Medical Coder Work Environment

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Y Clark in Rochester, New York

85 months ago

Hi everyone and anyone

Just was wondering what the office environment is like for a medical coder. I know you sit in front of the computer all day, because this type of job is so important to be accurate do you have your own space. Like a cubical or office. just wanted to know is all.

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Shannon in Dayton, Ohio

85 months ago

This is what I am going to school for. I am hoping to learn more..

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

77 months ago

Christine in North Richland Hills, Texas said: It's like any other office job. We have our radio with headsets, and I code Emergency Rooms, and we get to discuss the charts and the more interesting ones. You get breaks and should walk around, but the time really flies because you get into the charts. In the beginning you can get over whelmed with all the new info you must learn, but after a while, it becomes 2nd nature. I still love it after 3 years!

Do coders work off a que and have daily requirements they must meet? & do they usually work from a software program called Occusoarce?

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Luz C in Dallas, Texas

77 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: Do coders work off a que and have daily requirements they must meet? & do they usually work from a software program called Occusoarce?

Hi Lynore, I've been reading your comments I just wanted to ask how you are doing with your new job??.

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

76 months ago

Hi Luz C. Well it is a lot to get used to. It is mainly trying to get patients appointments scheduled for specialist referral, or PT.
For my own security, I will not mention the name of the company( as I am still within my 90 day probationary period and need to get higher numbers done on my Queue) .
I will say it is a lot of pressure,for me, since I am new to the medical field. mainly in ref to multi- tasking.I have to work my que, and at the same time, if not on the phone scheduling an appointment, and the phone rings, I need to answer it. The problem with that is, I have to talk with the person and help them with their referral! It gets VERY confusing!!!.*( they have issues with this flow process that need to be modified. as managers are being addressed about it.). But they will tell me, it has to do with my multitasking skills level. And I would debate that with them appropriately. ...I just would rather do actual coding.!!! I don't actually do any coding right now, ,all I did before, was write down the code number already listed and include it on a hard copy for a cover sheet, to be faxed. , until our software program went "live."and we had to switch to it. but at times, I will see what the codes are because i have to tell an adjuster the type of injury the referral or authorization request referrs to.as the code is right next to the injury information provided. So, mainly, all my work is done on the computer, and phone. the bottom line is I get to help someone by getting a workmans com appt scheduled so they can recover sooner, w/out "lenghty". waits. I hope this helped.
thanks for asking!

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

76 months ago

I am curious what a day in the life of a coder is like? ..and by the way, I have quit the job as a referral coordinator which I talked about above. It was literally making me sick. That company I was with is Concentra. Right now I am just trying to move on , I just took a wrong turn (comany wise). The work flow process did not seem succesful the way it was technically planned. But anyway,I am still actively looking, again. & hope with the little bit of experience on my resume;in regards to the small amount of observing coding with the adjusters I had to talk with , I would have at least a little bit more leverage using it on my resume. I shall see. That's why I am trying to find out about the day in the life of a coder, I hope to do In _patient coding eventually. Thanks, Lynore

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

76 months ago

Do Medical Coders have to wear scrubs or can they wear regular clothes? I was just curious. If this is an office job, do you have to wear scrubs? I'm doing a medical coding program now, and I like fashion and I like to be fashionable and I was wondering about this. LOL

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

76 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: Do Medical Coders have to wear scrubs or can they wear regular clothes? I was just curious. If this is an office job, do you have to wear scrubs? I'm doing a medical coding program now, and I like fashion and I like to be fashionable and I was wondering about this. LOL

It depends upon the facility. Most hospitals stick to the 'casual office attire' policy: no denim, t-shirts, open-toed shoes, visible tattoos. When I was traveling, there were two hospitals in Texas that allowed coders to wear scrubs.

What typically never changes is that most medical records/coding areas within hospitals are relegated to basements or areas without windows. The worst was at a hospital in Seattle--our department (main area) was right above a loading dock, so we got a daily dose of carbon monoxide fumes from the trucks. When more coders were hired, they revamped a study room for them...sans windows and right next to the physician garage. We called it the 'Sound-Proof Booth'. No idea what they wore, we never saw them LOL.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

76 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: Do coders work off a que and have daily requirements they must meet? & do they usually work from a software program called Occusoarce?

