Author Topic: Informational Interview  (Read 1942 times)

BoFlower

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Informational Interview
« on: November 19, 2014, 05:05:38 PM »
Hello, I am a new member on this forum and I am in a medical billing/coding program at my community college. I am eager to join the world of professionals practicing coding. Right now I am looking for someone to conduct an informational interview with to learn more about what coding is actually like. If there is anyone out in the universe who would be so gracious as to answer my questions via email or on this forum I would really be appreciative.
These are my questions:
1.) Which department of coding are you in- inpatient/outpatient?
2.) What are your typical duties like at your job?
3.) How did you go about becoming a coder- did you take classes or were you self-taught?
4.) What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?
5.) What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
6.) What do you think are the most important qualities a coder should have?
7.) What are the most important resources a coder should have?
8.) Is there ever a time when you canít find the right diagnosis or CPT code, if so what do you do?
9.) What do you think employers are most looking for when finding coders to hire?

Please email me if you would like to help out. Thanks.

Michele

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Re: Informational Interview
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 01:01:39 PM »
Welcome, and thank you for being up front that you are a student.  Unfortunately I am not a coder, but a biller so I can't be of any help.   :(
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BoFlower

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Re: Informational Interview
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 07:32:53 PM »
Hello Michele, thank you so much for replying back to my post. Although I ideally want to become a coder, billing would be my next option. I believe some jobs have people intermediate between the two so having information from someone who is actually in the field would really help. If I were to rephrase my questions, would you answer them?

Revised Questions:
1.) What are your typical duties like at your job?
2.) What type of insurance claims do you generally process- CMS-1500 or UB-04?
3.) How did you go about becoming a biller?
4.) What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?
5.) What do you think is the best way of dealing with insurance companies when trying to process denied claims?
6.) What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
7.) What do you think are the most important qualities a biller should have?
8.) What are the most important resources a biller should have?

I would be very appreciative if you are able to help. Please email me or reply back if you would like to.

kristin

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Re: Informational Interview
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 08:56:47 PM »
Hi BoFlower, and welcome to the forum! I will answer your questions, I have done interviews like this before with other people going through a billing/coding program. My background: I am an office manager for a specialty practice(podiatrist), the sole biller there, and I do some coding, although I am not a CPC. I also bill remotely for several other podiatrists. I have been in the field for almost 19 years. I will answer your billing survey, because they apply more directly to what I do the most, but some of the answers would apply to your coding survey also.


1.) What are your typical duties like at your job?
I do everything that relates to getting a claim entered, processed, and paid. Starting with demo entry, to verification, to keying charges, submitting claims, following up on denials, to billing the patient. In addition to being the office manager and receptionist, and back end help when needed.
2.) What type of insurance claims do you generally process- CMS-1500 or UB-04?
CMS-1500 only
3.) How did you go about becoming a biller?
I was hired with NO experience 19 years ago by a podiatrist, and within a couple of years, I was her office manager. Completely self-taught at everything I know.
4.) What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Dealing with all the rules, regulations, and changes as relates to being in this field. And there are a lot of them!
5.) What do you think is the best way of dealing with insurance companies when trying to process denied claims?
Be polite and professional, and have all your supporting documentation ready to explain to them why the claim should not have denied. Be it plan documents, LCD's, NCD's, whatever. Have a lot of ammo ready to go before making your argument.
6.) What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
All of it, except for dealing with what I mentioned in #4, and even that isn't so bad. For me, working in a very close-knit office, with patients that have been coming there for 30+ years, it isn't even like work for me, it is just a lot of fun.
7.) What do you think are the most important qualities a biller should have?
Attention to detail X 1000, excellent verbal, reading, and writing skills, ability to multi-task, and having empathy and patience for people. And a tough skin for those rare instances you deal with nasty people.
8.) What are the most important resources a biller should have?
Access to current information, no matter what form that takes. Be it books, websites, seminars, etc. It also really helps to work for a doctor like I do who supports/trusts me, no questions asked. We are a team, and that is an invaluable resource.

Finally, some advice, although you didn't ask for it, but I would be remiss if I didn't say something.
There are a glut of people in the same programs as you, across the nation. They are spending a lot of money and taking out loans to graduate and become CPC-A's, etc. They are being told that there is work right out of school, that they can work from home if they want, etc. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of graduates. Most employers want you to have at least three years coding experience before they will hire you, so trying to get that experience to drop the A from CPC-A is really hard. And forget about remote work, unless you have a lot of experience. The common advice on every coding and billing forum I am on is to take ANY job you can at first, and work your way up to coding, if you can. The schools sell one story, but the reality is very different.

So start thinking now about what you can do to set yourself apart from everyone else, and work every contact you may have in the medical field.

BoFlower

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Re: Informational Interview
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 09:25:22 AM »
Hi Kristin, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I am grateful for the insights and advice.  I do plan to start volunteering at a hospital and will take any medical job I can find once I graduate after winter quarter. Iíve been told that the switch to ICD-10 will lead a lot of coders to retire; it is supposed to be implemented October 1 of next year but it seems like every time there is an excuse to delay it. I donít know if there will actually be a huge surge of coders that will retire, as to me I-10 is very similar to I-9 and even easier to work with because itís more detailed. Again, thank you for the insights. I will be working my contacts too.

Michele

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Re: Informational Interview
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 11:59:00 AM »
Hello Michele, thank you so much for replying back to my post. Although I ideally want to become a coder, billing would be my next option. I believe some jobs have people intermediate between the two so having information from someone who is actually in the field would really help. If I were to rephrase my questions, would you answer them?

Revised Questions:
1.) What are your typical duties like at your job?

Inputting pt demographics, entering encounters, entering payments, dealing with denials, submitting appeals, running aging reports, checking on unpaid claims, sending patient statements

2.) What type of insurance claims do you generally process- CMS-1500 or UB-04?

Mostly CMS 1500, some UB 04

3.) How did you go about becoming a biller?

I worked for a major insurance carrier and decided to start a billing service

4.) What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Dealing with difficult providers

5.) What do you think is the best way of dealing with insurance companies when trying to process denied claims?

Persistence and keeping notes on all action taken

6.) What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Making sure providers are reimbursed all that they are entitled to for their work.  Many think that drs are rich or overpaid.  I don't agree.

7.) What do you think are the most important qualities a biller should have?

Attention to detail

8.) What are the most important resources a biller should have?

A Brain (truly, I am not joking)

I would be very appreciative if you are able to help. Please email me or reply back if you would like to.
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