Medical Billing & Coding/Office Administration 2011 Graduate
Medical Biller at Optum Insight (formerly Ingenix/Caretracker)
“I attribute a lot of my success to my instructors. They taught real life billing and coding scenarios. The teachers go the extra mile—if you have a problem, they will make sure you thoroughly understand all aspects before they move on.”
Even before she graduated high school, Kelsey was determined to succeed, working first at Subway for three years, and then for a daycare operation. She began taking courses in child development at a local college. When the daycare closed, she went back to Subway, but she knew it wasn’t the job she wanted long-term.
Kelsey networked to a job at a nursing home, where she worked first in reception and billing, and later in providing office admissions coverage. While working there, she had a baby girl. Her daughter’s birth made her want to go further in life; she enrolled at MTTI three months after her baby was born.
“My financé graduated from the automotive program—he recommended MTTI to me.
Still, I was nervous when I called the school. The Admissions Rep was nice; she told me that by attending the program, I could qualify to take an exam to earn the AAPC CPC (Certified Professional Coder) credential.The Career Services Rep submitted Kelsey’s resume to the hiring manager. To get the position, Kelsey had to complete an on-line application, a personality profile test, an in-person interview with the local manager, and a telephone interview with a corporate recruiter. Kelsey cleared all the hurdles—she was hired as a Medical Billing Representative.
While still in MTTI’s program, Kelsey took and passed—on the first try—the CPC exam, to become an Apprentice Coder.
After documenting sufficient work experience, Kelsey was awarded the credential of a fully Certified Professional Coder.
Kelsey offers advice to students and graduates who want to become medical billers.
“Don’t be nervous, because when you are nervous, you make mistakes. Be confident—but not over-confident.
Ask questions—questions aren’t stupid. And if you make a mistake, own up to it.” She admits the work is challenging. “You might get clients who are hard to manage, but if you have all the documentation that supports what you are telling them, then you can get your point across in a way that won’t cause offense.” Talking about her employer, Optum Insight, Kelsey says, “It’s a great place to work. They treat everyone equally, and if you do a good job, you get rewarded.”
Kelsey attributes a lot of her success to her Instructors.
“They taught real life billing and coding scenarios. Lissa would give us SOAP notes, and ask us to give her the diagnoses and the procedural codes. Dee had us practice using billing software, including CareTracker, Medical Manager and MediSoft. This gave me an edge, because I knew how to navigate through the system.”
She also credits her instructors for giving her the motivation to go further, by telling her what a good job she was doing. “Dee told me she wouldn’t have recommended me to the employer if she didn’t think I was doing a good job. The teachers go the extra mile—if you have a problem, they will make sure you thoroughly understand all aspects before they move on.”
Kelsey also appreciates her family’s support—her mom, mémère and pépère, and her financé, his grandmother and aunt, and her future mother-in-law.
"I like billing—it’s a different challenge every day.
You never know what you are going to encounter next.” Working full time while going to school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights—and caring for a small child—was sometimes tiring for Kelsey. “But in the end, it was all worth it.”