Just passed my ccs certification. Now what?

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valentine in Draper, Utah

32 months ago

Keithan in Cerritos, California said: Hi i just recently passed my ccs exam and now im a little bit lost on how to start and what to do to get my first coding job. Ive been job hunting but most job requires 2-3 yrs of experience and i am not qualified for it. I just need someone to guide me on how to approach this dilemma

The general advice is to try to look for something entry level HIM, something in account follow up or charge entry, etc. Something to get your foot in the door and gain experience so you can move up to a coding job. While the CCS is a desired credential, most employers also want experience.

And of course, go ahead and apply to the coding jobs stating they want experience. Someone explained to me once that job postings are more like a "wish list", than actual requirements. That employers would like the employee to have all of these skills, but they are usually open to someone who doesn't have them all, but is a good fit for the job. A good cover letter is also important, explaining that while you may not have the experience, you have the knowledge and the desire/drive to learn. Explain your future goals, etc. Something to catch their attention and want you to be a part of their department.

Congrats on passing the CCS! It is a difficult test, especially for someone who doesn't have coding experience. I am taking the CCS soon, and was hoping you could share some information about it? Which study guide did you use, how difficult were the coding cases, etc.

I have 5 years of coding experience, but as my test gets closer, I am getting nervous. This is an expensive test with a high fail rate.

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hudsonp in North Charleston, South Carolina

31 months ago

I finished my online coding program Nov.30th & I'm going to take the CCA exam next Wed. & I'm sooooo nervous & scared. I ordred an exam prep book from AHIMA & have been studing everyday for almost 2 weeks! I am scared but want to get it over with but I'm lost as to where to get a job! I've applied to several places hospitals & coding companies but never hear back from anyone. I'm wondering if it's because of no experience in the field & not being certified. I'm willing to do something coding related to get my foot in the door but just hope someone will give me a chance! I've heard the CCS exam is tough but some people have told me to go ahead & take it but I'm leary since I just finished school & it's expensive so I'm going to wait on that. Good luck to both of you.

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valentine in Draper, Utah

31 months ago

I took the CCS yesterday and I passed!!

@hudsonp, I'll be honest, its a hard test, I have 6 years coding experience and I feel that it was a definitely challenging test, that being said, a lot of people who don't have experience have passed it. But after taking it, I definitely understand why there is only a 48% pass rate for first time test takers.

I would suggest trying to get your foot in the door, gain some experience and then sit for the CCS. As many have found out who take the CCS without experience, they still have trouble getting a job due to lack of experience.

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hudsonp in North Charleston, South Carolina

31 months ago

Congratulations! I appreciate your advice & I am planning on trying to get a job first & get some experience under my belt before taking the CCS. It is expensive & a long exam & I don't have the extra money to possibly fail it. I know some people that have been coders for a long time that still haven't taken the CCS exam! My fear is that after being in dentistry for 13 yrs. & wanting to switch careers to coding will be difficult. I have a applied to numerous places & nothing! I'm trying not to get discouraged but hoping if I pass the CCA exam in 3 days that will open up some doors...fingers crossed:)

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hudsonp in North Charleston, South Carolina

31 months ago

valentine in Draper, Utah said: Good Luck on your test! Having a certification should help your chances, it shows that you are commited to this field to get certfied. I would suggest looking for something in medical records, insurance verification, account follow up or charge entry. I would also try to look at hospital/hospital owened clinics, since they are usually hiring more and tend to offer better benefits than privately owned clinics.

Thank you! I will look for those types of postions. I am willing to take something as long as it's coding related if I can't get a coding job right off. Thanks again for letting me know about that. It sure helps:)

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Amanda in Emerald Isle, North Carolina

30 months ago

I am a recent graduate of a medical coding and billing program, and am studying to sit for my exam. I am having some issues with the MS DGRs. Is there any advice anyone can give on how to study/ memorize them. They are giving me my own heart attack. I have a nursing background, so I am not new to the medical field, but I am always willing to take advice. Thanks

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Lisa Holt in Cedar City, Utah

28 months ago

valentine,
can you advise me where you had to take the test? I am new to Utah and would appreciate all help in this matter.
Thanks,
Lisa

valentine in Draper, Utah said: I took the CCS yesterday and I passed!!

@hudsonp, I'll be honest, its a hard test, I have 6 years coding experience and I feel that it was a definitely challenging test, that being said, a lot of people who don't have experience have passed it. But after taking it, I definitely understand why there is only a 48% pass rate for first time test takers.

