With the advent of the digital age, it is becoming more and more possible for people to not only pursue an education from their own home, but to maintain a career as well. This is becoming increasingly true for medical coders and billers. In the past, medical coders could typically only find at-home positions after gaining a few years of experience; however, with the shortage of medical coders nationwide, opportunities for new graduates are becoming more common. If you want to enjoy medical coding from home, here are a few things to keep in mind.
There’s an existing and increasing need for well-trained medical coders and billers. If you’re interested in pursuing this promising career path, then proper training through an industry-approved program is essential to your success. Medical billing and coding training is available through many, many institutions—both online or on campus—but it’s important to make sure your choice is reputable and has been approved by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Career Step’s medical coding and billing training is one of the nation’s online AHIMA-approved certificate programs.
If your goal is to work from home as a medical coder right out of the gate, it’s important to go into your job search with the mindset that you’re fighting an uphill battle. It is definitely possible to get an at-home job right away, but you will need to be even more persistent and diligent than a coding graduate looking for a more typically entry-level position. With that being said, be sure to check with your school to see if they have any employer relationships that can help you out. For example, Career Step has partnered with IOD Incorporated to help more graduates secure work-from-home opportunities without the typically year or two of experience.
Whether you’re looking for an at-home position as soon as you graduate or are willing to get a few years of experience working on-site before beginning to work independently, job networking websites and portals such as LinkedIn, Indeed, FlexJobs, and CareerBuilder can be great assets in your job search. Keeping your professional profile updated and being active in group discussions on forums and websites can help get you noticed and stay current in this rapidly changing field.
Staying up-to-date in the medical coding and billing industry is absolutely critical if you want to have a successful career—whether you’re working at home or in a facility. Even after you’ve completed your training, you’ll need to make sure you’re up on the latest industry standards and current code systems (which is extra important as we approach the October 2015 implementation deadline for ICD-10). Taking continuing education courses and attending conferences and workshops can be effective ways to stay up to date, and they also provide you with a strong network of other professional colleagues.
Medical coding and billing is a constantly evolving field—which is leading to more and more work-at-home opportunities for well-trained professionals. Having the right medical coding training can make a big difference when you’re looking for your first job, and even after you’ve been employed, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the current industry trends and requirements. With this advice and some hard work, you too can have a successful career as a medical biller and coder from the comfort of your own home!