Practice managers are wise to know the advantages of hiring new, highly educated medical coders.
Newly-credentialed medical coders, while looking for their first medical coding job, often face the classic catch-22: “You need a job to gain experience, but you can’t get a job without experience.”
This situation causes anxiety and frustration for many newly-credentialed coders who are excited to get their foot in the door of the medical coding field. Is coding experience truly necessary for success in every coding position? In this changing landscape of healthcare, maybe not.
From a manager’s point of view, the inclination may be to hire a coder who has experience medical coding; however, new medical coders have many advantages, as well. Here are three good reasons why a practice manager should consider hiring newly credentialed coders.
1. Build Your Team, Your Way
Code team managers know best what their team needs to produce optimal results. Many factors go into selecting employees who will support department quality and production — from setting the tone of the team’s dynamic, to fostering an environment of teamwork and learning, to creating processes that support the whole team.
Medical coders who are entering the field for the first time are eager to learn, and that enthusiasm adds a positive dynamic in the entire code team. The excitement new coders possess may just reignite the passion your experienced coders used to possess.
Managers face a constant struggle to create a workflow and team dynamic that encourages maximum production and quality. Employees who enter the workforce for the first time are open to learning the specific processes in a code team. Rather than bring old, bad coding habits, they foster collaboration and support the entire group’s processes. Their enthusiasm helps the team to evaluate procedures, incorporate new knowledge and interests, and provide a new outlook on the code team’s operations.
2. New Credentials
Bring Fresh Knowledge
Every new coding certification represents recent training, education, and preparation. Medical coders with recently earned certifications are knowledgeable about a given clinical setting or specialty and every coding guideline that pertains to that setting or specialty — they must be to pass their credentialing exam!
A seasoned coder may have years of experience in their chosen coding specialty, but a new coder has recent knowledge that, if shared in a respectful, supportive environment, can elevate a code team’s ability to correctly code. Pairing a new coder’s knowledge with that of a veteran employee — who can offer extra guidance and real-life application — results in improved coding comprehension for every team member. As they say: Teamwork makes the dream work!
3. Make a Difference in
the Life of a Medical Coder
We all have memories of starting out in the coding field, looking for direction, and hoping that someone would take a chance on a rising coding talent. None of us can forget the education challenges and struggles that accompany the certification process. Supporting and guiding AAPC members during the first months following certification is integral to their coding career, and it encourages success of the entire coding field.
Reach out to help someone in their journey to success. Show a new coder that you have faith in them. That vote of confidence will take them places they may not have achieved on their own, and possibly elevate your own career — you won’t be disappointed!
Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC, is the managing director of Project Resume, a company providing professional development education to medical coders. She began her professional journey when she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration as a student at Pennsylvania State University. Barnaby has enjoyed a career in medical coding and billing, recruiting, training, and management of medical coding teams. She is a member of the Richmond, Va., local chapter and can be reached at [email protected]