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Thread Topic: Is it easy to find your first job as a biller?
Topic Originator: Erica
Post Date April 24, 2006 @ 3:44 PM
Is it easy to find your first job as a biller?


Erica
April 24, 2006 @ 3:44 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hello everyone, I just enrolled in PCDI to train as a medical biller and I was wondering, since a lot of employers want a biller with all this experience, how can i get my foot in the door? How did yall get your first job as a medical biller? I dont 'know people' i would have to send a resume out like everyone else and hope they pick me even though i have just graduated and have not gained experience yet. Any advice or stories of how it happened for you? I would truly appreciate your feedback. I am serious about making this a long term career. I am 19 years old, is my age going to be another factor? even though I am most intelligent with a very professional attitude?

Tammy Harlan
April 25, 2006 @ 10:40 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Erica,

When I managed several clinics many years ago, I was responsible for hiring staff for our medical billing positions.  Initially I leaned towards hiring those with experience.  After awhile I realized that I was having problems with "experienced" staff members due to the fact that "old habits die hard."  It was actually harder for me to train someone with pre-conceived notions and bad habits than it was to train someone "fresh and motivated."

My advice to you is to make sure that your resume is outstanding, be persistent and show your motivation.  Be diligent in your quest, send out as many resumes as you can.

At 19, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do.  I think it's great that you do know and that you are going for it.

Tammy Harlan
Medical Billing Course
www.medicalbillingcourse.com

Maria Guzman
September 16, 2006 @ 12:27 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

HI,
I took an at home course on medical claims and billing specialist studies and finished in April 2002 but, I haven't felt confident enough to work in an office because they all ask for experienced billers or a least 1 year working in an physicians office.  What can I do to get my foot in the door? what kind of additional traing or certifications do I need? I really want to work as a biller first in an office and then with the more experience do at home billing as a business.  I feel that it is something I really want to do and will be willing to learn.  I also need some advice on how to talk to the physician when trying to get a job? What questions do they ask?

Joe W.
September 22, 2006 @ 7:40 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

No, it isn't easy.  The whole "how can I get experience if no one will hire me" is an ongoing thing in billing/coding.  It took me over two years to get my foot in the door just as an AR Representative.  My manager was a coder who let me ease my way into coding.  Keep at it; someone will believe in you.

EDNA
November 11, 2006 @ 11:04 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

why is it so hard to find work

Joe
November 11, 2006 @ 11:40 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Speaking as a minority (male and Black) coder in the South, it was/is hard for me to be accepted just on merit.  You may need to find a mentorship program at your local facility.  You can put in a few hours a week to get your feet wet.  Is it a paradox when this field is one of the fastest-growing yet the hardest to find a job because they want experience.

edna
November 11, 2006 @ 11:45 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I've worked for some doctors but never as a medical biller i have hands on training then i went to a medical billing course passed but it's still hard to find work i don't get it


then i have to know spanish or must know their medical systems it's not good for me

Joe
November 11, 2006 @ 11:55 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I can read Spanish okay, but lost all conversation through non-use.  The Hispanic population has exploded here.  Taking a course can only help you in the long run.  I have been a CPC for four years, but only two as a Coder.  Volunteer or contact your local community college's Health Information department and ask about job opportunities.

edna
November 11, 2006 @ 11:58 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

thank you

it's really hard to find  work that's what i like to do and it's like i'm waisting  my time in this field

Joe
November 11, 2006 @ 12:02 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Don't feel that way; once you get in the door, it only goes up from there.  A lot of the older workers are retiring and the opportunity will come.  Please be patient and keep looking!!!!  The best jobs come from who you know, not what you know.

Joe
November 11, 2006 @ 12:02 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Don't feel that way; once you get in the door, it only goes up from there.  A lot of the older workers are retiring and the opportunity will come.  Please be patient and keep looking!!!!  The best jobs come from who you know, not what you know.

Joe
November 11, 2006 @ 12:02 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Don't feel that way; once you get in the door, it only goes up from there.  A lot of the older workers are retiring and the opportunity will come.  Please be patient and keep looking!!!!  The best jobs come from who you know, not what you know.

Betsie
November 25, 2006 @ 8:31 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi, Erica, Maria, Edna, and Joe

First, to the females. PLEASE take Joe's advice: Hang in there, do not give up. It takes time, how much time no one person can say or predict. You each sound as though you will be a terrific asset to our field. Also, thank you Joe for taking the time to encourage them to hang in there.