If the hospital has switched to EMR, typically there is a queue the coders work from, with each coder responsible for a particular number range. If they still have paper charts, it's often first-come, first-served (pulling as many off the wall as you think you can code for a day).

As far as daily requirements, and this can vary slightly from facility to facility, they are typically:

--12-15/hour ED
--15-18/hour outpatient diagnostic (radiology)
--5-8/hour outpatient surgery
--3-5/hour inpatient

Most hospitals are rarely satisfied with coder production, even if they meet the standard...they always want more. I pushed myself for years on ED's (I was a float coder doing inpatient and ED's as required), coding usually 18-25/hour, which was very difficult after I acquired a work-related Trigger Finger (common in the profession, I might add). Very important to follow ergonomic suggestions and stretching exercises.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

76 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: It depends upon the facility. Most hospitals stick to the 'casual office attire' policy: no denim, t-shirts, open-toed shoes, visible tattoos. When I was traveling, there were two hospitals in Texas that allowed coders to wear scrubs.

What typically never changes is that most medical records/coding areas within hospitals are relegated to basements or areas without windows. The worst was at a hospital in Seattle--our department (main area) was right above a loading dock, so we got a daily dose of carbon monoxide fumes from the trucks. When more coders were hired, they revamped a study room for them...sans windows and right next to the physician garage. We called it the 'Sound-Proof Booth'. No idea what they wore, we never saw them LOL.

Ok, that's good to know that you can wear regular clothes. That was terrible that you had a office area with no windows and close to a loading dock. I wouldn't have stayed at that job breathing in fumes. Do coders have cubicles or do they actually have a office area at some places? You mentioned that you used to be a traveling coder, how are the openings in that area? Did you like traveling and how was the pay?

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

76 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: Ok, that's good to know that you can wear regular clothes. That was terrible that you had a office area with no windows and close to a loading dock. I wouldn't have stayed at that job breathing in fumes. Do coders have cubicles or do they actually have a office area at some places? You mentioned that you used to be a traveling coder, how are the openings in that area? Did you like traveling and how was the pay?

The job with the loading dock was my first coding position, which I kept for 3 years before moving on--I stayed to crosstrain as much as I could, which truly paid off. I started at $12.75/hr 2 wks out of school in '98.

Every facility is different, and workstations vary depending on what has been allotted to the medical records dept. I've had cubicles (tiny and larger ones), open-air desk areas, and even sweet corner workstations with double monitors and recessed lighting.

Traveling is great for pay, rotten for your personal life. I did it from Jan '07 to Feb '08. The downtime was the worst part; I suggest signing up with several companies, then working out availability with each, depending on assignments. I've made between $28 and $33/hr, with per diem of $25-$35/day.

Currently remote with two companies ($23 and $25/hr), but I appear to have coded myself out of work...again. Very difficult to slow down.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

76 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: The job with the loading dock was my first coding position, which I kept for 3 years before moving on--I stayed to crosstrain as much as I could, which truly paid off. I started at $12.75/hr 2 wks out of school in '98.

Every facility is different, and workstations vary depending on what has been allotted to the medical records dept. I've had cubicles (tiny and larger ones), open-air desk areas, and even sweet corner workstations with double monitors and recessed lighting.

Traveling is great for pay, rotten for your personal life. I did it from Jan '07 to Feb '08. The downtime was the worst part; I suggest signing up with several companies, then working out availability with each, depending on assignments. I've made between $28 and $33/hr, with per diem of $25-$35/day.

Currently remote with two companies ($23 and $25/hr), but I appear to have coded myself out of work...again. Very difficult to slow down.

Well, traveling is probably okay if you aren't married with children. How much experience do you have to have before traveling or working remote? You got a job right out of school? So someone was willing to give you a chance right out of school. :-) That pay wasn't bad either for coming right out of school back in 98. What do you suggest to get your foot in the door with coding if you don't have any experience?

