Medical Billing and Coding I will graduate on 7/17/09

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

CCS/CPC is a must. It will be quite difficult finding a job as a RHIA/RHIT unless you have obtained your CCS/CPC. If you are not proficient in Coding, your ability to manage coders will be suspect at best. You are close to me. I can send you to an AAPC Chapter Meeting or you can come by our school and talk to me and Anthony. He is our night instructor and a Compliance Officer at Kaiser.

RHIA/RHIT does not trump you CCS/CPC. You need inside analysis from people who are doing this for a living. My e-mail is: mike@sticcc.com

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lellerbrock1 in Denver, Colorado

52 months ago

So why are the community colleges where I live telling us students that we need the R.H.I.T. for entry level employment? How does an entry-level coder get their foot in the door when every local ad I read typically has a minimum of 2 years experience?

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

If all they offer is a virtual externship, dont do it. That should be a prep program before your actual externship. We arrange an externship site for all of our students. We are recognized as being one of the few Certification Training Programs in Southern California. We won an award from the Soutbay Workforce Investment Board for our Medical Billing and Coding Program.

Talk to professionals in the field! It really helps. I am here if ya need me. mike@sticcc.com. Cant give out my number on the thread.

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Finding a good externship site is simple for a good school with a good reputation. Sure you will be doing 20-30 superbills an hour once you reach your externship site but The most important thing you will learn; IS THE RULES! Again; THE RULES!

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lellerbrock1 in Denver, Colorado

52 months ago

Mike in Los Angeles, California: Any programs like yours in Colorado?

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Check some of the Hospitals in your area. Some of them have their own Health Information Management Programs but you want to make sure that obtain your CPC and CCS are part of the over-all scope of training.

Hold tight my friend. I am currently looking into this in more detail. Remember, in the past it was reccommended that you work in the field for three years before you obtain any of these Certifications. This was because there were no coding specific programs available at the time. We have been doing this for the last 8 years. I know what questions need to be asked. I will get back to you! I promise.

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

If you look on every job board, it says CCS or CPC. RHIA and RHIT are not supplements for the CCS and CPC Certifications. Your job coming out of an RHIA/RHIT Program will most likely be an entry level CCS/CPC coder (at least here in California). Dont put the cart ahead of the horse. Some RHIT programs will help you obtain your CPC/CCS within the duration of your training but alot dont. That is why you need to do your research.

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msnee in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Okay Mike you've been a great deal of help to me as well as other enquirers, But I have found a school what offers an actual externship with actual hands on experience instead of the virtual lab. Its called Ladera Career Paths Inc located about 4 miles away from my residence. They have Medical Coder / Medical Biller / Health Claims Examiner, Medical Biller & Medical Record Coder. I'm leaning more towards the:Medical Coder/Medical Biller/Health Claims Examiner program. I have posted below their accredited info on the site.

*******LCPTC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT).

AHIMA Approval
LCPTC has received the stamp of approval from the American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) Commission on Accreditation for its Medical Records Coder (MRC) Program. This approval makes LCPTC’s MRC certificate program one of three in the state of California acknowledged by AHIMA as an Approved Coding Educational Model.
State of California Approval
LCPTC programs are approved by the state of California's Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education in accordance with the provisions of the California Education Code for integrity, financial stability, and educational quality, including the offering of quality instruction by qualified faculty and the appropriate assessment of students' achievement prior to, and at the end of its programs.

Professional Affiliations
Ladera Career Paths Training Centers is an active member of:

- California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS)

- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

- California Health Information Management Association*******

Is this something similar to your facility?

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

No worries! They lost their AHIMA approval (not that it really matters)and they prepare you to take the CPC not the CCS. This I heard from previous students who enrolled in our prep course. There accredited by ACCSC (formerly ACCSCT). This is a great Accreditation to have. From what I understand, their course format is pretty strong.

We are accredited by ACCET (recognized nationally as the best). We are the only school in California to recieve a five year re-accreditation.

We have won numerious awards from the Employment Development Department (Southbay Workforce Investment Board) for having a Ninety Percent job placement.

We have also won the Los Angeles Award.

