Medical Coding - Online Schools like Allied?

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Nicole in Dublin, California

80 months ago

Has anyone done their medical coding education completely online? Does anyone have any experience with AlliedSchools.com?

And have you been able to get a job with your online education?

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

I enrolled in the program way before they were offering the laptop promotion, and I tried to get a laptop afterwards and they said I enrolled before that promotion. :( Yes, you get to keep the laptop. Also, they have a job assistance where they help you with your resume and tell you about the job openings.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: There are a lot of people that are doing coding with out having to go to any school. So it shouldn't matter as much if you do it online or go to an actual college for it.

Hate to disagree, but in 9 years as a coder, I have only met/worked with two (2) coders who did not complete at least a 2-year Health Information Tech program. One was a former nurse, the other a former physician. Coding is not akin to data entry, it requires education. I've audited new coders at two facilities, one 'established' coder (2 yrs experience) at another, and some of their work was downright frightful.

It is EXTREMELY rare to find a good coder--bad ones are everywhere--who never completed a program of study.

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Nicole in Dublin, California

80 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: Hate to disagree, but in 9 years as a coder, I have only met/worked with two (2) coders who did not complete at least a 2-year Health Information Tech program. One was a former nurse, the other a former physician. Coding is not akin to data entry, it requires education. I've audited new coders at two facilities, one 'established' coder (2 yrs experience) at another, and some of their work was downright frightful.

It is EXTREMELY rare to find a good coder--bad ones are everywhere--who never completed a program of study.

Lorraine,

Question, it kind of seems like you are contradicting yourself.

You say in 9 years you've only met 2 coders who did not complete at least a 2 year Health Information Tech program, and that was because they were a former nurse and former physician.

Then your last statement you say that bad coders are everywhere - who never completed a program of study.

So you are saying that there are coders everywhere who never completed study, but you personally have only met 2 of them?

I'm confused by your statements.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: Hate to disagree, but in 9 years as a coder, I have only met/worked with two (2) coders who did not complete at least a 2-year Health Information Tech program. One was a former nurse, the other a former physician. Coding is not akin to data entry, it requires education. I've audited new coders at two facilities, one 'established' coder (2 yrs experience) at another, and some of their work was downright frightful.

It is EXTREMELY rare to find a good coder--bad ones are everywhere--who never completed a program of study.

Well, I know of a few people that have never gone to school for coding but they were cross trained in that area. You might see more and more of new people, that are coming into the field, that are required to have some educational background in it. There are a lot of people that are still doing coding and didn't go to school for it, they are the ones with the 2-4 years of experience that some companies are looking for.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Yet, to add to my comment above, some are having to go back to school and get a certificate or certification in the field. So I would suggest anyone new coming into the field to get a educational background in it whether it is online or going through a 2-year Associate program. Getting back to the original question of this forum, the reason why I didn't choose a Jr. College is because I already have a Bachelor's degree and it doesn't make sense for me to go back and get an Associates. I feel that the certificate program with Allied is sufficient. After I'm finished with the Allied program, I'm going on to get my MBA. I think Nicole, the original thread starter, really was wondering if Allied was an okay program to go through. I feel that it is, because it is accredited school and it is a reasonable price and you don't have to waste 2 years going through a program at a Jr. College when you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Anyway, that is just my theory. :)

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

80 months ago

Nicole in Dublin, California said: Lorraine,

Question, it kind of seems like you are contradicting yourself.

You say in 9 years you've only met 2 coders who did not complete at least a 2 year Health Information Tech program, and that was because they were a former nurse and former physician.

Then your last statement you say that bad coders are everywhere - who never completed a program of study.

So you are saying that there are coders everywhere who never completed study, but you personally have only met 2 of them?

I'm confused by your statements.

Bad coders are everywhere...regardless of education. Some work for years in coding but just do not have it 'in their blood', for whatever reason. I wish I knew why. I guess some coders are more adept at learning Coding Clinics, remembering basic coding rules, and just basically paying attention. Nothing worse than going to the printer to pick up a stack of coding summaries and seeing obvious mistakes--from 'seasoned' coders.

