Now that you have decided to choose medical billing and coding as your career, let us see how you can get your first job in this field. Even though the need for medical billers and coders are extensive and increasing, jobseekers without industry experience often find it difficult to get the job they want. It can be tough to get in to a coding or billing job which requires applying practical alternatives to your job finding strategy.
The Initial Role
It is often difficult to get a job as a medical biller or coder because your employers do not know how good or bad you are to entrust you with the critical work of dealing with patient health information. So instead of looking for a coding or billing job, start your career in a related healthcare position so that you can later move in to a coding or billing position showing this experience. This approach would help you to get yourselves acquainted with the operations of a medical facility and the various industry standards and procedures that are needed when you start on a coding or billing position.
So what are these other roles that can help you to later become a coder or biller? It is much easier to get in to an office clerk or assistant position compared to a coder or biller position when you are starting your career as a fresh graduate or with no prior healthcare experience. You can also look for work in medical records which is another indirect way of getting into coding, but you’re familiarity with the provider’s office will serve you well. Don’t discount volunteering or job shadowing as volunteering at a provider’s office can give you some first-hand experience.
One of the best ways to get your foot in the door and get professional experience is through an internship. These, like many coding positions they lead up to, can be scarce.
There are a variety of good job resources for medical billing and coding. You can find internships on third-party sites like Wayup, or you can search for openings on LinkedIn.
Another option for those fresh out of school is to take the CPC exam right away without waiting the two years recommended work experience. It will be a challenge, but if you’re confident in your schooling and your skills, you should be able to pass the exam. Once you have passed, you can take part in the CPC Apprentice program. You won’t be a fully certified coder, but you’ll have a leg up on the rest of the uncertified competition. And when you do find a coding job, you can use this work experience toward your full certification.
If you are serious about finding a medical billing or coding job, you should know that you create a good resume for yourselves. A good resume would have a profile summary of your qualifications and skills, highlights about your achievements, your education and certification details and your experience if any.
While it is important that you maintain a version of your resume on your computer and e-mail in word or pdf format, it is also important that you print out your resume and share with the potential employers whom you are reaching out in person for a job opportunity. Delivering your resume in person do not hurt as long as you do it professionally and politely that creates an impression for yourselves and makes the recruiter understand that you are serious about your career.
Searching for a job, whether in medical billing and coding or any other industry, is not an easy task. You need to be pursuing different methods and multiple positions at the same time so that you get the interview calls that you need to land the job. Do not be too optimistic by applying for one position at a time thinking that you would get called for the interview. The recruiters often get too many candidates applying for these positions, so it is important that you get your resume to as many recruiters as possible.
Some of the best resources for finding new jobs are the professional organizations such as the American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Both of these organizations also have excellent job boards and provide lots of free job resources for new health information professionals.
The resources available on this website for medical billing and coding schools for each state also provide a list of potential employers in each state for medical billing and coding. You may select your state from this main page and walk-in to the employers near to your home to check if there are any opportunities available at this time. You may also use the online job sites to find positions that are near to your home or nationwide. Below are links to few of these job sites where you can search for jobs:
Whenever you apply to the job and get shortlisted, you may have to attend an interview as the next step in the selection process. It can be unnerving if you have not attended many interviews in the past, but understand that it is normal and happens to everyone who is in your position. In order to prepare for the interview and perform well, there are few things that you can do beforehand.
Find out about the company that you are being interviewed for and bring that to bear in your interview. This will help you to demonstrate how your skills can contribute to the position and how your career goals could align with the goals of the company.
Be prepared to get tested on subjects such as vocabulary and medical terminology. You may have to work through some hypothetical patient interaction scenarios, in which you explain how you’d communicate with a patient who, let’s say, is behind on their payments.
If you have prior experience in medical billing and coding that would help you for the new job, make sure that you speak about it during the interview. This is particularly useful if you know the coding or billing software or the specialty for which the recruitment is for.
Finally, it is good to ask your interviewer some questions which shows your interest in the position as well as sometimes to get a feedback from the interviewer on what he is thinking about your candidature. Ask practical, serious-minded questions and base your responses to later questions on the answers. It’s also good to state your goals for the future. If you’re a non-certified biller or coder, you should explain that you’re interested in getting the certification and how you are planning to do it.
While we have explained everything that is possible to prepare yourselves to get a job in medical billing and coding, understand that it won’t be easy to land your first coding or billing job. Please remain patient and be persistent in your job search and you should be able to get the job that you want and the career you desire in medical billing and coding.