We are the only school in California who is I-train approved (EDD WIA) for a Short-term CCS/CPC Certification Review program.

Good luck my friend! This is an awsome field. I am confident you will do fine. I am almost positive you will have questions in the future. If you need me it's mike@sticcc.com.

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msnee in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Okay one more question. I had it narrowed down to charles drew univ., Ladrea Career Paths Inc. West LA College & CodeMed. And I received an email today from Codemed & they stated the following:

"Thank you for your interest in the Medical Coding Program at Code
Med School Of professional Medical Coding.

Our Certificate program is approved by AHIMA and it is one of the few
approved schools in Los Angles, what does that mean for you is you qualify
to take the AHIMA Exam for CCS right away after you graduate from the
program.
Our program does not have a externship module as you can take the test right
away.
Currently we have a Hybrid Program which is 2 days online and one day in
School"

Now I know I haven't even gotten my feet wet yet but is it possible to take the exam right after graduating without even having extensive hands on let alone an extenship, in your opinion? I'm just trying to make the right decision before I actually sign on the dotted line.

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

You can get your RHIA/RHIT along with an Associates Degree at Charles Drew. This is a good option for you. If you want to attend the next AAPC Chapter Meeting in your area, let me know.

I looked into it for you and RHIT/RHIA Training at Charles Drew does cover CPC/CCS coding extensively. A well rounded RHIT/RHIA should know how to code. There are many in the field who dont.

If you want to be a coder with extensive Coding, compliance, and rules training, we might be the best option for you. We prepare you for your CCS and CPC Certifications and place you into a job. We have an award winning job placement program along with instructors who are working in some of the major hospitals and Billing Companies in the Southland. Visit each campus if you can.

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Mike in Los Angeles, California

52 months ago

Mike in Los Angeles, California said: You can get your RHIA/RHIT along with an Associates Degree at Charles Drew. This is a good option for you. If you want to attend the next AAPC Chapter Meeting in your area, let me know.

I looked into it for you and RHIT/RHIA Training at Charles Drew does cover CPC/CCS coding extensively. A well rounded RHIT/RHIA should know how to code. There are many in the field who dont.

If you want to be a coder with extensive Coding, compliance, and rules training, we might be the best option for you. We prepare you for your CCS and CPC Certifications and place you into a job. We have an award winning job placement program along with instructors who are working in some of the major hospitals and Billing Companies in the Southland. Visit each campus if you can.

Yes, we do provide an externship component along with ongoing networking opportunities that most schools dont provide. Many of our students (along with their Instructor) attend AAPC chapter Meetings on a monthly basis. This allows them to network with working professionals while keeping up to date with the major changes affecting the HIM Profession.

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Lilmntgirl65 in Denham Springs, Louisiana

52 months ago

Can anyone tell me about the program from Penn Foster..for Medical Billing and Coding. I just moved dont have any actual money to go to school except pymt plan. I can't get a student loan. I did call a hospital here and they told me there is a high demand for billing and coding. I just want to make sure Im not wasting money

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Lilmntgirl65 in Denham Springs, Louisiana

52 months ago

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) I Did find this on Penn Fosters Website and they are Penn Foster is accredited school

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valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

52 months ago

Lilmntgirl65 in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: Can anyone tell me about the program from Penn Foster..for Medical Billing and Coding. I just moved dont have any actual money to go to school except pymt plan. I can't get a student loan. I did call a hospital here and they told me there is a high demand for billing and coding. I just want to make sure Im not wasting money

I do not know particulary about penn foster, but every program is about the same, they teach the same basic curriculum, most local technical or community colleges have a good program and they usually cost less than a private school.

Yes, there is a shortage of experienced coders, but for new grads with no experience, it is hard to get your first job, as all employers want at least 2 years experience.

If you end up doing this program, be aware that the best bet to get a coding job is to start elsewhere in the field, such as medical records, billing, front desk, etc. Gain medical experience and become more familiar with ICD 9, CPT and reimbursement, after you gain your experience, leverage it for a coding job.

