“I recently retired from the military…and I knew I wanted to do something different.”
Flor Richards is a Medical Billing & Coding Specialist graduate of Southern Careers Institute – San Antonio North campus and a Billing Manager for Eagle Eye Medical. She found Medical Billing & Coding exciting to learn, mainly due to the options that were presented to her. [Transcribed below]
Hi. My name is Flor Richards and I am a San Antonio North alumni. After my externship, I was hired on at Eagle Eye Medical Solutions as their Billing Manager.
Tell me about your job. With “Manager” in your title, did you get promoted already?
Based on the resume they helped me prepare here, and the experience that I had, all of the training I had received, they thought that I would be a good fit for the manager role. It was actually two billers when I first went there and then as the company was expanded, they hired 8 more. They felt with my experience and my education, they offered me the position of the Billing Manager and I accepted it.
That’s awesome! So, you manage those 8 people then?
Yes, I manage those 8 people. I do their schedules, their timesheet, I give them assignments, I dictate which part of the billing and coding cycle they’ll do. It has been interesting.
Tell me what a typical day looks like at your job.
It’s interesting because I am a recent graduate and I am still learning, I’m trying to do the learning part but I also have to manage the billers. A typical day would be coming in and finding the super bills from the providers offices and then divvying those out for assignment. We have 5 clinics that we bill for. I would see which billers we have on staff. Someone would be calling on claim statuses. Right now the big project I am working on is credintialling more clinics to come under our group. Which is very interesting because again, I am still in the learning process, so I get to manage and learn at the same time which seems like a handful but it works better that way because as I’m showing them what they need to do, I’m learning too.
So, you were saying that you were hired directly from your externship, right?
The final class I had was career readiness. As a part of that, we had to do resumes, interviewing techniques. Because of that resume and Career Services, that was the first resume they pulled. They really touched on the education that we had here but also my military experience really helped pulled that through. Then now, that they’ve pulled me, it’s kind of a good resource because I’m the billing manager, now Career Services can reach directly to me and I can other students come in and do their externship and teach them the things that we didn’t touch on so much that I know that they are going to have to know once they get into the field.
So, tell me about your experience while at your externship.
So what I learned is going to college for any career, the stuff you learn in the books isn’t always what it’s going to be like once you’re out there doing the job. A lot of the stuff we learn in the books, like medical insurance, it changes every year. What I will say, the big rocks, the big things we learned are definite foundations because you can’t just go in there and think you can wing it. You have to have that basic foundation knowledge and that’s one thing that I learned. As I was going through, I remembered Ms. G talking about this and I remember learning about this in the book, and oh yeah – CMS, Medicare, it kind of triggers your memory. So, definitely pay attention to the big rocks they’re trying to teach you. You will use it. Some stuff will be different like certain laws changes, rates change, but the big major things don’t change. So those are the things to help carry you through and help you remember, and help build on your education outside of class.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I think the thing that I love the most is, that I enjoy – well there is a couple things – I love being the billing manager, I am a people person so that what I love. But I also enjoy talking the insurance company on the other line. We don’t get to deal with patients so much, but we get to talk with the providers officers. It has been interesting that I get to develop those relationships with other billers, and other billing companies, and insurance companies and just find out what part of your job do you do. And I get to learn different areas like – wow, I didn’t know that we get to do that as a biller, oh that might be another area that could be interesting to go into. It’s neat to get to talk to different kinds of people.
How has your life changed since starting SCI?
It doesn’t look different in that – I was active duty before, and it was a full time job the only difference now is that I am just “Flor”, and I’m not military, and it’s nice to be in a civilian setting, it’s nice just kind of have a regular job, and be a part of the city, go and explore things, and not have to be always in that military mindset. I get to wear regular clothes. I’m not as stressed. The job is fun. I enjoy going. It’s a 9 to 5 and I get to go home to my kids and it’s not as stressful as it was before. But going to school, that’s kind of how it was, you would come in the morning and go all day, and it was just a simple transition from there. It’s still a learning environment, so I still get to be in that mindset, which I enjoy, I love learning. It’s really nice to be able to make a small transition to be able to do the same thing: being in learning mode and in a job setting.
What advice would you give to an alumni that is struggling to find a job?
I think it’s important to keep in touch with your classmates because you never know who is going be in what position. Pay attention to what is going on. Just because I thought that I would be doing billing, I still had know the anatomy or physiology and the disease stuff. Don’t be afraid to reach out to Career Services or your instructors. I don’t know how many times I’ve reached to Ms. Mata and Ms. G – and every single time they’ve helped me. Definitely keep those connections. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those that were in your class with you, you never know what position they may be in.
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