AHIMA's Exams - No Educational Requirements!

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r grover in Hopkins, Minnesota

60 months ago

cpayne in Tahlequah, Oklahoma said: I disagree with you in regard to obtaining the CCA through AHIMA. It is a relatively easy "entry-level" coding credential to obtain (no more than 6 months, possibly less study that can be done at home with the use of a text book and CD). If you do not have any prior work experience, but have your CCA, this can be a door opener to get into a Medical Records department, and possibly a outpatient coding position.

Thanx cpayne
so encouraging to read ur comments !
I was planning to give CCS exam ..but from all the comments & reviews here , i think i shud first give CCA. Can u plz advice where to buy books from , & do we need to buy all the books which are listed in the "recommended resouces" section on the AHIMA's site. Each book is around $100 , so thats a ot of expense if i have to buy all . And which CD did u recommend for studying ?

Thanx for ur help...plz respond soon .

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cpayne in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

60 months ago

Look up "books" on www Amazon dot com and search for the Professional Review Guide CCA. This book comes with a CD that has practice exams that will help you prepare to take the CCA test. I have purchased this book for my employees and two of them studied and passed the CCA on the first try.

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Medha in San Ramon, California

60 months ago

I missed it only by number of points!! That was really upsetting. Anyways, I think you need to practice as many inpatient/outpatient cases as you can in order to get the speed you need. Since I didn't have any work experience, I was struggling to finish all 13 cases within the time limit. You have about 3 hours for 13 cases. I did good on outpatient cases, but missed some points on inpatient cases. You also loose points for applyig wrong codes! I studied AHIMA's CCS review guide and CCS coding exam review by Carol Buck. Good luck with your exam.

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r grover in Hopkins, Minnesota

60 months ago

cpayne in Tahlequah, Oklahoma said: Look up "books" on www Amazon dot com and search for the Professional Review Guide CCA. This book comes with a CD that has practice exams that will help you prepare to take the CCA test. I have purchased this book for my employees and two of them studied and passed the CCA on the first try.

Thanx for ur help cpayne
is this the only book which i wud need to study or there is a list of books ? As on the AHIMA's site , they have given given ref books accordings to different topics of the exam content .
so i was kind of confused whether to study only this one book or is this one of the books ?

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r grover in Hopkins, Minnesota

60 months ago

Medha in San Ramon, California said: I missed it only by number of points!! That was really upsetting. Anyways, I think you need to practice as many inpatient/outpatient cases as you can in order to get the speed you need. Since I didn't have any work experience, I was struggling to finish all 13 cases within the time limit. You have about 3 hours for 13 cases. I did good on outpatient cases, but missed some points on inpatient cases. You also loose points for applyig wrong codes! I studied AHIMA's CCS review guide and CCS coding exam review by Carol Buck. Good luck with your exam.

Hey Medha
thanx for ur reply .
If u dont mind , can u give me ur mail ID/ fone num ..as there r few other things which i wanted to know ...& being such an expensive exam , i think , i'll have to wait for an yr , if in case i m not able to make it in the first try , so if i cud talk to u abt certain things , it'll b really greatfull of u .
Thanx for ur help
Ruchi

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r grover in Hopkins, Minnesota

60 months ago

Thanx a ton for a prompt reply .

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Rose in Round Lake, Illinois

59 months ago

Hi, I am an RHIA and in Dec 2008 graduated with an associates in Nursing. I wanted to know if my nursing courses for my associates degree count towards CEUs. I took 4 semesters of nursing in 2008. Can you tell me if I can use nursing courses for credit towards my RHIA?

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Goose1957 in Shirley, New York

59 months ago

Rose in Round Lake, Illinois said: Hi, I am an RHIA and in Dec 2008 graduated with an associates in Nursing. I wanted to know if my nursing courses for my associates degree count towards CEUs. I took 4 semesters of nursing in 2008. Can you tell me if I can use nursing courses for credit towards my RHIA?

Probably not. I'm an RN currently enrolled in an RHIT program and from what I've seen nursing and RHIA/RHIT ceu's are profession specific and not interchangeable.

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coder311 in Collierville, Tennessee

59 months ago

If I take the CCS exam in 2010, how long will will I be able to use the 2009 versions of CPT and ICD-9?