That's why we all have to maintain our CE's and stay abreast of new information. Having regular audits within the department are vital, it's the only way to really see if you've been making mistakes unknowingly.

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Nicole in Dublin, California

80 months ago

Hi 2Sexy,

I do have a four year degree from a state university, in a totally unrelated field though. However it looks like if I wanted to get an Associates degree, it would require alot of the general ed classes that I probably already have. So that's one reason I too am just looking at a certificate for now..

I talked to an admissions rep at Heald who told me I would be able to take alot less classes in their program due to my 4 year degree.

Right now I'm trying to decide between the online certificate program through the continuing ed program at my former college (Cal State East Bay), Heald College (but $$$ and is not online), or Allied.

What course at Allied are you taking? Are you taking the Medical Coding program? Or the Medical Administrative Assistant course?

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Nicole in Dublin, California said: Hi 2Sexy,

I do have a four year degree from a state university, in a totally unrelated field though. However it looks like if I wanted to get an Associates degree, it would require alot of the general ed classes that I probably already have. So that's one reason I too am just looking at a certificate for now..

I talked to an admissions rep at Heald who told me I would be able to take alot less classes in their program due to my 4 year degree.

Right now I'm trying to decide between the online certificate program through the continuing ed program at my former college (Cal State East Bay), Heald College (but $$$ and is not online), or Allied.

What course at Allied are you taking? Are you taking the Medical Coding program? Or the Medical Administrative Assistant course?

If your college Cal State already has a certificate program, you might want to consider theirs. Just make sure you are able to take the AAPC or the AHIMA (I'm not sure if I have those acronyms correct)certification exams with Cal State's program. Just go to the AAPC or AHIMA websites to make sure your school is one of the approved institutions. I'm not familiar with Heald college, but just make sure it is an accredited school. I am taking the Medical Coding class with Allied. First you have to go through the Medical Terminilogy portion of the program and then you do the coding portion. All textbooks and materials are included in the tuition costs.

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Nicole in Dublin, California

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: If your college Cal State already has a certificate program, you might want to consider theirs. Just make sure you are able to take the AAPC or the AHIMA (I'm not sure if I have those acronyms correct)certification exams with Cal State's program. Just go to the AAPC or AHIMA websites to make sure your school is one of the approved institutions. I'm not familiar with Heald college, but just make sure it is an accredited school. I am taking the Medical Coding class with Allied. First you have to go through the Medical Terminilogy portion of the program and then you do the coding portion. All textbooks and materials are included in the tuition costs.

Thank you for your help.

I'm not sure if I'm missing something. When I go to the AHIMA.org website, there's an option to search for "Approved Coding Programs" and when I select "All" and "CA", I get only 4 schools in all of California. That can't be right? Ahima.org also offers distance learning, for a "Coding Basics Program" that I can take directly through AHIMA.

When I go to AAPC.com, they too offer distance learning, and nowhere do I see a spot to verify accreditation of other schools. It is unclear to me whether their distance learning is just prep classes for the exam, or actual medical coding classes.

Am I missing something on both these sites? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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Big Goals in High Point, North Carolina

80 months ago

I have spoken to one of the recruiters at Allied. I want to know just how great the school is. I heard about the laptop and all the extra quirks. But my main concern is do they reallty help you get a job? I am not trying to pay for something and can't use it. I have been there and done that.

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Big Goals in High Point, North Carolina

80 months ago

Sorry about the error in my message. But let me say it great to find a site to discuss some of the same questions and concerns I have been having. I would love to be able to work at home one day. I have a career diploma in medical claims and I am working on a degree. But could some one give me some information about allied. As in everything their willing to do,what type of laptop,do they help their students find jobs all over.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Big Goals in High Point, North Carolina said: Sorry about the error in my message. But let me say it great to find a site to discuss some of the same questions and concerns I have been having. I would love to be able to work at home one day. I have a career diploma in medical claims and I am working on a degree. But could some one give me some information about allied. As in everything their willing to do,what type of laptop,do they help their students find jobs all over.