I would suggest trying to get your foot in the door, gain some experience and then sit for the CCS. As many have found out who take the CCS without experience, they still have trouble getting a job due to lack of experience.

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hudsonp in North Charleston, South Carolina

28 months ago

Lisa Holt in Cedar City, Utah said: valentine,
can you advise me where you had to take the test? I am new to Utah and would appreciate all help in this matter.
Thanks,
Lisa

I am currently working at a rehab hospital as an HIM medical records tech. but haven't done any coding yet. I did have an interview for an entry level coding position. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I'll get it so I can get some experience & then plan to take the CCS after getting a coding job. Thanks for the advice!

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Lisa Holt in Cedar City, Utah

28 months ago

Lisa Holt in Cedar City, Utah said: valentine,
can you advise me where you had to take the test? I am new to Utah and would appreciate all help in this matter.
Thanks,
Lisa

So where did you take the test?
Thanks,
Lisa

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valentine in West Jordan, Utah

28 months ago

Hi Lisa! I took my test at the Pearson Vue testing center in Ogden, my coworker took her test at the Draper location. I think those are the only 2 in Utah.

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Lisa Holt in Cedar City, Utah

28 months ago

valentine in West Jordan, Utah said: Hi Lisa! I took my test at the Pearson Vue testing center in Ogden, my coworker took her test at the Draper location. I think those are the only 2 in Utah.

Hey, so did either of you take a class and if so which one? Or did you just study for the test?
Thanks,
Lisa

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valentine in West Jordan, Utah

28 months ago

I did not take a class, as I did not find anyone local teaching a class, my coworker went to the CCS Bootcamp offered by HCPro in Colorado.

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Lisa Holt in Cedar City, Utah

28 months ago

valentine in West Jordan, Utah said: I did not take a class, as I did not find anyone local teaching a class, my coworker went to the CCS Bootcamp offered by HCPro in Colorado.

I have 10 yrs experience in coding with an insurance company and was just curious if that would be ok along with the study guide? Your opinions are very helpful, thanks for all your help....

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valentine in Austin, Texas

28 months ago

Lisa,

I would think your experience should be sufficient. I don't know if you currently work with inpatient/facility claims, if not, then buying study guide with inpatient case studies to practice should be good. I had 6 years of outpatient coding experience and 8 months of inpatient coding when I took it.

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crtfied coder in Carthage, Missouri

27 months ago

valentine in Draper, Utah said: The general advice is to try to look for something entry level HIM, something in account follow up or charge entry , etc. Something to get your foot in the door and gain experience so you can move up to a coding job. While the CCS is a desired credential, most employers also want experience.

And of course, go ahead and apply to the coding jobs stating they want experience. Someone explained to me once that job postings are more like a "wish list", than actual requirements. That employers would like the employee to have all of these skills, but they are usually open to someone who doesn't have them all, but is a good fit for the job. A good cover letter is also important, explaining that while you may not have the experience, you have the knowledge and the desire/drive to learn. Explain your future goals, etc. Something to catch their attention and want you to be a part of their department.

Congrats on passing the CCS! It is a difficult test, especially for someone who doesn't have coding experience. I am taking the CCS soon, and was hoping you could share some information about it? Which study guide did you use, how difficult were the coding cases, etc.

I have 5 years of coding experience, but as my test gets closer, I am getting nervous. This is an expensive test with a high fail rate.

I too just took my CCS exam, and I have been coding for 19 months and I only code ER charts.

I used the AHIMA CCS book and praticed coding inpatient. There were some odd questions too, and trick questions. The time goes fast but I had 35 minutes left, so I went back and reviewed. I can share more with you if you want to know.

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Marina in Germantown, Maryland

27 months ago

Hi I am going to take the CPC exam on May 12 of this year. I am nervous about this exam. If you remember any of the questions that were on your exam, would you please help me out with studying for my exam. Could you please email me at m_pogosian@yahoo.com.

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valentine in West Jordan, Utah

27 months ago

crtfied coder in Carthage, Missouri said: I too just took my CCS exam, and I have been coding for 19 months and I only code ER charts.

I used the AHIMA CCS book and praticed coding inpatient. There were some odd questions too, and trick questions. The time goes fast but I had 35 minutes left, so I went back and reviewed. I can share more with you if you want to know.

Thank you, I passed the CCS back in December

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TAMARA in Covington, Georgia

27 months ago

crtfied coder in Carthage, Missouri said: I too just took my CCS exam, and I have been coding for 19 months and I only code ER charts.

