No job for a new medical coder, because I don't have 2 years experience.

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Coder in Pembroke Pines, Florida

72 months ago

The Catch-22, no experience, no job. How can I get the experience?

RHIT
CCS
Will it do me any good to get these, or should I give up?

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Mrs. Teacher

72 months ago

Yes that is the catch 22. You need to get your foot in the door somewhere. Even if it is not managing or coding. Working in a facility med rec dept will help you gain that experience.

With an RHIT you studied management of medical records and your knowledge is an asset. However with the economy so tight right now, you need to prove yourself to be a valuable employee.

Don't necessarily take the first job you can get, but recognize the potential when looking.

Plus Florida is still building many new medical facilities. Jobs are there and will increase, but your dream job will not be your first or even second one. You may need to bite the bullet and "get your foot in the door"

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Lorraine in Connersville, Indiana

72 months ago

Coder in Pembroke Pines, Florida said: The Catch-22, no experience, no job. How can I get the experience?

RHIT
CCS
Will it do me any good to get these, or should I give up?

What education have you received? While not a guarantee, the better prepared you are from an educational standpoint, the better chance you'll have at passing any pre-employment coding test. And yes, all coding jobs--for new coders or those with 25 years of experience--require pretesting.

If the process was impossible, no experienced coders would be where we are. We all had to venture out, making calls, sending resumes, contacting people in the field in order to get that first foot in the door. Some of us began in physician practices, others in temp agencies, a few as unpaid volunteers, some as file clerks/receptionists/ROI clerks/scanners/records techs. Some even walked in the door as a coder to be trained in-house.

Some facilities know that new coders will not initially possess a credential--but many of those will require getting one within a year of hire.

Have you called around to your area clinics, physician groups, nursing homes, and hospitals to get an idea of what hiring directors AND coding supervisors are looking for? HR staff do not necessarily know what is needed in an internal department like medical records, which is why it would be wise to talk to someone on the inside, too.

But do keep in mind that the CCS, while some have passed with little or no experience, is highly recommended for coders with 2-5 years of experience, as it tests mastery level.

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Coder in Pembroke Pines, Florida

72 months ago

My education was a 10 month Applied Technology Diploma in Medical Coding and Billing. I did some volunteering in the Medical Records department at a major hospital, but they wouldn't let me do anything but sort and staple files, so I quit.
Billing companies also want experience, but hey, collections isn't my thing anyways. Thanks for all of your help.

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joy in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

i think experience is better than education...i have friends who was able to work as coder long time ago without certification but was able to work. since there is an overflowing certified coders, employers are banking on experience that being certified...poor newly certified coders -- NO JOB

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Cynthia Riggin-Stidham in Millville, New Jersey

65 months ago

I believe that you are absolutely correct in stating that the resume is a start to a position within the medical billing community.

Let's take that entry level job and put some icing on the cake.

I will be attending the program offered in the Millville location very soon. I am so excited!!!!

I have years of experience within the billing and insurance industry. I believe that many companies are seeking individuals which do not require 90 days plus training.

The knock on the door is not enough anymore, a key is needed. The key is education with a strong background of work ethics, and customer service.

There is a large demand for people that have earned recent certifications within the the billing and coding field, coupled with the ability to take on multiple tasks, time management to get the job done.

Thank you for your comment.

Please e-mail me at sweetiegirl@comcast.net for the starting date of the next class in Millville.

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Cynthia Riggin in Vineland, New Jersey

64 months ago

Coder in Pembroke Pines, Florida said: The Catch-22, no experience, no job. How can I get the experience?

RHIT
CCS
Will it do me any good to get these, or should I give up?

You are located in one of the best places in the country for medical coders. Are you a CPC?

No catch-22!! If there is some portion of medical coding you feel most comfortable in pursue it as your specialty..

How to get experience is no so tough. Its hard to jump into the fire without the trust or the proper references. Perhaps you may want to work in a entry level position, and show your worth. Get your foot in the door so to speak, then when you find the golden opportunity move on.

If you are searching via the internet try using the Job Titles which suite your situation best including your credentials.

I believe the best search for a job is to present yourself in person. Have a great medical resume with your credentials, a page of referrals if needed. All should be on quality paper with your certificates, and accomplishments attached. A portfolio if you will.

