Special guest Jane Denker joined us to share some of her experience as a coder in the field and how she started medical coding from home – WITHOUT a CPC certification. She also describes how she used the training available at CodingCertification.org to pass her cpc test. Even today she continues to use CCO tips and techniques in her work.
Medical Coding From Home Case Study
Laureen: Alright so Alicia is going to interview Jane on… this is just another one of Boyd’s great ideas is why don’t we highlight students so that prospective people on the call can hear how they view the CCO programs.
We don’t have a picture. She said the only thing she had on Facebook was a picture of her cat so…
Alicia: Jane, let’s start out with a little bit of your background.
Jane: Okay, I trained as a nurse and I went ahead, more of as a medical assistant. I had x-ray and labs and I worked in physician’s offices. And then as life got on, I got married, started having children. And I realized that a lot of my time was away from my kids and I didn’t like it. So I was always being asked to help in the business office and whatnot. I also have a degree in business from Portland State and I realized, I like this coding. I like the insurance part. This looks like fun but it’s a lot of work and a lot of time.
And so when I was coding, I just sat and said, “I’m going to start medical coding from home.” I just kind of laughed at it and well, what’s going to happen? I found in this area, nursing home providers really needed someone to do their billing and their coding. So I star doing that form home. I was able to be around my kids which was wonderful and it just really worked out. And then I thought, “Well you know, I really should get certified so I know what I’m doing.”
So I went and I took a course through Portland Community College and that was at the time when they were just doing online medical coding courses and it was not very well planned out. And many students were frustrated. We finished the course and it felt like we knew what we’re doing and this was back in 2004.
So I did learn things and I kept doing what I was doing and I would actually get called to go out to other clinics. They needed someone to fill in and that was fun. It gave me variety of going to different offices. But I really didn’t feel I was doing my best work. And so I went over and I took the coding at the community college again and they had a lady who is the head coder for the Oregon Health Sciences and she did a great job. But still, things were not meshing for me.
And so I was looking to… I don’t want to have to go through another program but I was willing to dothat. And online, I found Laureen’s Blitz videos. They just made everything clear and put it together. It was just wonderful.
I had the confidence and I studied and I took my certification test. And of all the little nuggets of information that came, the pearls of wisdom on how to eliminate certain answers and… it was just fantastic. Because of the Blitz, I just… I passed with ease once I got over being nervous.
Laureen: Yay! And congratulations on that.
Alicia: Jane, you’re doing the Medical Terminology and Anatomy course with us right now, aren’t you?
Jane: I am.
Alicia: And what do you think about that? Do you think that’s going to be beneficial? Or what made you decide to go ahead and take that since you’re already certified?
Well, I’m just… I’m looking ahead to ICD10 and I know they’re going to be more in depth of knowing the information and I wanted to brush up. Because it’s been over 35 years when I went through my medical assisting nursing and I just want to be sharp.
So I actually took the medical coding course through the AAPC. It was not challenging and I hope nobody is affiliated with AAPC and I don’t mean to hurt your feelings. But my daughter would laugh because they would be doing their little speech about it and I’d be up in the kitchen washing my dishes. And I’d come back and take my 10 little questions test. It was not challenging. I wasn’t learning.
And again, I saw Laureen’s program and thought, “Well this is going to be worth it.” And it so is. It’s just… it’s fun. The games, the way you present it, Laureen. It really just sticks in your head and you hit highlights. It’s a lot of informaiotn. And even when you take the test, you got to know what’s in that chapter because the 50 questions can come from anywhere.
Jane: You present it, it’s just… it’s wonderful and I’m learning a lot. And I don’t get up and wash the dishes while I’m watching your video. No.
Laureen: Well that means a lot to me because I didn’t realize until tonight that you had a nursing background and you’re taking my Medical Terminology course. So I’m honored that…
Alicia: Yeah she’s an LPN.
Laureen: Yeah, that’s great.
