Getting a coding specialist job.

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Host

How did you get your start doing coding specialist work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

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Cassandra Curry in Nashville, Tennessee

113 months ago

I'm having a very difficult time finding a coding job in Nashville
is there anyone out there that has any tips.

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Coding Training & Medical - online in Frisco, Texas

105 months ago

I've seen many post regarding people not being able to find coding jobs after training. Regardless, I discovered this today which shows a much lower cost than average for coding & other medical training. It's all online.

These came from the Texas Employment Commission - Education Act approved schools.

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 510713 Medical Billing and Coding (online) 240/0 $1,395.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

__________________

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 111099 Management for IT Professionals (online) 390/0 $2,095.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 131206 Post-baccalaureate Alternative Teacher Certification Program (ACP) 1741/18 $6,100.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 470201 HVAC Technician Certificate (online) 320/0 $3,095.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 470604 Modern Automotive Service Technician 380/0 $2,695.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 510601 Administrative Dental Assistant (online) 240/0 $1,595.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 510601 Dental Assisting Program (on-site) 100/0 $1,799.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 510713 Medical Billing and Coding (online) 240/0 $1,395.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 510805 Pharmacy Technician Certification Program (on-site) 50/0 $999.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

Texas Lutheran University
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155 510805 Pharmacy Technician (online) 240/0 $1,795.00 No Capital Area Jun 30, 2009

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Ashley in Hope, Michigan

102 months ago

Cassandra Curry in Nashville, Tennessee said: I'm having a very difficult time finding a coding job in Nashville
is there anyone out there that has any tips.

I don't have any tips, but you're not alone out there! I have a 3.98 GPA, am RHIT certified, have my Associates degree, am 2 classes away from my Bachelor degree, and am not getting any calls! I'm seriously watching for jobs twice a day, applying for anything that is close to my qualifications, and nobody is calling me. It's sad and pathetic. The career advisor at school insists that my resume is good, yet my phone doesn't ring.

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Kim Perrish in Canton, Michigan

101 months ago

Ashley in Hope, Michigan said: I don't have any tips, but you're not alone out there! I have a 3.98 GPA, am RHIT certified, have my Associates degree, am 2 classes away from my Bachelor degree, and am not getting any calls! I'm seriously watching for jobs twice a day, applying for anything that is close to my qualifications, and nobody is calling me. It's sad and pathetic. The career advisor at school insists that my resume is good, yet my phone doesn't ring.

Dear Ashley, I am graduating this August from Baker College, and I understand your frustration, but stay positive! There are ways to network that you may have not thought of. I will list some below.
The AHIMA website is a hot bed of activity!
- Try the COp board, communities of practice, go the AHIMA forum and introduce yourself, DO NOT SOUND negative, sound positive, describe who you are in a professional manner, and make some great 1st impressions.
- The next step is to go on the forum marked Mentors and request a mentor, this is someone who is in the profession and will help guide your career.
- You may not like the next suggestion, but it is important to remember that while you are close to your bachelors degree, if you have no entry level experience, then companies may look the other way. It is hard to find a leadership position right out of school, in Michigan anyways, you may want to try some entry level positions. There are always opportunities for Home Health Coders. Just get a start! Stay positive and network!
- Another thing that may be going wrong, is where you are posting your resume, Career Builders and Hot Jobs is okay, but it may serve you better to try sites that are more HIM orientated. Here are a few.
www.himjobboard.com/
careerassist.ahima.org/home/index.cfm?site_id=681
www.mhima.org/jobbank/jobbank.html
- If you really want to dig your heals try going to AHD.com, this is a hospital directory and will help point you to the hospital. GL.

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Ashley in Beaverton, Michigan

101 months ago

Wow, Kim, these are great suggestions! Thank you so much. I actually have been trying for entry level positions too; like clerks or scanning, or anything to get in at a hospital or larger place where I have the potential to move up, and they always say they're looking for someone who "more closely meets the qualifications." I want to scream: how could a clerk more closely meet the qualifications than having an RHIT cert?

