Q: CPC-A Employment – “Any advice for CPC-Apprentice to help find employment?”

A: I have advice. First thing, don’t worry about the A, that’s just my personal opinion. I don’t think it’s as big a deal as people make it out to be. I think it’s more important to us in what our peers are seeing after our name, but most employers – I mean, look at our alphabet soup after our names. I’m a CPC, a CPC-I; I could be a CPCP which are all pluses, but the CPC-A is a negative, kind of, they don’t know unless you tell them. So, I believe in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for that.

If they come out and say, “What does the A stand for?” You can tell them, say, “I’m recently certified.” That’s it. You can downplay it. Your resume is going to speak to your experience; they’re going to tell that you don’t have two years of coding experience.

But at any rate, as far as how to find employment, we have an e-book that talks about how to find your first job. If you go to our site and go under Free Stuff for Medical Coding and Billing, you’ll see it there. It’s free. We did research, we hired a copywriter, they went out and they interviewed people that were looking for coders – billing companies, hospitals, doctors’ offices and asked them a series of questions. It’s got really good info on how to pay attention to your cover letter, your resume, your interview skills. It’s really good.

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You can do something like Practicode. We have a Medical Coding Practicum course that includes Practicode, which is a practice platform. Our version of it has over 3000 cases in it that you can code by specialty, so say you want to pick cardiology, you code that specialty and get your speed and your accuracy up, which they call a proficiency score. That you can print out to add to your resume when you go on interviews or when you mail your resume in.

The company that makes Practicode is called Aviacode. They have told us in webinars, that they’ve come on for us, that if we have a new graduate but is certified and they become proficient at a specialty that they need, they will hire them, because they’ve proven that using their system, that they know how to code cardiology really well. They don’t care that you don’t have two years of experience, they have many experienced coders and that’s why they developed this platform that were great at, say, VIR coding, they’re wonderful.

But now they have this new contract where it’s pathology or something like that. I’m just grabbing examples. They had great coders but they didn’t know that specialty so they let them practice on this to get better. Now, they just said, “Why don’t we just open this up? “So, it’s really great. If you’re interested in that, if you go to the website http://www.cco.us/ you’ll see under Courses, where it says Medical Coding Practicum (MCP). If you’re having trouble finding it, just respond to the chat box that will pop up or email the Helpdesk.

Alicia: Also, market yourself, that e-book will help you market yourself. Very important.

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