Alicia: That’s great to know that you’re enjoying that. You had talked a little bit before we got started about some of the hints and things to do when you were testing. That seemed to be very helpful. Can you share some of those?
Jane: Certainly. I feel, of course, you’re going to study hard and get ready for the test. And you’re going to know your stuff. You go through Laureen’s Blitz and you use these highlights of eliminate certain answers. When you get to take the test, there are going to be individuals that have not passed it before. They’re going to be talking about it. They’re going to know how difficult it is. It’s like when you need to get your wisdom teeth out and everyone needs to tell you the horror story about the oral surgeon and what happened to them. So you’ll really get freaked out. You got to let that go. When people start talking about that, just think to yourself, “Well, that maybe true for them but it’s not for me. I know what I’m doing.” And get in there and take a deep breath and don’t look up at anyone. The last thing you need to do is seeing a lady, biting their erasers off at the end of her pencil. You’re going to be fine.
Because my experience, I went in and I had listened to these individuals out there, talking about how they had failed and this and that. And I was nervous. I actually thought I was going to have a stroke or something and fall on the ground. I couldn’t breathe and just like, “Breathe, Jane. You’re fine.” And then when I start taking an hour into the test, I realized, I can do this. I have the tools because of Laureen and the Blitz. You know, this answer’s not going to work. This answer’s not right. This is the information I need to extract. And I was fine. And so I went ahead and I finished the test and I was done. And two additional hours and I went back and I redid the first part. So I was done in 4 hours and I passed easily.
Alicia: That’s fantastic.
Jane: Have confidence in yourself.
Alicia: That, I think, helps a lot of people not to hear the negative out there because that seems to be what the traffic is, the negative and you don’t hear as much about the positive. You also shared with us, before we got started, some information about that first job, getting your first job and the attitude to have and stuff. Can you share some of that with us as well?
Jane: Show you’re confident. Believe in yourself. You’ve gone through these problems. You are smart to get through and when you go for your job, it’s… they ask, “Well, do you know this program? Are you familiar with Epic?” or whatever maybe the medical records or the way they do things. If you don’t know it, tell them. But let them know you’re willing to learn. That’s the key. Because, believe it or not, I ran into some individuals who’ll say, “Well, I don’t know that and I don’t have to learn it.” Well, if you want the job and if you show the people that you’re willing to learn this and even if you don’t get that position, I suggest you go out and research what they were talking about because the next interview, they may ask you. And if you have more information, let them know that you are looking into this. It may just be your way into the door.
Alicia: That’s great. Jane, I really appreciate you coming on the webinar and sharing your information because I think it’s really going to be real helpful to people both that have been coding and those that are studying to pass their test and those that are getting ready for ICD 10 like you mentioned and not being scared of ICD 10. Thanks.
Laureen: Thanks so much, Jane.
Jane: Well, I’m so honored. Thank you and the last thing I can leave is have confidence in yourself. I mean, you’ve gone through the programs. You know the information. You just need to know how to put it out there and Laureen’s program will show you.
Laureen: Thanks, Jane and hopefully, you’ll get on the discussion board and you can probably one of our… people that go to for motivation.
Jane: Well, I’m happy because it’s an awesome program and I’m so thankful I found you. I really am.
Laureen: Well, thanks. And she was… Jane was sharing with us earlier that she talks about us so much at work that they asked if she was related.
CPC, COC, CPPM, CPC-I.,Sr. Instructor for CCO.us. Laureen has over 25 years in the healthcare field. She graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 1986 and before long was running a successful therapy practice which did over 1.6 million in billing per year with a less than .06% rejection rate. Once Medicare changed how rehab companies were reimbursed this business was closed and Laureen eventually started a new company dedicated to teaching Medical Billing and Coding. Laureen has taught medical billing and coding since 1999 and currently does so through her comapny Certification Coaching Organization, LLC which does business as CCO.
She resides in Florida with her husband of over 20 years Anthony and four children. They are active parents and spend most of their time these days just being parents which they love.