Penn Foster College Reviews - Certificate in Medical Billing & Coding
Review of Medical Billing & Coding Certificate Degrees
Do not waste your time or money on this program. I have worked in the medical field for 15 years doing claims and billing. With years of experience using the icd, cpt, and hcpc codes it should be easy to find work. After making close to 100 applications to coding jobs and not getting even 1 interview, it is totally useless. This is after passing the CPC exam as well. The simple fact comes down to nobody wants to hire a newby to coding when there are several others out there with prior experience. 99% of these jobs require at least 2-3 years of coding experience to apply. Even if they dont, somebody that has the experience will get the job. If somebody with a closely related background can't get in. then somebody with no related experience doesn't stand a chance. Save your time and money going to something else.
Don't waste your time on this program. I went through their course for medical billing and coding. The course itself I thought did a decent job of explaining the codes, terminology and all, but is very minimal on the billing side. Also their interactive billing program was very frustrating. The system kept kicking me out and I would have to perform the task multiple times before I could submit that portion and it actually saved on their stupid system. By far and away the most frustrating part is actually getting to use this in the work force. The plain fact is that nobody is willing to give you even a thought, if you don't already have coding experience. Of course they wont tell you this. I completed the course and the CPC test. Got the certification. I figured that although I hadn't done coding, I have 15 years of claims experience working with these same exact codes day in and day out. Should be able to find a position pretty quickly. Here I am a year and a half later and after multiple applications, have not gotten even an initial interview from anyone. After calling some of these up after the position is filled, I have gotten the same answer from every one of them. Lack of actual coding experience. How the hell do you get the experience if somebody doesn't give you a chance right? The simple fact is there are other coders out there looking that have prior experience and they will get it every time over a newbie. Even one that has other experience with the same codes. After 1 1/2 years since passing the exam, and not having any experience as well, the longer it takes to get a position, the less likely you are to ever get one because you didn't finish your school last month and are probably "rusty on your skills". Don't waste your time getting suckered into this. I would say that you need to find a school that guarantees some kind of a job placement within 3 months or less after graduation.
I absolutely love the school and the program it worked with my budget and when I couldn't make my payments on the specific due date they allowed me to move it no problem yes the class is online so really don't have teacher interaction but I expected that when I signed up because it is online and when o had a question it was answered within a day or two depending when I emailed them...never had a bad experience with any of the people I talked to or emailed. Every person is different and experience is different.
I enrolled at Penn Foster and began my program on March 1st, 2016. As of now I am 30% through it and so far, I think it's the best decision I've made concerning my education. I have been wanting to learn medical coding for a long time and I had actually found a free program online through WHO. I spent about a month doing that but I found it hard to stay motivated. I never knew how I was doing because there were no tests or progress checks. There was structure to how it was set up, but for my tastes it wasn't structured enough. I liked that it was at my own pace, but I needed tests and quizzes. I entertained applying to an online college that was "traditional" in the sense that there were due dates, and discussion boards, papers to write, etc. That wasn't what I wanted. I realized that I wanted a program structure without due dates, but that had a shelf-life. I don't want to drag this out. I wanted classes to take and not have to worry about how long it would take me to work on something. If I got a roll and wanted to move forward at a quicker pace I wanted to be able to do that as well. After a lot of research I landed on 2 schools. PF and Ashworth. PF won out because of the way they break down the coding classes at the end of the course. Ashworth just seemed to throw you in after teaching some fundamentals. PF seems to walk me in slowly and not push me into the wolves. The payments are affordable. I haven't needed to contact the school for anything because the community pages have a wealth of information. Answers to 99% of my questions are answered right on my dashboard's home page. When I read reviews of how others had issues with classes or finances I kind of feel bad for them. None of their problems seemed to be PFs fault. They decided to not finish or they didn't like it, or couldn't pay. I also read about several people getting upset because they couldn't contact the school on a daily basis. What? It's not set up that way. They don't hold your hand and if that's what you require, you should probably go to a brick and mortar. Penn Foster is for people that can stay motivated and WORK ON THEIR OWN. I'm no pro, but I keep reminding myself of my plans and that keeps me motivated. I have an average score of 99 so far and I'm not having any problem keeping it up. I only wish it were 100 but not everybody's perfect! ;) You have to do your research on schools before you sign on the dotted line or click submit. Before you even do that you must search within yourself and know what you really want. School is just a tool to help you get to where you want to be. It won't magically put what you want in your life. You must work for it, but enjoy it along the way. PF has been around for a LONG time and not because they cheat people out of their money and deliver nothing in return. You get out of it what you put into it. Real talk. Once I finish my program I plan to take my certification test as a Christmas present to myself and hopefully, I'll have a new job for New Year's! That's just the tip of the iceberg as far as my plans go. Wish me luck and I'll wish you all the luck in the world!!
My daughter is almost done with medical billing and coding. The program has been great. She did not finish it and they gave a an extension for 6 months. Plus, every time time she has written a paper, they have it graded within 48 hours. The rest of the exams are multiple choice and you get you exam graded immediately. I am very pleased as a parent with this online program.