Q #7: I am a CPC-A with no job experience and I’m curious about whether you think it would make a difference to potential employers if I used AAPC’s new Practicode practicum – or you want to use ours – product that would allow me to drop the apprentice “A” designation for my credential? Or is a previous coding position the only (or primary) thing that matters, as opposed to apprenticeship designation?
A: I can tell you what my thoughts are on this. The “A” is not a big deal and the “A” is not necessarily a big deal to the employer. Now, everybody thinks it is, and it’s like the Scarlet Letter when people talk about it. However, what your employer is looking for is quality, not the quantity of years that you have under your belt. They’re looking for quality. Are you a good coder, will you get along with – Ethel, who doesn’t get along with anybody in the office – are you eager to learn, and are you going to be there for a while? They don’t want to train you and you’re going to be gone in a year. So, that all falls into marketing yourself. And one of the ways that you can market yourself is to use Practicode to show your proficiency and your quality.
Practicode – Medical Coding Career – Video
Now, if you want to go through the AAPC, that’s fine, I gave you the comparison of the two and what they offer, and if you do the 600 cases you can have the “A” taken off. Or, if you want, you can go through ours and then you can print out your proficiency and you can walk in and say, “Look, this is the quality work I do. Yes, I’m a CPC-A, but I won’t be there for long.”
If you take one of our medical coding courses for the CPC you get a year taken off of your “A” already. It’s a matter of marketing. They’re not going to advertise that they’ll take a “A,” but I wouldn’t make a big deal about it. Don’t even mention it when you go in. Apply for anything that you want and market yourself, and that’ll make more of a difference than whether you have an “A” behind you or not.
You can go out and google ways, and get on YouTube on ways to do interviews. Get really good at interviewing and everything. Make sure you wear the right amount of clothes, the right type of clothes. You know, pay attention to your shoes – things like that. Anyway, there are some ways to market yourself. Get a hold of your local chapter, market yourself through them. But I wouldn’t worry about that “A.” I know people talk about it being a bad thing but it’s not as bad as you think to the employer.
Q #8: All the jobs I’m looking at say they want 2+ years’ experience in hospital/physician office setting. So, if I get certification I probably won’t get a job that easily with no experience.
A: Again, that goes into the previous question. Just because they say they want two years of experience doesn’t mean they’re going to get one, a coder with that. Market yourself, make sure you’re good, and make sure you can get along with Ethel, and things like; really network and market. Again, apply for jobs; you may just be the one that they’re looking for because of another reason. So, if you’re worried about it, start learning how to do interviews and marketing yourself.
Q #9: Laureen mentioned in a video to use an App E for E-coding instead of an E-code section. Please explain. Thanks.
A: To use an App E for E-coding instead of E-coding –
Boyd: Appendix E?
Alicia: Oh, OK. When you’re going to go do E codes, there’re not that many E codes. And the thing of it is, if you go through it and read the E codes, you almost don’t even have to use the index because they’re lumped together in sections. But for the Appendix E, you can use that. It’s just another place in your manual that has the descriptions. I’m not sure I’m answering your question right, but if you need us to, we can do a quick little video; Laureen loves to do that on how to find that. We have done some other webinars with slides on E coding and I know that they’re in the YouTube channel. So, put in “E codes” and it’ll bring up a lot of videos for you and maybe that’ll help explain it.
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