Author Topic: What Advice Do You Have?  (Read 33 times)

Brianna.Ramirez

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What Advice Do You Have?
« on: August 16, 2018, 04:13:43 PM »
Hello all! I am currently enrolled in classes for medical billing and coding. What advice do you have regarding this career field once I finish my schooling?

kristin

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Re: What Advice Do You Have?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 08:36:17 PM »
Congratulations on furthering your education and career goals, I think medical billing/coding is one of the most interesting fields to be in, and presents lots of opportunities for the right person.

One thing you will need to decide is if you want to just code, and get your CPC, or if you would prefer to do medical billing, which does involve knowledge of coding, but you don't need a CPC. Or, if you want to do both, which is the case with some medical practices. For me, I much prefer billing over coding, but everyone is different. Once you get a clearer idea of what is involved with each, you can decide what works best for you.

Some things to consider:

1. Finding work as a coder with a CPC-A before the A gets dropped off is not easy. Even with the A dropped, most places want 3-5 years of experience. And finding remote work is really, really hard unless you have 5 years experience. There are some places that will hire CPC-A's or CPC's without that kind of experience for remote work, but they aren't the best to work for, and the pay is generally abysmal.

2. When starting your job search, start early, even while still in school, and apply for everything even remotely related to billing or coding. Medical records, receptionist, registration, back office assistant, etc. Or as they say on a lot of billing/coding forums: "just get your foot in the door".  A lot of people in this field start at a practice or hospital at an entry level job, and work their way up. For me, I started in 1996 rooming patients at a podiatry office and within three years I was the office manager and in charge of everything, including billing/coding. I still hold that job, plus doing remote billing/coding work for 6 other doctors of various specialties, all because I took an entry level job all those years ago.

3. Network, network, network...a lot of time it isn't how much you know, but WHO you know. I got my job at the podiatry office because my mom was a patient. I got my first remote billing job because I was on a billing/coding forum and answered every podiatry question that people asked, and someone who needed a podiatry biller contacted me. Join every online forum you can find, every Facebook page open to people to join, and if you want to pursue coding, attend AAPC chapter meetings in your area. Talk to your personal doctors and see if they need help, or know of an office that does.

4. Keep in mind that with the majority of providers using EMR, the need for coders has dropped. ICD-10 changed that for awhile, but that hiring upswing seems to be over. Most coders I talk to seem to get hired at hospitals, or in risk adjustment/DRG/auditing jobs. While there are still solo/group providers that hire coders, it isn't like it used to be. Some EMR companies also do billing, but because it isn't done the way it should be, there is still a need for billers, more so than coders, from what I see. While an EMR can code (and not always accurately), they can't call on claim denials, and do other things needed in the revenue management cycle.

5. Professionalism in this field is key, since hospitals and offices are professional places. (Or they should be). When I am looking to hire someone, the candidate had better be professional from the start. Things I look for are: professional resume with no grammar/spelling errors, professional sounding e-mail (such as janesmith@gmail.com, and not sparklegirl@gmail.com), speaking with correct grammar/syntax, and professional appearance. By appearance I mean no heavy makeup, no heavy perfume, dressed conservatively, no tattoos or face piercings, no obnoxious nails, etc. I have six tattoos, but you would never know it, and that is what I expect from potential hires. You have to stand out from everyone else, but not in the wrong way.

6. Above all else, NEVER give up hope finding a career path in this field, but also know that it is over-saturated and there are only so many jobs available. So many people have decided to try this as a career because they were told they could easily work from home (false), and there are a lot of jobs available (false). Be prepared to send out 50 resumes or more, and not get one call back. Be prepared to do something else for work while trying to get a job in this field. This is why it is so important to stand out from everyone else, so do whatever you can to be that person.

Best wishes to you as you continue your journey!
Kristin