Author Topic: In Need of Advice  (Read 2032 times)

AshNight

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In Need of Advice
« on: March 29, 2013, 11:39:37 AM »
I am 24, deciding to go back to school after some personal obstacles. I live in CT and the community college here offers a medical administrative assistant course in which there are a couple of classes for medical billing and coding.

From my research I understand that this is a trade that one can self learn and teach to themselves? My plan was to take this course, get a job and hone in on my medical billing and coding skills and go on to get certified.

My question is what resources do I have if I want to learn this on my own and sharpen my skills aside from the classes offered in the course I will be taking?

After completing the course, which offers Medical Billing & Coding I&II, will I be able to sit for any certification exams?

Also, how can I open up and establish my own practice?

I know these are a lot of questions but input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance


PMRNC

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Re: In Need of Advice
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 01:21:58 PM »
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From my research I understand that this is a trade that one can self learn and teach to themselves? My plan was to take this course, get a job and hone in on my medical billing and coding skills and go on to get certified.

Yes and No, everyone is different. Of course it's POSSIBLE if you really want something but not likely w/out a proper education. Most jobs you apply for will want someone with experience and you most likely will need to start at entry level and work upwards from there.   Billing and coding are different. There is NO NATIONAL Certification for medical billing though companies and/or associations will tell you their course is NATIONAL, it really is just "offered" nationally.   Coding is completely different. There are just a few certifications that are widely used and recognized. Hospital and physician billing are different. You may want to look into Coding certifications with the AAPC. The courses and study is extensive for coding, I don't believe one can "self learn" coding to the point where they would obtain a coders job w/out proper certification. I've been in the health insurance industry for 25 years and my coding education comes from the other side therefore I do NOT code, I leave that to a CPC (Certified Procedural Coder)

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Also, how can I open up and establish my own practice?

My take on this might be different from others. I always suggest the BEST experience is to get out and work in a doctors office, hospital, facility or even as a claims specialist at an insurance company. The down side is that MOST places will want 2-5 years experience.   In deciding to start your own business it's quite different as you can of course start with the right knowledge and understanding and bypass the "experience needed".  YOU will still encounter a harder time than someone with experience and you will have to market your business in addition to marketing yourself which will require you really know the business inside and out. I have  great article on my website that I think will help you understand the differences between a job and a business so you can better assess this decision.   http://www.billerswebsite.com/jobvsbiz.htm   The average start up billing company will take about 1-2 years to obtain that client. Working from home and other specifics will be determining factors on your success. Also consider the start up costs as with any business can be expensive and again, it's a risk as it is with any business which is why your education will become vital to your business.
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

AshNight

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Re: In Need of Advice
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 02:37:52 PM »
Thank you so much for your response

I  never knew medical billing and coding were two separate fields, or that coding has certificate exam you can take. I thought they went hand in handand were one field.

My plan was to take the course and get a job. Since youve been in the industry for 25 yrs, these two classes that are offered in the course, would they be sufficient amount of education for these fields? When I complete the course I aspire to get a job in a medical establishment and deal with the business aspects.

I probably want to start up my own business after experience working in a medical business setting, but I might not just be doing medical billing and coding exclusively as my job duties, will that still suffice as experience?

PMRNC

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Re: In Need of Advice
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 06:35:46 PM »
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I  never knew medical billing and coding were two separate fields, or that coding has certificate exam you can take. I thought they went hand in handand were one field.

I probably should have clarified this better.. OF course if you pursue education and certification in coding, you will ultimately raise your chances of getting the job AND if/when you are ready to start your own business, it will be an added benefit.

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these two classes that are offered in the course, would they be sufficient amount of education for these fields? When I complete the course I aspire to get a job in a medical establishment and deal with the business aspects.

I really don't want to mislead you or discourage you, I don't know enough about the courses to really say yes/no. I can tell you that based on my experience and from what I am seeing, those taking the college courses are coming out having a very difficult time in getting a job, of course, like I mentioned you will MOST likely have to go entry level to start if you decided to pursue a "job" versus starting your own billing company.  When I say entry level I mean applying for jobs in hospitals in records department, offices that need receptionists and there are even larger practices that will hire someone to do just authorizations and benefit verifications. Will have to work your way up since MOST healthcare providers and hospitals will require some degree of experience. This is why if you are serious and you have funds to start up, a business may be the way to go. You have to way the pro's and con's of both.
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

davidharvey

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Re: In Need of Advice
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 07:29:36 AM »
Self learning is the best way to learn anything. But there some courses which require a reliable certification, Medical billing course is one of them. So, according to my opinion you should go for a organisation, to learn more professionally.   Internet is the best platform where you can find such kind of organisations. Research well, before hiring any one for you.     
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 07:32:38 AM by davidharvey »

amberevans

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Re: In Need of Advice
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 06:53:49 AM »
Going for certification is wise option. As coding and billing require you to clear certain exams. Modules keep varying as per industry standards. You should go through an organisation so as to keep yourself updated.  :)

PMRNC

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Re: In Need of Advice
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 03:00:42 PM »
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Going for certification is wise option. As coding and billing require you to clear certain exams. Modules keep varying as per industry standards. You should go through an organisation so as to keep yourself updated.  :)

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Self learning is the best way to learn anything. But there some courses which require a reliable certification, Medical billing course is one of them. So, according to my opinion you should go for a organisation, to learn more professionally.   Internet is the best platform where you can find such kind of organisations. Research well, before hiring any one for you.     

I do not AGREE.. Certification is ONLY as good as the course behind it. THERE IS NO NATIONAL Or even NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED Certification for medical billing. If your being told that you are being misled.    From the way ORGANIZATION was spelled I'm guessing those two pieces of advice came from OFFSHORE and may even be from same person... none-the-less. I don't want to mislead you.. while yes it's always possible to learn something online, this business is LIKELY not one of them. Try to stay away from the companies that claim you can do this online for a few hundred bucks.
Linda Walker
Practice Managers Resource & Networking Community
One Stop Resources, Education and Networking for Medical Billers
www.billerswebsite.com

DMK

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Re: In Need of Advice
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 10:38:24 AM »
From a self-learned point of view, I would recommend finding a job in the health care field in a entry-level position.  You need to find out if you're even interested in the field.  There is nothing worse than finding out after you've done a ton of training that you hate the industry.

Maybe attending a few seminars or working part time in an office or talking with other billers or coders would help you find out if you would like it.

Don't get me wrong, there's so many things I love about what I do, but it's not for everyone.  It's labor intensive, it's critical that there are no mistakes, and it's very important that you understand the responsibilities and are willing to take on the risks.