I answered a few of your questions above in some of my previous replies. They have a career assistance program called JANET (Job Assistance Network), where they have a network of employers that post openings. I think that the job assistance is an additional fee, but I'm not exactly sure and you would need to speak with a recruiter about that. Now to answer your question, "Do they really help you get a job," that right there is hard to answer. I think that they can guide you in the right direction as far as your resume and job openings but for them to guarantee you a job is something I can't answer and I'm sure Allied couldn't answer. LOL It also depends on where you are located. Some of the jobs that Allied might know about might be in different states that you might not be willing to relocate to. I wouldn't think it is worth paying the extra money for the job assistance with Allied because you can do job searching on your own, and you could get help with a resume at any career center or from a friend who is good at writing and proof-reading resumes. Anyway, I hope this helps.

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ladadee in ozone park, New York

80 months ago

Will the allied school prepare you to take the certification exams such as cca, cpc-apprentice, cpc r, cpc-h r, and cpc-p r?

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ladadee in ozone park, New York

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: I'm doing the program with Allied Schools. I'm about to finish soon, and schedule my certification exam. The school is accredited and they have a lot of perks such as: a laptop, job assistance, and a 1 year membership with AAPC.

I'm sure I will be able to get a job, because I also have a Bachelor's degree. The more education you have, and this is with any job, the better the openings. Also, with any job you have to hustle and get out there and get one. There are a lot of people that are doing coding with out having to go to any school. So it shouldn't matter as much if you do it online or go to an actual college for it.

I was reading on schools and programs, allied being one and i didnt see anywhere that it stated about preparing you or enabling you to become certified in ccs, ccsp,cpc-h. cpc-p and cca.. I want a school or program that will allow me to take those certificate exams .... and i just read this article i like to share with you..

Don't fall prey to medical coding education and certification schemes that pop up overnight. You should obtain your coding credentials from the two trusted organizations American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and/or American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). AHIMA credentials are highly respected in hospital settings, and AAPC coding credentials are better known in physician practices.

Allied seems like a great program but i dont want to have problems after completing it.. What are your opinions. Is Allied school the way to go even though its not trusted by the AHIMA and/or AAPC?

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Serine in Dousman, Wisconsin

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: If your college Cal State already has a certificate program, you might want to consider theirs. Just make sure you are able to take the AAPC or the AHIMA (I'm not sure if I have those acronyms correct)certification exams with Cal State's program. Just go to the AAPC or AHIMA websites to make sure your school is one of the approved institutions. I'm not familiar with Heald college, but just make sure it is an accredited school. I am taking the Medical Coding class with Allied. First you have to go through the Medical Terminilogy portion of the program and then you do the coding portion. All textbooks and materials are included in the tuition costs.

AAPC does not require any particular education to take the CPC exam, but you will only get an apprentice certificate without 2 years experience. Approved courses will get you out of one year if you get a letter from your instructor stating that you have completed at least 40 hrs, I think. You still will need to complete 1 year of coding experience to get the "apprentice" taken off your certification. AAPC has a new program called "project extern" which is helpful in finding you an externship which may lead to full-time employment.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

ladadee in ozone park, New York said: I was reading on schools and programs, allied being one and i didnt see anywhere that it stated about preparing you or enabling you to become certified in ccs, ccsp,cpc-h. cpc-p and cca.. I want a school or program that will allow me to take those certificate exams .... and i just read this article i like to share with you..

Don't fall prey to medical coding education and certification schemes that pop up overnight. You should obtain your coding credentials from the two trusted organizations American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and/or American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). AHIMA credentials are highly respected in hospital settings, and AAPC coding credentials are better known in physician practices.

Allied seems like a great program but i dont want to have problems after completing it.. What are your opinions. Is Allied school the way to go even though its not trusted by the AHIMA and/or AAPC?

In order for you to take the certification exam with AHIMA, you have to go through a Health Information Technician program through a junior college and receive a Associates degree. With schools like Allied, you are eligible to take the certification with AAPC, I don't think you are able to take it through AHIMA. Allied offers a 1 year membership with AAPC after finishing the course, and membership is required to take the exam with AAPC. I checked to make sure Allied was accredited by going to the U.S. Dept. of Education website. Allied isn't a scam it is a legit school. With any school you have to check to see if it is accredited, if not then you will fall prey to a scam.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Serine in Dousman, Wisconsin said: AAPC does not require any particular education to take the CPC exam, but you will only get an apprentice certificate without 2 years experience. Approved courses will get you out of one year if you get a letter from your instructor stating that you have completed at least 40 hrs, I think. You still will need to complete 1 year of coding experience to get the "apprentice" taken off your certification. AAPC has a new program called "project extern" which is helpful in finding you an externship which may lead to full-time employment.

