Laureen: Alright so let the interviews begin. So here I thought we had someone already set up for tonight and last minute, we realized that we didn’t. So I sent an email out to our 3 ladies that we are congratulating them and asked if they’d be willing to be interviewed. So Robin and Theresa graciously agreed at the same exact time. So I said, “Great. We’ll do both.” And then, I asked where they were from to put it on the slide and I had to check it twice because I kept getting the same answer. And it turns out, they’re both from Huntsville, Alabama. So what are the chances that I would actually invite two people from the same exact city?
So two beautiful ladies, Robin and Theresa. We’ll start with Robin and Robin, are we able to hear you?
Laureen: Okay great. So if you could just let us know you know, what got you interested in coding and maybe how CCO – Coding Certification — helped you along the way.
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Robin: Well, I was living in Atlanta, Georgia and I was doing life insurance for senior people like Medicare supplements and that type of thing. And I thought about going back to school so I went to a college and set up an interview with one of the ladies there. And I was interested actually, in ultrasound. She actually was looking at what I’m already doing because I’ve had banking experience and now life insurance experience. So she said, “Well, why don’t you try for medical coding and billing?” And I’m like… and then it just kind of the more I started thinking about it, the more I started liking it. But then in the meantime we moved so I had to put it on the back burner for a little bit.
But I actually did an online school, Allied Business Schools and did my you know, passed that. And I actually… I stumbled on the Blitz thing before I took my CPC exam the first time and I kind of like, “No, I’m probably can do without it.” Well, wrong because I didn’t fail really miserably but I did fail the first time and I didn’t even get done with like 30 or 40 questions I had left. I’m like, “How am I going to get through this?” So when I got the Blitz package, I was just really impressed with the bubbling and the highlighting. That just helped draw my eye to certain things I need to look for. And then you know, the time management helped so much. I was able to get done… I didn’t get done super early or anything but I got done on time. And I felt very confident about it but you just never know because you come out of there, you just don’t know. So… but I’m very pleased. I was very excited to see.
And actually, the lady told me… actually, the president from the chapter, the coders chapter called to congratulate me. And she said, there were over 40 people there and she feels I was one of the lucky few because not very many people passed.
Laureen: Yay. I mean, not yay because they didn’t pass but yay that you did.
Robin: Yeah so the Blitz is well worth it. Actually, I felt like I got re-educated because a lot of stuff you know, they didn’t go you know, over. I learned more just listening to the Blitz videos like I re-educated myself, especially on the E&M. That helped me a big… I mean, that really helped me.
Laureen: Great. Well thank you for sharing that and thanks for being a part of our community on the discussion board. It’s much appreciated.
Robin: Thank you.
Laureen: Okay so next, Theresa Vrana also from Huntsville. Theresa, tell us a little bit about how you got interested in medical coding and how CCO might have helped you.
Theresa: Well, I had been… actually; I should say Vrana is my maiden name. I’m actually married. My last name is Robertson and I need to go back into the forum and figure out what I did wrong with that. But anyway, I had been a legal secretary for 15 years and 14 of that were in the town that I lived in for many years. And then the last year was in a big, huge law firm and I ended up getting laid off. And that was a blow to the ego. They were a huge firm and they downsized. A lot of lawyers got laid off, paralegals, everybody. And I got to thinking, well I need to pick a career that might be a little more secure than this because that was not much fun getting laid off like that. And I just started doing some research online and took a little test about what kinds of things that I liked and I like tedious work. I like to work somewhat on my… by myself but not completely and the coding popped up. And it’s not anything that I knew anything about but I read about it. And I signed up for a course here in Huntsville and it turns out, I just actually loved it and it really seemed to be something I was good at. Had a little bit of a bad experience with a school and didn’t feel like I learned a whole lot and I too, stumbled across the Blitz. And like Robin said, it just… it showed me things that I just did not even get in class whatsoever. And it just… it really brought my attention things that I would have never noticed in the CPT Manual, especially. And I watched your Blitz DVDs about 3 times and each time, I learn something new .And I felt like the Blitz… without the Blitz, I would never have noticed the majority of the things that I noticed in the manual. I would have not picked up if I had not watched your Blitz series.
And then I did have some struggles with my exam, jackhammers to be exact.
Laureen: Oh right.
Theresa: The entire time and I thought, “Well, how many more challenges can I face?” But I managed and after I got over the initial shock and got used to the noise, I felt like I was able to do it because I was so familiar with my manual and the ICD-9 and HCPCS as well. But I honestly… and I’m not getting paid to say this. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without the Blitz. And I would recommend it to anyone. And now I’m hoping that I can find a job. I’m very anxious to get started in this.
Laureen: Oh great. Well, thank you so much Theresa and thanks for again, being such a big part of our discussion board. I love getting an email that said you posted something.
Theresa: I love the forum too. I’ve told some people about that already too. I just…I love how everybody is how encouraging with one another. You don’t sometimes see that with women these days and I love the forum.
Laureen: It’s growing fast and I’m glad you said that because really, truly, we joke about it. Sylvia, Alicia and I are on Skype chat all day long you know, working on support issues and stuff. And it’s like “warm and fuzzy, warm and fuzzy” you know, that’s how we want our students and you know people to feel. So that’s good to know, thanks for sharing that.
Alicia: Yes and it’s my goal to keep my picture as number 1, just letting everybody know.
Laureen: She’s talking about where you go to the forum.
Alicia: Whoever posts the most, their picture is number 1.
Laureen: That’s your challenge everyone. Get on the discussion board. You get to , Community and Discussion forum or just go to /forum and you’ll see it here. And over on the right, it’s giving you the forum statistics. I didn’t realize that. Now I will be a little more competitive. No… oh there you..
Alicia: I figured that out right away.
Laureen: Very good. Okay, moving along. Thanks ladies so much. Alright, another poll. Are you certified? So this is where we’d like to find out where everyone is on the call. Are we talking with a lot of people getting ready for the exam or you know, they’re already certified and just coming to get some more coding education or to network.
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