Already have a college degree. But getting Coding Certificate. What does that make me?

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Confused in Hazlet, New Jersey

55 months ago

so even though I already have a BA....I'll only be a CCS at most when I'm done?

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RHIT student in Middletown, Ohio

55 months ago

Confused in Hazlet, New Jersey said: so even though I already have a BA....I'll only be a CCS at most when I'm done?

Yes but most hospitals prefer a CCS. The CCS is a mastery level coding certification. It is considered to be the best one for coding.

If you wanted to do other things outside of coding like Release of Information, Management, Tumor Registry, then you would look into the RHIT/RHIA. However, those require a 2 and 4 year degree in Health Information Management respectively.

It all depends on what you want to do.

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RHIT student in Middletown, Ohio

55 months ago

I am in an Assoc. Degree program in Austin, Texas said: Hi! I am in an Associate's Degree program to become a coder in Medical Records. I am currently working in HIM and doing ROI's, filing, scanning, putting discharge charts together, and other as needed functions. I am wondering what do I do after school? I am about half way to my degree in Hospital Admin and Medical Records. I wanted to be a coder from home and continue my HIM position at nights.Is this even possible? After my degree then how do I become certified for coding and RHIT/RHIA?

To become an RHIT you need to go to an AHIMA approved school. RHIT is a 2 year degree, RHIA is a 4 year degree. There are a lot of approved online schools. www.cahiim.org/accredpgms.asp that is the website to find schools. There are a few in Texas with online.

As for coding from home you will need 2-3 years experience. All the remote (thats what it is called) jobs I've seen want at least 2-3 years if not more experience.

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

52 months ago

Laurie in Saint Louis, Missouri said: I also have a degree in Medical Billing and Coding, and I have never lost interest in becoming certified, it's just that I've been out of school for 5yrs now, and the school I graduated from didn't really have alot of hands on training and I just feel that if I was to take the test I wouldn't pass. Any suggestions on what I should do? I don't want to feel I wasted 2yrs of my life to earn a degree and do absolutely nothing with it.

Since you have been away from it for awhile, you would probably do well brushing up on icd 9, cpt, med term, etc. the best way to break into coding is to start somewhere else in the HIM field, many have found success starting out in medical records, billing or front desk. gain medical experience, maybe mention to a supervisor your desire/interest in coding and see if you can't volunteer or help out the coding dept. after awhile, leverage your experience into a coding job. that is how I did it as well as most people who are coders today.

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valentine in South Jordan, Utah

51 months ago

Mary P. in Mililani, Hawaii said: I just obtained my masters in healthcare administration in JUne 2009. There are no jobs avaiable at this time. MOst of the positions are CNA, CMAs. This is a career change for me. I was a paralegal in the legal field for over 24 years. I volunteer at one of the local hospitals. I am looking at a federal job. Any suggestions?

I'm sorry, confused. if you have a masters in healthcare admin, why in the world are you looking at CNA and MA jobs?

If you are looking for a federal job, in healthcare, then your only real option is the VA.....am I missing something?

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Mary P. in Mililani, Hawaii

51 months ago

Thanks for your reply. You are correct that I have my Masters in Health Administration and the VA is one of my options and I have applied to many VA positions, but to no avail. Most, if not all of my applications have the responses "Eligible, but not referred to the hiring official". I'm not a veteran or have ever served in the armed forces. Any suggestions on how I can get in? I have also applied to low paying positions, just so I can get my "foot in the door" so to speak.

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

51 months ago

Mary P. in Mililani, Hawaii said: Thanks for your reply. You are correct that I have my Masters in Health Administration and the VA is one of my options and I have applied to many VA positions, but to no avail. Most, if not all of my applications have the responses "Eligible, but not referred to the hiring official". I'm not a veteran or have ever served in the armed forces. Any suggestions on how I can get in? I have also applied to low paying positions, just so I can get my "foot in the door" so to speak.

I understand you want to get your foot in the door, but I still don't understand why you would go for CNA and MA, those are clinical jobs. Have you tried other HIM jobs, in medical records or something similar?

