Medical Billing Coding - I need help choosing careers, cpt, codes
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Thread Topic: I need help choosing careers
Topic Originator: John
Post Date April 17, 2009 @ 5:56 AM
I need help choosing careers

April 17, 2009 @ 5:56 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hello, my name is John.
I am currently taking Medical Front Office class as part of High school R.O.C program and taking Pre-Req classes for nursing at a local Jr. College.
In two months I will be getting my high school diploma, Medical office Certificate. Now while I am working on my degree I would like to or is it possible to work as a coder/M.A till I get my Bachelors.  I kind of notice some people took online classes, some graduated with Degree in coding and Im wondering if I am qualified.
Here are some classes Im taking in medical office:

Anatomy & Physiology
Medical Terminology
Medical filling
Patient Billing (NDCMedisoft)
Medical Coding
American Medical Assisting
Processing Medical Documents

I understand theres some test to take in order to be specialized or certified in coding and if I am qualified ill take it. Im still confused if I should focus on Medical Assisting or being a coder for now.  A better description of what its like being a coder will really help me a lot.  To the experienced coders are there any tips for faster, easier and accurate diagnosis/procedures?  We dont have the software so we still go by the books.

Thanks in advance

May 3, 2009 @ 6:49 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Dont do it.

Go become an MA or whatever your degree will get you.
Coding is hard. The hours are long. You constantly fight with doctors, their staff and the insurance companies.  Th headaches aent worth it. Doctors, and hospitals all wan someone with experience and if you dont have it, you wont get hired.  If your heart isnt into it, you will fail.  So dont go into coding

The certification test is so hard, very few people pass it.  The pay is low.

May 9, 2009 @ 12:02 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

don't let anyone talk you out of coding that fast. Yes it is hard, but anything worth doing is hard. Being an MA is hard too. You still have to deal with Doctors, but you also have to deal with sick people and disease. Long days on your feet. I've done both, I was an MA/EMT in my 20's, I also did coding for the surgeon I worked for. I went to work for an insurance company in my 30's and did claims processing. Then I went back to Medical billing and coding in my 40's. Now that I am in my 50's I've settled into my coding, auditing and teaching physicians documentation and how to code E/M service. That is my passion now.
Find your passion for each stage of your life. Make sure you have the back bone/basic for which ever direction you go. Medical term/anatomy/disease process. You will use all no matter which way you go. Is the test hard? Yes it is, but it is an open book test and if you have the basics and you can read, and you learn your way around the book, it won't seem so bad.
Remember being a coder is not just doing one thing. There are so many opportunities for coders. Determine which way you want to go and get that certification first. Hospital coder, CCS, Physcians coder, CPC, you can code you can audit, You never stop learning, It is never ending, that is why we read this forum and this magazine.
good luck in which ever direction you go. Know your passion!!! And never stop learning.

February 11, 2010 @ 11:06 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I saw that you are passionate and in your 50's enjoying your job.  I am thinking of changing careers and I will be 50 this year.  Do you think that is a problem, is there any age discrimination?  Are there waits for background checks that have enlongated the process for starting teaching?  What specific field/certification in coding do you believe would be the most marketable for entering the field.

February 11, 2010 @ 11:21 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

In choosing a certification and focus, I eventually would like to work out of my home.  Which certifications move in that direction and are the most marketable?

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