THE BASICS — RESEARCH is the KEY!

THE BASICS — RESEARCH is the KEY!

EACH and EVERY STEP of a Coding Career requires RESEARCH……LOTS and LOTS of RESEARCH

AT THE BEGINNING:

RESEARCH ‘what’ type of Medical Coding do you want to pursue?

….InPatient or OutPatient
….Facility or Professional.
….Hospital or Clinic

RESEARCH ‘what’ Credentials should you pursue?

….Professional/Specialty?
….Facility/Hospital?
….InPatient/OutPatient?
….AAPC or AHIMA or RCC?

RESEARCH ‘which’ School you should attend?

….DO you want to pursue Management?
………Then you’ll likely need a Bachelor’s degree in HIM or HIT; or even an MBA.   An RHIA (requires a Bachelor’s degree) or an RHIT (requires an Associate Degree) credential (both are good paths to management.)

….DO you learn better in an On-Line or a Bricks/Mortar environment?

….DO you ONLY WANT to be a ‘rank & file’ Coder?

……..Then you’ll want to investigate Coding Schools and programs. Look for ones that are reputable, and have EXCELLENT REVIEWS. Look for ones that will tell you from the beginning that you WILL NEED a Nationally Recognized Coding Credential from either AHIMA or AAPC.

***Some states have special relationships with schools and you might want to check with your local Workforce Commission office to see what may be available in your state!

DO you Enjoy Continual LEARNING and RESEARCH in order to stay current with your job/career?

DO you deal well with STRESS?
……….Accuracy and Productivity Ratings can be stressful
……….Continual Audits of your work can be stressful
……….Constant Change can be stressful
……….Dealing with Physicians/Providers can be stressful
……….Dealing with Patients can be stressful.

ARE you comfortable with ‘starting at the bottom’ and ‘working your way up’? MANY employers DO NOT consider Medical Coding as an Entry Level Position.

—–You will likely have to start in an Entry-Level Position (such as Reception/Intake or Scheduling), and work your way UP to a Coding position. There may be several steps between the Entry Level Position and an actual Coding Position.

—–With an Entry-Level position, comes Entry-Level Pay Scales. A person doing Reception/Intake may start out at $9 to $11/hr. A Scheduler may be a bit higher at $12 or $13/hr.

—–A ‘new coder’ may start at $16 — $17/hr.

—–An ‘experienced’ coder may start at a higher rate….but it takes a while
(+ knowledge+training+credentials) to get into the $35–$50/hr range.

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Do your DUE DILIGENCE to research & investigate this industry…

BEFORE you plunk down your hard-earned $$$$ to take classes, buy books and training courses, etc.

There is a LOT involved.

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GETTING STARTED:
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Initial Training
Continuing Education classes every year
Purchasing New Coding Books every year
Credentialing Organization yearly dues
CEU requirements … every year
Additional credentials may be needed for a particular job
Additional training and CEU’s for each credential.

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JOB SEARCH:
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🔹 What is the availability of JOBS in your area or an area where you might choose to re-locate?

🔹 What is the outlook for Coding Jobs in the area(s) where you might want to work? NOW? in 5 years?

🔹 Is OFF-SHORING a ‘thing’ in the area where you prefer to work?

🔹 Will JOBS/opportunities continue to grow in that area?

🔹 Majority of Employers require several years of hands-on, head down Coding EXPERIENCE

🔹 Coding Credentials (minimum of 1; some require multiple)

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ONCE EMPLOYED:
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Productivity (Charts Per Hour-CPH)
Accuracy (usually 90-95% required)
Audits/Oversight….Daily/Weekly/Monthly
Continuing Education (CEU’S for each credential you hold)
Credentialing Organization dues
More and higher Credentials may be suggested/required

Dealing with ‘cranky’ ‘authoritative’ Physicians/Providers–your Diplomatic Skills will likely but put to The TEST!

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IS IT WORTH IT?
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Medical Coding has been a GREAT CAREER for many of us!
It requires a LOT of Continual Learning and Research. It requires a fairly significant amount of personal time, funds and effort to obtain, keep and maintain Organizational Dues and CEU’s, continual learning, research, etc.

ONLY YOU can make the Final Determination as to whether it’s WORTH IT or not!

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