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

76 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: Well, traveling is probably okay if you aren't married with children. How much experience do you have to have before traveling or working remote? You got a job right out of school? So someone was willing to give you a chance right out of school. :-) That pay wasn't bad either for coming right out of school back in 98. What do you suggest to get your foot in the door with coding if you don't have any experience?

With the 2-year HIT program I was in, we had a 1-week Practicum (on-site) at the end of the 1st year, then an entire month of different Practicum sites during the 2nd year. It was a fantastic way to find out how a medical records department is run, make contacts (coders, supervisors), and get a feel for which facility actually hires new grads. The first Practicum site is where I landed my first job.

So--first step is education. A 2-year degree (that can lead to an RHIT credential) speaks way louder than a quick course. If that is impossible due to lack of area schools, money, whatever...then you definitely have challenges. Clinic-based professional coding (CPCs) is not something I have much knowledge of.

Read every coding manual you can. Study your terminology and anatomy and physiology. Call clinics, hospitals, physician groups, temp agencies (some specialize in med records)--ask to sit for the pre-employment exam (all coders must pass one regardless of experience). Spruce up your resume and cover letters and flood the area. Follow up with phone calls. Ask to come in and speak with the dept head/supervisor. Or, ask to maybe do a non-paid internship (part-time) for a few weeks to see if you fit.

If you aren't sparking interest, be bold and ask a coding supervisor if they themselves have any leads.

I was terrified of being unemployed, so my resumes went out 3 mos before graduation...and I definitely followed up.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

76 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: With the 2-year HIT program I was in, we had a 1-week Practicum (on-site) at the end of the 1st year, then an entire month of different Practicum sites during the 2nd year. It was a fantastic way to find out how a medical records department is run, make contacts (coders, supervisors), and get a feel for which facility actually hires new grads. The first Practicum site is where I landed my first job.

So--first step is education. A 2-year degree (that can lead to an RHIT credential) speaks way louder than a quick course. If that is impossible due to lack of area schools, money, whatever...then you definitely have challenges. Clinic-based professional coding (CPCs) is not something I have much knowledge of.

Read every coding manual you can. Study your terminology and anatomy and physiology. Call clinics, hospitals, physician groups, temp agencies (some specialize in med records)--ask to sit for the pre-employment exam (all coders must pass one regardless of experience). Spruce up your resume and cover letters and flood the area. Follow up with phone calls. Ask to come in and speak with the dept head/supervisor. Or, ask to maybe do a non-paid internship (part-time) for a few weeks to see if you fit.

If you aren't sparking interest, be bold and ask a coding supervisor if they themselves have any leads.

I was terrified of being unemployed, so my resumes went out 3 mos before graduation...and I definitely followed up.

Thanks for that helpful information! :)

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Jessica in Atlanta, Georgia

76 months ago

2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi said: Do Medical Coders have to wear scrubs or can they wear regular clothes? I was just curious. If this is an office job, do you have to wear scrubs? I'm doing a medical coding program now, and I like fashion and I like to be fashionable and I was wondering about this. LOL

I am a coder at a business office and the dress code is casual. I can wear jeans at my facility.

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2Sexy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

76 months ago

Jessica in Atlanta, Georgia said: I am a coder at a business office and the dress code is casual. I can wear jeans at my facility.

Oh okay, that is good to know!

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

75 months ago

To anyone who's taken the AHIMA CCA exam recently: Are their Medical Terminology questions on the exam? ( I know this sounds like it should be a given!!!) but I did not see anything on the AHIMA web sight that mentions it in the format. I just want to be sure before I sign myself up, (hopefully within the next 3-4 months);so that I can be better perpared for that part. I did call AHIMA, and and the lady I spoke with, did not know.

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

75 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: If the hospital has switched to EMR, typically there is a queue the coders work from, with each coder responsible for a particular number range. If they still have paper charts, it's often first-come, first-served (pulling as many off the wall as you think you can code for a day).