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AgaB in Allen, Texas

58 months ago

I am a phone call away from enrolling in the inpatient coding program at CareerStep. Since I have few years experience in office billing I want to go straight to CCS exams. What is everyone thoughts on the school and the program?
Thanks in advance.

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Valerie in Moreno Valley, California

58 months ago

Lorraine W. in Connersville, Indiana said: I've been an Inpatient/ER coder since 1998 and have worked in hospitals, physician offices (physician radiology coding/billing), as a traveling coding consultant, and currently as a remote Inpatient coder.

I have seen new coders who learned very fast...and other coders who, after a YEAR of training just for ER coding--or working Inpatient for over 15 yrs, could not code to save their lives.

What does it take to make a go at coding? I think that you either have it in your blood or you just don't.

Some things I've seen in myself and other coders:

--attention to detail. Yes, it's a term thrown out all over the place...but it is very true. I used to be a professional proofreader of complex legal and engineering documents. Without that keen eye--for what is missing and what is simply incorrect--I wouldn't have done well with either field.

--ability to retain and understand new information. You're coding a chart. You're unsure of the principal dx. Can you remember reading a Coding Clinic relating to it from 3 years prior? Otherwise, you wind up incorrectly coding the chart.

--THOROUGH knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, abbreviations. And sometimes MDs make mistakes while jotting down prog notes. You need to be able to discern if they've screwed up (ie, writing 'parenchyma' when they meant 'paronychia'--from a real case btw).

If your typing/10-key is too slow, take a refresher and/or speed course. Productivity is key: 12-20/hr ER, 5-9/hr OP, 3-5/hr IP in most hospitals.

Lorraine,
You're absolutely right about the CCS exam.. It's VERY INTENSE and I've seen co workers spend too much money by failing twice.. With no inpatient coding experience..I've was told to purchase Carol Bucks CCS but I don't think it'll give me all the knowledge I really need.. What would you suggest??

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linda@columbia in Columbia, Missouri

58 months ago

Trish in Coldwater, Michigan said: Late 40's?.....go for it! You are good for another 30 + years...and if remote maybe 40+. HA HA no driving...(just a joke..cause I am 50).. itwill be the best thing you ever did.
I had a college instructor tell me when I got a 4.0 in Chemistry at college at 40 that his best students were that age...cause they studied like they had no tomorrow and he wished his younger ones would do the same...I always sucked at math and that stuff in school..
so don't let age stop you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trish,

I am a HIT student at Minnesota State and had a two year degree in 1983. I am 55 and will be almost 56 when i graduate.I will take the exam RHIT in May 2010. You are not to old.Anyone that made a 4.0 chemistry should look into nursing it takes about the same amount of time.

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ferdinand kweh in hyattsville, Maryland

58 months ago

I am intrested in taking the ccs exam but,i am looking for a refreshal class.I graduated from john hopkins sch. of bius. in columbia MD in 2005.it has been along time and i have no expirence in coding.I am an lpn now and will love been a ccs cert.If anyone knows someone around the dc,va&md area offering refreshal course should email me please fefeck1972@yahoo.com

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backtoschoolat52 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

58 months ago

Has anyone taken online classes for Medical Coding/Billing and would like to recommend their school? Based on previous comments DeVry is a no. Also, would you recommend a Certificate, Diploma, or a Degree if I just want to work from home? Thankx for the time you take to respond.

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ferdinand kweh in hyattsville, Maryland

58 months ago

Leventer in Washington, District of Columbia said: I am interested in study groups, seminars or network programs for new medical coders beginners.

Thanks

i am intrested in the group study.if u will be intrested joining me that will be great.my email is fefeck1972@yahoo.com

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Cindi in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

58 months ago

I attend the HITT program through Midland College in Midland, TX. I reside in Tahlequah, OK and the coursework in 99% on-line. Some of the exams need to be proctored at a testing facility, which is no big deal. I will also have to do clinicals at a facility that requires actually visiting another facility. This is my second year going part-time and working full-time. You can finish the coursework in two years if you go full-time.

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Cindi in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

58 months ago

I forgot to add that I researched many many on-line Health Information Technology schools through the AHIMA website by sending their list of on-line schools an e-mail asking for pricing and other pertinent questions. Midland was the most cost effective and has a very responsive (helpful) director of the HITT department.