An advisor with Allied told me that their program is equivalent to 2 years of experience. I don't know if that will give a person a CPC instead of a CPC-A (apprentice) or not but that is what the advisor told me. He told me with the job assistance that they offer with Allied, the network of employers know that the education with Allied is equivalent to two years of experience. I don't know if he was just telling me that to make the job assistance program look good or not. I think it is an extra $900 for the job assistance but I'm not sure though. Thanks for letting me know about the "project extern" with AAPC, because I might consider doing that.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

To Serine in Dousman,

I did contact the AAPC and you are right that you do not have to have any form of education to take their exam. You just have to pay the exam fee and their membership fee. Yet, you will have a CPC-A (apprentice) behind your name. To get the CPC-A off, you have to show proof of at least 80 hrs of education and 1-year work experience. So if a person doesn't go through a program they have to work 2 years to get the "apprentice" off of their certification. Also, I looked at the cost of the AAPC's Coding class and it is about as much as Allied's. Allied might even be cheaper because they have other perks. Allied's program is 210 hrs., which is way over the requirement that the AAPC asks for, but you still have to work at least 1 year to get the apprentice title off of your certification. So a person has to choose if they want to work the 2 years or just go through a program to only have to work 1 year to get the CPC certification.

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

80 months ago

I took the AHIMA on-line course and am eligible to take their certification exams. You do not have to have an Associates degree to take their exams but there are requirements. Go to their website and check on the list of acceptable courses. AHIMA's on-line "self-study" course was difficult even though I have a surg-tech background. I have a CPC from the AAPC since that is what my employer preferred and am considering taking the AHIMA exam as well. Both will give an "apprentice" designation unless and/or until you meet the requirements for full credentials. I believe the AHIMA organization requires you to take an additional exam (I may be wrong on this) to go from CCA to CCS. The AAPC requires proof of experience etc. to get the "A" removed with no further exams.
And if you DO decide to go the route of a self-study course remember, you need to be extremely self-disciplined and independent.
Vo-tech schools and local colleges give evening courses so don't rule them out but be sure to check AHIMA and/or AAPC websites to be certain the school you want is on the approved list for taking the exam later or you will be wasting your time and money.
Hope this helps. And good luck.

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Nicole in Dublin, California

80 months ago

Hi Lynn,

The list of approved education courses on Ahima's website is so limited! I'm looking into my local state university, who works with Gatlin Educational Services (?) to provide the medical billing and coding certificate. Or their Medical Administrative Specialist certificate which they say will allow you to sit for the Coding Associate exam with AHIMA.

Neither my state university nor Gatlin is on Ahima's approved education course listing. I don't understand how it can be so limited. I can't believe that all the medical coders in the country went to like 1 of these 15 schools in the nation or something. It doesn't make any sense.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida said: I took the AHIMA on-line course and am eligible to take their certification exams. You do not have to have an Associates degree to take their exams but there are requirements. Go to their website and check on the list of acceptable courses. AHIMA's on-line "self-study" course was difficult even though I have a surg-tech background. I have a CPC from the AAPC since that is what my employer preferred and am considering taking the AHIMA exam as well. Both will give an "apprentice" designation unless and/or until you meet the requirements for full credentials. I believe the AHIMA organization requires you to take an additional exam (I may be wrong on this) to go from CCA to CCS. The AAPC requires proof of experience etc. to get the "A" removed with no further exams.
And if you DO decide to go the route of a self-study course remember, you need to be extremely self-disciplined and independent.
Vo-tech schools and local colleges give evening courses so don't rule them out but be sure to check AHIMA and/or AAPC websites to be certain the school you want is on the approved list for taking the exam later or you will be wasting your time and money.
Hope this helps. And good luck.