I will continue to apply, and check out the sites that you suggested. I really appreciate your advice :) Thanks!

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kimberlyperrish in Canton, Michigan

101 months ago

Dear Ashley,
Just following up have you tried with any luck with any of these suggestions?
Write to me and let me know how things are going.
With regards,
kimberly Perrish

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ladadee in ozone park, New York

100 months ago

what do you need to do to be a certified coding specialist? before i take the exam what education do i need.. and also with the ccs_p

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Gail in Detroit, Michigan

100 months ago

Cassandra Curry in Nashville, Tennessee said: I'm having a very difficult time finding a coding job in Nashville
is there anyone out there that has any tips.

Apply @ www.phns.com

Great place to work for!

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elaine in Trenton, Michigan

99 months ago

I read a few posts from Kim and Ashley both in Michigan. I wondered if either had found a job?

I am in Michigan as well. I have been in trancription for nearly 10 years and considering going for RHIT/RHIA, but was so disheartened that people are were finding it so difficult to find entry level positions.

I would really love a nice hourly/salaried position with good benefits and job security.

I was hoping RHIT/RHIA would be the ticket to a good career. Should I consider another field despite my years in medical records/transcription given it seems so difficult to obtain entry-level positions??

Also I wondered why these colleges have HIM programs if graduates are having such a terrible time finding positions....?

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Ella Sherrod in Denver, Colorado

99 months ago

I've Gradated from a well known career college where I trained to be an insurance coding and billing specialist. I am also nationally certified, however, I am having a difficult time finding a coding job in the Colorado area.
is there anyone out there that has any tips.

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Kimberly in Canton, Michigan

99 months ago

I believe that your experience in transcription would benefit you with your transition into RHIT. I myself am still in school so I have yet to obtain a position but I really have not tried as of yet. In regards to colleges still having a degree program in RHIT it is because it is still a good career, however as with many degree programs offered certain fields can become flooded. I would also like to suggest one additional career that you may pursue and that is court reporting, my mother started off as a court reporter and now does closed captioning for the hearing impaired, this has been very lucrative for her. At any rate I wish you well on your endeavors, make some calls to former employers in the medical field and ask them what they think.

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ecj in Trenton, Michigan

99 months ago

Thanks Kimberly. There is the viable option of going on to get RHIA as well and having a bachelors might help give an edge in a flooded market. That is the thing I am trying to determine. Is HIM (RHIT or RHIA) market actually flooded right now. I know there are so many jobs in patient care rolls such as nursing. No problems finding jobs there but what about Medical records. Any thoughts anyone?

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Kimberly in Canton, Michigan

98 months ago

ecj in Trenton, Michigan said: Thanks Kimberly. There is the viable option of going on to get RHIA as well and having a bachelors might help give an edge in a flooded market. That is the thing I am trying to determine. Is HIM (RHIT or RHIA) market actually flooded right now. I know there are so many jobs in patient care rolls such as nursing. No problems finding jobs there but what about Medical records. Any thoughts anyone?

In terms of the career being flooded, I can say two things on this, but ultimately it is you who has to take the jump. I know that I was able to complete the program in a year and a half, I took extra credit hours each semester to do this and had to back pedal and get waivers for certain classes. This made it so that I had to take classes at two different colleges and three sites all together. My main school was Baker College and I took classes at the Allen Park campus and the Clinton Twp campus, I also picked up a few classes through Schoolcraft college. There were only ten students in my graduating class in Allen Park and about fifteen in Clinton Twp and about twenty at Schoolcraft. However the classes below me were double in size, with Clinton Twp being the biggest of all about 30 people. RHIT is in a tricky place right now because of the type of job it is, there are many people employed in the field that will be eligible for retirement in the future, however, due to the low impact of the work and the economy, many are choosing to stay longer. If you look at the upcoming election health care will most likely receive more government funding thus creating more jobs. It is a double edged sword, but after reading a few of your posts I feel that job security is most important to you seconded by a secure wage. With this is mind I may suggest two other areas to explore.

