2017 Medical Billing and Coding/Office Administration Graduate
On Assignment as a Senior Billing Specialist at CVS Corporate Finance Center
After I lost my job in Accounts Receivable, my search for work was not going well.
I took classes, seminars and attended Job Fairs to improve my job search skills.
I found out there is not a high demand for bookkeepers anymore.
It was difficult to find work, particularly at the pay I wanted. Few people hire someone to sit at a desk and perform bookkeeping—they send the work out to accounting firms.
I met an MTTI Career Services Representative who came to the Attleboro Career Center.
Shawn caught my attention when he described the Medical Billing & Coding / Office program. I took his information folder home.
I made a quick decision to visit MTTI.
I interviewed with the instructor, Ms. Roc—she’s an awesome person. Ms. Roc makes sure prospective students understand the medical administrative industry and the work and commitment needed to complete the program. After asking me questions, she told me, “You got this, if you want to take the program—you can do it.”
I looked at starting school as an adventure!
I was excited to sign up for a class beginning in January 2017.
I wanted to get back into the workforce quickly.
It had taken me four years of part-time study to earn an Associate’s degree. Now, more than ten years later, and in my mid-forties, I was going back to school full-time. I was newly married and also needed to maintain a personal life.
The program is not for the ‘weak at heart’—it is intense.
Unlike going to college classes two or three nights a week, you are here all day—five days a week. Be prepared to feel frustrated at times. Once or twice, I even thought I might quit. Expect that you will put in time at home to prepare for the next day, which can be difficult for people who have children.
It helped that I had a lot of support.
My family and friends all encouraged me. Michael, my new husband, supported me when I needed to go to the library. He put up with pizza for dinner and watched hockey in the other room while I studied. He didn’t mind when I brought my books to study during weekends away.
My fellow classmates helped one another.
People going through the program together become very close; our camaraderie helped us get through.
I suggest that new students ‘get a buddy’.
Friends and family can’t completely understand what you are going through. Having even one person with whom you are comfortable, and that you can bounce your feelings off of, will help you.
My instructor was a major support.
Christine, my instructor knows the material. She is a knowledgeable teacher who inspires you to do your best work.
You could choose to see the AAPC coding exam as a monster that’s going to crush you.
The test is your goal. As you practice taking timed tests during class, you begin to gain confidence in yourself. You start feeling that maybe it won’t be so bad after all.
Life happens—you have to adapt.
When a family member underwent emergency surgery just before the weekend of the test, it blew my study plans out of the water. Because I had been studying all along, I already felt prepared and took the exam.
Waiting for the test results was the longest 3-4 days of the entire school experience.
A couple of my classmates told me they got their results. That evening, while I was driving, I stayed logged into the AAPC website on my phone to see my results. They weren’t posted yet—Michael kept hitting ‘refresh’ on my phone.
Suddenly Michael shouted, ‘You passed!’
Since he’s been known to joke, it took a moment for me to believe him. When I had left the testing room a few days before, I expected to ’just pass’. I was surprised that I did better than that. What a relief! All of my hard work paid off!
Internship was important to my success.
I knew I wanted to work in billing. I was fortunate to intern with the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) in Cranston. My supervisor showed me everything; it gave me a good few weeks of experience in billing.
With Career Services’ assistance, I submitted applications and sent out resumes.
My first position after graduation came through a staffing agency. Don’t be afraid of working through an agency—it gets your foot in the door. The Agency handles the paperwork—and most give you benefits. It can also give you the opportunity to try different jobs.
I moved on to a temporary position as Senior Billing Specialist for CVS.
This position has the potential of becoming permanent at the Corporate Finance Center. The position focuses on processing claims from CVS Minute Clinic facilities across the United States.
Careers Services is there for students, even after graduation.
I continue to receive regular emails about job opportunities from Shawn—he’s always on top of that.
It’s a journey you can take pride in.
MTTI has a good crew of people—who care. You have to do your part. You have to want it—show up and do the work. The program goes by so fast. It’s only seven months—it takes less time than having a baby! Michael said, ‘I’m glad you stuck it out, because now you are on a new road.’
Before starting school at MTTI I researched and read all of the online reviews.
The school has a good reputation. I’m very satisfied with my outcome. Provided I keep up my AAPC Membership and Continuing Education Credits, I can take my Certification to any state. Attending the Medical & Billing/Office program was a good investment. I am proud of what I have accomplished!
Photos: Right side of page: Stacy with Career Services Rep, Shawn & Instructor, Christine. Left side (bottom): Stacy with her husband, Michael.