I didn't know AHIMA had their own independent study courses, if I had known I would have taken one of theirs. With the AAPC, you don't have to have any background or formal education in coding. You just register for the exam. Anyone can take their exams, no matter where you went to school. You will just have the Apprentice behind your title and for 2 years, if you don't have any work experience or formal education.

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

80 months ago

Sorry I didn't get back here sooner. We are having a round of resignations at work ...I will drop in when I can.
That said...Nicole...do a little deeper search into AHIMA's list...do a more detailed search i.e. by state instead of a general "show me everything" search.... The general search is not... (15 schools?) You can call AHIMA and ask if the school you are interested in is approved.Sometimes the school may not be on the list of on-line courses but the on-site classes are and the on-line classes may be included...do you see where I am going here?
Remember, while the approved list may not include the school you are interested in the organization giving the credential sets the requirements. So it may not seem fair to you but you're not the one making those decisions.Sorry....
I am not trying to be mean or nasty but the reality is just that....
And while we are talking reality here...coding is HARD work. Trust me on this. I enjoy the challenge but employers will expect a 95% or higher accuracy rate ALL the time.Your work will be frequently audited internally and with less frequency, externally.
My credentials are with AAPC....if I had it to do over I would go for the AHIMA credentials first, they seem to be respected everywhere.When I look at job postings the majority of employers who post jobs require AHIMA credentials. I code an ambulatory surgery center, the facility side, so the AAPC credential is fine. But if you are interested in working in a hospital setting you definitely need to shoot for the AHIMA credentials.
And to 2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Yes...you just register for the exam with AAPC.
It is a 5.5 hour, intense, timed exam. I have always done well on tests but I came out of that one feeling like I had been run over by a Mac truck but I passed it the first time. If anyone is anticipating taking that exam speak up and I will give my hindsight hints. :)
Good luck to everyone!

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

To Lynn in Cape Coral,

Did you even do a medical coding program or did you just go right in and take the certification exam with AAPC. If I had known that, I would have done a certificate course for a lot cheaper and quicker. Yes, I'm going to take the AAPC exam and I would appreciate any tips you have for that exam. Alright, thanks!

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Ann in North Pole, Alaska

80 months ago

I am working towards an associates degree in health info mngmnt from an accredited school located through AHIMA. After I complete the degree, I would like to sit for the CCS exam. One of my instructors, who is also over med recs at a local hospital, said that I still needed 3 years experience in the field before I take the exam. Has anyone ever taken the exam without the experience?

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Michelle Rimmer, CHI,CBCS in Brick, New Jersey

80 months ago

Tips for the CPC exam??

-Practice, Practice, Practice the sample tests!!

-Pick up your speed in answering the questions!! You must answer ALL the questions, or you will NOT pass!!

Know your E&M!!!

Where I teach, our students take the CPC Prep/Exam class--12 weeks of prep and then the following Sat, they take the exam-our instructor for the course is EXCELLENT!!

Good Luck!

Michelle Rimmer, CHI,CBCS
Owner-Professional Medical Billers Association
Owner-Learn Medical Billing Online
Owner-Shore Medical Billing
Textbook author-'Medical Billing 101' and 'Coding Basics: Understanding Medical Collections (2/09)

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Nicole in Dublin, California

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: To Lynn in Cape Coral,

Did you even do a medical coding program or did you just go right in and take the certification exam with AAPC. If I had known that, I would have done a certificate course for a lot cheaper and quicker. Yes, I'm going to take the AAPC exam and I would appreciate any tips you have for that exam. Alright, thanks!

2Sexy,

What certification program might you have taken? How would it be different than the certificate you'll obtain from Allied?

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Michelle Rimmer, CHI,CBCS in Brick, New Jersey said: Tips for the CPC exam??

-Practice, Practice, Practice the sample tests!!

-Pick up your speed in answering the questions!! You must answer ALL the questions, or you will NOT pass!!

Know your E&M!!!

Where I teach, our students take the CPC Prep/Exam class--12 weeks of prep and then the following Sat, they take the exam-our instructor for the course is EXCELLENT!!

Good Luck!

