An entrepreneur, Katie Werner founded Receivable Solutions about 10 years ago, but has been doing medical billing/coding for more than 20. We chatted with her for a bit about credentialing, career advice and more.
Medical Coder Profile: Katie Werner, CPC, CPMA
Do you use paper manuals or online encoders? I’ve gotten away from the paper code books and for the last year I’ve been using an online coding system. I’ve been doing some ICD-10 training and have used that book quite a lot in coding as there are a lot of new guidelines for us to follow. I have not played with the online coding system to see how they are handling ICD-10. I do, however, like the online coding system better because you can put some words in a search and find what you are looking for quite quickly.
What are your thoughts about specialty credentialing? Do you feel the AAPC is doing enough in the specialty fields by adding the auditing, compliance and practice management credentials? I currently hold two credentials with the AAPC – the CPC and CPMA (Certified Professional Medical Auditor). I originally received my CPMA with NAMMAS, but shortly after I received it the AAPC took it over. I do find that the CPMA is a more difficult credential to keep up with. Over the last several years that I have had to turn in CEUs, I have gotten the bulk from our yearly meetings and had to search other sites and pay to finish my CEU requirements. So, that makes me hesitant about getting another credential.
Tell me about your experience with CodingCertification.org. I was familiar with Laureen’s work and bought an online medical coding class from her almost seven years ago. I enjoy reviewing the website to see what things are out there for me to continue learning.
What do you like least/most about medical coding? I really love the billing part of my job! Part of the reason I became a coder was to be able to decipher the doctor’s notes to make sure what we were billing was documented. I then took the next step to obtain the CPMA which has been great. It allows me to go back to my doctors and tell them why I don’t feel their notes will stand up; they tend to listen more when you have those credentials behind your name.
What advice can you offer to people just getting started in their medical coding careers? Be sure that you really understand the field that you’re getting into. There are a lot of ads for medical billing schools that can sometimes be misleading. As we all know from working in the industry, there is a lot of information for us to know and retain. So, do your research and make sure that you’re getting into the right field for the right reasons. Make sure you always keep up your knowledge base and network, network, network. For example, right now I am on the Board of Directors for my local Chamber of Commerce and also on the Medicare Advisory Board.
What are your future career goals? I will continue to work and grow my business.
How does your personality help you in your job? I am a go getter and very persistent to get things done.
What are your hobbies outside of work? My husband works for an airline so we love to travel. I try to scrapbook in my spare time.