As far as daily requirements, and this can vary slightly from facility to facility, they are typically:

--12-15/hour ED
--15-18/hour outpatient diagnostic (radiology)
--5-8/hour outpatient surgery
--3-5/hour inpatient

Most hospitals are rarely satisfied with coder production, even if they meet the standard...they always want more. I pushed myself for years on ED's (I was a float coder doing inpatient and ED's as required), coding usually 18-25/hour, which was very difficult after I acquired a work-related Trigger Finger (common in the profession, I might add). Very important to follow ergonomic suggestions and stretching exercises.

When you mention 15-18 /hour,12-15/hour, etc, is that an accumulative average for an entire day depending on the types of facilities you were/ are responsible for in for example one given day? I am just trying to get an idea of what to expect. Thanks.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

74 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: When you mention 15-18 /hour,12-15/hour, etc, is that an accumulative average for an entire day depending on the types of facilities you were/ are responsible for in for example one given day? I am just trying to get an idea of what to expect. Thanks.

Yes, for instance if you coded 4 hours each of inpatient and ER's at the last hospital I was at in the NW, they expected at least 12-15 completed IPs and 52-56 ERs by the end of that day. Some facilities give grace for breaks and lunch--but others don't. Also, many facilities will take into consideration any long-stay cases and/or truly complex ones.

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

74 months ago

Wow! So how are you able to code so many in one day, is it through coding software that contains the codes ; I don't know, like "Code it Right" or something that helps you ID the medical scenario really quick?

It's just that from my stand point of looking for a job, I guess seems like an overwhelming amount. That tells me then I have a lot to prepare for in the form of being real quick and accurate in deciphering the written information into codes.. because currently I am studying to take the AHIMA exam and want to be ready.. the first time I take it;hopefully within the next six months and I don't not have to go through it a second time. Anyway thank you for taking the time in sharing your experience.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

74 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: Wow! So how are you able to code so many in one day, is it through coding software that contains the codes ; I don't know, like "Code it Right" or something that helps you ID the medical scenario really quick?

It's just that from my stand point of looking for a job, I guess seems like an overwhelming amount. That tells me then I have a lot to prepare for in the form of being real quick and accurate in deciphering the written information into codes.. because currently I am studying to take the AHIMA exam and want to be ready.. the first time I take it;hopefully within the next six months and I don't not have to go through it a second time. Anyway thank you for taking the time in sharing your experience.

Encoders are great, to be sure, but without knowing coding conventions and the correct 'coding path', no encoder can code for you. Most encoders are based on the path it takes to arrive at the code within the book. It simply takes time and practice to know what is relevant within any chart and what is not.

Most places will want those same numbers even if the encoding software is offline; in other words, knowing how to code from books is vital.

Sort of off the topic, but are there certain body systems/types of procedures that are more difficult for you than others? For me, even after 9 yrs of coding, I still find certain facial trauma surgeries a bit confusing. We're all in a perpetual state of learning.

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

74 months ago

According to the coarse I took in Medical Coding, I think I remember having trouble with some of the Evaluation & Management, and Diabetic Codes; with the Non- Insulin part confusing me.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

74 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: According to the coarse I took in Medical Coding, I think I remember having trouble with some of the Evaluation & Management, and Diabetic Codes; with the Non- Insulin part confusing me.

E&M can be extremely challenging in the beginning. Many hospitals have ER nurses assign them, others have specialty coders who only assign E&M levels and do nothing else.

By 'non-insulin', do you mean Type 2 Diabetes? Just let me know what is confusing for you, and I would love to help (and no, it isn't confined to DM coding). Ask away. :)

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

74 months ago

I figured it meant not depending on insuline, but it was still in a diabetic category subclassification that it mentions uncontrolled. (250.0+ fifth digit) so that added to the confusion. Page 98- volume 2. October 2004 of ICD-9. 2005 Edition from Engenix.
I know..too please keep in mind that this edition is obviously out dated, but non the less it had the exact wording that confuses me still to this date. (the current books are expensive 99.00 at Barnes and Noble).

