Author Topic: Newbie here! Considering to become a medical biller/coder, have a few questions  (Read 2680 times)

happysoul

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Hello everybody!

I am planning to go into medical billing/coding. 

1. I was wondering if an online diploma  from Pennfoster is enough to land a job in this field.  Am I being realistic? 

2. Also, are there enough job opportunities in Los Angeles? 

3. Will a bankruptcy affect my chances of getting a job?

4.  How will  age and gender affect my  chances of landing  a job?  I am a jovial, enthusiastic, presentable,  40 year old male

5.  Is  being trilingual in English, Spanish, and Portuguese a plus in this field?  I also have a web design, internet marketing background.

 Any other advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated.  I would be honored  to be part of this community :)  Thank you!

RichardP

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hs - read through all of the comments and links at the following link.  Doing this should help answer most questions you asked and will help you refine your next set of questions.

http://www.medicalbillinglive.com/members/index.php?topic=7086.0

Browse through the categories on this page, if you haven't already been there.  Use the search feature at the top right of the page.

http://www.medicalbillinglive.com/members/index.php

Your bankruptcy will show up for any potential employer who does a credit check on you.  Only they know whether that will influence their decision to hire you.  Age and gender will be less important than what you know / what you can do for the doctor / hospital / billing company that you have applied to.  Your languages will help you only in those situations where that language is spoken/written by the doctor.

Educate yourself on this site a bit and then come back with more questions.

happysoul

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Thank you Richard, I had already looked at that thread and other threads on this forum.  I would still appreciate if someone could address my questions more directly.  Thank you.

PMRNC

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<<1. I was wondering if an online diploma  from Pennfoster is enough to land a job in this field.  Am I being realistic? >>

I don't think I or anyone else can really tell you yes or no.. however I can tell you that there are TONS of people coming out of those classes and looking for jobs, the jobs market is NOT what it was 10 years ago. First you need to address, are you looking for a "JOB" or do you want to start your own business. Physicians are more apt to hire a new billing company in business than an employee with no experience.

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2. Also, are there enough job opportunities in Los Angeles?

Again, not sure anyone can tell you this, you would need to hit the pavement like everyone else. Get a resume ready or if you are going to start a business, setup your business and test your market by sending out various marketing materials.
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3. Will a bankruptcy affect my chances of getting a job?

It could, it depends on the depth of an employer background check. Certainly it could be included and whether it would influence an employer depends on the business/office.

<<4.  How will  age and gender affect my  chances of landing  a job?  I am a jovial, enthusiastic, presentable,  40 year old male<<

I don't think that will have any impact on a job decision. At least it shouldn't as that would be Discrimination.

<<5.  Is  being trilingual in English, Spanish, and Portuguese a plus in this field?  I also have a web design, internet marketing background<< 

Certainly it can be a plus if you maybe start out looking for the bilingual offices, there are many of those :)

Some advice:   IF indeed it's a JOB your after (not starting a business) I would start off at maybe your hospitals or larger facilities at an entry level, most are not going to hire billers or coders without at least 2 years experience. Catch 22 I know.  Look at offices who are looking for front desk, appointment confirmations, insurance claims follow up, records department, etc. When preparing your resume try to keep it open for positions that would suit ALL of your job experience with an invite that you are willing to train and advance.   Also if you live in an area where there area any health insurance carriers, try to get in there either in their customer service department or claims. MOST (if not all) carriers do their OWN intense training programs and what better way to get experience than from the other side.  It was how I was able to start up with VERY little marketing. I spent many years working for 3 of the top 5 insurance carriers and physicians LOVED that. :)   

Finally.. it's much more marketable to have your own business than trying to find a job. ;) But I do understand that startup funds can be intimidating when first starting out and it is a risk. Possibly you could land a great job now and have a goal to work for yourself in the future :)
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

RichardP

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<<5.  Is  being trilingual in English, Spanish, and Portuguese a plus in this field?  I also have a web design, internet marketing background<< 

Certainly it can be a plus if you maybe start out looking for the bilingual offices, there are many of those :)

Roused my curiousity.  Does anyone know - can a doctor get a medical license in the U.S. if he cannot speak and write English?  And - are there Practice Management Systems / Billing software programs out there for sale in the U.S. that have the CPT and DX codes loaded into them in a language other than English?  Until now, it never occurred to me that these would exist, but maybe they do.  If billing software in a language other than English does not exist in the U.S., then being multi-lingual as a biller or coder (rather than front office desk) would be useful only if the doctor was writing in a language other than English.  Here there would be a need for someone to translate other-language chart notes into English billing codes.

Billergirlnyc

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I agree with Linda about the trilingual aspect. I speak 4 languages fluently and it's always been helpful for me, especially when I was a biller working in the office. Even when I started my own company. I don't see it as a necessity, but it's always good to be bilingual, especially in a world that's becoming more diverse and competitive. We offer collections services to our clients and are licensed and bonded in NY and several of my collectors are bilingual.

Even when you're primary job is coder, sometimes you work for smaller doctor, and you'll need to not only be the coder, but the biller, and the collections person too.  That's when things like being bilingual, etc come into play, because you'll often have direct contact with patients. There are so many scenarios where being bilingual and or trilingual is helpful in the healthcare industry.

I think Linda also gave you advice about maybe getting a job working for an insurance carrier, they'll certainly like that you speak more than one language, as most tend offer help in at least Spanish.
Don't worry. Be happy.
~Dalia, CPC, CPC-H, RHIT.

PMRNC

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Roused my curiousity.  Does anyone know - can a doctor get a medical license in the U.S. if he cannot speak and write English?  And - are there Practice Management Systems / Billing software programs out there for sale in the U.S. that have the CPT and DX codes loaded into them in a language other than English?  Until now, it never occurred to me that these would exist, but maybe they do.  If billing software in a language other than English does not exist in the U.S., then being multi-lingual as a biller or coder (rather than front office desk) would be useful only if the doctor was writing in a language other than English.  Here there would be a need for someone to translate other-language chart notes into English billing codes.

I think being multi-lingual is helpful but OUTSIDE the scope your referring.. For foreign physicians to receive a license in the US they do have to take a test on the English language, so YES they must speak and write English: http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/before_you_apply/imgs.asp#English
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

RichardP

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Thank you.  That's what I thought, but suddenly realized I wasn't certain.

International medical graduates (IMGs) comprise one-quarter of the U.S. physician workforce.

From here:

http://www.ecfmg.org/about/index.html

Helped a guy from Romania in the mid-80's.  Drove him from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia to take the ECFMG test.  Flunked it twice.  That helped him stop complaining that he was a doctor in his own country but only a nurses aide in this one.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 06:12:35 PM by RichardP »

PMRNC

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I don't know.. I only have my own rule.. If I can't understand my doctor.. I'll find another one.
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

amberevans

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I agree with MOD. There are plenty of doctor out there who require services. You are not going to adapt for everyone.