I used the AHIMA CCS book and praticed coding inpatient. There were some odd questions too, and trick questions. The time goes fast but I had 35 minutes left, so I went back and reviewed. I can share more with you if you want to know.

Did you practice coding inpatient at work? or only using the ahima books. i code ER's too, but the other coders are so busy they really don't have time to teach me

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Nessa in New York, New York

27 months ago

hudsonp in North Charleston, South Carolina said: Congratulations! I appreciate your advice & I am planning on trying to get a job first & get some experience under my belt before taking the CCS. It is expensive & a long exam & I don't have the extra money to possibly fail it. I know some people that have been coders for a long time that still haven't taken the CCS exam! My fear is that after being in dentistry for 13 yrs. & wanting to switch careers to coding will be difficult. I have a applied to numerous places & nothing! I'm trying not to get discouraged but hoping if I pass the CCA exam in 3 days that will open up some doors...fingers crossed:)

Hello,

Did you take the CCA exam and were you successful? What advice would you give to someone who plan to take it. I already have my CPC.

Thanks

Nessa

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crtfied coder in Carthage, Missouri

27 months ago

TAMARA in Covington, Georgia said: Did you practice coding inpatient at work? or only using the ahima books. i code ER's too, but the other coders are so busy they really don't have time to teach me

No, I only used the AHIMA book and the other 3 books I bought to study with. I really appreciated the answers, and used this as a guide as to what to look for when coding inpatient. My biggest problem was assigning CPT codes. Cardiology i hard to code. It is very challenging.

I do recommend buying the PRG (professional review guide) CCS exam book. It takes you thru all the domains. I just concentrated on the inpatient coding, because I don't code those, and I knew I had 6 of these cases to code on the acutal exam.

I can tell you during the actual coding section, they gave me the 6 outpatient cases first, then the 6 inpatient cases last.

Let me know if I can help you further. I understand your stress.

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hudsonp in North Charleston, South Carolina

27 months ago

Nessa in New York, New York said: Hello,

Did you take the CCA exam and were you successful? What advice would you give to someone who plan to take it. I already have my CPC.

Thanks

Nessa

Yes-I did pass. I bought a CCA prep book thru AHIMA's website that I feel like it prepared me for what type of questions would be on the exam but none of the questions were on there but I still passed. You just have to take your time & you can mark questions to go back to & I had time to do that & I passed. I got a job at a rehab hospital as an HIM tech. a month later & worked there for 3 months but got a job as a coder which I start on Mon. Good luck to you.

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Nessa in Bronx, New York

27 months ago

hudsonp, I am happy for you. It is so hard to get work as a coder. I know first hand because I have been certified with my CPC for the past seven months and everywhere I apply asking for experience, CCA or CCS.
What was your job description at the rehap? I also try to get an internship and that also is hard to come by. Employers want you to have experience but if someone don't give you the chance to get experience how else they expect you to get it. It is so frustrating to many of us newly certified. I wish you all the best and don't stop there look towards your CCS; and keep posting on this forum so you can give us some encouragment.

Regards
Nessa.

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Nessa in Bronx, New York

27 months ago

Marina in Germantown, Maryland said: Hi I am going to take the CPC exam on May 12 of this year. I am nervous about this exam. If you remember any of the questions that were on your exam, would you please help me out with studying for my exam. Could you please email me at m_pogosian@yahoo.com.

Read your E/M guidelines along with all the sections. Know your burn codes, diabetes, Moh's surgery and study, study, study. Don't waste time on one question, mark it and come back when you finished the others.
Good luck.

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hudsonp in North Charleston, South Carolina

27 months ago

Nessa in Bronx, New York said: hudsonp, I am happy for you. It is so hard to get work as a coder. I know first hand because I have been certified with my CPC for the past seven months and everywhere I apply asking for experience, CCA or CCS.
What was your job description at the rehap? I also try to get an internship and that also is hard to come by. Employers want you to have experience but if someone don't give you the chance to get experience how else they expect you to get it. It is so frustrating to many of us newly certified. I wish you all the best and don't stop there look towards your CCS; and keep posting on this forum so you can give us some encouragment.

Regards
Nessa.

Thank you, Nessa! It was a HIM position & that's what got my attention to apply. I got lucky & there was outpatient coding involved but my boss was too busy to let me do any coding so I kept applying for coding jobs & got one after working there for 3 month, again I got luck! I want to get some experience & then plan to take the CCS. I will let you guys know what happens. My advice would be not to give up & apply for any medical office type jobs. I had been applying for a coding job for a year when I finally got this coding job so don't give up. I wish you the best & keep me informed:)

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BTR1, Virginia

26 months ago

Thank you all for the information on CCS. Does anyone have 2010's Coding Clinic?

