medical assistant vs medical coding & billing

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Taylor7 in Aliso Viejo, California

64 months ago

Out of those 3 a Medical Coder will get paid the most. I would say none of those have high stress levels. As far as a better outlook in the long run, probably medical assistants. A lot of coding is now getting outsourced to places like India, therefore many coders in the U.S. are getting laid off as more and more companies do that to save money. NOT ALL THOUGH. There are definitely still many coding jobs out there-I just can't say for the future for sure. Medical billing typically refers to all the different aspects of it-charge entry, payment entry, collectors, cust service, including coding. But usually, in our office anyways, the billers are the charge entry people who basically just enter charges. For that, I would predict eventually we won't have a need for them as medical companies are relying more and more on technology that will be able to automatically do that. In my office for example, we have a need for less "billers" than before and soon enough, we will eliminate that position completely.

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d.cochran in Jacksonville, Florida

62 months ago

Don't know which one you have decided upon but...I went back to school got my diploma in medical billing and coding,passed the CPC exam,got my associates of science degree in Healthcare Reimbursement and CANNOT find a job-no experience. All that money in student loans! I almost fell as if it were a waste of time. I am wondering if medical assisting is just as hard without experience?

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valentine2 in West Jordan, Utah

62 months ago

d.cochran in Jacksonville, Florida said: Don't know which one you have decided upon but...I went back to school got my diploma in medical billing and coding,passed the CPC exam,got my associates of science degree in Healthcare Reimbursement and CANNOT find a job-no experience. All that money in student loans! I almost fell as if it were a waste of time. I am wondering if medical assisting is just as hard without experience?

Yes, you would run into the same issues if you pursue medical assisting. There are just so many candidates that employers can afford to be picky. Plus, it is expensive to train new employees and employers are always looking to save money, so they want people who can jump right into a job and require minimal training.

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Tammy in Leominster, Massachusetts

45 months ago

I spent a lot of money going to school for Medical Assisting . And Unfortunately I have not been able to find a job yet going on 2 yrs now . what they do not tell you is if you do not have 3-5 years experience . very rare to get hired .

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carol in Kissimmee, Florida

40 months ago

Wow so sad to read this, I'm so excited to start my career no I don't know if its worth it.

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Sasha2010 in Alexandria, Virginia

40 months ago

That's not true that billers will be outdated. I have been self employed as a medical biller/consultant for the past 10yrs and I have never struggled with finding a practice to bill long term or short term.. Most docs are quite savy and don't want there billing outsourced to India. No machine can do the work of a human.

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Jaynelle in Fpo

39 months ago

I am considering taking courses for a certification in medical billing. I am an occupational therapy assistant, and I have a bachelors in physiology. I was wondering what school should I consider?...online only bc I am in Japan. Also, which is best to enter into this field, billing or coding? Any help is appreciated.

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Dorothy in Wheaton, Illinois

36 months ago

I am working through the Career Step program right now and I think it is one of the best choices out there. Their Medical Billing and Coding program is AHIMA approved so I know when it comes time for testing that I have covered the correct material to get certified. I had looked at a similar program through my local community college, but it lasts two years and would have cost me $15,000!

I am also very excited about graduating from the course because Career Step has recently partnered with a company called IOD who hires coders to work from home.

They have an offer right now where you can get a free laptop or $300 off when you sign up. Here is the link for that offer:
www.careerstep.com/?uid=ref36530

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Stacy, Richmond, VA

34 months ago

Sasha2010 how did you get started with your business? I am in Richmond & a CPC. I am currently in school to finalize my degree in coding & billing and would like to become an independent contracto.

Sasha2010 in Alexandria, Virginia said: That's not true that billers will be outdated. I have been self employed as a medical biller/ consultant for the past 10yrs and I have never struggled with finding a practice to bill long term or short term.. Most docs are quite savy and don't want there billing outsourced to India. No machine can do the work of a human.

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Berlin in Knightdale, North Carolina

15 months ago

Dorothy in Wheaton, Illinois said: I am working through the Career Step program right now and I think it is one of the best choices out there. Their Medical Billing and Coding program is AHIMA approved so I know when it comes time for testing that I have covered the correct material to get certified. I had looked at a similar program through my local community college , but it lasts two years and would have cost me $15,000!

I am also very excited about graduating from the course because Career Step has recently partnered with a company called IOD who hires coders to work from home.

They have an offer right now where you can get a free laptop or $300 off when you sign up. Here is the link for that offer:
www.careerstep.com/?uid=ref36530

I'm also taking this course, and I'm excited to finish the 1st part of the program. Although I must say, it was sad to see that my company has indeed been one of those medical office that decided to outsource the coding department to India. It was extremely aggravating as it could have been my stepping stone into the coding field.
A lot of medical practices/ facilities are outsourcing to India. It's so upsetting!
But it hasn't stopped me from Pursuing this line of work.