Best of Luck

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christina in Lisle, Illinois

55 months ago

i went to college and received a certificate of completion in medical coding/ billing. i thought i was going to get a real certificate. i also don't have any experience in the field. i recently took a coding test for a job and passed with 100%. it's not fair that nobody will give me the chance. i have the knowledge and i'm good at the job. i have no money and i don't know what to do to become a coder sooner than later. anyone have advice?

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kim, CPC in Salt Lake City, Utah

55 months ago

christina in Lisle, Illinois said: i went to college and received a certificate of completion in medical coding/ billing. i thought i was going to get a real certificate. i also don't have any experience in the field. i recently took a coding test for a job and passed with 100%. it's not fair that nobody will give me the chance. i have the knowledge and i'm good at the job. i have no money and i don't know what to do to become a coder sooner than later. anyone have advice?

unfortunately the coding field is oversaturated with people just like you who went to a 8 month certificate program, don't have any experience and now are looking for a coding job. the best advice is to get your foot in the medical door, front desk or maybe account follow up, claims processing, and then try to leverage that into a coding job.

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Lily Alex in West Des Moines, Iowa

53 months ago

I obtained a short course with enough( even more than ) of credit hours in medical coding & billing with good credentials. I have a many years of medical professional experience as family physician and as then obgyn and I recently made a transition to medical Coding because I love coding career. Medical Terminology, Anatomy, Pathophysiology,surgery, anaesthesia, Ortho, oncology microbilogy and so on and so forth (what not in the medical field am I not familiar with (I do not know, having been in medical career for very many years and on FAST TRACK OF CLINICAL FIELD AND MOST OF THE PROCEDURES IN MANY DECIPLINES I AM WELL VERSED).Please don't ask me why transition from a great career path. Well, it is yet another great career path I cherish this career and the path ahead. I have some 'rock-solid vision' about doing some research on this with my knowledge. Yet no one is letting me step in. The door is shut and no sign of opening up.Why the HR staff do no have the insight of the real stuff that is within me.

Will the CPC/CCS really help? Because I am discouraged by many and also spend money,saying it is not going to work that way much too if I am not given a place 'per-se' with all these credentials.
Suggest me an idea or any County or State/place in the US which will offer me (physician-turned) Coder, a place to land on and to show my talent.

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Lawanda in Dayton, Ohio

52 months ago

I found your post very insightful. I am currently taking classes from a online school for Medical billing and coding. As a inexperienced person in this field i was wondering your thought on how to gain experience in this field before graduation if at all possible?

Cynthia Riggin-Stidham in Millville, New Jersey said: I believe that you are absolutely correct in stating that the resume is a start to a position within the medical billing community.

Let's take that entry level job and put some icing on the cake.

I will be attending the program offered in the Millville location very soon. I am so excited!!!!

I have years of experience within the billing and insurance industry. I believe that many companies are seeking individuals which do not require 90 days plus training.

The knock on the door is not enough anymore, a key is needed. The key is education with a strong background of work ethics, and customer service.

There is a large demand for people that have earned recent certifications within the the billing and coding field, coupled with the ability to take on multiple tasks, time management to get the job done.

Thank you for your comment.

Please e-mail me at sweetiegirl@comcast.net for the starting date of the next class in Millville.

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adorabubbl3 in Los Angeles, California

50 months ago

i actually almost wanna regret going through medical billing program because no one wants to hire me. It's very sad and no one wants to even give me a chance. I don't know where to get the money to pay for school now. :(

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

50 months ago

adorabubbl3 in Los Angeles, California said: i actually almost wanna regret going through medical billing program because no one wants to hire me. It's very sad and no one wants to even give me a chance. I don't know where to get the money to pay for school now. :(

The coding field is now over saturated with new graduates with no experience. Due to increased federal regulations, employers are now only wanting experienced coders,that will avoid audit and fraud issues.

you have to start at the bottom, just like the rest of us. I started as a receptionist (after I finished my coding/billing program) I volunteered to help our billing dept out and learn so much, enough that I was able to leverage it into a medical data (charge) entry job, which then I learned enough to leverage into an actual coding job.

Do not get discouraged or frustrated. This is a great field, once you break into it, just look for jobs somewhere else in the medical field, like medical records, front desk or billing.