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kim, CPC in West Jordan, Utah

58 months ago

ferdinand kweh in hyattsville, Maryland said: I am intrested in taking the ccs exam but,i am looking for a refreshal class.I graduated from john hopkins sch. of bius. in columbia MD in 2005.it has been along time and i have no expirence in coding.I am an lpn now and will love been a ccs cert.If anyone knows someone around the dc,va&md area offering refreshal course should email me please fefeck1972@yahoo.com

with no coding experience, you might be better off sitting for the CCS-P instead of the CCS (which is inpatient coding and extremely hard for those who actually do it every day)

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backtoschoolat52 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

58 months ago

Thanx for your response Cindi. I am now leaning more towards a Medical Billing/Coding certificate program. UMA has been pursuing me. Has anyone taken the course through UMA? Their program sounds pretty good. 7 months. The cost is $14,500. Financial aid available if you qualify. Any opinions?

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Valerie in Long Beach, California

57 months ago

there's an inpatient course giving at UC San Diego and it's a year long course on tues, thurs 5:30 to 8:30 and on Sat 8am to 11am..The cost is $3,500 and the course prepares you to take the CCS exam.. Is that worth paying $3,500??????????? I NEED ADVICE QUICK!!!!

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dfmf in Wilmington, OH in Mechanicsburg, Ohio

57 months ago

I have spent most of my morning reading through all the comments on here and I would like to thank all of you for your inputs. I have been looking at taking the courses on AHIMA. org and now I think I really am making the right decision. I am not sure about not sure about some of the other online programs out there, but with AHIMA I can transfer those credits to a traditional school whenever I decide to go and get my associates. Once again, thank you all for all the great information!

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backtoschoolat52 in Mount Pleasant, Michigan

57 months ago

dfmf in Wilmington, OH in Mechanicsburg, Ohio said: I have spent most of my morning reading through all the comments on here and I would like to thank all of you for your inputs. I have been looking at taking the courses on AHIMA. org and now I think I really am making the right decision. I am not sure about not sure about some of the other online programs out there, but with AHIMA I can transfer those credits to a traditional school whenever I decide to go and get my associates. Once again, thank you all for all the great information!

Were you able to get any Federal grants or Student Loans through FAFSA to go through AHIMA? I have talked with employers at various hospitals and they require an Associates degree as well as certification before they will hire anyone.

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notimpressedwithcoding in Minneapolis, Minnesota

57 months ago

I finished Medical Administration and Terminology last summer hoping to get into medical billing and coding. I did qualify for pell grants, etc. I have not taken the test yet (my INSTRUCTOR told me I didn't need to!!) so this info on this site is interesting, but what I'm finding is that all of the employers want experience, which I don't have! In fact, a friend of mine called the school I went to and they don't even offer it anymore because the market is saturated with new medical billers and coders. Now I'm applying for ANYTHING, even if it's not related to the medical field. I need a job!! I also graduated with over a 4.0 but so far what does it matter? I was a realtor for 12 years and am sick of trying to live on commissions with the market the way it is. So sorry, but I'm not impressed with medical billing and coding anymore. I've noticed theres plenty of jobs for MA's and CNA's for anyone in MN thats thinking of employment and schooling. I may see how much longer I'd have to go to get a MA license/certification.

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Valerie in Compton, California

57 months ago

NotImpressedWithCoding,
I have a few friends who are coders and some who are not. Well the ones who are not are in a nursing program..Have you ever thought of that?? At least with a nurse you are behind the scene when it comes to those medical notes..You can actually see whats going on. Just a suggestion...Also CRNA-nurse anesthesiologist are making in the high $100 thousand annual salary. I say it on yahoo and that's a hot job for the health care industry.

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notimpressedwithcoding in Minneapolis, Minnesota

57 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: NotImpressedWithCoding,
I have a few friends who are coders and some who are not. Well the ones who are not are in a nursing program..Have you ever thought of that?? At least with a nurse you are behind the scene when it comes to those medical notes..You can actually see whats going on. Just a suggestion...Also CRNA-nurse anesthesiologist are making in the high $100 thousand annual salary. I say it on yahoo and that's a hot job for the health care industry.

I took a 3 month course because I needed an income immediately. I don't know if I can afford 1. the loans (I've postponed mine till October) or going to school and a job. I'm a single mom of 2 kids and on (embarassing) county support because my ex does not pay what he should and sometimes doesn't even pay.

