Coding, Classification & Reimbursement

Internship Advice

  • 1.  Internship Advice

    Posted 02-14-2018 16:44
    I'm unsure if it is alright to post about a personal problem on here. However, since it appears as though quite a few of my fellow classmates are having the same issue, I'm hoping this can be a decent discussion topic.

    The problem is thus: Entry-level coding positions are practically nonexistent in my state (South Carolina). Almost all jobs require at least one year's worth of experience, preferably more. Freshly graduated coders cannot get that experience if no one will hire them due to their lack of experience. So, how is a freshly graduated coder (already certified) to get experience and/or a job?

    Short of racking up certifications, I thought the best way to go about this would be to get an internship. The problem I'm finding is that, even though I am not asking for any payment, no one wants to 'hire' an intern that isn't a student.

    I would greatly appreciate any and all advice on this topic. I've been having this issue for over a year now. I'm very close to taking the risk and moving to a different state (which I don't have the funds to do).

    Thank you!

    Gena M. Babin, CCS-P

  • 2.  RE: Internship Advice

    Posted 02-14-2018 18:07
    Hi There:

    Are you actively involved with your local AHIMA chapter? If not, that's a great start. Network with your peers and colleagues in your local chapter. 

    Other suggestions: 
    -go to your own private doctor or local area hospital to see if they will allow you to volunteer
    -if you've already graduated, go back to the college to the student/career services to see what options are available to you.

    Don't give up!

    Good luck to you. 

    Stacey L Murphy, MPA, RHIA, CPC
    AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/ICD-10-PCS Trainer
    Exam Prep Facilitator

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 3.  RE: Internship Advice

    Posted 02-15-2018 11:16
    Dear Gena,

    I had the same frustration as you did so you are not alone. It took me a year to find a job and believe me it was not easy. My advice to you is to post your resume on every job site possible and comb through the job sites as well. I also would advise you to join the AHIMA apprenticeship program. You can find out all about it on the AHIMA website. I would also advise you to join your state branch of AHIMA and make sure that you sign yourself up to get the AHIMA job bank emails. Also make sure that your resume is on the AHIMA website.

    Where did you do your internship? Can they help you in any way?

    Most important is to NETWORK NETWORK NETWORK.

    Do not give up hope Gina. The right job will come to your doorstep when the time is right. Do not stop believing in yourself and do not settle for anything that is not for you.

    Good Luck

    Jodi Miller, RHIT, CCS

    Jodi Miller, RHIT, CCS
    Outpatient Coder/Abstractor

  • 4.  RE: Internship Advice

    Posted 02-17-2018 13:24
    I just posted on something similar to this. I'm located in the Southwest. I tried working with AHIMA's mentor program (could not find a single mentor local or online), pursued volunteer opportunities, and more, for a full year before I was to graduate from my coding program. I could not find a single position. After networking for more than a year-and-a-half, passing my program with a 4.0 GPA, passing my CCS on the first try, I did not receive a single interview. I networked like crazy -- and I've worked in chambers of commerce, so I know how to build connections -- and served on 3 committees with my local chapter of AHIMA. Unfortunately, that didn't really open many doors.

    I've had to move on for financial reasons and pursue other opportunities, restarting my freelance writing business. As I said in my other post, the job market is what it is. I'm trying to keep my skills fresh through Engage and Coding Clinics, but it's tough without the resources from an employer.

    I truly wish you all the best!

    Thank you!
    Cynthia Kibbe

  • 5.  RE: Internship Advice

    Posted 02-19-2018 17:42

    Other options are to look into job shadowing at hospitals or clinics. Most organizations have this available. Contact the HR Department and ask.

    Check into the AHIMA Apprenticeship program mentioned in another post.

    Make connections with the local and state AHIMA chapters.

    Every employer would like to hire someone with experience, but it doesn't mean there are that many experienced nonemployed coders out there. Sometimes talking to an employer about giving you six months on the job to meet certain parameters will help.

    You can also start out with a job in billing, which can lead to coding. Most of the time, getting your foot in the door doing anything in HIM will help you make that transition. If you don't have the certifications, pursue them in the interim while you are working other jobs.

    Tresa Ryan, MBA, RHIT, CCS-P
    HIT Program Director

  • 6.  RE: Internship Advice

    Posted 02-22-2018 03:48
    I started out as a  Clinical Documentation Editor writing Physician Procedure Templates for ICD-10 PCS for ICD Logic, then applied to every coding company A-Z until Aviacode hired me as a CCA (took about 2 - 3 months).  I was able to start at $30.00 an hour coding for a Level II Trauma/Teaching Hospital and went on to obtain my CCS and the rest is history.  I have always worked remote, so do not let anyone tell you there are no coding jobs or that you cannot work as a CCA, or that you cannot work remote from the beginning.  All is possible with determination, the right work ethic, and a little luck!  If you ace the tests, they look at you even with a CCA.

  • 7.  RE: Internship Advice

    Posted 02-19-2018 21:32

    I agree with some of the comments on here- don't give up. Keep looking,. I would also recommend when you do a search online such as on indeed, you can find entry level coding positions under coder I or coding specialist that do not require coding experience. I have found a few that might be of interest to you to check out. Some are remote. Mercy Health out of Ohio has a remote coding specialist open It states "

    Licensure / Certifications: AAPC or AHIMA Coding Certification (i.e. CPC-A, CPC, CCS-P). Experience: Minimum of 1 year coding experience or successful completion of coding curriculum.

    You also might want to check out jobs for Edit coders. You could try Conifer Health Solutions whom I used to work for. I thought I saw a Remote Edit Coder position that did not say you needed coding experience so you might want to check that out or do an internet search for edit coders.

    You could also try zip recruiter and check out insurance companies too. Also, even if the job posting states "experienced preferred" or min of  x amount of years experience I still recommend to apply. If you get and pass the interview and a coding test they may hire you.

    Just my two cents.


    AHIMA Approved ICD-10 CM/PCS Trainer
    Coding Education and Quality Coord II | Sr. Coding Auditor