The Right Perspective

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It's Official


Well, I guess it's time to 'fess up....I'm no longer "just" a stay at home mom.  I'm officially employed as a remote independent contractor for a coding company, which hopefully will lead to full-time salaried employment with the same company if I work out.  Allow me to explain....

A couple of weeks ago, I found out about a coding company and took the assessments that were part of the application process.  Within a day or two of submitting the test (for inpatient and ER coding), I got a request for an interview, which I happily accepted.  The phone interview was short and very down-to-earth, with none of the crazy interview questions that I had prepped for ("what is your definition of success?" or "tell me a time when you failed at something").  In short, they told me that they normally don't accept someone with no experience, but that my test scores (while falling short of their normal pass rate of 90%) were much better than many coders with lots of experience who apply, so they were interested in testing me out as an independent contractor who would be trained to eventually code ER reports.  This was last Thursday, I believe. 

I started work Monday.  Right now, I'm training and starting with "easy" stuff, but the end goal is to get me coding ER reports, which can be a lot more challenging.  It's pretty overwhelming, to say the least, but I fully realize that I have been amazingly blessed.  It's very rare for a brand new certified coder to find a remote position, and to find one that is willing to do some training because they saw potential is even more rare.  The schedule is flexible and I will still be able to take the kids to school and back and kind of set my own hours (eventually).  I can even work in my pj's if I so choose, which isn't a bad deal at all (though I'm usually fully dressed!).

So life has taken a sudden shift, but not a bad one at all....instead, a huge answer to prayer.  That being said, I'll take any and all prayers going forward, because after not having a full-time "real" job in many, many years....this will be an adjustment and I want so much to do well for this company that took a chance on me, but my confidence is a little shaky!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Little Luck

A while back, I happened to catch a little news story about a health/fitness "camp" that was put on by Riley Hospital in coordination with Andrew Luck.  It was free, but there were a limited number of spaces.  I decided that Ethan needed to be a part of that, but I assumed we wouldn't happen to make it in.  

Well, he did and it happened yesterday.

We registered at a local football field at 1:00 on a blazing hot 90+ degree day.  Here's Ethan with "cardboard Andrew" before things got started.

 The kids were split into about eight groups and they rotated around different stations, learning some fun exercises.

Below is Ethan, the cool dude in his shades, waiting for the main event .

Still waiting....and wondering what the big fuss was about....

 And then the Man appeared....Andrew Luck, quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, on the same field as Ethan!

 Andrew (the husband, not the QB) and I sat in the first row of the stands and Andrew (the QB, not the husband) stood right in front of us, waving shyly at the crowd of (probably more excited than the kids, parents).

Andrew gave a little five minute speech and took some questions from the crowd (of kids) including what was his favorite sport and whether he was mad about Deflate-gate!!

 Then it was off to the stations!

Ethan did pretty well with running around the cones!

 And then he got to get up close and personal with the Luck-man himself!  (He's on the far right side below.)

 Now I fully realize that you cannot see Ethan in the picture below at all, but you're going to have to trust me....He had the opportunity to catch a pass thrown by Andrew Luck.  If you look toward the bottom middle, you can see the ball, mid-flight and two little arms reaching out to try to catch it....emphasis on try!  But still, he played catch with an NFL quarterback!

And finally, here is a picture I found on the official "Change the Play" Facebook page....I guess they liked his jump-rope style!

As a side-note, Ethan also made the local news, showing him doing push-ups in a small group with Luck, but the video would not load for me, so I'll try again another time.  

Thanks to Andrew Luck and Riley Children's Hospital for providing this fun opportunity of a lifetime!

Friday, June 03, 2016

My Graduates

 We've had a few graduations around here in the last couple of weeks.  I graduated from my medical coding program in April and then last week, Ethan graduated from Kindergarten and Emily graduated from elementary school.  

The picture above is of Ethan with his teacher, Miss Liechty.  He had a great Kindergarten year and we are so blessed that she was his teacher.

The official 1st grader!

 Ethan's class....lots of boys!

There's the real Ethan!

Ethan and Dad

See, I really am there...Ethan and Mom

Ethan and his teacher

The whole family!

And the best part of graduation.....the cake!

Two days later, Emily graduated from 5th grade and is now officially a middle schooler!  Heaven help us!!

Here she is with two of her friends, Lily and Emily, singing a song.

Her class was large for her school...I got most of them in the picture! 

Emily receiving her certificate from her teacher, Mrs. Kane. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My New Title...

Guess who has new letters following her name?!

 I took my national medical coding certification exam on Saturday.  It was the CPC exam (certified professional coder) and took me 5 hours, 20 minutes to complete.  Yesterday evening, after obsessively checking my exam status, I found out that I passed with a score of 91%, which I am told puts me at "Magna Cum Laude" status!  From what I understand, the CPC credential is the gold standard for outpatient medical coding, so I'm good to start applying for positions.  However, I can also code inpatient and vastly prefer that, so I need another set of credentials to help open doors for hospital inpatient, after a quick celebratory dinner this evening, it's off to start studying for that 4 hour exam, and hopefully another set of new letters behind my name.

So far, it's Christina, B.S., CPC-A...and hopefully soon to include CCS!!

Monday, April 04, 2016

And End and A Beginning

I haven't posted anything in a very long time.  It's embarrassing.  There....that's out of the way, now on to the very good (in my humble opinion) reason:

I graduated!  

Ok, so I already have a B.S. in music ed, but after discovering that I do not like teaching, that didn't really do me much good.  So for the last year, I've been studying to become a medical coder.  If you're like me, and have no idea what that actually is, allow to me explain very briefly.  You go to the doctor/hospital/nursing home/physical therapy/etc...  Whatever happens there is dictated into your medical record.  The medical record consists of words.  Medical coders turn those words into numbers that describe for whoever will be paying exactly what was done.  So I read the medical record, look up the code in the appropriate book and hope for the best!  Sounds easy, but I discovered that it's FAR more difficult and exacting than I ever could have imagined.

 Case in point, in the picture below, notice all the books lined up on my desk?  Those are just this year's code books.  They are updated every year, each for a specific set of codes (inpatient, outpatient, medical supplies/drugs and procedures for both inpatient and outpatient....because of course they can't just be coded the same way!)  The tiniest of details can make a huge difference in the amount that  a provider is reimbursed and thus, how much the patient has to pay.  It's a rather precise field. 

And so these days, most of my time is spent staring at the view from the picture above, studying for the national certification exam that will officially allow me to include the letters CPC (certified professional coder) after my name and qualify me for good jobs.  It's a good time, but it will be worth it (I hope!!) when I finally find a job (hopefully from home, but we'll see).  

So that's the scoop here.  Lots of work, a little fun here and there, but mostly just plugging away to accomplish a goal. 

Goal #1 Complete training course - COMPLETED
Goal #2 - Pass CPC exam - In Progress
Goal #3- Get a job - Getting there....