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meefi in Fairfield, California

50 months ago

It can be done if you are very serious. I don't know how far you are from Burbank CA, but if it was workable to commute to Burbank you may be able to get a job for the State of CA as a Medical Bill Reviewer. You need to go to www.jobs.ca.gov and start searching for a position called a Program Technician working for State Compensation Insurance Fund aka "SCIF". We have bill revieweres state wide working in three processing centers: Burbank, Fresno and Vacaville. You will need to fill out an application and then eventually go take a general knowledge test to get an interview ranking for the position. Once hired, you will receive complete OJT for 30 days of how we do things at SCIF. This is where you can pick up your experience.

Best of luck to you.

adorabubbl3 in Los Angeles, California said: i actually almost wanna regret going through medical billing program because no one wants to hire me. It's very sad and no one wants to even give me a chance. I don't know where to get the money to pay for school now. :(

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Lily Alex in West Des Moines, Iowa

50 months ago

MEEFI,
Thank you very much for the great help and concern.I am happy that there are great people like you in the glob and that too with close proximity.
I will apply. Hope I get into it.We were originally from Fresno. This is really really helpful information.
Thank you very much once again for your time and concern.
L.Alex

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gristmill in Marietta, Georgia

48 months ago

Coder in Pembroke Pines, Florida said: The Catch-22, no experience, no job. How can I get the experience?

RHIT
CCS
Will it do me any good to get these, or should I give up?

Just give up - there is no jobs - they are just bilking people out of there money

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

48 months ago

gristmill in Marietta, Georgia said: Just give up - there is no jobs - they are just bilking people out of there money

There are jobs, there is actually a shortage, you just have to put in your time like everyone else and work your way up.

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DeBritto in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

44 months ago

I have been searching for a job in the medical coding and billing field for 2 years now. I have come up with nothing. Everyone wants experience. We need the experience. I have been certified in Medical Manager Certificate, Medical Terminology Certificate, Medical Coding ICD-9/CPT Certificate & Customer Service Certified. If anyone out there knows of any companies looking to help us find a job in this field. Please have them post it and we will find it.

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Sharon Apartment in San Leandro, California

40 months ago

Coder in Pembroke Pines, Florida said: My education was a 10 month Applied Technology Diploma in Medical Coding and Billing. I did some volunteering in the Medical Records department at a major hospital, but they wouldn't let me do anything but sort and staple files, so I quit.
Billing companies also want experience, but hey, collections isn't my thing anyways. Thanks for all of your help.

No wonder when you use words like ANYWAYS, it isn't a word!

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Sharon Apartment in San Leandro, California

40 months ago

joy in Los Angeles, California said: i think experience is better than education...i have friends who was able to work as coder long time ago without certification but was able to work. since there is an overflowing certified coders, employers are banking on experience that being certified...poor newly certified coders -- NO JOB

Substitue were for was and your sentences almost make sense!

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RHIA2U in Cincinnati, Ohio

40 months ago

How about this bizarre one regarding employment in the medical coding world. You have all the necessary AHIMA credentials, the college degree and experience coding, you pass the pre-employment coding tests with flying colors, almost perfect score, but, are not hired BECAUSE YOUR EXPERIENCE IS NOT IN THE LAST TWO YEARS! What a cliquish, elitist, closed minded profession, I am almost done with all of it! I also have from the inside that in the past this organization hired "technical school coding grads" with little or no coding experience, who worked for little or nothing and it turned out to be a horrific mess! It is A WHO YOU KNOW, NOT WHAT YOU KNOW PROFESSION, and the sooner you realize this the better off you are.

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D in Latham, New York

38 months ago

Sharon Apartment in San Leandro, California said: Did you get your RHIT or CCS, go to a accredited school? Who certified you, go get a real certification.

I had to jump in here because I have my BS in Health Information Administration (graduated summa cum laude!) and I also have my RHIA and not only have I not gotten a job offer as a coder (or any other HIM positions!), I haven't even had a call back. I went the college route and it has gotten me nowhere. I can't even pay my student loans back. After a miserable year of being unemployed, I ended up taking a position in a very abstract area of my field for the last 2 1/2 years and now that company is relocating out of state! I am in a worse position than before with a degree and a credential that mean nothing.

