June 12, 2024

Gaining experience as a new medical coder CPC-A

By Janine Mothershed

Navigating the Path to Experience as a Newly Certified Medical Coder: Strategies and Tips

Becoming a certified medical coder is a significant achievement, but for newly certified professionals, the next step is securing practical experience in the field. Gaining hands-on experience is crucial for building competency, confidence, and credibility as a new medical coder CPC-A. Here are some strategies and tips to help newly certified medical coders CPC-As get hired and navigate the journey of gaining valuable experience:

1. Pursue Internship Opportunities

Internships provide an excellent avenue for newly certified medical coders to gain practical experience in a real-world healthcare setting. Many hospitals, clinics, and medical billing companies offer internship programs specifically designed for entry-level coders. These programs typically provide mentorship, hands-on training, and exposure to various coding specialties.

2. Volunteer for Coding Projects

Volunteering to assist with coding projects, either within your current organization or through professional associations, can be a valuable way to gain experience. Offer to help with coding audits, chart reviews, or coding backlog clean-up projects. While these opportunities may be unpaid, they offer invaluable hands-on experience and networking opportunities.

3. Seek Entry-Level Positions

Look for entry-level positions such as coding specialist, coding assistant, or coding clerk. While these roles may not require extensive experience, they provide an opportunity to gain practical knowledge of coding processes, software systems, and industry standards. Keep an open mind and be willing to start at the bottom to build a solid foundation for your coding career.

4. Leverage Networking Opportunities

Attend industry events, conferences, and networking meetings to connect with seasoned professionals in the field. Join local or online coding forums, discussion groups, and social media communities to engage with other coders and seek advice. Networking can lead to valuable mentorship relationships, job leads, and opportunities for gaining experience.

5. Embrace Continuing Education

Continuing education is essential for staying current with evolving coding guidelines, regulations, and technology. Pursue additional certifications, attend workshops, webinars, and seminars, and enroll in online courses to expand your knowledge and skillset. The more you invest in your professional development, the more valuable you’ll become as a coder.

6. Be Proactive and Persistent

Gaining experience as a newly certified medical coder may require persistence and initiative. Be proactive in seeking out opportunities, reaching out to potential employers, and showcasing your willingness to learn and contribute. Don’t be discouraged by rejection or setbacks—every experience, whether positive or negative, is a learning opportunity.

7. Demonstrate Your Skills

Create a portfolio showcasing your coding projects, accomplishments, and relevant coursework. Include examples of accurate coding assignments, audit findings, and any special projects you’ve worked on. A well-curated portfolio can help demonstrate your skills and expertise to potential employers and set you apart from other candidates.

Gaining experience as a newly certified medical coder is a gradual process that requires dedication, persistence, and a proactive approach. By pursuing internships, volunteering for coding projects, seeking entry-level positions, networking with industry professionals, embracing continuing education, and demonstrating your skills through a portfolio, you can successfully navigate the path to becoming a seasoned coder. Remember that every opportunity, no matter how small, contributes to your growth and development as a professional in the field of medical coding.

Coding Clarified gives our students an HCC Internship:



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