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Jojo in Houston, Texas

7 months ago

Sasha2010 in Alexandria, Virginia said: That's not true that billers will be outdated. I have been self employed as a medical biller/ consultant for the past 10yrs and I have never struggled with finding a practice to bill long term or short term.. Most docs are quite savy and don't want there billing outsourced to India. No machine can do the work of a human.

Hi, how did u start the business?

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Holly in Hampstead, New Hampshire

4 months ago

I'm both a medical assistant and medical Coder. I have my RMA & CPC.

I've worked in healthcare for the last 12 years. 11 of this was as a medical assistant. I never had an issue getting a job as an M.A. because I am not picky. The wages are not great and these jobs can be very stressful due to poor management and skeleton staffing.

I transferred into my current coding job from my last M.A. position. My Coding position, again lower pay than I hoped as the market is flooded with entry level coders. If you do not have EMR experience, apply for any entry level position that gives you experience. Either transfer or move on as opportunites become available.

Medical Assisting work can be rewarding if you truly enjoy helping patients.

Coding has its perks as it can be flexible. Good luck to everyone reading this ☺

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bullfrog in Toney, Alabama

1 month ago

I am looking at going back to school in March to take Medical Assistance classes. I am finishing up with my Billing and Coding classes in January. I have no experience in the medical field but it seems to be true that unless you have experience you can not get experience????? go figure....
I'm not sure if it would help anymore if I go into Medical Assistance or if it's a waste. I do know the more alphabet you have behind your name they WILL look harder at you as a candidate. The advantage of the Medical Assistance program is that they have a 40 hr. externship program with it so kudo's on the experience there.
I was also interested in taking my CPC exam just after my Billing and Coding classes end so the information is fresh. I was told you should have real work experience for about 2 years before trying, is this really true enough???
Like so many I am updating my resume and trying to make it as strong as I can along with a GREAT cover letter. The pay is not a big issue now but when you show that your last job (ie the one I'm in now) makes X amount and you see I am willing to take C or D for work that makes is a but complicated for an employer to say "he's not willing to take less???" so another road block there for some of us.

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D.Cochran in Jacksonville, Florida

1 month ago

Good Morning "bullfrog".
I would suggest finishing up the medical billing and coding classes but would not pursue the MA certification. Instead continue classes and get your associates degree. Having an actual 2 yr. degree makes a huge difference. I went back to school to get my diploma in the medical billing and coding program. I completed the program, and took the CPC exam following the B/C classes, with NO experience in the field, other than my internship, which was part of the billing and coding requirements to obtain your diploma, and I passed the exam. I understand, depending upon the school, the classes are different and not all schools offer the CPC exam through the AAPC. I went to Virginia College in Jacksonville, FL. The exam and AAPC membership fee was part of our tuition. Which was good as I found out that the exam alone costs $300.00, you get 2 chances to take it. You must make higher than 70% and the monitored exam last 5 hrs. and 40 min, to the best of my recollection. After passing the exam, I went back to Virginia College and finished up the classes because I decided I wanted the actual associates degree. I made straight A's in all my classes ( I studied my butt off)my classes included Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II. Pathophysiology, law and ethics, Psychology I, several coding classes-each one progressively more advanced, and also several insurance billing classes. I found out that some schools do not offer all this as part of their curriculum. Upon taking the exam I realized I was glad I chose the school I did. Your CPC exam is divided into parts to include terminology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and of course coding-CPT,ICD-10,and HCPCS. I can assure you even after all that it still took me 9 months after graduating to get a job. I was told 1 of the reasons I was hired was due to the dual diplomas; 1 for B/C and the Associates of Science Degree in HealthCare Reimbursement. Job Title: Front Office Mgr.

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Barb24 in Wheaton, Illinois

1 month ago

Bullfrog,

You absolutely do not need 2 years experience to take the CPC exam. Most Career Step students take the CPC immediately after finishing the coding certification and pass without any problems.
You might be mixing the CPC and CCS exam. The CCS exam is harder and some recommend you have work experience before taking the CCS, but the Career Step program offers a 120 hour practicum of coding real medical records (in addition to the rest of the curriculum) so that you are prepared for the exams.
You can start your job search with either a CPC or CCS certification, some like to have both to increase their job chances, but do a search of job listings in your area and see what employers are asking for. If they say AAPC or AHIMA certification then you can apply with either the CPC or CCS certification.
Career Step also offers a year of graduate assistance, that includes a one on one review of your resume and cover letter. As far as medical assisting goes, Career Step has a new certificate in medical assisting, but they are not new to training medical office professionals. They have been around for over 25 years and are respected by employers.
They are offering some great end of year tuition discounts on these programs right now. Here's a link to that:
www.careerstep.com/?uid=ref36530

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