Finishing an internship while taking courses in medical billing or coding is an excellent option for students.
It allows them to gain knowledge and experience necessary for the new job once they get the certification.
It’s important to remember that most internships are unpaid.
Their payoff is the experience they acquire on the job, as this is what the employers seek.
To find out what internships are available in your area, you can make an appointment with your career counselor at the school where you are or will be enrolled.
Most community colleges have connections with local provider offices or hospitals and track available programs that students can participate in.
Besides, the AAPC offers Project Xtern.
It can help newly certified coders get jobs in the industry.
This program serves as a matchmaker program and matches coders to facilities that offer on-the-job experience in the medical coding position.
The AAPC works with over 200 facilities nationwide.
The official name is “Approved Official Extern Site” (AOES).
When a facility makes an agreement with the AAPC, they are securing a position for every extern.
It includes a minimum of 60% hands-on experience in billing or coding training while completing a three-months unpaid program.
Where Have All the Internships Gone?
Below, we gathered a list of some alternatives where you can find an internship/externship program:
- Physical therapy offices.
- Doctor’s office.
- Drug facilities.
- Chiropractic offices.
- Government medical facilities.
- Nursing homes.
- Outpatient clinics.
- Mental health facilities.
- The Red Cross.
If you contact a local hospital, you can try to volunteer in the department of medical records and file charts.
You can see if a local doctor’s office needs help with verification of patients’ insurance, accounts receivable, etc.
Even for entry-level positions, employers require their candidates to have at least some on-the-job experience.
So, if you secure a position in an internship, you can increase your chances of getting a job right after you obtain your certification.
What Functions Would an Internship/Externship Position Encompass?
Working under the supervision of the manager.
Duties will include:
- Collecting outstanding balances from patients and insurance plans.
- Having a pleasant manner when working with patients.
- Analyzing patient accounts to coordinate and complete patient concerns in the office, over the phone, or via written correspondence.
- Providing timely and accurate follow-up for all inquiries.
- Microsoft Office.
- Minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Must have a resume and cover letter with 2-3 letters of recommendation.