Health Informatics: Bachelors or Masters degree, starting salaries in the 50's, lots and lots of jobs.
Nursing: Mid 30's lots and lots of jobs.

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Elaine in Trenton, Michigan

98 months ago

Well actually a secure wage and a job security are both equally important to me . Although I do understand entry level in most fields comes with lower wages and accept that.

With having so many years in medical records moving in the direction of RHIT and eventually RHIA would probably be the best transitions for my present skill set. Additionally, I have already taken a good number of the prereqs I see at both Schoolcraft and Baker. I took them under nursing prereqs so have A and P, english, math, medical terminology a number of the other prereqs done. So I wouldn't be starting from scartch per se.

Health Informatics sounds good but do you know of any local universities or colleges which have this program in Michigan?

Nursing is still on the table but it's such a huge leap and complete 180 with what I have been doing. The schooling Is very difficult to get through and the hinderance I have is trying to single parent 2 kids (one in high school and one in grade school) and needing to work full-time. This makes nursing programs a bit prohibitive for my situation - although I am sure with determination anything can be done.

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Kimberly Perrish in Canton, Michigan

98 months ago

After reading a little more I agree with you that HIT is going to be a better fit. I will give you some info that has helped me to get through the program and try to keep it tailored to your direction as well. In terms of Health Informatics there are no local schools, however there is one online.
www.worldwidelearn.com/health/health-care-administration/health-information-technology/
However a degree in RHIT will be much quicker for you. As far as classes and schedules that are conducive to single parents depends primarily on your schedule. Baker college Allen Park has all HIT classes in the evenings starting at 6pm to 10 pm, Baker College Clinton TWP. has classes both day and evening 11 am/6pm start times. Schoolcraft offers both day and evening. Schoolcraft is cheaper but there is more availability for funding and loans through Baker because it is a four year college. Dean Irvin is the Dean of Health Sciences at Allen Park and I would strongly recommend a sit down with her or Jamika Duncan. They are both so incredible and will really work with you one on one to help you meet your goals. With all of the prereq's you have you should be able to primarily stick to your core classes. If you are looking for funding outside of traditional Stafford loans I would recommend Next Student or Nel Net for private loans and I know that Dearborn Federal Credit Union has additional funding up to 10000.00 for members that are in a job transition. Other banks are offering similar funding options. No matter what direction you take I feel that you will do well. I have enjoyed writting with you and wish you all the best.

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angie in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

98 months ago

You are so right! I have a Bachelor's Degree in Health Care Administration and now I'm pursing court reporting. I started out many years ago wanting to be a CR. Guess I have come full circle.

Kimberly in Canton, Michigan said: I believe that your experience in transcription would benefit you with your transition into RHIT. I myself am still in school so I have yet to obtain a position but I really have not tried as of yet. In regards to colleges still having a degree program in RHIT it is because it is still a good career, however as with many degree programs offered certain fields can become flooded. I would also like to suggest one additional career that you may pursue and that is court reporting, my mother started off as a court reporter and now does closed captioning for the hearing impaired, this has been very lucrative for her. At any rate I wish you well on your endeavors, make some calls to former employers in the medical field and ask them what they think.

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Cathy in Greensboro, North Carolina

97 months ago

Host said: How did you get your start doing coding specialist work, and what career moves did you make to get to your current position?

Do you need a particular educational background?

A bit of advice for those interested in a career in coding. Make sure you can handle the stress and pressure of meeting your employer's daily quota, and that you don't mind being quiet all day long, except for short potty breaks and your lunch break. I have realized way too late that I am too much of an extrovert, working in an introvert career. I worked for 15 years as a credit/collection specialist in the textile industry and was laid off. I had to start over again at age 40. I attended my local community college and received my Associates degree in Medical Office Administration. I enjoyed my coding classes and pursued my certification as a CPC(certified professional coder) through the American Academy of Professional Coders. It was almost a year before I got a position with a home health care company. I have been doing home health coding for a little over a year and I am miserable. So just make sure it is something you love doing. Best wishes in finding the career you're seeking!