I don't have any advice on how to get into the VA, I got in on my first try and I am not a Vet, nor did I have any connections. I have heard people say that they have gone down to the HR dept at VA and have asked what their resume or KSA's are missing, or what they can add. just an idea

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Goober in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

49 months ago

The thing about the VA at this turbulent economic time is they too are hiring within, so to speak...meaning, they are seeking out veterans first. It seems to me that Mary is saying that she observes positions for CNAs and CMAs...not that she is applying for them. The problem I am seeing with new MHA graduates (that did not pursue a fellowship) is that the education is theory based and they are lacking experience, or technical skills (like those required for coding, CNA, CMA, etc.).

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britt in Spring, Texas

45 months ago

I am in school for my business degree in medical billing and coding. Do I still have to do classes to be certified?

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britt in Spring, Texas

45 months ago

I am currently in school for my associates business degree in med. coding and billing. Do I still got to take more classes to be certifed to work?

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Bosslady in Framingham, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Medical Coder jobs in MA are there any? Is it worth going to school and which school should I look into.
Thanks! I like the part about not having people contact...think I'm tired of that in a job...especially customer service jobs

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valentine2 in Park City, Utah

45 months ago

Bosslady in Framingham, Massachusetts said: Medical Coder jobs in MA are there any? Is it worth going to school and which school should I look into.
Thanks! I like the part about not having people contact...think I'm tired of that in a job...especially customer service jobs

If you decide to pursue this field I would really recommend going to your local community or technical school. They are WAY less than the private for profit schools, their credits should be transferable and most offer online classes.

As to whether it is worth it....it depends a lot on you. If you are wanting to take these classes because you want a job right after graduation, paying $40,000 a year where you can work from home. Then no, it isn't worth it because that isn't likely to happen.

But personally, I think its worth it. I enjoy my job, it is one of the most stable fields, I don't have to interact with many people and definitely NOT with the general public. There are a lot of opportunities and room for advancement in this field. And Yes, there is the option of working from home, after you are certified and have about 3 or so years of experience.

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Sweetsmilin2 in Richmond, Virginia

44 months ago

I am currently in school getting my associates degree in medical coding and billing. My questions is when graduate do I still have to become certified, or is my degree good enough?????

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valentine2 in Salt Lake City, Utah

44 months ago

Sweetsmilin2 in Richmond, Virginia said: I am currently in school getting my associates degree in medical coding and billing. My questions is when graduate do I still have to become certified, or is my degree good enough?????

You should sit for some sort of certification test. It is near impossible to compete for jobs now without a credential. There are a few different options, if you went to an AHIMA approved school you can sit for the RHIT. If not, then you also can sit for the CCS-P, CCA (both AHIMA) or the CPC (AAPC)

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EmergWorker1 in Aurora, Colorado

41 months ago

I have a Bachlor's Degree in Political Science. Would I still need to attend a school to become a Medical coder? Could I just study for the certifications on my own?

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webster1305 in Lebanon, Tennessee

40 months ago

@EmergWorker1..that is exactly what I was wondering! I have a Master's degree in Public Administration and I have worked with the Human Services Department for 5 years now (Medicaid policy, etc). I am willing to take a couple of classes like the actual coding classes but I do not want to have to take a whole certificate program. I bought the coding book and it really seems that being able to say I am certificated in coding in addition to my degrees, will really help me land a decent job and get out of my state job. Any advice? Thanks so much

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sobermeyer in Chapel Hill, Tennessee

40 months ago

Hello, I am currently working on my Associates Degree in Medical biling and coding.. I have absolutely no experience, and I am kind of confused as to where to start or what to do. I am going to graduate in December, and dont really know what kind of training/certification I will have to do, or if I should start looking at jobs now? I am doing online school, and live in Tennessee. I just do not want to be stuck once I graduate, and have no clue where to start. I am more interested in going more towards the coding part rather than the billing. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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misadmin in Chicago, Illinois

38 months ago

I have several years' experience as an admin assistant/office manager. Thinking about going to city college to get a medical coding certificate. Good idea or not? How hard would it be for a 40-something person with office experience, but a new certificate to get a job in Chicago in med billing/coding? What are the salaries like?

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Eileen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

28 months ago

Well I have a B.A in HUman SErvices & an M.S. in Administration of Human SErvices with 27 years of experience. I am 44. I have held 3 Directors positions and hated them all. With the ecomony a Director is down to 37,000 working with the Mentaly Challenged and behavioral health area. So now I am enrolling in a Medical Assistant program and hope that down the road I cn also pursue Drawling bllod & get my certificate to be a cardiac Technition. The point here is I spent 100.000 in student loans. I have my degres but at least in this field I can get a job, continue to grow and advance and make money on the side. This economy is bad andanother resession has started so the more skils one has I feel the better. I am on unemployment now as federal,state and county funding is too low. I am praying I am doing the correct thing as this is the last 20,000 I have left to borrow. Wish me luck.