So, If someone is diagnosed as *non insuline dependant diabetic,is that the same thing as *uncontrolled Type II? That's the confusion I've been dealing with in this category.

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

74 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: I figured it meant not depending on insuline, but it was still in a diabetic category subclassification that it mentions uncontrolled. (250.0+ fifth digit) so that added to the confusion. Page 98- volume 2. October 2004 of ICD-9. 2005 Edition from Engenix.
I know..too please keep in mind that this edition is obviously out dated, but non the less it had the exact wording that confuses me still to this date. (the current books are expensive 99.00 at Barnes and Noble).

So, If someone is diagnosed as *non insuline dependant diabetic,is that the same thing as *uncontrolled Type II? That's the confusion I've been dealing with in this category.

adding to this, I think it is the whole subcategory of fifth digits which I would need better review on.

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Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana

74 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: adding to this, I think it is the whole subcategory of fifth digits which I would need better review on.

Not a problem. First off, definitely read up on both types of DM. DM Type 1 absolutely depends on insulin to sustain life. DM1 without complications codes to 250.01 (sugars controlled/unspecified) or 250.03 (sugars uncontrolled). DM Type 2 depending on severity can be controlled by diet, oral drugs or insulin. Without complications, DM2 codes to 250.00 (controlled/unspecified) or 250.02 (uncontrolled). MD must link complications to the DM (ie, neuropathy, retinopathy, CKD).

Example #1: Pt presents with history of insulin-dependent diabetes (age of onset--17), hypertension, and altered mental status due to severe hypoglycemia.

Codes: 250.80 (DM2 w/hypoglycemia), 401.9 (HTN), V58.67(longterm use of insulin). 'Insulin-dep. diabetes' and childhood onset do not mean Type 1 DM; MD must specify type.

Example #2: Pt with longstanding DM retinopathy presents with DKA.

Codes: 250.13, 250.53, 362.01. DKA w/o mention of type defaults to Type 1, uncontrolled--so all other DM codes must follow suit.

If memory serves, DKA is the only DM complication that defaults to Type 1 if type is unspecified; otherwise, all others default to Type 2.

If you need more examples or a better explanation of things, feel free to let me know.

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Melissa CPC in Dallas, Texas

74 months ago

Well i have been coding for 3 years now. I love being a coder because I learn something everyday. and yes I do sit in a cubicle and code all day long. My days go by fast because I am constantly reading Dr dictations and coding the reasons why for the exam plus now that I entered RN training it helps me have a better understanding

Y Clark in Rochester, New York said: Hi everyone and anyone

Just was wondering what the office environment is like for a medical coder. I know you sit in front of the computer all day, because this type of job is so important to be accurate do you have your own space. Like a cubical or office. just wanted to know is all.

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Melissa CPC in Dallas, Texas

74 months ago

Lynore in Carrollton, Texas said: Do coders work off a que and have daily requirements they must meet? & do they usually work from a software program called Occusoarce?

There are many softwares for coding like Elligience, medisoft, Tims, Coderyte, Tacs and yes it depends on how busy the company is and how much work do they get daily. For instance if you work for a Dr's office you will not code as much But if you work for a billing and coding company with "BIG CLIENTS" then yes you would have a certain goal that you need to reach.

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Lynore in Carrollton, Texas

74 months ago

Melissa CPC in Dallas, Texas said: There are many softwares for coding like Elligience, medisoft, Tims, Coderyte, Tacs and yes it depends on how busy the company is and how much work do they get daily. For instance if you work for a Dr's office you will not code as much But if you work for a billing and coding company with "BIG CLIENTS" then yes you would have a certain goal that you need to reach.

To: Melissa CPC, Dallas, Tx

Thank you Melissa for responding to my question regarding working from ques. That helped me alot. Also If I may ask you ( since I noticed you are in the Dallas area ; Did you actually have to be certified to work for a Dr's Office or Medical Coding company to start with?

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Rachel in Georgetown, Kentucky

70 months ago

Do you have to work for 2 years as a coder before you are officially certified?

