View Full Version : Outsourcing Coding Positions

05-30-2010, 08:09 PM
Last week after the chapter meeting, as I was leaving the ladies' room, a member said that the coding positions are being outsourced. :eek: I guess this is the trend now. I didn't stop to ask questions, because I just wanted to go home since we stayed longer than normal. As anyone heard anything like this?

For the second time, I didn't pass my CPC exam, so now I'm wondering if I should keep investing time and money into this field. I really like it, but I feel that I have to make up my mind what I'm going to do.

06-04-2010, 06:05 PM
I just recieved my CPC certification, live in the Midwest & have not heard that coding jobs were being outsourced.

06-08-2010, 02:53 PM
They are being outsourced all of the time and AAPC also allows for certification of those countries these jobs are being outsourced to. Makes you wonder doesn't it?!

06-09-2010, 10:45 AM
My Name is Lillian A.Mack
I have recenlty lost my job in the medical field as HIM Clerk, am seeking to
find a job in coding,analyzing and reviewing medical chart. no recent coding
experience, willing to relocate in the state of calif. and other cities in texas.
willing to work from home if possible, and I am a certified coder.

06-27-2010, 12:18 AM
They are being outsourced all of the time and AAPC also allows for certification of those countries these jobs are being outsourced to. Makes you wonder doesn't it?!

Yes, I'm still wondering. This is no joke!

Pam Brooks
06-29-2010, 06:02 AM
This is not news......coding jobs are being outsourced. If you check your next issue of Coding Edge, you will see that coders from all over the world (including third world countries) are being certified. I get resumes and emails all the time from people in India, and other parts of Southeast Asia, looking for coding work. And most of them can't even write or speak English.

With the use of electronic medical records, a coder sitting anywhere in the world can read, code and submit claims on behalf of a physician or facility here in the US. From my perspective, the list of concerns is huge....are the connections secure? Does the coder have enough command of the English language to code appropriately? What if they have questions for the providers? If they are being paid based on volume, does this affect the quality of the coding work? And because they are not subject to US wage laws, are they even being paid a living wage?

I'm not a policitian, but I think that the idea of outsourcing this kind of work off-shore is detrimental to our industry and at the very least, dangerous to the US citizens who are having their medical records coded by someone who isn't even sitting in this country. Physicians and facilities who employ off-shore coders might want to re-consider, if only in terms of the compliance issues this kind of arrangement brings up.

Many coders have chosen this career as a second career, because their first career disappeared when their jobs were eliminated and sent overseas. Perhaps we should take a stand and voice our disapproval, before we're in danger of being displaced again.

Maybe this makes me a bigot, but I prefer to think it makes me an American to think that our jobs should stay here in the US.

06-29-2010, 09:38 AM
Go look at this posting
Go to Job postings
scroll back to June 2 (tab 4)
Heading is ED Coders

Tell me if we do or make anything ourselves? When I go into a US Govt BX or PX and have to hunt --hunt---for anything "made in US", when the US govt won't even support it's own work force, then...........

And this isnt a political forum so will stop now

06-29-2010, 09:53 AM
Please do not assume that "outsource" equals "out of the country!" Our cardiology practice outsources some of our coding -- to a coding consultant two states away with expertise in vascular surgery. It makes fiscal sense for our medium-sized practice.

Coding has been outsourced for decades. It just means the work is accomplished by a coder not employed by the practice, hospital, facility, etc.

Pam Brooks
06-29-2010, 10:06 AM
You're correct that the term "outsourced" can mean that work is being done by a third-party contractor here in the US. The concern however from coders I've spoken to is that coding work is being outsourced off-shore.

It's all being done for financial reasons. Employing a skilled coder is expensive. Fortunately, my facility would rather keep staff in-house, but that doesn't prevent any other facility or provider from contracting with an agency (here or in Bangladesh) to do their coding.

Whether we choose to be political or not about the issue, we should all be aware.

06-29-2010, 10:11 AM
I would venture to say that many folks know "outsourcing" does not always imply job loss to foreign workers.

However, based on the experiences I've seen companies have, and those surrounding my own career, there is almost always a loss of ownership when the coding is outsourced. In other words, the contract or outsourced coder has no real stake in the work process; it is not his/her practice, it is not his/her employer (per se), it is a job and usually temporary.

What is just as concerning as the privacy, compliance and accuracy issues mentioned is that the practice of oursourcing diminishes the visibility of HIM professionals and coders. Out of sight, out of mind, the old saying goes. If you really want to see what a reduced visibility will get you, take a look at the state of transcription. This "sister" occupation has all but evaporated as a viable career for those in HIM. That is because in the '90s there was a push to outsource, which included a grand off-shoring of work. Although some of that work has returned to the US, the salaries and status of this job have never recovered. The job has been oversimplified by a set of companies employing their staff at cents (yes, cents!) to the dollar of what transcriptionists used to make. Folks who performed a necessary and respectable service for their organizations have gone unemployed, lost wages and certainly had their role minimized in the wake of outsourcing.

Although HIM outsourcing has gone on for decades, it's noteworthy that folks with very similar backgrounds to coders have weathered a very difficult and treacherous career path. It will be all too easy for our trade to follow suit.

06-29-2010, 10:44 AM
dont give up,i have taken the exam more than twice and im determine to be a cpc.the pay is great and i love what im doing.

07-01-2010, 09:55 PM
For those who've been following this discussion, I wonder what (as members) we can do to address our concerns? Although I believe it the right of the professional association to determine who is eligible to take its exams, it seems worth bringing to leadership's attention that long-time members are devoted to retaining their pay, benefits and career options.

I'm open to personal messages on this site to further discuss the topic.

Thanks to all and Happy Independence Day!

07-02-2010, 06:34 PM
I know our medical records go out of the country and there are no HIPPA guidelines or any guidelines oversees. But coding outsourcing does not necessarily mean that it is going out of the USA. You can have coders coding from east coast to west coast. But, as far as learning coding and getting a job, good luck. I have many years and knowledge of this business, am well rounded,and recently aquired my CPC, and so far no success. Have a lot to offer, but no one so far is interested. Have great job, but my passion is to code in a multispecialty business, such as surgycenter setting or possibly interventional radiology or somewhere someone will teach me the in's and out's as I bore easily. Good Luck to everyone out there, just be vigilant to the fact that, everyone is out there to make their money, even on you!

07-15-2010, 03:06 PM
Pam, I couldn't agree more with you. You are on the right track and many coders who have been in the field for awhile know that you are speaking the truth. I understand some on this forum may be in denial, but I and others have been in the workforce long enough to see the IT/Computer jobs that were in such demand in the 1990's disappear oversees amongst other jobs, therefore it is always a possibility.
Kevbshields, is it time to get a lobbyist for our behalf you think? Apparently, its a political strategy to make illegal the outsourcing of records to other countries. As long as its legal, they are going to outsource.

07-19-2010, 03:07 PM
Working in the Call Center for AAPC, I speak with members and potential members all day long. I have yet to speak with anyone who lost a coding job because it was outsourced anywhere else. Outsourcing can happen and I'm sure it does happen to a certain degree. However, if a large number of coding jobs were being outsourced to a foreign country, I am sure we would have all noticed the trend.

This might be a good time to note how important it is to increase our talents and expand our expertise. Employers will always be looking for coders who have more credentials and are capable of handling a wide variety of tasks in different fields. For those who are looking for jobs, imagine what it would change to widen your scope and search for positions in several different fields! This is exactly the reason that AAPC is expanding. We're tackling Practice Management, Compliance, Auditing, etc. because we want to provide everything a coder would need to enhance his or her abilities and keep the jobs in the United States.