I went to my local collage and took the Coding and Billing program. I graduated with honors and was so ready to get out to work as a Coder (as throughout the program, Coding was my Passion). Let me share what I did. About mid way through the program I became really anxious to find some Real work experiance while finishing up the program. I thought perhaps someone would let me volunteer to do coding, therefore, I began visiting all my local hospitals and stopping into many physicains offices. However, I became very discouraged at fact None seemed to be interested. After awhile I began to think perhaps they could not do due to the privacy of medical records. Then, I decided that any medical personnel I came in contact with and conversing with (including my own Doc's) I'd mention that I was looking for a volunteer position in the Med. Coding. Still no offers, but most at least said they will keep me in mind if hear of anybody needing someone. After graduating, I continued trying to get my foot in the door, even as a volunteer, and getting the work out there to anybody that would listen. Almost 1-1/2 yrs had passed, and still Nothing. Then, finally, someone had mentioned to a physician and office personal that he knew someone that would love to volunteer or be able to just experiance how the real field of coding is, etc. Soon after, I received a call from the Nurse/Office manager of this office asking me if I'd like to come visit for a week and their Coder/Biller is willing to show me some of the ropes, etc. I was Thrilled. I was also very Nervous, but accepted this opportunity. Now, another good thing was, even though it had been so long since Graduating and no work, I still tried to maintain my studies with hope someday, the BIG day will present itself. Even better was, once began going the next week, I was able to teach her many things about coding which she was Truely Grateful for. I did this for about 2 weeks and they became very aware of just how much I wanted to Work in the field and how much knowledge I had. Sadly, they began their vacations and I lost touch. However, a couple, maybe few months later I received a call from the office manager saying she might know a Doc who could use a Biller and would I like her to talk to him and office manager? Of course I said Yes. The very next day I received a call from someone I did not know (an Office Manager) asking me if I'd like to come in and meet with the Doc.... After hanging up I was so racked with Nerves and Excitement at the same time. Nervous due to fact my most knowledge was in Coding, Not Billing and a Biller is what they needed (she did the coding)! I met with the Doc and was Hired after him asking me questions for about 15 mins. Problem for me was, there was nobody there to train me! His Biller up and left 5 months before hand. No one to train me or even to teach me the workings of the software, on my time (at home) I read everything I could find to learn what needed. I've been working for him almost 2 years now. Surprising to myself, I have found I have a much Deeper Passion for Billing then I did for coding!
Now, after this long winded story that I tried to make short as possible--I BEG each of you--PLEASE, PLEASE, do NOT give up your dream/s of becoming employed in this field and starting your own Billing Service from home (that is another story I could share). Joe, is so very Correct, it takes time, along with strength to hold faith and hope the day will present itself--even when you least expect it.

In the meantime, try to keep up with studying or practice exercises on a somewhat regular basis or you might lose a lot of what you learned.
Esp. giving there are constant changes in the field.

Please feel free to contact me if you find you need someone to vent your frustrations. I might not be able to give you the answers, but I would not want anyone, who truely loves this line of work, to give up.

This does not have a spell checker, so I hope words are not spelled so incorrectly that they do not make sense!

For now, Take Care and do not give up hope.

Betsie

Leah
November 25, 2006 @ 8:49 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I don't want to throw a wet blanket on Betsie's very inspiring story, but readers should be aware that it's against federal wage and hour laws to not pay someone for the time they work for you (in other words: volunteer) unless the employer is a not-for-profit organization OR the work is part of a formal internship/externship arrangement between the employer and the school, for which some kind of academic credit will be given.

I see all the time people suggesting that newcomers to the field offer to volunteer their services, and unless you approach a non-profit with the offer, you will either be turned down because it is illegal, or you will be working illegally and can get your benefactor in serious trouble should it come to light that they are not paying you for your time.

Anonymous
November 25, 2006 @ 10:04 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Leah,

Sorry, if you think I was wrong to post such. However, my professors even suggested trying to find a volunteer position as well as other people on other sites have. I believe I even read an article or 2 in the AHIMA subscription.

I cannot dispute there is such a law as you state, yet cannot help but wonder, how is it then Hospitals look for, advertise for, and Welcome volunteers for many positions. Also, Every Nursing Home that I know of in my area looks for, welcomes and cherrishes volunteers. I could name countless places within the medical field that I have volunteered at throughout many years, doing the same or almost the same work their employees did. The only concern with each in which they made sure us volunteers signed was that we would keep patients information, etc. all confidential. In other words, anything heard, or any information patients shared with me, was never to be shared with anybody else. Goes along with the Privacy/Confidential rules.

I've heard of several people who were able to volunteer their services within the coding and billing field. Again, I do not know about such laws of non-paid..., but perhaps you are correct. I would think that it should be up to the individual Physician or party allowing a volunteer to provide services. Perhaps good they all do not know of this law or none of us would have ever been allowed the chance to gain the experiance.

Again, sorry if I posted something that was illegal to do or suggesting someone do something illegal.

Will you delete my post?

Betsie, CCA, CMRS

Joe
November 25, 2006 @ 10:17 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I brought up volunteering because of an article I read.  It was in either Coding or Advance for HIM for Professionals that talked about a successful Mentorship program.

Betsie
November 26, 2006 @ 12:02 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Joe,

Yes, I get both AHIMA and the Journal. I've read in one of them.