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msnee

51 months ago

Hello to all, I have a question. Does anyone have an opinion in regards to attending Ladera Career Paths Inc VS. Codemed Inc.? I heard it was hard entering into the coding field & Codemed offers a AHIMA approval coding only program. So I figured it would be easier to attend Ladera Career Paths because they offer both coding & billing where I could probably obtain a billing position faster than a coding, but they are not recommended by AHIMA any longer so I think. Any advice, Im a little confused....thx in advance.

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Dwhelish in Mount Laurel, New Jersey

50 months ago

One thing that helped me greatly in finding a job right away was owning my own copy of the most common medical billing software so i could familiarize myself with it quickly. I bought Lytec through www.softwaremd.com - hope this helps!

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amaounda in Everett, Massachusetts

50 months ago

Michael in San Pedro, California said: You want to make sure the school you attend offers A Certification
Review Program. This comes after the core program and is designed to get you AHIMA or AAPC Certification. Most Hospitals ask for AHIMA certification.

There is a big difference between BILLING and CODING! Schools like Everest, UEI, KAPLAN, say they offer Billing and Coding but the coding they teach you is minimal and not designed to get you certified. A Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) in California can make $18.00 - $24.00 an hour. If you need more info let me know. I know of 2-3 schools that offer the full training including Certification Review. My e-mail is: mike@sticcc.com

do you know if the salter school is a good school for medical billing and coding.Also do you start off making 18.00 dollars per hour right out of school.

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jgvaughan@hotmail.com in Scottsdale, Arizona

50 months ago

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any advice. I just started looking into becoming medical biller or coder and I am leaning towards coding. I talked to a rep from Kaplan today. Of course he made it sound like they are the only school I should go with. He was saying that the demand for coders is high and will only be going up due to government forcing medical organizations to process medical records electronically. I was wondering how difficult it is once you get a certificate to find a job. I was told that a certificate is all you need to be able to find a job as a coder. What's the reality out there with the way the economy is going? Is it hard to get a job as a coder once you have your certificate? How much can someone realistically make with a certificate? Is Kaplan a good school and choice for this field?

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valentine in West Jordan, Utah

50 months ago

jgvaughan@hotmail.com in Scottsdale, Arizona said: Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any advice. I just started looking into becoming medical biller or coder and I am leaning towards coding. I talked to a rep from Kaplan today. Of course he made it sound like they are the only school I should go with. He was saying that the demand for coders is high and will only be going up due to government forcing medical organizations to process medical records electronically. I was wondering how difficult it is once you get a certificate to find a job. I was told that a certificate is all you need to be able to find a job as a coder. What's the reality out there with the way the economy is going? Is it hard to get a job as a coder once you have your certificate? How much can someone realistically make with a certificate? Is Kaplan a good school and choice for this field?

This Rep was half telling the truth, the need for coders is in demand, but unfortunately, that demand is only for experienced and certified coders. Most new grads realy struggle to find a job as most employers only hire coders with at least 2 years experience.

I always recommend just taking a billing/coding program through your local community, technical or vocational school. They teach the same curriculum as the private schools, but are less expensive.

If this is something you are truly interested in, go for it. Just be aware you will have some difficulties when you graduate. But if you hang in there, get your experience, there is a lot of opportunity for experienced coders. There is actually a shortage of qualified coders. The hospital by me has had a coding position open for 6 months, due to a lack of experienced coders appying for it.

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AnneMarie in Grosse Pointe, Michigan

48 months ago

Kelly - student in Georgia said: Hi Lia, I am currently a student in coding. It sounds to me like many of us, you might have been mislead about the big demand and great opportunities in this field. Some even say you can do this by taking some courses for 8 months or a year and just walk right in. This, I have found, is far from the real world. Let me know if you would like to know more.

Hi Kelly,
I read your post previously and was also concerend about the medical billing and coding classes? I was thinking of starting with Everest at the end of this month and from what I am reading I am shying away from the program there but no one else offers it but a Community College by my house, and Im not sure I will be able to go there. I live in the Metro Detroit Area, and basically want to know from you or anyone else out here is Everest a good school to study Billing and Coding or should I seriously consider going somewhere else!! Thanks to anyone who can help me with this!