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stephinseattle in Redmond, Washington

96 months ago

Cathy in Greensboro, North Carolina said: A bit of advice for those interested in a career in coding. Make sure you can handle the stress and pressure of meeting your employer's daily quota, and that you don't mind being quiet all day long, except for short potty breaks and your lunch break. I have realized way too late that I am too much of an extrovert, working in an introvert career. I worked for 15 years as a credit/collection specialist in the textile industry and was laid off. I had to start over again at age 40. I attended my local community college and received my Associates degree in Medical Office Administration. I enjoyed my coding classes and pursued my certification as a CPC(certified professional coder) through the American Academy of Professional Coders. It was almost a year before I got a position with a home health care company. I have been doing home health coding for a little over a year and I am miserable. So just make sure it is something you love doing. Best wishes in finding the career you're seeking!

If it's any consolation, I have also done home health coding and despised it! Have you thought about branching out to code a different patient type?

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Cathy in Greensboro, North Carolina

95 months ago

No, because I know that presently I don't have enough experience even if the experience is in home health coding (ICD-9). In my almost a year of searching for a job I did apply for anything related to coding. Now my big dilemma is whether to take the HCS-D test again or pursue another career.

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JC in Detroit, Michigan

89 months ago

Kimberly in Canton, Michigan said: In terms of the career being flooded, I can say two things on this, but ultimately it is you who has to take the jump. I know that I was able to complete the program in a year and a half, I took extra credit hours each semester to do this and had to back pedal and get waivers for certain classes. This made it so that I had to take classes at two different colleges and three sites all together. My main school was Baker College and I took classes at the Allen Park campus and the Clinton Twp campus, I also picked up a few classes through Schoolcraft college. There were only ten students in my graduating class in Allen Park and about fifteen in Clinton Twp and about twenty at Schoolcraft. However the classes below me were double in size, with Clinton Twp being the biggest of all about 30 people. RHIT is in a tricky place right now because of the type of job it is, there are many people employed in the field that will be eligible for retirement in the future, however, due to the low impact of the work and the economy, many are choosing to stay longer. If you look at the upcoming election health care will most likely receive more government funding thus creating more jobs. It is a double edged sword, but after reading a few of your posts I feel that job security is most important to you seconded by a secure wage. With this is mind I may suggest two other areas to explore.

Health Informatics: Bachelors or Masters degree, starting salaries in the 50's, lots and lots of jobs.
Nursing: Mid 30's lots and lots of jobs.

Hi Kimberly - we're pretty close to each other location-wise (Garden City). Health Informatics seems promising but still so vague. What other info can you provide? I've looked on the main sites and I know there are degree programs.

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JC in Detroit, Michigan

89 months ago

Cont.
I guess I'm nervous of getting more school loan debt (my Bachelor's is in Computer Info Systems and my job is in no way related to my educational background!) for something that is "promising" but doesn't deliver a job.

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weiler in Las Vegas, Nevada

89 months ago

also PureMedicalJobsDOTCOM may help too as it is tough out there good luck !

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kimtanya jamison in Dallas, Georgia

77 months ago

i'm having a very difficult time finding a coding job in Atlanta,GA
is there any one out there that has any tips on finding a job tell me about it so i can jump on today.

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kim, CPC in West Jordan, Utah

77 months ago

kimtanya jamison in Dallas, Georgia said: i'm having a very difficult time finding a coding job in Atlanta,GA
is there any one out there that has any tips on finding a job tell me about it so i can jump on today.

unfortunately this field has gotten over saturated, and coding jobs are harder to find, especially if you do not have experience. if you don't have experience, you might have to just try to get your foot in the medical door another way, medical records, or front desk receptionist, or focus on the billing/follow up end instead of the coding.

after getting some medical experience (cpt and icd 9 experience) you might have an easier time finding an actual coding job.

certifications help, but if you don't have any experience, you will probably still have a hard time finding something.

unfortunately, this field takes awhile to break into. and tons and tons of people just like you went to school to get a great job, and there just aren't that many available....

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