What some of the old timers are not taking into account is that back in the day, when I was younger, you could go through the want ads, call an actual person, score an interview and go in person to fill out an application. Nowadays, technology has made it almost impossible to get your foot in the door. Many hospitals only take applications online. The first thing they ask is how much experience do you have? If you answer correct, only then do you even get to the application. If you are lucky and they don't have screening questions, often they still have a work requirement. Applications are sent into the void... over 20 hospitals I applied to and not one single call. If I had it to do over again, I would not have wasted my time bothering with this field. It has been nothing short of a financial disaster.

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RHIA2U in Cincinnati, Ohio

38 months ago

D in Latham, New York, very sorry to hear of your situation however, I am not surprised. My advice is to possibly move to an area where RHIA's are scarce, and to a smaller hospital or clinic in a small town. The economy being what it is, is that HIM department directors in hospitals get their jobs and stay. Alot of people I know have had their jobs for years, and they only resign when they have a position elsewhere obtained by networking with friends at other facilities. If is almost impossible to break into this field in any aspect without networking being involved. As for coding, it is almost impossible to obtain a job unless you have the required 2-5 years hospital in patient experience. The hospitals simply do not want to risk their financials (coding charts) to an inexperience person, no matter what credential you have.I know a CCS who can not get a hospital job, too. And, no one has ever addressed this aspect of the field, that being that if you leave clinical (hospital) work to work outside in another field, say managed care or insurance companies, try to get back in at hospitals, the doors are always closed. Same thing goes for Tumor Registers, they say for life at their jobs as there are usually only one per hospital, very few jobs unless you relocate.

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Athena in Fairfield, California

32 months ago

Athena in Fairfield, California said: I was thinking it, but KM YOU said it! Bless your heart Joy. lol

Oh, Oh, I meant, KM,...Don't want you jumping on me. LMAO!

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Jadexa in Columbus, Ohio

30 months ago

I'm still searching . I graduated last April with a degree In Billing and coding but I have to say its been tough getting a foot in the door. Good luck in our job search

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Rachel in Orange Park, Florida

30 months ago

joy in Los Angeles, California said: i think experience is better than education...i have friends who was able to work as coder long time ago without certification but was able to work. since there is an overflowing certified coders, employers are banking on experience that being certified...poor newly certified coders -- NO JOB

Hmmmm,your post seems to be self-serving. The above sentence structure makes it evident to all where you stand on education, but for others who do hold a degree in the industry and are looking for that right opportunity in the coding world with no experience there is always a way! As a recent graduate with my Associates in Health Information Technology, I have had training in career development and posses and understanding that employers want someone with substance, and eagerness to learn and a positive disposition. I did find employment with a well-known children's clinic as a clinical data abstractor about five months ago, and am currently pursuing my RHIT. You could call this my foot-in-the-door position. I have no doubt that my credentials in Health Information will help to pave the path towards a career upgrade. I will post again once my career in coding is underway to prove it can be done. All in all, determination and goal setting are surely more important than experience.

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Beamer in Tacoma, Washington

30 months ago

Athena in Fairfield, California said: I was thinking it, but KM YOU said it! Bless your heart Joy. lol

You are very condescending athena, who cares about punctuation; this is a forum, not an english paper; and I have an english degree so whatever.

I also have HIM degree

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Myself in Saint Paul, Minnesota

30 months ago

I agree. I graduated as a health care coding diploma last year in May and my internship was only one day but nothing to help my experience. The only health experience I have is a nursing assistant which I can get that job easily compared to my degree and I'm not even certified as a nurse assistant; it was just my background that was qualified for that position rather than my degree which I don't even have any of background experiences. I'm still trying applying and still get rejected by the ones who matched their qualifications. It hurts to see but I'm still but at the same time, I'm seeing this going nowhere and may be going to a different career path?

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SameBoat in Atlanta, Georgia

29 months ago

My ode to being a newly graduate in the medical field, for I am in the same boat.

I dont care what anyone says...the Catch-22 is alive and kicking! Just my foot in the door is all I want. I dont have the experience, but my goodness...my education should make up for some of it you would think? A.S in HIT... (will be sitting in the registration exam for AHIMA soon)medical transcription, office software and applications..not to mention I can pick up quick on anything that I get my eyes and hands on (err..fingers rather, lol). Just a chance! Someone once told me that," Out there, its who you know. But once given the opportunity, its WHAT you know." LOL Just give me the opportunity!!! Im tired of going on filling out application "bingges" from indeed/craigslist.com (just to name a few)! Whether it be doing office work, scanning and indexing, anything, just so as long as its a "cracked door" to step into. *sigh* Your not alone newly graduates of the medical field.