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Valerie in Compton, California

57 months ago

It can be stuff being a single mom with kids and a dead beat dad..Well, I have friends who are single moms of course with kids. But they were determined to get where they're at today. Some have very successful careers with no help from their sperm donors. But these women were determined to "make it"..They worked and went to school. Sometimes you gotta do what you have to do not what you want to do. Hang in their, look outside of MN even if you have to bring yourself and the kids to another state..

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notimpressedwithcoding in Minneapolis, Minnesota

57 months ago

You are soooo correct on the sperm donor!! LOL I am a tough cookie-raised them by myself and have worked two jobs before...just trying to get ANY job to pay the bills, then will worry about schooling. I can't move...my house has been paid for by my uncle with no payments, so I'm very blessed in that aspect. Its a tough market in MN and I have sooo much experience in a lot of stuff! How is it in CA? Gina

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Valerie in Compton, California

57 months ago

Hey I'm 40, that's what I still call mine.."sperm donor"...But anyway..Lots of opportunities in California but you have to have a minimum of 2 years.. But the pay sucks, living in Southern Cal you get paid less that's why I moved here from the bay area (san francisco) I'll stay for another year for the experience then I'll move back to the bay area where I can get paid for what I'm worth.. I haven't been coding for yearssssss but sometimes you can get that by how much you know and how quickly you catch on...Of course, the weather is perfect..I prefer the cold, the wind and rain...Have you thought about calling up Coding mgrs and asking them if you can volunteer to sit with them and see how other coders code.. Call around to a few hospitals and see what they say...

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notimpressedwithcoding in Minneapolis, Minnesota

57 months ago

That's a great idea! I asked my dental office if they'd let me code for free and they wouldn't. I may even volunteer at a hospital just to get my face and name out there. I'm 46 and am wondering if that has anything to do with it?? If you like the cold, try Minnesota! LOL

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ferdinand in Hyattsville, Maryland

57 months ago

kim, CPC in West Jordan, Utah said: with no coding experience, you might be better off sitting for the CCS-P instead of the CCS (which is inpatient coding and extremely hard for those who actually do it every day)

thanks for yr advice,hope it do work for me.

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aahill in Wilkinson, Georgia

57 months ago

ferdinand in Hyattsville, Maryland said: thanks for yr advice,hope it do work for me.

The key to coding is learning how to use the index in the back of the CPT Coding book. Of course medical term. and A&P, is a must, but I believe that you will be able to pass the CCS with those key points. I am majoring in Health Information Management at a local technical school and I will receive a diploma in the program when I finish. I will be eligible to take the CCA but my instructor is encourageing us to go ahead and take the CCS in which she is preparing us for. My instructor is head of the medical records department at the VA Hospital and she has been in the field since 1964. I took a practice exam on the AHIMA site for the CCS and did pretty good with the knowledge that I have obtained from my classes.

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Valdenise in San Diego, California

57 months ago

AaHILL,
The coding class you're taking is it offered online.

thanks

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aahill in Wilkinson, Georgia

57 months ago

Valdenise in San Diego, California said: AaHILL,
The coding class you're taking is it offered online.

thanks

The coding class that I am taking is not offered online; I take it on campus. There are schools that offer coding online. I know that AHIMA.org has information about online coding classes from them.

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Valdenise in San Diego, California

57 months ago

Thank you Aahill,
You're lucky to have someone working at the VA to teach up inpatient coding..Good luck to you and I hope you pass that darn CCS...It is a tuff one.

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codertx in Bryan, Texas

57 months ago

Nicole in Dublin, California said: PS - Sorry if this was obvious to everyone else.. I just came across it today and I guess was surprised after all the talk about where to go school that in the end, it doesn't matter. AHIMA will let ANYONE sit for their exams, education and experience, or not!

Yes, but I know 6 people have failed it until they took a condensed course and only passed in the 70's.

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Valerie in Compton, California

57 months ago

Does anyone know an ONLINE PROGRAM that has both ambulatory and inpatient coding to help you pass the CCS...I was told SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE was good..ANY OTHER SCHOOL SUGGESTIONS??????

