Hiring Newly Credentialed Medical Coders

By Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC

Almost every coder has faced the same situation. While looking for their first coding job, they are told:

You need a job to gain experience, but you can’t get a job without experience.

It is a classic catch-22, and the cause of anxiety and frustration for many newly-credentialed coders who are anxious and excited to get their foot in the door of the coding field. However, the changing landscape of healthcare, and changes within the coding field, command the question: Is coding experience truly necessary for success within every coding position?

From a manager’s point of view, the inclination may be to hire a coder who boasts experience within medical coding. However, the addition of new coders has many advantages as well.

Coders who are new to the workforce are eager to learn, and can easily adjust to the processes of a coding department. Coders who are just starting out in the medical coding field are an invaluable resource to a code team, and can bring a passion for coding, and a fresh outlook that can breathe new energy into a coding department. Newly-credentialed coders support the growth of your coding department, welcome education regarding coding and code team dynamics, and arrive eager to apply their knowledge and make a difference.

With those benefits in mind, here are just a few reasons that a manager should consider hiring newly-credentialed coders:

Build Your Team, Your Way

Code team managers know best the needs for their code team, and the resources needed to produce optimal results. Many factors go into selecting employees that will support team and department quality and production, from setting the tone of the team dynamic, to fostering an environment of teamwork and learning, to creating processes that support the team as a whole.

Coders who are entering the field for the first time are eager to learn, and that enthusiasm supports a passionate tone within the code team dynamic. Coders who have years of experience observe the excitement of new coders, and can find within themselves a newly-ignited passion for their work.

Managers face a constant struggle to create a workflow and team dynamic that will encourage maximum production and quality. Employees who are entering the workforce for the first time are open to learning the execution of specific processes within a code team. These coders do not bring any bad habits, and they have a desire to help foster teamwork and processes that support the group as a whole. The enthusiasm that new coders possess can help code teams to evaluate procedures, and incorporate new knowledge, new interests, and a new outlook on the code team operations.

New Credentials Bring Fresh Knowledge

Every new coding certification represents recent training, education, and preparation. Medical coders with recently-earned certifications are extremely knowledgeable about every clinical specialty and every coding guideline; they have to be in order to pass their credentialing exam! This fresh knowledge of coding specialties, and the mindset of learning and retaining knowledge spreads within a code team. A seasoned coder may possess years of experience in their chosen coding specialty, but a new coder has recent, clean knowledge of every code set, and the sharing of that knowledge in a respectful, supportive environment can elevate a code team to new quality heights. Pairing a new coder’s knowledge with that of a veteran employee, who can offer extra guidance and real-life application tools, will result in improved coding comprehension for every member of the team. As they say: Teamwork makes the Dream Work!

Make a Difference in the Life of a Coder

We all have the memory of starting out in the coding field, looking for direction, and hoping that someone would take a chance on a rising coding talent. The first time that a coder is introduced to the field, or encouraged to pursue a coding certification is an event that remains fresh within their mind as they overcome the education and struggles that accompany the certification process. Support and guidance within the first months following a certification is integral to coding success, and supporting new coders throughout their coding career encourages the success of the entire coding field. Reaching out to help someone in their journey to success opens up endless possibilities for you, and for the new coder. When you show a new coder that you have faith in them, that vote of confidence will take them places they never could achieve on their own.

Newly-credentialed coders offer so many skills, talents, and attributes that it would be impossible to list them all in one article. Enthusiasm, education, and an eagerness to contribute are just the beginning. Open up to the possibilities of hiring newly-credentialed coders-you won’t be disappointed!


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About the Author

Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC
Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC, is the Founder and Managing Director of Project Resume, a company that provides professional development, education, and career counseling to medical coders and HIM professionals. Ann began her professional journey when she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration as a student at The Pennsylvania State University. She earned her first coding certification in 2005, and has enjoyed a rich coding career ever since, in medical coding and billing, recruiting, training, education, and management of medical coding teams. Ann’s vision for Project Resume is to ensure that every healthcare professional fulfills their own career dreams. Project Resume can be found on the web at projectresume.net, and Ann can be reached at [email protected]

One thought on “Hiring Newly Credentialed Medical Coders

  1. Stacy Yauger - February 1, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    I love your enthusiasm toward coding and earning credentials. Not all managers are willing to support and nurture a newly credentialed employee. My journey was rough, going through several positions, bad managers, and almost giving up on the profession as a whole. I did overcome the adversity and found a rewarding position and a great manager.