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shweta in Bangalore, India

27 months ago

Confused in Hazlet, New Jersey said: Hello All!

I am a college graduate, I have a Bachlor's of English. I'm currently in AHIMA's online Coding Basics Certificate Program. So my question is....when I graduate the certificate program, what test's can I sit for to obtain credentials?? I'm kind of confused about all these abbreviations!

Any help? Thanks!

hey can u pls tell me what is the eligibility criteria to startup with associates degree in billing and coding..

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jillhunter98 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

27 months ago

Eileen....Please make sure that you are going to school to sit for the CMA exam through the AAMA. I am a CMA, EKG Tech, CNA. I also have 2 Associates and 1 Bachelor degree. The best I've been offered in 2 years is $15/hr. part-time managing a medical office. Most jobs here in SC for MA's offer $12/hr....I'm all for education, but you have to make a living, too. I was going to go for a MHA until I saw your post. I don't know what to say.....$100k in debt...I'm sorry to tell you that you will never get out of debt on a MA salary. I started a petition to increase MA wages.

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jillhunter98 in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

27 months ago

I've been offered a bunch of MA jobs down here in Charleston,SC. The only problem is that the cost of living is high here and the pay is low.

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geminibaby33 in Pontiac, Michigan

26 months ago

Hello I recently graduated with an Associates Degree in Health Care Administration.. I have no experiance, but AM WONDERING IF i NEED TO BE OR SHOULD BE CERTIFIED IN CERTAIN AREAS? Job searching has not been fun.. I am willing to satrt at entry level- just to get started.. Thanks..

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jewie in Parkville, Maryland

25 months ago

In 2010 I graduated with my associates in Helath Informaiton. To date although I am in the health care field (not in Medical records) it has been tough for me to land a job in this field with no experience. Last year I took a refreshers course in coding but still lack the confidence to take any certification because I am not sure which one to take. Any and all suggestions would be appreaciated. Thanks

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JETAYLO in Aurora, Colorado

23 months ago

Laurie in Saint Louis, Missouri said: I also have a degree in Medical Billing and Coding, and I have never lost interest in becoming certified, it's just that I've been out of school for 5yrs now, and the school I graduated from didn't really have alot of hands on training and I just feel that if I was to take the test I wouldn't pass. Any suggestions on what I should do? I don't want to feel I wasted 2yrs of my life to earn a degree and do absolutely nothing with it.

This is me too!!!! what did you end up doing?

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studentforever in Las Vegas, Nevada

11 months ago

I am finishing my Bachelors degree in Psychology and I have kicked around the idea of medical coding. It seems very hard to get started though. My other option a Masters in Public Health But I am very concerned about spending more money on a masters degree at this stage in my life. Do you think there is any connection between my behavioral science degree and medical coding that will help me get in?

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CCS in Halethorpe, Maryland

11 months ago

EmergWorker1 in Aurora, Colorado said: I have a Bachlor's Degree in Political Science. Would I still need to attend a school to become a Medical coder? Could I just study for the certifications on my own?

My Baltimore hospital only takes RHIT or CCS certifications. For RHIT certification, you need to take a 2 year AHIMA approved program.

You technically don't need any education to take the CCS exam but it is a much harder test to pass. It usually takes several years of experience to become competent enough to pass this. It also costs a few hundred dollars to take the test. Visit the AHIMA website for more info.

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Sonia Johncan in Texas City, Texas

9 months ago

sobermeyer in Chapel Hill, Tennessee said: Hello, I am currently working on my Associates Degree in Medical biling and coding.. I have absolutely no experience, and I am kind of confused as to where to start or what to do. I am going to graduate in December, and dont really know what kind of training/certification I will have to do, or if I should start looking at jobs now? I am doing online school, and live in Tennessee. I just do not want to be stuck once I graduate, and have no clue where to start. I am more interested in going more towards the coding part rather than the billing . Does anyone have any suggestions?

I agree with you.

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Sonia Johncan in Texas City, Texas

9 months ago

I just have an Ass. of Science and trying to find a medical coding job. i have taking the test twice. I am not there yet. I want to find something with just what I got.

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