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SameBoat in Atlanta, Georgia

27 months ago

There was a post discussing an "externship" with medical coding pro/ritecode.com. I no longer see it as it was right up under my post. This was the post

"Anyone looking for experience and a reference should check this webinar out on Thursday June 7th at 1pm est and 8pm est. Medical Coding Pro will be offering select externships to coders looking for real world experience. These are the only two times this will be available for this session. Here is the link to the webinar:

eyecodingforum.webex.com/mw0307l/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=eyecodingforum&service=1

or you can join the mailing list at medicalcodingpro.com and you will receive information tonight and tomorrow."

Well I was trying to check it out and eventually had to go to ritecode.com. Something doesnt sit well with me-first the post is gone on the day of the seminar. Second, I read the programs offer and that dont sit well with me either. You have to pay 149$ for the externship as it states,

"In our experience, we expect less than ten percent of the students to fully participate. In other words, the $149 fee is a specific offer in our effort to find committed externs."

I tried to join the webinar, but I wasnt going to pay the 2.99 for the newsletter. I shouldnt have to pay for a newsletter subscription. Something sounds fishy about this....

If anyone has had experience with these people, please post. They had the BBB icon on their site-I clicked it and got a "Site not found". All I can is hmmmmmm.

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SameBoat in Atlanta, Georgia

27 months ago

Im sorry, as for the BBB icon, it said "Page not found". I had earlier posted it stated "Site not found". Sorry for the error

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LolaRHIA in Canton, Ohio

27 months ago

I graduated with a BA in HIM in December of 2011 and I received my RHIA in January of 2012. I posted my resume with my sparkling brand new credentials and a week later and received 3 job offers. I am now the HIT Director of a college program. If you are not having any luck, change something on your resume, start making connections. I go to my local chapter AHIMA conventions. I have BEEN to AHIMA in Chicago, IL for training. I am also an AHIMA mentor. Who you know is important, but persistence is also. Check with the school you graduated from, they should have a career developement center for help with your resume.

If you have put in 50 apps and no response, change something on your cover letter, change your resume to suit each position, and then re-apply. Cast a wider net, you may have to relocate. HIM is a great field and not the only one with the catch-22 of needing experience, you just have to be creative and get involved. Don't be discouraged.

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Mike in Minneapolis, Minnesota

27 months ago

My opinion is that experience is very important but how important depends on the job market. If you have a lot of open positions for coders in your area, chances are experience will mean less if you have a good certification and degree.

My experiencee working in medical billing for 8 years now is that most places are moving toward having only AAPC or AHIMA cetified coders/billers. More places like CCS and RHIT certications more than the other certifications, though CCA is gaining some traction and the CPC is accepted many places as well.

In a market with more coders than coding jobs, experience will be everything. Nobody is going to hire a new grad or newly certified coder over a 10 year vet with a good resume.

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Same Boat in Atlanta, Georgia

27 months ago

I am so happy to announce that I finally have a job in the medical field (and not through a temp agency-altho theres nothing wrong with that at all!) Prayer was a big part of it, next is persistance!I had been putting in 30 applications a week (if not more for almost 2 years). I do not have any experience to speak of-just a good written resume and my Associates degree in HIT from Devry. I graduate (walk across the stage this coming Sunday). Anyway the position is a document imaging technician. Not a hard position, just alot to prepping and putting docs in order. People, dont become discouraged. Ive been there, trust me, but after seeing my student loan bill-I couldnt give up, lolol! So thats my only advice that I have to offer to those who havent landed that job yet!

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evelyn in East Providence, Rhode Island

22 months ago

So, what about taking an online course for CPC? I'm an unemployed senior medical transcriptionist (which is another story) and thought that I'd try CNA training. Well, I really don't want to spend the rest of my working life doing that (and the money is bad), so I thought about a quick coding course. I have some of the medical knowledge needed for coding, so I don't need to take a big course. I know the market is flooded, but I'm very determined. Anyone got any thoughts?