Michelle Rimmer, CHI,CBCS
Owner-Professional Medical Billers Association
Owner-Learn Medical Billing Online
Owner-Shore Medical Billing
Textbook author-'Medical Billing 101' and 'Coding Basics: Understanding Medical Collections (2/09)

Is there a lot of medical terminology on the exam?

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Nicole in Dublin, California

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: I would have taken a certificate program with my university through the continuing education department. They have a cheap course around $89 and you can finish it in about 8 wks. That would have been enough for me to take the AAPC exam.

$89?!?!?!?! What university offers this?

My former university also has a continuing education program that offers medical billing & coding, and a medical administrative assistant course that covers billing & coding. They are like $1400 & $2000!

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MarTha Diaz in San Leandro, California

80 months ago

I'm a LVN working part time (10 to 12 hours 2 days)I want to take the Billing and Coding training soon. How long it will take to complete the entire course. My goal is to work from home, as a nurse I'm not able to work from home!
Thank you
Martha D.

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Michelle Rimmer,CHI,CBCS in Brick, New Jersey

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: Is there a lot of medical terminology on the exam?

Not alot--maybe 10 questions :-)

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Amber in Butler, Pennsylvania

80 months ago

I am taking the classes from allied and you guys are making me think I should of went some where else

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: To Lynn in Cape Coral,

Did you even do a medical coding program or did you just go right in and take the certification exam with AAPC. If I had known that, I would have done a certificate course for a lot cheaper and quicker. Yes, I'm going to take the AAPC exam and I would appreciate any tips you have for that exam. Alright, thanks!

Yes, I did AHIMA's on-line Coding Basics after I did an on-line Anatomy course through SUNY. Will post later with the tips for the AAPC exam,have to go in to work on the weekends until we replace the coders who quit. :(

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Lynn in Cape Coral, Florida

80 months ago

MarTha Diaz in San Leandro, California said: I'm a LVN working part time (10 to 12 hours 2 days)I want to take the Billing and Coding training soon. How long it will take to complete the entire course. My goal is to work from home, as a nurse I'm not able to work from home!
Thank you
Martha D.

It is possible to work from home as a coder if you work for a company that does remote coding. There are some excellent ones out there, go to Google and do a search for "remote medical coding." I know several coders who do that and several who are "travelers" working around the country for various periods of time in a variety of settings.BUT most all of those companies require their employees to have 2-3 years actual coding experience and to pass a difficult exam, and for good reason. The company is legally liable for what their coders and billers put on a claim, not to mention the time involved in reworking sloppy claims and incorrect coding.
Of course coders and billers are also legally responsible for what they do no matter where they work... you can personally be named in a lawsuit.

The advange of a good on-line course is you will already know if you have the self discipline to work independently from home. You can always take one course in anything to give you a good idea of whether you have that discipline. And do it sooner rather than later before you spend all that time and money on courses only to find out you don't have the personality to be able to work from home.

Martha, keep those goals but do YOURSELF a favor and get at least 2 years of experience before you try to do it from home. Don't set yourself up for failure before you even get started.

As an aside, I had no idea how hard coding was until I told my PCP what I was studying for and she was aghast. She then expressed her opinion on the difficulties of coding. Considering this woman has an MD I paid close attention to what she said but I still did it and I love the work!

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Michelle Rimmer, CHI,CBCS in Brick, New Jersey

80 months ago

Excellent response Lynn!!

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Michelle Rimmer,CHI,CBCS in Brick, New Jersey said: Not alot--maybe 10 questions :-)

Well, I was wondering why Allied made a long medical terminology course and there are only a few questions of Medical Terminology on the exam. That is what's taking me so long to finish the course because of the medical terminology. I've already had Anatomy I and II, in college, but Allied still required me to take the Anatomy and Medical Terminology course. :(

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Nicole in Dublin, California said: $89?!?!?!?! What university offers this?

My former university also has a continuing education program that offers medical billing & coding, and a medical administrative assistant course that covers billing & coding. They are like $1400 & $2000!