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komal in Perth Amboy, New Jersey

47 months ago

Hi,I am thinking about the medical billing and coding program.which school is good in nj near Edition.And also i ask that the job area is good in this program.what type of a certificate needed in this job.

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kathy in Latham, New York

44 months ago

thinking about going to brandford Hall here having some doubts really interested in the billing and coding just a little leary on the school anyone know anything about there program good, bad or ugly?

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valentine in Park City, Utah

44 months ago

kathy in Latham, New York said: thinking about going to brandford Hall here having some doubts really interested in the billing and coding just a little leary on the school anyone know anything about there program good, bad or ugly?

A quick internet search shows this school to be a career college, generally speaking, career colleges are over priced, the credits are not transferable and you do not get a better education for how much more you pay. I wasn't able to find tuition amounts, but if its more than a few thousand, you are paying too much.

The online programs through AAPC and AHIMA are only $2,000 for the entire program.

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kathy in Latham, New York

44 months ago

13,000 for 7 1/2 months 5 1/2 week's externship. How do I get more info on those others you mentioned? They were putting a lot of pressure on me I should have known better. I just want to get what I pay for because in the long run it will pay off. I was real excited about starting but nervous about them being 100%.

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valentine in Park City, Utah

44 months ago

kathy in Latham, New York said: 13,000 for 7 1/2 months 5 1/2 week's externship. How do I get more info on those others you mentioned? They were putting a lot of pressure on me I should have known better. I just want to get what I pay for because in the long run it will pay off. I was real excited about starting but nervous about them being 100%.

unfortunately, a lot these programs are more concerned with the business aspect, and the only way they can stay in business is to sell you education- their education. $13,000 is WAY too much to pay for a 8 month certificate program.

Here are the links to both the AHIMA and AAPC programs. Since they are both nationally recognized credentialing organizations they are legitimate and will teach you what you need to know to pass their certifications.

www.ahima.org/continuinged/campus/courseinfo/cb.aspx

www.aapc.com/training/cpc-online-medical-coding-training-course.aspx

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lisalisa in Indianapolis, Indiana

42 months ago

Kelly - student in Georgia said: I am myself a student of Medical Coding, currently working on my Medical Terminology pre

kelly what is a RHIT 2yr degree or RHIA 4yr degree, my e-mail is lisa_m1us@yahoo.com I'm currently taking medical coding. At the end of the quarter they have mock exams you can take before the actual 5 hr test. It means a lot to me to obtain that and continue education. With time and experience the money is excellent. one other thing good is you are required to take an externship whihc I'm praying will be my ticket to take an exam. Please reply, I'm Lisa

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Kelly in Warner Robins, Georgia

42 months ago

lisalisa in Indianapolis, Indiana said:

Hi Lisa ,, due to a total lack of any sort of openings at all where I live in Georgia ,,, I am no longer involved in this field. 90% of everyting here is done by large firms either in Atlanta or out of state,, most are done in some other state. I wish you the best of luck !

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Hampton in Long Beach, California

40 months ago

msnee said: Hello to all, I have a question. Does anyone have an opinion in regards to attending Ladera Career Paths Inc VS. Codemed Inc.?

I was wondering why you decided not to include Charles Drew as one of your final options. I am considering applying for the HIS program but is having a hard time finding any resources about it online. For a company that's been around for so long you'd think that information would be easier to come by.

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Hampton in Long Beach, California

40 months ago

msnee said: Hello to all, I have a question. Does anyone have an opinion in regards to attending Ladera Career Paths Inc VS. Codemed Inc.?

What were your reasons for not including Charles Drew as one of your final options? I was considering applying for their HIS program but is having a hard time finding details about this school online. For an establishment that has been around for a long time in the Los Angeles area you would think it would be easier.

Anyone have any input about the school.

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Velma in Chicago, Illinois

37 months ago

I go to Ultimate Medical Academy and their classes are online and it only take 7 months, It a great school. I'm in my second month now. They also have other classes online. They are cheap then Everest College.