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JD in Dallas, Texas

69 months ago

Need to find RHIT/RHIA certified medical coder in Dallas, Tx. Immediate opening. Does anyone have any ideas as to where to find resumes for coders? The position is posted in various resources, however, most responders can not determine the level of complexity, when tested.

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Julie in Sarasota, Florida

69 months ago

Karen O. Remonte in Asia/Pacific Region said: Hello Beth, I am a U.S. licensed medical coder, please feel free to emai me at karenimity@yahoo.com Thank you.

I am interested in obtaining training/certificate for a certified medical coding career. I need to do this all on-line as I have children(buisy mom) and do not know what schools to trust in order to get me there for an affordable price and in a reasonable amount of time. We are a low income family as we do live in Florida - the underdeveloped and non-industrial and non-progressive section. Mostly land scapeing, golfing, low paying hospitality/restaurant/service, tourist, and geriactrics(changing diapers and ect.) jobs. Waitresses are payed $2.00 per hour. The only decent jobs here are CEO/Management jobs and medical jobs. Aftter moving here 2 years ago (now in poverty) I need to retrain myself as soon as possible and only have little cash. I have some medical backround in the military(Medical Specialist), and know a lot of medical terminology already. Help!

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Susan in Granbury, Texas

69 months ago

JD in Dallas, Texas said: Need to find RHIT/RHIA certified medical coder in Dallas, Tx. Immediate opening. Does anyone have any ideas as to where to find resumes for coders? The position is posted in various resources, however, most responders can not determine the level of complexity, when tested.

Is this a remote position? Is it for inpatient, ERs, outpatient surgery coding or radiology?

When you say level of complexity, it sounds to me like you are referring to E&M levels?

I don't know where you would find resumes, but if the job is posted, you should get responses. I know I scan the job bank on the AHIMA website often. Some of the jobs on AHIMA also have a cross-link to job postings on HIPJobs.net.

I was reading the questions and responses from some of the coders above about coding from a queue. I work remotely and my daily work is in a queue in my company's VPN that I log into.

I code anywhere from 100-125 charts a day. Whatever they send me for the day, I have to have completed by midnight. My company has a set amount of charts that they feel a coder should be able to complete in an hour. The average is about 14 charts an hour. I think that the production is set too high on some of them. There are certain hospitals that take longer to code. The set amount depends on how much abstracting there is, whether or not we code the IV meds and infusions and the E&M levels too. For most of the clients, we code E&M, IV and IM meds and infusions, surgical procedures if they are discharged from the ER and there is usually abstracting of some sort on all of them.

My company doesn't have an encoder that links with the summary that we enter the codes on. We have to go one place to look them up, and go back to the summary screen to enter them. The summary screen is basically just an online form with a bunch of fields with a few edits thrown in here and there. I'm not a fan of their coding summary screen.

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Susan in Granbury, Texas

69 months ago

Julie in Sarasota, Florida said: I am interested in obtaining training/certificate for a certified medical coding career. I need to do this all on-line as I have children(buisy mom) and do not know what schools to trust in order to get me there for an affordable price and in a reasonable amount of time. We are a low income family as we do live in Florida - the underdeveloped and non-industrial and non-progressive section. Mostly land scapeing, golfing, low paying hospitality/restaurant/service, tourist, and geriactrics(changing diapers and ect.) jobs. Waitresses are payed $2.00 per hour. The only decent jobs here are CEO/Management jobs and medical jobs. Aftter moving here 2 years ago (now in poverty) I need to retrain myself as soon as possible and only have little cash. I have some medical backround in the military(Medical Specialist), and know a lot of medical terminology already. Help!

My advice would be to go to the AHIMA website and find out about their study at home programs. I say that, because almost all of the employers that I have seen, want coders to have AHIMA credentials and some want CPC too.