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huma in Bangalore, India

24 months ago

hi,i have just completed my medical billing and coding course from an online school called PENN FOSTER.I have a science background and want gv CCS CERTIFICATION exam can some one please help me with what books do i need to refer,how to prepare for the exam.thank u

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huma in Bangalore, India

24 months ago

Keithan in Cerritos, California said: Hi i just recently passed my ccs exam and now im a little bit lost on how to start and what to do to get my first coding job. Ive been job hunting but most job requires 2-3 yrs of experience and i am not qualified for it. I just need someone to guide me on how to approach this dilemma

hi Keithan can u plz share how long u study for CCS exam and wat books dd u refer.

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Samantha in Selden, New York

24 months ago

I need advice! Finally set on doing an inpatient and outpatient medical billing and coding program through career step online. I plan on taking the ccs exam once I'm done with the program. Should I stop at ccs certification or should I continue on to my bachelors degree in health information management or associates in health information technology. I want to make the right choice and be successful in my future. I'm only 22 but I am already behind in school compared to friends I graduated high school with. Any advice you can give me! Also if anyone has gone through a career step program. It is On the accredited list.

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Raleigh in Durham, North Carolina

24 months ago

Samantha in Selden, New York said: I need advice! Finally set on doing an inpatient and outpatient medical billing and coding program through career step online. I plan on taking the ccs exam once I'm done with the program. Should I stop at ccs certification or should I continue on to my bachelors degree in health information management or associates in health information technology. I want to make the right choice and be successful in my future. I'm only 22 but I am already behind in school compared to friends I graduated high school with. Any advice you can give me! Also if anyone has gone through a career step program. It is On the accredited list.

If you are able to attend the HIM Degree program then there is no reason to waste your time or money on a certificate. I graduated from the Career Step program and learned a tremendous amount from it, but that certificate means nothing to employers without AHIMA or AAPC certification and experience. However, I have seen employers overlook the experience requirement if you are a RHIA or RHIT which you can only obtain through an accredited HIM degree program.

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Samantha in Selden, New York

24 months ago

Thank you for responding! After you did the career steps program what did you do? Did you sit for the cpc, ccs or cca exam? I want to do the program because I feel like I will learn a lot. And compared to other programs, it's not too expensive. Any other advice and info you can give me would be great!

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Raleigh in Durham, North Carolina

24 months ago

Samantha in Selden, New York said: Thank you for responding! After you did the career steps program what did you do? Did you sit for the cpc, ccs or cca exam? I want to do the program because I feel like I will learn a lot. And compared to other programs, it's not too expensive. Any other advice and info you can give me would be great!

After completing the CS program I sat for my CCS, but missed it by 8 pts. I was entirely too slow and did not finish the exam. I have since been focusing on my speed and feel that I will do great when I retake it. Yes, you will learn a lot through CS and if the program is offered through one of your local colleges then you pay next to nothing. CS Graduate Support is also helpful. Plus, while you are in the program you have access to tons of other resources and even discounts to AAPC & AHIMA memberships. Just please be aware that it is difficult to find work in this field. Everyone will tell you to volunteer, and be willing to accept other positions within an office or facility. Well, that is wonderful if you can afford to do it and it does help some new coders, but not everyone. Places are not always open to letting you volunteer in their coding office since errors can be pretty costly. Because of this you wind up volunteering in any dept you can and after time may be able to move into a permanent position. After acquiring a position you can begin to apply for other openings within the office/ hospital and one day “possibly” move into coding. However, most new coders are following the same path and it has become difficult to get hired into those “other” positions as well.