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Laura in Homosassa, Florida

18 months ago

I graduated in 2010 with an A.S. degree in medical coding, but I have no experience and can not find a job in my area. I have a general grasp of the New ICD-10 coding, but there have been times when I mentioned that to get my foot in the door, and was looked at like I was from Mars! I am even willing to do a low pay apprenticeship, just to learn more. The school I graduated from made all of these promises about job placement, unpaid training to gain experience and give me confidence to take the certification exam, which is very expensive, because not only do I have to come up with the fee for the exam, I have to spend hundreds on the newest coding books to take with me and I just can not afford to join any of the professional organizations.

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alvodaniels

18 months ago

Join the jobless club. Really something needs to be done about this. These schools are taking our money and we are not getting jobs in return. Also the internships are not much either. I agree with you about their promises, "WORTHLESS". It's been nearly seven years for me. Now in order for me to take the Certific ation exam, I will need to take refresher courses cause the curriculum had changed. Cause I never had a job on the field, the classes I need will be free, but the expense of the books are on me. And I'm in default of my loans.

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TheHobbit1 in New York, New York

18 months ago

and not only that but you'll need to learn the ICD-10 rules soon as well. ;)

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Ria Quatrine in st clair shores, Michigan

16 months ago

It's been 2 years since I invested a good deal of money into getting my coding certification, CPC-"A" and the only thing I got so far is an unpaid externship which isn't getting me anywhere. There are no jobs for new coders, period! For anyone telling me otherwise on this site or elsewhere, I ask you to email me-- or post on this site-- a credible job posting(s) to this end. It was a wasted endeavor and eventually I'll probably give up since keeping my credential active only involves more time and $$. These schools make promises, giving out false hopes and just pumping out more and more grads, this field as in many others, hence flooding the job market making a difficult situation worse in a bad economy. Where is all the "accountability" with the schools/programs? Maybe if a higher authority would put more pressure on them to "deliver" on their promises many, if not most of them, would go belly-up in a heartbeat but at least keep the coding profession from getting watered down.

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alvodaniels

16 months ago

Ria Quatrine, I think you said it perfectly. The more people that are going to school the harder it gets to find a job. I also went through the externship with which did nothing for me. On hand training did not relate to coding at all. I certainly agree, summertime should be held accountable. Too many of us are going to school and unable to get jobs, even if it's an entry level. We are taking out loans that are still required to be paid back.

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Small coding jobs in Bonham, Texas

16 months ago

I have a couple of tiny coding jobs if anyone is interested. I have like 25 items we need coded. Will pay 50.00 if we can get in 24 hours. Very easy cases

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gjardee in Ekalaka, Montana

15 months ago

Small coding jobs in Bonham, Texas said: I have a couple of tiny coding jobs if anyone is interested. I have like 25 items we need coded. Will pay 50.00 if we can get in 24 hours. Very easy cases

I would be interested if you want to email me it is gracejardee@hotmail.com thanks!

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Ndang in Orlando, Florida

15 months ago

Small coding jobs in Bonham, Texas said: I have a couple of tiny coding jobs if anyone is interested. I have like 25 items we need coded. Will pay 50.00 if we can get in 24 hours. Very easy cases

Hi, I am also interested please email me, it's ndang1212@gmail.comn

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Anon in central Oregon

14 months ago

Hey, all you newly-graduated coders out there. Do not despair. Part of the problem may be that the area where you live is over-saturated with new coders, so you have to make yourself stand out. After graduating from an accredited certificate program at a community college I STUDIED MY BRAINS OUT for over 4 months using 'dummy' medical records in pdf format, CPT Assistant and Coding Clinic, text books and study guides. I passed the CCS exam on the first try with a score of 332. That certification has basically 'blown the doors off' of the HR departments at the places I have applied. They are willing to overlook my lack of experience because they see my potential and ability. One coding supervisor said "I am VERY impressed that you were able to do that, so congratulations on your achievement!" I have only applied for 5 jobs. The first was a medical records clerk job that was already filled. The second was at a medical supply company that I just decided was not worth the bother, here's why: The 3rd was another medical records clerk job that I turned down, because the 4rd and 5th were actual coding jobs with big facilities that were both very determined to hire me. I am in the process of deciding between these two excellent job offers right now. Oh, and by the way, I am in my early 50s with absolutely no medical background aside from school. I also had a high GPA. Work hard and study, consider your exam fee and text books an INVESTMENT in your career, and it WILL pay off for you! Best of luck to all of you.
PS: If you are concerned about repaying your student loans, you may be able to do what I did and get a 'forbearance' that allows you to wait 3 years before making your first payment.I did that because I was not sure if I would have a job by the time that first payment was due (this month).