I would not take any of the online programs/schools like Kaplin, Andrews, (those are the only 2 I can think of right now) or any of the other ones that aren't accredited by AHIMA. I am not saying it's not a good education, because I don't know their curriculum. The problem is that they aren't affiliated with the organization that employers are looking for. I have been reading many posts on this forum from people that spent their money and put in their time and are now very frustrated with the job search.

AHIMA is the way to go!!

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bernnadette leath in Atlanta, Georgia

69 months ago

iam tring to find someone who can tell me why they got into medical coding and do work from home or a hospital

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Cat in Pensacola, Florida

69 months ago

bernnadette leath in Atlanta, Georgia said: iam tring to find someone who can tell me why they got into medical coding and do work from home or a hospital

I have been coding over 20 years and I love it. I worked at many other careers before I ended up with coding. I worked in doctors offices as a medical assistant, etc., in 2 labortories processing the samples, in an ambulance center, in a hospital ER, in a psychiatric hospital. But I was always drawn to coding. And while I like people I got sick of the daily hassle of patients, did not like dealing with insurance company's, so I began to take courses in coding and found I enjoyed it, was able to get my first job with the person teaching the course who worked in a local cancer hospital, and I learned on the job, doing clinic visits at first and staying after work on my own time learning how to do other types of charts from Ambulatory surgery, interventional radiology to inpatient charts, until I was allowed to do the charts as my work load and had to take my CCS the first year I worked which I was able to pass,I worked at several hospitals. Then I got a travel coder position which opened up a whole new range of experiences besides getting to travel and getting paid for it, I have also been able to gather experience on a lot of different types of coding in big hospitals over 1000 patients and also using different types of encoder's and different billing systems which each hospital uses and also hospitals have different information they want entered. What I found is that are the coding rules and then their are the hospital rules, you have to be flexible at times. Now I am on a remote assignment as I had to have my hip replaced. I have never been bored with coding, as there are always new things to learn, and as I have always enjoyed reading I don't find it a burden to read a chart, I like to work without someone standing over my shoulder, and I don't mind working alone or with co-workers

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bernnadette leath in Atlanta, Georgia

69 months ago

some people say i should have went to school for something beside coding its hard to find a job i like what i learning so for in school
i will gradute next year should i go somewhere to get extra learning like doctors office or hospital before start working in coding.

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MIRIAM in Zionsville, Pennsylvania

69 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: Yes, for instance if you coded 4 hours each of inpatient and ER's at the last hospital I was at in the NW, they expected at least 12-15 completed IPs and 52-56 ERs by the end of that day. Some facilities give grace for breaks and lunch--but others don't. Also, many facilities will take into consideration any long-stay cases and/or truly complex ones.

Sounds like piece work in a sweat factory.

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Erica Sims in Jackson, Mississippi

69 months ago

hello everyone, my name is Erica im from Mississippi, and i am currently attending college, majoring in medical billing and coding. i was wondering if i could talk to someone that works in that area. like work environment, pay, and what "they" do in a day. because i dont really have anyone to talk to thats already in that field that i know. thank you so much.

erica

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G Michaels in Youngstown, Ohio

69 months ago

Hi Erica- I am sure you will find a lot of insight in this forum. If you need additional info we post articles and information daily at www.medicalcodingpro.com. We also offer a free practice exam for signing up to our mailing list. Let us know if we can help you in any way.

All the best

Gregg

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G Michaels in Youngstown, Ohio

69 months ago

ps......click here to view the survey taken by the AAPC in 2008 for salaries in Coding......www.choice-time-management.com/medical-coding-salaries.html

Gregg

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Kayla

65 months ago

Are there any coding jobs that offer a chance to work from home and if so how hard is it to find and get that job?

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Gregg in Youngstown, Ohio

64 months ago

G Michaels in Youngstown, Ohio said: ps......click here to view the survey taken by the AAPC in 2008 for salaries in Coding...... www.choice-time-management.com/medical-coding-salaries.html

Gregg

Hi Everyone, I moved the above link over to the Medical Coding Pro site. You can get the salary info here:
medicalcodingpro.com/salaries.html

sorry for any confusion
Gregg

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connie in Dallas, Texas

61 months ago

JD in Dallas, Texas said: Need to find RHIT/RHIA certified medical coder in Dallas, Tx. Immediate opening. Does anyone have any ideas as to where to find resumes for coders? The position is posted in various resources, however, most responders can not determine the level of complexity, when tested.