I probably should not post to this forum. I fear now I may be incorrect about something and would not want to mislead somebody.

I'll think twice before post again

Betsie, CCA, CMRS

Joe
November 26, 2006 @ 9:16 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Betsie,

I am aware of the "ignorance of the law  is no excuse", but we are trying to help a fellow coder/biller.  She is trying to get a job and we are trying to help.  The mentorship is a viable solution and I am not discounting what Leah said.

Joe
November 26, 2006 @ 9:16 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Betsie,

I am aware of the "ignorance of the law  is no excuse", but we are trying to help a fellow coder/biller.  She is trying to get a job and we are trying to help.  The mentorship is a viable solution and I am not discounting what Leah said.

Joe
November 26, 2006 @ 9:18 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Sorry for the double posts, everyone.  My laptop is too responsive at times and it beats the reload of the webpage.

Leah
November 26, 2006 @ 10:36 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Good Lord, Betsie!  Over-react much?

Jeez.

It doesn't take much research to find the law yourself - I even gave you a hint - "federal wage and hour laws".

And I don't think the fact that AHIMA recommended something means the Federal Government is going to look the other way.  Besides that, AHIMA is still giving valuable, valid advise - BECAUSE NON-PROFITS DO FREQUENTLY HIRE VOLUNTEERS.  And if AHIMA fails to mention the fact that it's illegal to volunteer your services to a business that's NOT a not-for-profit, perhaps that means that AHIMA is in error, ya know?

Shaquana
December 6, 2006 @ 1:01 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

I'm sorry to say but it isn't that easy. I graduated from Sanford- Brown Institute in August and I am still having a hard time finding a job as a biller. I am currently a Medical Secetary just hoping for the right opporiunty to come through.

Joe
December 6, 2006 @ 6:45 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

No one here said that it is easy.  We are offering advice from experience, reading, and being patient.  Again, I was certified for two years before I "slid" into coding.  I was hired as an A/R rep and the manager knew that I was a coder.  She paid me $2/hr more than my co-workers. Personally, I was are dealing with ladies (not to be sexist) that were grandfathered into their coding positions.  We are all dealing with the Catch-22 of "no experience, no hire."  I see coding as the first step in my career path.  I love it, but I am not going to be doing it five years from now unless I am a consultant.  As I stated before, I am in school for RHIT and hopefully the degree will open even more doors.  We have to give each other a word (or two) of encouragement.

Steve Verno
December 7, 2006 @ 2:11 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

A billing company I once worked for used to have people come in and work as interns.  They were allowed to work a few hours a day and in tern then learned much about the business.  Some, upon completion of their internship, were hired as full time employees.  The interns were paid minimum wage as a part time employee.  No one received health insurance, so that was not a benefit for anyone at the time.

Stories of our experiences are very valuable.  They teach those who are new, about our successes and our failures so that they do not make the same mistakes we made.  Right or wrong, each tale brings us all closer together because we can relate to that person's experience.

Sometimes we may have to bend the rules a little bit, not break them.  The law here in Florida says I can't balance bill an HMO patient, but I do and get away with it.  Why?  It's my knowledge of another law called ERISA which says I can balance bill the patient.  I send a claim and the insurance company says they received it untimely.  I go back and tell the insurance company I am not contracted so they can stick their denial where the sun don't shine.  Other would accept this denial and write off the balance.  I don't.  The insurance company demands a refund.  I look and I received it 33 monts and 1 day after the claim was paid.  The law allows trhe insurance company 33 months to do this, so I deny their request because of what trhe law says.  The law doesn't say anything about providers, so I go back 33 months and it makes the insurance company mad.  Am I violating the law?  Nope, I am bending it to meet my needs and because the law doesn't say anything about this.  You see, there are things that a law says and things a law doesn't say.  Juts like percentage billing.  Many say it is against the law.  I say show me.  The only prohibition against percentage billing I have seen is with Medicaid patients.

We have to understand about the complexity of our business and the laws that we have to face.  We and Employers are bombarded with laws and to remember each one can take the entire computer space of the NCC Enterprise.  Sometimes we need a little boost to remind us of the things we do not know.  These bits of information only serve to enhance what we have learned.

Betsie
December 7, 2006 @ 3:59 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Hi Steve,

Well said and thank you for posting.

Athena
March 19, 2007 @ 7:32 AM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

where r u located. curious

jrblueing
February 24, 2008 @ 2:02 PM Reply  |  Email Friend   |  |Print  |  Top

Betsie,
Hi, My name is Jeff, and I'm just getting started, or should say, plan to get started soon in my coursework.  I am new to the medical coding/billing industry, and would like to know if you know anything about Penn Foster.  The reason I will probably chose them is that I am currently laid off, and I thought their home study program would fit my needs.  Do you have any advice for me?  Also, last, but not least, what amount in salary can I expect to start with?



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