Yolanda is a CPC and is employed at Howard University Faculty Practice Plan in Washington, DC. She is the senior coding and reimbursement specialist and has been there for four years. We sat down with her to get her thoughts on all things coding…and then some…
Medical Coder Profile: Yolanda T. Haskins, CPC
Do you use paper manuals or online encoders? Paper manuals, Code Correct and Find-A-Code.com; my favorites are my coding books which I call my coding bibles; I love to read.
What are your thoughts about specialty credentialing? Specialty credentials are important because they show that you have mastered your ability in that specialty. The AAPC is doing a great deal of good work in this area.
Tell me about your experience with CodingCertification.org. I am the president of the Alexandria, VA Local Chapter (this is my second year.) We have review classes for our members at which time we express and encourage our members to purchase the DVD Blitz set to maximize their passing score and knowledge on the CPC test. The members who purchase and study the information have informed us that they have had several “aha” moments and PASSED. It’s a great feeling to know that you have provided solid information to members. Additionally, please note that I have been in the billing/coding world for more than 28 years and I, too, have benefited from CCO.
What do you like least/most about being a medical coder? After all these years, cardiovascular is still a challenge. I love helping physicians code and understand that it is more than putting a code down on a piece of paper and billing. It’s about telling a story.
What advice can you offer to people just getting started in their medical coding career? You have to have passion. Sometimes (most of the time) you will have to start as a receptionist, or patient account representative before becoming a medical coder; BE PATIENT (your time will come); I also suggest attending local AAPC chapter meetings, network and seek advice of the specialty societies.
What are your future career goals? I will be taking the exam to become a Certified Medical Compliance Officer in July 2013 and rebuilding my own billing/coding company again.
How does your personality help you in your job? People always say to me that I am a person who they can approach (come to) to understand information on a lay-term basis. My smile and passion for medical coding is very contagious.
What are your hobbies outside of work? I am a wife, mother of three daughters (ages 34, 31 and 27) and have two grandchildren (ages 11 and 10). I know it’s hard to believe since I look only 30…LOL. I spend lots of time traveling with my husband and I also enjoy reading and planning fun events.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I love people and love making people feel better. (There goes that smile again).