Medical coding a good career?

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Comments (10)

Pam in Middletown, Connecticut

42 months ago

I'm in a really crappy retail job and I hate it, I feel like I am being babysat all of the time and I would like to be able to work more independently. I am thinking of going into medical coding and I was wondering if it is a good career choice. what are your days like? is it a really boring job? do you make a decent salary? Is the schooling really difficult?

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valentine2 in salt lake city, Utah

42 months ago

Hi

I have been coding for about 6 years and I love my job. I can't imagine doing anything else. I am not really a people person and really don't like the general public. So coding is a great fit for my personality.

Since I am a coder (rather than a biller or biller/coder) I pretty much just code all day long. I run my work report each morning and read patient notes, and abstract the correct diagnosis and procedure codes. I work for a large health care system, so I do outpatient/physician visits, outpatient surgeries and the professional fees for inpatient patients.

You sit, read and code. All day. So yes, it does get boring sometimes, but I listen to music or audiobooks to help the slow times.

Decent salary is very subjective, but yes, I make good money, especially considering I am just a high school grad (I do not have a degree)plus the great thing about this field is that there is so much room for advancement, after gaining experience and certifications, you can make more.

School is not difficult, just like anything that is new, it takes a little while to get a hang of rules, guidelines and looking up codes, but with practice, it is quite easy.

I will tell you though,this field is kinda over saturated with new grads with no experience, and most employers are looking to hire coders with at least 2 years experience.

So the best advice is to try and find a job elsewhere in HIM, such as medical records, billing, account follow up. The best advice is to start somewhere else in HIM, such as medical records, billing, account follow, data entry or even front desk. Gain much needed medical experience and become more familiar with ICD 9, CPT and reimbursement. After getting your foot in the door, you can leverage for a coding job.

Good Luck

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Pam in Middletown, Connecticut

42 months ago

Can you tell me what you love and dislike about your job?

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valentine2 in salt lake city, Utah

42 months ago

you are quite welcome

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valentine2 in salt lake city, Utah

42 months ago

Pam in Middletown, Connecticut said: Can you tell me what you love and dislike about your job?

Sorry, didn't see this before posting my other reply.

I love that I dont have to interact with patients or people in general.

I love that I can just sit and do my work without being interupted.

I love that it isn't stressful.

I really don't have any dislikes....

but for some it is the repetitiveness of every day.

the always changing codes and guidelines

and the struggle between correct coding and reimbursement.

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Pam in Middletown, Connecticut

42 months ago

Thank you so much, you have been incredibly helpful!

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Neal in Harrisonburg, Virginia

24 months ago

I see that many community colleges offer medical billing and coding certificates in 6 months. I wanted to know if you need an actual degree to get a good job, or will the certificate do the trick? Thanks a lot

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Heather in Coppell, Texas

24 months ago

Neal in Harrisonburg, Virginia said: I see that many community colleges offer medical billing and coding certificates in 6 months. I wanted to know if you need an actual degree to get a good job, or will the certificate do the trick? Thanks a lot

Hi Neal, check indeed and see what coding jobs are in your area and what they require. Personally, in Texas I noticed when I would look for coding jobs they were asking for either a CCS with 2+ years or they would take an associates + RHIT in lieu of experience. Not at all companies but the majority, this was what they were asking for. I didn't see many CPC jobs here in the Dallas area. Now, what is somewhat confusing it is is a catch 22. To get your CCS you do need 2+ years experience. You start out taking your CCA exam. After 2 years (recommended on the AHIMA website) you can take the CCS exam. As far as the CPC goes (this is with the AAPC), you get your CPC=A and after 2 years of experience you can get the A removed (no extra exam needed). With the RHIT exam, that's all you take, you are an RHIT. If you do an associates make sure it is AHIMA accredited or you can NOT sit for the RHIT exam. Again, in my situation here in Dallas I noticed that companies were asking for these things:
CPC (AAPC) + experience
CCS (AHIMA)+ experience
RHIT + little or zero experience

But, again you wouldn't start out with a CPC or CCS. You would start with CPC-A or CCA.

Long story short, because I feel like I just keep going over the same stuff :/ I would suggest the associates. Also, you would get an associates in Health Information Technology or Health Information Management. Then if you feel the need, go on with a bachelors degree to get into higher management.

I really hope this helps and didn't confuse you even more!

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Mike in Minneapolis, Minnesota

24 months ago

It seems more and more companies locally are looking for either RHIT or CCS depending on their role. CCS gets equal consideration for straight coding jobs while RHIT has many other avenues to find work in addition to coding. A lot of employers like the flexabiliy of an RHIT. Experience is alway important, no matter the education or certification. CPC is also accepted by many employers here but I don't think it holds quite as much weight as a CCS or RHIT. CCA is still a pretty new credential, so it's hard to tell what the market is for that Cert, but I have not seen anyone list it as a minimum requirement for any coding job. I think CCA is not known yet but you might be OK applying for some jobs that list CCS or CPC.

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minnie min in anywhere land, Washington

6 months ago

valentine2 in salt lake city, Utah said: Hi

I have been coding for about 6 years and I love my job. I can't imagine doing anything else. I am not really a people person and really don't like the general public. So coding is a great fit for my personality.

Since I am a coder (rather than a biller or biller/coder) I pretty much just code all day long. I run my work report each morning and read patient notes, and abstract the correct diagnosis and procedure codes. I work for a large health care system, so I do outpatient/physician visits, outpatient surgeries and the professional fees for inpatient patients.

You sit, read and code. All day. So yes, it does get boring sometimes, but I listen to music or audiobooks to help the slow times.

Decent salary is very subjective, but yes, I make good money, especially considering I am just a high school grad (I do not have a degree)plus the great thing about this field is that there is so much room for advancement, after gaining experience and certifications, you can make more.

School is not difficult, just like anything that is new, it takes a little while to get a hang of rules, guidelines and looking up codes, but with practice, it is quite easy.

I will tell you though,this field is kinda over saturated with new grads with no experience, and most employers are looking to hire coders with at least 2 years experience.

So the best advice is to try and find a job elsewhere in HIM, such as medical records, billing , account follow up. The best advice is to start somewhere else in HIM, such as medical records, billing, account follow, data entry or even front desk . Gain much needed medical experience and become more familiar with ICD 9, CPT and reimbursement. After getting your foot in the door, you can leverage for a coding job.

Good Luck

ARE YOU STILL CODING? DO YOU STILL LOVE IT

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