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KK in West Hollywood, California

56 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: Does anyone know an ONLINE PROGRAM that has both ambulatory and inpatient coding to help you pass the CCS...I was told SANTA BARBARA CITY COLLEGE was good..ANY OTHER SCHOOL SUGGESTIONS??????

You don't need to take college course to pass CCS exam. You can practice coding on your own. I am currently attending Santa Barbara City College (HIT), but I started my courses here after I earned my AHIMA credential.

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Valerie in Compton, California

56 months ago

KK,
I tried studying at home but it's not the same. Besides I really need to know DRGs and APCs..After the HIT program will you take the medical coding specialist program at SBCC?

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KK in West Hollywood, California

56 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: KK,
I tried studying at home but it's not the same. Besides I really need to know DRGs and APCs..After the HIT program will you take the medical coding specialist program at SBCC?

Valerie

I am currently holding CCA & CCS license. I took advanced coding course and medical practicum at SBCC to improve my coding skill and learn about DRG, encoder and basic ICD-10. They teach DRG and basic ICD-10 in adavanced coding application course at SBCC.

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Valerie in Compton, California

56 months ago

WOW!!! Can you be my mentor ;-).....That's my goal, I'd rather be an inpatient coder because it's more money. Besides I'm trying to beat the ICD-10 deadline...I don't know how i'll make it using ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes..I know I've asked you this BUT by taking the med coding specialist program at SBCC, did it help you to pass the CCA and CCS??

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KK in West Hollywood, California

56 months ago

Valerie in Compton, California said: WOW!!! Can you be my mentor ;-).....That's my goal, I'd rather be an inpatient coder because it's more money. Besides I'm trying to beat the ICD-10 deadline...I don't know how i'll make it using ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes..I know I've asked you this BUT by taking the med coding specialist program at SBCC, did it help you to pass the CCA and CCS??

Valerie

I started college course AFTER I passed CCS exam. I mostly studied about coding on my own, but after I earned my CCS, I realized that I have to learn about HIT, DRG, encoder, basic ICD-10 etc so that is why I attend SBCC.

I cannot really said if coding classes at SBCC will help in passing CCS, it depend on student's effort. I think college courses in based on theory more than practice. I would recommend you to do coding exercise on your own apart from what u learn at college.

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Valerie in Compton, California

56 months ago

I keep that in mind..Thank you KK...;-)

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pat l hanson in Minnetonka, Minnesota

56 months ago

Teresa in Fayetteville, North Carolina said: You said you worked as a traveling coding consultant. I am wondering do you have to be certified to get a job as a traveling coder since I have 11 months under me already? Is it hard to get a coding job with your RHIA finish out of college?
Thank you. You are more and welcome to email me at varsityknights@aol.com

I'm interested to find out what the daily expectations are for out patient coding in hospitals around the U.S. Currently were expected to code 15 visits per hour. Is this high,low or average? Thank you.

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pat l hanson in Minnetonka, Minnesota

56 months ago

What is your current daily work load for hospital out patient coding? Our supervisor, says 80 a day is average across the U.S. I believe that this is a relatively high number of charts to complete accurately in day? Looking for others input? Thanks.

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Valerie in Compton, California

56 months ago

Morning KK,
At SBCC, did you learn about Ambulatory Surgery??

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KK in West Hollywood, California

56 months ago

It is part of outpatient coding.

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Valerie in Compton, California

56 months ago

Thank you KK..

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ferdinand in Hyattsville, Maryland

56 months ago

Hi, can anyone help?i am looking for any review classes for the ccs exam in maryland. I will like to attend one b4 going in for my certification exam.

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Shirley Winters in Wheaton, Illinois

56 months ago

No Comments! All of the comments posted seems helpful, I have no schooling, in medical coding and billing, but have over 20 years experience and is very much interested in becoming AAPC or AHIMA.

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HIM-in-Berkeley in Sunnyvale, California

56 months ago

I am in the process of switching from a nonhealthcare profession to HIM. I plan to enroll in the graduate HIM certificate progam at Oregon Health Science University in the fall. Currently I am taking A&P, after that IDC 1 & 2, and CPT 1 & 2 with AHIMA; all are prereqs to enroll in the program at OHSU. As I have no experience in healthcare would it be advantageous for me to get the CCS credential enroute to RHIA to get a job in the field? Like others on the forum have stated, experience seems to be the biggest hurdle in landing a job. Thanks

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