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sharonwatson

23 months ago

Keithan in Cerritos, California said: Hi i just recently passed my ccs exam and now im a little bit lost on how to start and what to do to get my first coding job. Ive been job hunting but most job requires 2-3 yrs of experience and i am not qualified for it. I just need someone to guide me on how to approach this dilemma

wow! Congratulations!!! I'm about to take the exam very soon myself. I actually got job offers with NO CODING EXPERIENCE but the employers (3) recinded their offers due to me not having a CCS. ( I have a NRCCS, NO ONE HONORS). So my question and advice: Have you JOINED AHIMA FOR NETWORK PURPOSES. THE OTHER QUESTION/SUGGESTION: Beef up the resume to show medical industry experience or teamplayer/work independant ability angle. Hope it helps....congratulations again and call CELEBRITY STAFFING (they're in OK, but they offered me a job in Silver Spring, MD.) maybe they have something for you. take care

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sharonwatson

23 months ago

Keithan in Cerritos, California said: Hi i just recently passed my ccs exam and now im a little bit lost on how to start and what to do to get my first coding job. Ive been job hunting but most job requires 2-3 yrs of experience and i am not qualified for it. I just need someone to guide me on how to approach this dilemma

wow! Congratulations!!! I'm about to take the exam very soon myself. I actually got job offers with NO CODING EXPERIENCE but the employers (3) recinded their offers due to me not having a CCS. ( I have a NRCCS, NO ONE HONORS). So my question and advice: Have you JOINED AHIMA FOR NETWORK PURPOSES. THE OTHER QUESTION/SUGGESTION: Beef up the resume to show medical industry experience or teamplayer/work independant ability angle. Hope it helps....congratulations again and call CELEBRITY STAFFING (they're in OK, but they offered me a job in Silver Spring, MD.) maybe they have something for you. take care

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Bluetea in Texas

23 months ago

Raleigh in Durham, North Carolina said: After completing the CS program I sat for my CCS, but missed it by 8 pts. I was entirely too slow and did not finish the exam. I have since been focusing on my speed and feel that I will do great when I retake it. Yes, you will learn a lot through CS and if the program is offered through one of your local colleges then you pay next to nothing. CS Graduate Support is also helpful. Plus, while you are in the program you have access to tons of other resources and even discounts to AAPC & AHIMA memberships. Just please be aware that it is difficult to find work in this field. Everyone will tell you to volunteer, and be willing to accept other positions within an office or facility. Well, that is wonderful if you can afford to do it and it does help some new coders, but not everyone. Places are not always open to letting you volunteer in their coding office since errors can be pretty costly. Because of this you wind up volunteering in any dept you can and after time may be able to move into a permanent position. After acquiring a position you can begin to apply for other openings within the office/ hospital and one day “possibly” move into coding. However, most new coders are following the same path and it has become difficult to get hired into those “other” positions as well.

My niece had the same problem. She said, that you will find more "opportunity" in the poorer areas of town. The turnover rate is higher and they aren't quite as picky.

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Kat in Ashland City, Tennessee

18 months ago

huma in Bangalore, India said: hi,i have just completed my medical billing and coding course from an online school called PENN FOSTER.I have a science background and want gv CCS CERTIFICATION exam can some one please help me with what books do i need to refer,how to prepare for the exam.thank u

aapc.com has all the info you need; With Penn Foster, you should have a free 1 year student membership so the exam is cheaper. good luck!

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dawnybear003 in Spring Grove, Illinois

13 months ago

I have a question. I'm going to be enrolling with Career Step for coding. I already have 15 years experience with healthcare insurance, processing, customer service, billing,etc. I am very interested in taking my CCS right after my CCS/CSP, but after reading on the AHIMA website, it appears that I wouldn't be eligible until I have a CCS/CCP AND 1 year of experience applying coding? Am I reading this correctly?

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Steelmagnolia93

12 months ago

I want to change career path and do my CCS but after reading many comments I am not sure if I should start by this certification. CCA seems to be very entry level and RHIT very specialized... I have a BA in Communications, 10 years + experience in various Medical Devices Quality Assurance so I have a broad medical terminology. Could you give me feedback please?

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bnhodzic@sbcglobal.net in Cleveland, Ohio

8 months ago

Please, can somebody tell me: what books i have to use on exam day (CCA OR CCS) and what study books i have to use? What I have to takr first: CCA OR CCS. I am done with coding program do not have coding experience, but i am working in health care. Thanks

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G Michaels in Youngstown, Ohio

8 months ago

bnhodzic - If you want to go into hospital based coding take the CCA first and then down th road the CCS. If you want to go into physician based coding take the CPC from AAPC.

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NOliver in Winder, Georgia

5 months ago

I graduated from the health information management program 8 months ago. But because my school is in the process of getting accreditation from CCHIM, I am not able to sit for the RHIT exam. I am presently preparing to sit for the CCS. I have been studying for about 4 months. But I am still very nervous about taking the exam because I have no work experience. I am scheduled to take the CCS in 3 days. Since graduating, I have been look for a job in the HIM field but having trouble because of lack of experience. Can anyone give me some advice in finding a job without experience?

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