Facing Another Morning Commute? Think Again!

Mon, Dec 7, 2015 --

My Career

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Do you get up early in the morning, jump in the shower, get dressed in your suit, check the traffic, get in the car, drive to work … then face the same long traffic-filled ride home at the end of the day? Do you HATE it? Then maybe remote coding is for you, said Maggie M. Mac, CPC, CEMC, CHC, ICCE, CMM, in her presentation on Remote Coding at the 2015 CodingCon in Orlando, Florida.

“I’ll be honest with you—it’s not for everyone,” said Mac. Working remotely requires the same work ethic you apply in your current on-site job, perhaps even more, to make sure you get yourself behind that laptop and do the work. “But on the other hand, there are so many pathways you can go down with remote coding—if one pathway doesn’t fit, don’t give up, because the next type might work out great for you,” she said.

Review Your Availability

When considering whether remote coding might be a career path for you, consider how many hours you are available to work. Maybe you are only available on weekends or in the evenings. That’s fine, but be honest with yourself. If you have four kids you have to take care of, do you actually have 30 hours to commit to work? Do your kids have a lot of things they are involved in, like sports, school activities, dance class, music lessons? Look at your lifestyle and see what you want to change to be part of the profession of remote coding while still meeting your commitments and responsibilities, Mac said. The myth is that working from home is a hobby, she added—in reality, it’s a real job requiring serious commitment.

Evaluate Equipment and Resource Needs

Your employer may provide your PC or laptop, or you may need to provide your own. What kind of computer do you have, and is it compatible with what you will need to get into the client’s applications via a virtual private network (VPN) connection? Or if you are a Macintosh user, will your computer be able to run the software your job requires? If you’re a Windows user, what’s your operating system version—is it Windows 10? Many times the most recent updates to operating system software will not be compatible with other software you must run for work, so find out in advance what you will need, Mac said.

What other resources do you need? Of course you’ll need current CPT®, HCPCS, and ICD-10 books. You may need an encoder product, like SuperCoder, which not only features code lookup but also includes local coverage determinations (LCDs) and national coverage determinations (NCDs). You’ll need access to national correct coding initiative (NCCI) policies, and SuperCoder gives you that, too. You’ll also need the support of other coders, perhaps through an online group of fellow employees or face-to-face meetings of a professional association like AAPC or AHIMA.

Tune In Tomorrow!

Maggie Mac had a lot more to say about coding remotely. Check back here tomorrow for the rest of the story!

What’s Your Experience?

Have you worked from home, or do you work from home now? Do you like it? If you don’t work from home now, is this something you want to try? Let us know in the comment box below. We love to hear from you!

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Susan taught health information and healthcare documentation at the community college level for more than 20 years. She has a special love for medical language and terminology. She is passionate about ensuring accurate patient healthcare documentation through education. She has a master's degree in healthcare administration, is a certified healthcare documentation specialist, and serves as immediate past president for the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Kelley Beaugrand Says:

    I would love to work from home coding I have 2 Associate degrees.I just finished ICD-10 training.Thank you for this opportunity

  2. Susan Dooley Says:

    Great to hear from you, Kelley! Seems like there are many opportunities in home-based coding right now. I hope you get your chance and can soon start living the home-based-worker dream!

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