Greetings
I am a certified coder who just moved to the Dallas area. Can you tell me if you found your "coder"?

connie
orcnn3@aol.com

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connie in Dallas, Texas

61 months ago

JD in Dallas, Texas said: Need to find RHIT/RHIA certified medical coder in Dallas, Tx. Immediate opening. Does anyone have any ideas as to where to find resumes for coders? The position is posted in various resources, however, most responders can not determine the level of complexity, when tested.

Greetings
Did you ever find resources for resumes for coders? Please email me directly and I can give you resources. Also, are you looking for a coder with a specific specialty or background? There are many credentials for coders.

Connie
orcnn3@aol.com

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Tammy in Chesapeake, Ohio

60 months ago

I was just wondering my daughter and I are getting ready to start coding school in sept, after reading all the letters each and everyone wrote seems like there is so much to it, is this as hard as it sounds or is it something that is made easy once you have been through school, The only type of work I have done I have been in collections and got really tired of it need something different I was excited about this but now not sure could someone please help me I dont want to make the wrong decision, Thanks so much

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annie21 in Millington, Michigan

60 months ago

Tammy in Chesapeake, Ohio said: I was just wondering my daughter and I are getting ready to start coding school in sept, after reading all the letters each and everyone wrote seems like there is so much to it, is this as hard as it sounds or is it something that is made easy once you have been through school, The only type of work I have done I have been in collections and got really tired of it need something different I was excited about this but now not sure could someone please help me I dont want to make the wrong decision, Thanks so much

I am a new coder, and yes, it is as hard as it sounds, but I love it! I do inpatient coding (I have my RHIT). I did very well in school but the first few weeks as a coder were so hard--some days I would get into my car and just cry. There is so much to learn that it is very overwhelming. Not only do you have to be able to read and understand long charts but you then have to know how to pull out the pertinant information and then how to apply coding guidelines to that data. For the first two months I was audited 100% until my accuracy was 98% average. Now I am audited at random--about 10% of my coded charts are pulled and scored. I love my job, the hours are great, the flexibility is a great perk and I am happy with the pay too (40k). But be prepared to work!

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annie21 in Millington, Michigan

60 months ago

Average day:

First I pull 15-20 charts off the wall for coding. We have a hybrid systen right now and some of our record is electronic but some is still on paper (we're close to switching over to 100% electronic). The coders each have their own cubicle, I go to mine and log into our various systems. Then I pull up the main work queue and check to see if I have any combined charts to work on, any physician queries that have been answered, or any charts with errors that prevented them from being billed. Then I just work through my pile of charts. We have about a dozen inpatient coders plus another 10 or so documentation specialists who work on the floor. Although we each do our work separately we often go to each other with questions or to get a second opinion. Some days we have meetings discussing results of audits or documentation issues. We also do all of our own follow up for claim denials.

There is a lot of sitting involved, but it is never boring.

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Beth in Huntersville, North Carolina

59 months ago

Hello Annie21,

I just read your reply to this article, and it helped me out alot because I was wanting to know more about the field too. I have a question though--I do like office work and love to be busy throughout the day to make time go faster, and the environment is clean, but I HATE jobs where I have to answer the phone all day long and resolve issues. I am so uncomfortable with that. I was wondering if you have to answer the phone at all for just strictly the coder position, or if you just sit in a cubicle alone and work at your own pace and do assignments? I know in school you have to learn both coding/billing, but I strongly do NOT want to get into billing, I get so nervous just thinking about it. I'm not trying to be a baby about it, I just dont feel comfortable. Could you please write back and give me some more insight? And also is coding hard at first/stressful? Thanks so very much!!

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Keybra in Chesapeake, Virginia

59 months ago

I am working on my final project and could realy use a paid internship. Anyone know where?

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