Medical coding a good career?

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Comments (10)

Pam in Middletown, Connecticut

53 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

53 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

53 months ago

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

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valentine2 in salt lake city, Utah

53 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

53 months ago

Thank you so much, you have been incredibly helpful!

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Neal in Harrisonburg, Virginia

35 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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Mike in Minneapolis, Minnesota

35 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

17 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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NewCoder in Plant City, Florida

4 months ago

The advise that person who has been doing coding for 6 years gave great advice! As to the question about 6 month coding course. From what I understand they are basically teaching you billing and coding. I attend Hi Tech Erwin in Tampa Florida and I am in the medical billing and coding class. It is an 11 month program. But before we get to coding we have spent the first apx 5 months learning A&P, Medical Terminology, Health Legal, HIM (health information). We then got into the basic rules of coding and now every day we are continuing to do coding. Sorry if this is sloppy, I'm typing from my tablet. My instructor is truly the best ever she has been working in the field since she was 18. I'm not sure how old she is now but I'd say she has been coding a good 25 years. So she teaches us and still codes on the side from home. You have to be careful when choosing a school or you could just end up wasting your time. We all go out on externships at hospitals and Doctor offices. Some of the ones are currently doing their extern at Tampa General Hospital others habe done them at USF hospital and it turned into a job offer making good money. I was skeptical about choosing this career as I kept hearing how difficult it is to get hired but I'm glad I followed through with it and hope if you are considering it then go for it!! But I do highly recommend Erwin because they are well known in the community, are part of the Hillsborough County School System,It's not too pricey, much cheaper than others!! And this field you have the ability to work in an office or your own home in your pj's. Good luck!! Ps I graduate 7/20/2015

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xboxer in Cactus, Arizona

4 months ago

I can't believe in this economy, with all of the competition to find a job, anyone would be telling others how great it is and to go into it.
These posts sound like ads.

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