you are to learn more.

    You can either roll with the punches, or let them knock you down. Either way, attitude is everything for a good quality of life. Good luck to you all!

    Brandi.
    On a different note. How was that compliance test? I am wanting to take it! I could use another certification. I see the study guide is out.
    Theresa Dix CCS-P CPMA CCC ICDCT-CM

  5. #45
    Default
    Quote Originally Posted by theresa.dix@ethc.com View Post
    Brandi.
    On a different note. How was that compliance test? I am wanting to take it! I could use another certification. I see the study guide is out.
    I'm not gonna lie...it was a LOT harder than I had anticipated - it's the first time I took the whole 5 hours & 40 minutes to finish. I didn't consider that: with coding exams, 90% of the test questions can be found in your manuals, if you know where to look. Not so, with this exam - you either know it, or you don't, and even if you do have it in your resources, you've still got to be able to locate it.

    Personally, I'd buy the practice test, but not the study guide. It was basically a Cliff's Notes of this: http://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/compli...ance/index.asp
    Plus, a little bit over OSHA, CLIA, HIPAA, PPACA, Qui Tam, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and more specific info over CMS rules and regs (most of which can be found here: http://www.cms.gov/home/regsguidance.asp)

    The study guide has some issues - it's full of opinions, and not facts, and many of the 'test your knowledge' quizzes were random, in relation to the material discussed in the chapter. Read the OIG's Compliance Guidance for Individual and Small Group Practices, Hopitals, and Third Party Billing Companies about 5 times each, and you should have enough to almost pass the exam off of that alone. There was still other stuff, but it's listed out under the AAPC's 'additional preparation methods' link.

  6. Default
    Brandi, I just wanted to thank you for your post to my thread. I think you understand what I was trying to say. We (us new coders) are frustrated, and I am sure there are some that are probably expecting to get that job right off the bat and their expectations are a bit unrealistic. My situation is different in that I am willing to do any job in a medical office if it will lead to the job I am really looking for, and I think you got that from my post, and I appreciate that. I take all the advice that I am given and use it to learn what I can from the "seasoned" coders. I was just shocked as well that someone that I look to as a mentor in this feild would use the word "whining" to describe some of the new coders. I realize she was not intending to make it sound like she was addressing the CPC-A's as a whole, but it was maybe not the best way to say it. And I know what it's like to need to vent, I have needed the occassion to do so myself. I just hope we all (new and seasoned) can look at this issue a little closer, and find solutions to getting those who are willing to do what it takes to get the experience needed, by reaching out to facilities/doctors who would be willing to help with the intern/training process. Again I want to thank you for your support and advice (to me personally), I will keep pushing ahead and I WILL find that job I really want!!

  7. #47
    Location
    Jacksonville Florida Chapter
    Posts
    211
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    My opinion for what it’s worth…

    The REAL issue here is the same issue that all college graduates fall into; no one will hire you unless you have experience, but how do you GET experience if no one will hire you?

    I am a Navy retiree who was a meteorologist for 20 years. I earned an AA in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding this past October with a 4.0 GPA. I earned by CPC-A the same month with a final grade of 88%. Even with that, I couldn’t find a job coding for the same reason that almost no other college graduate could; no real experience. I even did a 120 hour externship, but it was in a billing department, not in coding.

    I have read post after post after post after post here at the AAPC and the AAPC’s site on LinkedIn from people asking how you get the necessary experience to be hired as a coder. Almost every answer was to volunteer for the experience, but not all of us can do that like me; I can’t afford to not get paid.

    So who is to blame? IS there any blame? What should I do now?

    Any blame that could be put out should be shared among the way our economy works, along with some college recruiters. Coding students are not the only ones graduating and not being able to find a job in their studies. We are also not the only ones who are being told that going to college will guarantee a good job. As I hinted at the start of this posting, almost ALL college students NEVER find a directly related job to their studies right out of college. The few that do know someone with some real pull in the company. That’s just a fact of the business world. I’m blessed that my parents taught me the reality of the business world; everyone has to start somewhere and most start at the bottom. Bill Gates wasn’t rich from birth, after all.

    So what to do?

    Everyone has to start somewhere. I’m equally blessed to have the job I have now as a front desk receptionist. I’m doing check in right now and am learning about the practical side of billing. I’m getting experience with the differences between HMOs and PPOs. I’m learning about referrals and authorizations and how to get them for our patients who come without them. I’m learning how the billing side of Medicare works (we don’t accept Medicaid). My next stop will be with check out as I learn how to collect payments and schedule any follow on appointments. After that, my next stop could be billing and coding.

    My point is just like anyone else’s point… Most of the time, you have to take a job that is closely related to the job you want if that job requires experience. I had training in billing, coding, reception, transcription, and medical records, so I applied for all of those positions with the ultimate goal of becoming a coder.

    During my interview, I told my interviewer that I was really interested in the job she was interviewing me for, but I also told her that I was also interested in becoming a coder since I have my CPC-A. I think this in part is what put me over the top because I know she had others to interview for the same position. That and being a vet really helped because the lead doctor is a vet himself and many others in the practice are vets.