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Medical billing software in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

<a href="www.medical-billing.com/">Medical Billing</a>and coding play a vital role in the field of medicine. And it is a lucrative career option. The demand for medical billing and coding specialists is high now.

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Tahni in San Jose, California

37 months ago

I'm a graduate of everest formally call Bryan college. It was a 6mos prog with a diploma. I was hire at my externship because they like me and because i was lucky. It is hard to find jobs. I wrk there for five yrs, And apply for a larger corp so I have room to grow. I am now working for Medi-cal. But it's always a good idea to get your AA, AS, BA, BS degree for backup. General ED takes you far. and u get pay more than just a certified biller. And u can wrk for a billing company but be a team lead or supervisor w/o wrking from the bottom up if you have your GE. It's always good to look for billing program that offer AS or BS degree along w that. It'll take you a little longer to finish but you gt pay a lot more once u get hire. I didn't think of that back then. I just wanted easy way out. Now i wish i would have done that sooner. After I started working I went back to school to get my AS and now getting my BS. Although its not too late. It's a little harder with full time work and fulltime school. But it will be worth it.

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candice One in Dayton, Ohio

32 months ago

If you are a determined person, is does not matter what field you are training in, you will suceed. After all this is AMERICA.

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misty bowe in Nashville, Tennessee

32 months ago

Im trying to see how much you get payed doing billing and coding. i dont know if i should do the 9 month program or 2 yrr. can anyone help me please. also the salary as well. im 27 yrs old with 2 kids. i have a 7 yr old special needs child and a 2 yr old. you can email me at mist37115@yahoo.com thanks a million

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misty bowe in Nashville, Tennessee

32 months ago

please help

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Kelly in Warner Robins, Georgia

32 months ago

misty bowe in Nashville, Tennessee said: please help

Misty, I would share one thing with you. The "tone" of your comment sounds like you are wanting to make good money in billing and coding very soon. I am no expert, but it takes many years, yes years before that happens, from what I understand. You need years of experience to make any decent money. Contact your local AAPC chapter and talk with them.
What you want to know is information about Nashville area. Remember, $50,000 a year in California is the same as $20,000 or so in Nashville. Just a share.

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WAHmom in Atlanta, Georgia

30 months ago

Thanks for the great info everyone.

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gt in Las Vegas, Nevada

30 months ago

misty bowe in Nashville, Tennessee said: Im trying to see how much you get payed doing billing and coding. i dont know if i should do the 9 month program or 2 yrr. can anyone help me please. also the salary as well. im 27 yrs old with 2 kids. i have a 7 yr old special needs child and a 2 yr old. you can email me at mist37115@yahoo.com thanks a million

check out "indeed.com salary" calculator. It varies every state. If you want to make more money, you have to go beyond billing. That is to become "billing auditor", "compliance officer" or "billing instructor". you can get certification to become "auditor" and "compliance officer" through AAPC. It is important to choose AHIMA/AAPC ACCREDITED SCHOOL when choosing the program/school NOT based on how long it would take;otherwise, your education may be useless since most employers are looking for AHIMA/AAPC graduates.

Check out the classified ads and look for the job requirements such as "must be AHIMA/AAPC graduates" or "must have CCS or CCP" (certified coding specialist).

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Ieasha in Manchester, Michigan

29 months ago

i am currently in Everst University online and will be finishing school in 3 months. I am very scared of not being able to find a job or if my school will help me with job placement. i know they dont do internship becasue i am online but as i have completed most of my studies medical biller and coding is a hard profession only because i dont want to mess up.

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ninaw129@gmail.com in Mesquite, Texas

15 months ago

Is there anyone currently ( or previously) taking the Medical Billing/ Coding program at Eastfield College? I'm interested in taking that course but I'd like to get more information. I've had my share of going to trade schools and not being able to find a job so I'm hoping if I try a community college I'll have a better turn out. Please share your advice...

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Jan in Palos Heights, Illinois

2 months ago

I am considering going to school for medical billing and coding. My concern is I was convicted for two DUI'S which is a misdemeanor. Will this affect my ability to get employment in this field. My email is jan1ring@att.net I would appreciate any info you can give me.

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