That is about how much I paid for Allied's course. If I had known that it wasn't a requirement to have a formal education in coding with AAPC, I would have just taken a coding certificate course to just learn the basics. Now I'm mad because I took out a private loan to pay Allied! :(

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

80 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: Well, I was wondering why Allied made a long medical terminology course and there are only a few questions of Medical Terminology on the exam. That is what's taking me so long to finish the course because of the medical terminology. I've already had Anatomy I and II, in college, but Allied still required me to take the Anatomy and Medical Terminology course. :(

Perhaps you should look at the bigger picture here: extensive medical terminology--and anatomy and physiology--are required and necessary to be successful in coding. As a career. So your coworkers aren't bogged down with endless questions from someone who hasn't a clue what they're reading in the record. So you don't potentially make a mistake in your work.

This idea of getting the least (or no) education possible is, quite frankly, shocking. I wouldn't complain about the need to be prepared. I'd feel fortunate.

It's not just about the exam.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: Perhaps you should look at the bigger picture here: extensive medical terminology--and anatomy and physiology--are required and necessary to be successful in coding. As a career. So your coworkers aren't bogged down with endless questions from someone who hasn't a clue what they're reading in the record. So you don't potentially make a mistake in your work.

This idea of getting the least (or no) education possible is, quite frankly, shocking. I wouldn't complain about the need to be prepared. I'd feel fortunate.

It's not just about the exam.

I've had all of those courses before, because I was a nursing major before I changed majors at my college. I've had Anatomy I and II, Microbiology, and a Medical Terminology course. That is why I said that I didn't feel the need to retake those courses and Allied made me do them anyway. It is just taking me a while to finish that portion of the coding course because it is 20 lessons. If there aren't a lot of questions on the AAPC exam on medical terminology, Allied should at least waive that portion of the course for those who have taken those classes in college.

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riley in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

80 months ago

You are all handing out some great information but I'm getting a little confused. I can still take the course at Allied for medical coding without taking the AAPC exam right? The AAPC exam will just make me certified? Do most jobs require you to have the cerification or is completing the program at Allied sufficient?

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Michelle Rimmer,CHI,CBCS in Brick, New Jersey

80 months ago

Hi Riley,

I can only speak of my experience here in NJ and for all the ads I see in the 'Coders Edge'-the magazine put out by AAPC, you MUST be certified if you want to work as a coder in the hospital.

Good Luck!

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

riley in Eau Claire, Wisconsin said: You are all handing out some great information but I'm getting a little confused. I can still take the course at Allied for medical coding without taking the AAPC exam right? The AAPC exam will just make me certified? Do most jobs require you to have the cerification or is completing the program at Allied sufficient?

Most of the jobs that I've seen advertised required at least a certification. Yet, there are some people that have moved up or cross trained in coding and are working at jobs without a certificication. It just depends on who you know and if you are already working in a facility and get moved up into coding. If you are a new grad, I would suggest you to get a certification. Most people that do not have a certification, they have been working in those jobs for years. I suggest new grads to get a certification.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

riley in Atlanta, Georgia said: I'm having a heard time finding Allied School on the US Department of Education. Any suggestions or are they maybe not?

I think they are listed under Allied Business Schools on the US Dept. of Education site. I found it a while back, on the US Dept. of Edu., but I forgot what name it was under, but I think it was under that name.

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Shawn in Indianapolis, Indiana

80 months ago

I have an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Medical Coding. I graduated in 2004. I've never been able to get a job in this field because I don't have experience outside of school. But how can I get experience if no one will give me the opportunity? I've been putting the degree on the back burner while I continue my education, however It's very frustrating to me..ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

80 months ago

Shawn in Indianapolis, Indiana said: I have an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Medical Coding. I graduated in 2004. I've never been able to get a job in this field because I don't have experience outside of school. But how can I get experience if no one will give me the opportunity? I've been putting the degree on the back burner while I continue my education, however It's very frustrating to me..ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Well, you are doing the best thing with continuing your education. Yet, I don't know what advice to tell you because I haven't worked in the field as of yet. So I'm sure the other people on this board can give you some helpful advice. You could possibly intern for free at a facility and then see if you can get hired on full time.

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Grace in Sarasota, Florida

79 months ago

This is all great information. I am thinking of taking an online Medical Coding Course and I have found out a lot from you guys..well girls. ;) Thanks! I think I am going to try the self-study course on the AHIMA website which is the original one I was looking at.

