Congratulations! You have finished medical billing and coding school, landed a medical billing or coding job and are about to embark on your new career. You may be wondering what to expect during your first few days. Will the new employer expect you to jump right in and start sending claims? What kind of on-the-job training might you expect? Is your education going to be up to the challenge? Although the first few days at a medical billing and coding job will vary by employer, there are a few things you can expect with any job.
Orientation for Medical Billing and Coding Jobs
In a corporate facility or hospital, you may spend the first day in orientation. This will include meeting with human resources or another representative to hear about company policies, benefits and basic rules. You will probably be provided with a tour of the building, meet a few key people and see where you will be working. Some companies use this time to hold a meet and greet with supervisors and new staff. This could be as simple as refreshments in the afternoon while managers step in to introduce themselves, or as lavish as lunch with your new management team. One thing you should keep in mind during orientation is that no one expects you to remember all the things you learn or all the people you meet. You should take good notes and keep any handouts provided for later reference.
New Hire Training
No matter how much education and experience you have, if you land a billing or coding job with a major corporation or hospital, you may have to go through new hire training classes. These are often in addition to orientation. New hire training may be provided by a training department or by specialists in the billing department. It usually includes some time in a classroom reviewing materials, and some time working hands-on with billing or coding software. The time for new hire training varies from a few days to several weeks, depending on the employer. During this time, you will likely be provided with numerous handouts, Power Point presentations and information packets. The best training programs distill much of the information provided into cheat sheets for easy reference once you are completing actual work. Smaller offices and consulting businesses will likely skip formal new hire training and jump directly into job shadowing and on-the-job learning.
Job shadowing is a one-on-one buddy system for training. It usually involves a newly hired medical biller or coder sitting with an experienced representative. The experienced employee performs daily tasks as they normally would, but explains each step to the new hire. After explaining steps several times, the employee might switch places and allow the newly hired individual to complete the work under direct supervision. Job shadowing is a great way to introduce people to new software programs for billing and coding without the possibilities of numerous errors in the work.
Learn as you Go
Once official training is complete, most employers still do not expect medical billers and coders to be perfect. Companies usually assume a learning curve of several weeks to several months. They do not expect employees inside of the curve to hit production goals or have perfect quality without coaching. During this time, do not be discouraged if your work is reviewed on a regular basis and your supervisor gives you corrections or tips for future work. During this time, you should accept any information offered and seek to increase the accuracy and quantity of your work to reach goals. Before you know it, you will be an old hand at the billing and coding procedures for your employer, and it may be you sitting with new employees and providing training.