    I also interviewed directly with a doctor at another practice and even he laid it all out in regards to being a brand new biller/coder. You are the life blood of a practice; you can make a practice or you can break it. The financial health of a practice is mostly in your hands. No one will get paid if you goof something up because you don’t have the practical experience needed to ensure that payments are made. This is why almost all practices require us to have experience.

    So there we run into that “experience” thing again. Well now what????? How about this…

    If you can, volunteer for experience as an intern/extern.

    The issue I’ve found with this is that not everyone wants an intern/extern. They don’t want to spend the time teaching someone who will not be working at their facility, but don’t let that get you down. There are practices out there that are willing to teach an intern/extern, you just have to look just as you would for a job.

    If you’re like me and can’t afford to volunteer, find a closely related job as I did. If you’re going to do this, make sure to tell your interviewer that you’re not only interested in the job they are interviewing you for, but that you also want to learn coding sometime in the future.

    I wish the best of luck to all those who are still looking for that seemingly illusive job. Other than that, all I can say is to not try to over reach if you’re starting out. Like I said, EVERYONE has to start somewhere and most start at the bottom.
    John Meyer, CPC
    Heekin Clinic

  8. #48
    Default
    This has been a very interesting thread. There has been a tremendous amount of growth in this field which has created many searching for jobs in a down economy and caught in the catch 22 for any "new graduate" in any field of having the education but not the "expierience". There is a combination of things that one must consider when entering a field as a new graduate. First, you must have a superb work ethic and make a good first impression. Do not sell yourself short but you also have to have a sense of humbleness and show that you are willing to learn and grow. Second, it holds true in any field that education does not mean you are going to get your dream job right out of the gate. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Administration in 1995 and thought I was going to be hired right into management! After a few interviews I was humbled and realized that in the medical field I needed some practical experience and I was quickly hired as a receptionist in a medical office. I gained skills and experience and was on my way into the coding and compliance world within the first year. If I had gotten what I thought I wanted I would have been setting myself up for failure because I needed some "on the job training" to expose me to the real world outside of the classroom. The education gives you the basic foundation and textbook knowledge but you have to set realistic goals for breaking into the field. One of my co-workers started in the file room and six years later was eventually hired into the coding department. She was grateful for the experience she gained along the way before getting into a coding position. Don't think that an entry level position is beneath you - instead view it as an opportunity to round out your skills and add to the degree you worked hard to achieve. I would not trade any of my "non-coding medical" experience for anything - it has enriched my coding career. Finally, network, network and keep up with the changes in the whole health care arena - there are so many different career avenues in this field.

    Don't limit yourself!
    Happy New Year!

    Christie
    Christina Musser, CPC

  9. #49
    Default
    Another thought to all new graduates is to find a mentor either in the organization you are working in or someone in your local chapter. Finding a place to do an internship is also a great avenue as was mentioned in a previous post. I have had the wonderful opportunity to mentor multiple new coders in each organization I have worked and I have watched them grow and move into the positions they were working towards but sometimes it is a one, two, three or more year process. I encourage any seasoned coders to reach out to the newer ones in the field and help them develop the skills and find the resources we know they will need to grow in the field.

    Be encouraged!
    Christina Musser, CPC

  10. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by cjmusser View Post
    This has been a very interesting thread. There has been a tremendous amount of growth in this field which has created many searching for jobs in a down economy and caught in the catch 22 for any "new graduate" in any field of having the education but not the "expierience". There is a combination of things that one must consider when entering a field as a new graduate. First, you must have a superb work ethic and make a good first impression. Do not sell yourself short but you also have to have a sense of humbleness and show that you are willing to learn and grow. Second, it holds true in any field that education does not mean you are going to get your dream job right out of the gate. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Administration in 1995 and thought I was going to be hired right into management! After a few interviews I was humbled and realized that in the medical field I needed some practical experience and I was quickly hired as a receptionist in a medical office. I gained skills and experience and was on my way into the coding and compliance world within the first year. If I had gotten what I thought I wanted I would have been setting myself up for failure because I needed some "on the job training" to expose me to the real world outside of the classroom. The education gives you the basic foundation and textbook knowledge but you have to set realistic goals for breaking into the field. One of my co-workers started in the file room and six years later was eventually hired into the coding department. She was grateful for the experience she gained along the way before getting into a coding position. Don't think that an entry level position is beneath you - instead view it as an opportunity to round out your skills and add to the degree you worked hard to achieve. I would not trade any of my "non-coding medical" experience for anything - it has enriched my coding career. Finally, network, network and keep up with the changes in the whole health care arena - there are so many different career avenues in this field.

    Don't limit yourself!
    Happy New Year!

    Christie
    Could not have said it better Christie! Experience, not just education, is what will help you get/keep a job. It allows you to have and exhibit confidence, and communicate your knowledge to the staff and providers around you. Being the coder/biller for the practice is mroe than just "typing in the codes the doctor circles". We help the providers stay up to date on changes/regulations and this means not always just "billing" every service, but billing every service CORRECTLY the FIRST time - time = money in every business, medicine especially. Once your providers have respect & confidence in you, you will be invaluable to them as a resource, letting them concentrate on medicine knowing they can always check with you about the billing side of how to do it "right"!
    Chris Zimmerer, CPC, CCC
    New Concord, KY

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