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Lois Mae in Rocklin, California

79 months ago

I'm having a hard time making a decison. I'm looking into AAPC but there saying there only outpaient only. I want to work for Kaiser in Sacramento ca. What is a good school to go to? I need to get ahima exam, Rhia,Rhit,ccs,cca, disease processing. What is a good school for this. I can only take a on line course. I live in the sacramento area. I'm having a hard time finding somthing for both inpaitent and outpaitent coding. Or is it the same? Has anyone heard of Kaplin?

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Angie Lowe in Rockville, Maryland

79 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: Hate to disagree, but in 9 years as a coder, I have only met/worked with two (2) coders who did not complete at least a 2-year Health Information Tech program. One was a former nurse, the other a former physician. Coding is not akin to data entry, it requires education. I've audited new coders at two facilities, one 'established' coder (2 yrs experience) at another, and some of their work was downright frightful.

It is EXTREMELY rare to find a good coder--bad ones are everywhere--who never completed a program of study.

I disagree with your statements. I have a degree in Medical office menagement and clinical arts. I "grew up" with coding. When I starte 20+ years ago it was pretty much unheard of. I dont have a "certificate or degree" in coding, nor did I go to school just for coding. I agree there are bad coders as well as any other professions. Just because you go to a coding school doesn't make you better than anyone else. There is a coding school fairly local that isn't worth crap, yet employers may look at those gradudates more than me, with 20+ years experince. No, I dont like your comments. Just cause I didnt take a coding class, doesnt mean I am not worth much. You live in a limited world. I know lots of people in much situation and most of them are great coders.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

79 months ago

Angie Lowe in Rockville, Maryland said: I disagree with your statements. I have a degree in Medical office menagement and clinical arts. I "grew up" with coding. When I starte 20+ years ago it was pretty much unheard of. I dont have a "certificate or degree" in coding, nor did I go to school just for coding. I agree there are bad coders as well as any other professions. Just because you go to a coding school doesn't make you better than anyone else. There is a coding school fairly local that isn't worth crap, yet employers may look at those gradudates more than me, with 20+ years experince. No, I dont like your comments. Just cause I didnt take a coding class, doesnt mean I am not worth much. You live in a limited world. I know lots of people in much situation and most of them are great coders.

My goodness, aren't we defensive.

You are a rarity in the coding world, and I stand by my statement, which I GUARANTEE can be supported by numerous coding supervisors across this country.

I have read and commented on this forum for quite some time now. It is inundated with wannabe coders and those who took the quickest way to a 'sure-fire' money-making career--and they ALL want to code from home without a single day of work in a department. There are others who have the capability of obtaining a respected credential, yet won't...and they wonder why, oh why, they can't get their foot in the door.

I understand that credentialed schools are not prevalent in every corner of this country. Meanwhile, every facility wants a skilled and well-educated coder to place on their staff, because the alternative is often a disaster financially.

I recently spoke by phone with a coding supervisor I met through this site who overwhelmingly agreed with my assertions. She has been in this business for over 25 years and has seen all types.

Continued below...

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

79 months ago

Angie Lowe in Rockville, Maryland said: I disagree with your statements. I have a degree in Medical office menagement and clinical arts. I "grew up" with coding. When I starte 20+ years ago it was pretty much unheard of. I dont have a "certificate or degree" in coding, nor did I go to school just for coding. I agree there are bad coders as well as any other professions. Just because you go to a coding school doesn't make you better than anyone else. There is a coding school fairly local that isn't worth crap, yet employers may look at those gradudates more than me, with 20+ years experince. No, I dont like your comments. Just cause I didnt take a coding class, doesnt mean I am not worth much. You live in a limited world. I know lots of people in much situation and most of them are great coders.

But the fact remains that, given the choice (and in today's world, not 20+ years ago), the majority of facilities will hire an RHIT or RHIA (or a CCS with 5+ years experience) over a noneducated, uncredentialed one ANY DAY.

And if you don't like that reality, then by all means go on a telephone survey across this country. I'll await your results.

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