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Dawnybear in Spring Grove, Illinois

14 months ago

Coders! I just found this link online. I know nothing about this company, but sounds like they may be able to help.

www.aapc.com/medical-coding-jobs/project-xtern/index.aspx

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Deb Wright in Venice, Florida

14 months ago

Dear Coder,

YES!!! CCS or CPC RHIT- get them all. I have positions now that those are a must have. Send me your resume and a contact email or phone. i can put you in our database so that when we have clients in your area (or anywhere you want to be)we can contact you to see if you are interested in the position. I cannot immediately promise you a position as we match our clients needs to the candidates. But, being in a recruiters database gives you opportunities that you would never find on your own. It is another great way to look for a job and really not have to do a thing. Plus your info stays completely confidential!!! If you need more info about the process contact me. Once we can get a little experience behind you, it will be easier. Ex: I have 35 remote positions to fill.

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Ngan in Orlando, Florida

14 months ago

May I have your email address Deb? I would like to send you my résumé.

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Litasha Kelley in Birmingham, Alabama

14 months ago

I recieved my BS in Health Information Management in 2004. I've yet to study for my RHIA. I was accepted into a RHIA program, but couldn't afford to stay the program ($2,500). Is it possible for me study for the RHIA exam on my own, if so book do I need to purchase. I goal is become a medical coder. I have 6 1/2 years in HIM and I love it, but I want to take the step. Please help

Thanks :)

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Anon in central Oregon

14 months ago

Well, if your goal is to become a coder, you don't need a RHIA certification. From my limited experience, the CCS or CCS-P are a good way to get your foot in the door for coding jobs. It sounds like you haven't taken many classes so far, so it would be a good idea to enroll at a community college that has an accredited program. Look at some employment ads for coders, and you will see that they usually want someone who has taken courses like medical terminology and biology. The books I used to study for the CCS exam were Faye Brown, AHIMA's Clinical Coding Workout, the AHIMA CCS Exam Preparation book. Of course, you will want the most recent CPT and ICD-10 code books, a good drug reference book, and a good medical dictionary like Dorland's. The thing that helped me most in the final phase of my exam prep was studying scanned medical records that my college teacher gave us to study with, and looking up stuff I did not know in the CPT Assistant and Coding Clinic online databases. If you are really serious about this, I would suggest that you get a student loan if you can't afford school, and pick out a nice community college program. I did mine all online. Best of luck to you!

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exlntcodr in Manhattan, Illinois

10 months ago

I have been a coder for 20 yrs. THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF CODERS!! and it's only going to get worse.. meaning more coding jobs available. The reason for this is because the job is hard... you have to know a lot to do it well. It's not just about knowing how to look up a code, or having some basic knowledge of billing. There is anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, knowledge of the charge master.. the list goes on and on. A short 6-10 month coding certification course is not going to teach you these things.

If you have the right credentials and education, you will find a job. It will be a little harder without experience, but you will find someone who is willing to give you the opportunity and training. I say training, because having the degree is not enough...most of the job is on-the-job training, which is very resource intensive for the location that hires you.

You will have to do internships to graduate. Many students that show potential will be offered jobs willing to train them during these internships.
I have worked in Chicago hospitals for years, and have been working remotely for the last 10 years. No hosptial is going to look twice at you with a coding certificate.

Where do you want to code? Do you know your options? Acute care settings, physician offices, ambulatory care centers...they all have different requirements. There are also different ways you can get credentialed. One of the posts mentions AAPC. AAPC offers courses and credentialing, but that likely will not get you into a hospital coding environment. I strongly suggest going to the AHIMA website and finding a school near you that offers an HIT program. When you get some experience, take the CCS.

Not having the appropriate credentials in coding is like trying to put a CNA to do the job of an RN. How do I know this? I hire coders for a large remote coding company. Invest in your future!!

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