Medical Billing and Coding Program Provides Opportunity to Write Next Chapter of Her American Success Story
When Yuliya Hult and her husband moved to the United States from Ukraine in 2004, their American Dream was simple: they wanted an opportunity to create a better life for their family.
Over the past 17 years, Yuliya has worked hard to transform that dream into reality. She earned her associate’s degree in Accounting and worked in the finance and purchasing departments of a home improvement supply company
In December, 2020, Yuliya, 42, decided it was time to take the next step in her career. She left a job she loved to pursue her Medical Billing and Coding certificate at Carrington College’s Sacramento campus, completing the program in August.
We talked with Yuliya about the challenge of returning to school, what interests her about the Medical Billing and Coding field, and how letting go of a job she loved was a necessary step toward creating the future she envisioned.
Your life is very different today than when you moved to the United States 17 years ago. What has that journey been like for you?
Back when my husband and I made the decision to move to the United States, we had no idea what the future held. But we were hopeful. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it. When I think of everything we’ve experienced and all the amazing opportunities we’ve had, I’m so glad we decided to go for it!
How did you feel when you returned to college to study Medical Billing and Coding?
I was nervous at first because I hadn’t been in a classroom since 2009. I was so excited and hungry to learn new things, but I was also a little scared. I sometimes wondered if I could do it, but I just kept going. I did the work and I was successful.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to pursue your program?
I really think my biggest obstacle was walking away from a job I loved—and saying goodbye to coworkers who I still think of as family. But I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone if I wanted to better myself, make more money, and have a career. Moving forward isn’t always easy, but I told myself to listen to my heart and stop playing it so safe. I also told myself that if it didn’t work out, I could always go back.
As soon as I started classes, I realized I was never going back. As much as I love the people and the job, I realized that I’d gotten too comfortable. If I have any regrets, it’s that I didn’t enroll at Carrington and make things happen sooner.
What did you like most about the Medical Billing and Coding program?
I loved that once I applied to Carrington and was accepted, I was able to start the program within a couple of weeks. Classes begin every six weeks, so you never have to wait very long to get started. I also liked that the program was very streamlined and straightforward. I never felt like time was being wasted. I learned what I needed to know to prepare for a new career and then I got a job. The program was very focused.
How long did it take you to find a job?
I had four job offers within two weeks of completing my program, including one from the office where I completed my externship. It was amazing! The Carrington Career Services team was great. They sent me links to different jobs that were available and I followed up right away. I decided to accept a position at a hospital in Sacramento.
What are you doing there?
I’m a Patient Account Representative. I really wanted to work in the health care field. I’m more of a reserved, behind-the-scenes person, so this job feels like a good fit for me.
I’m on the phone and the computer most of the day, following up on accounts and requesting authorizations from insurance companies. I prepare and submit insurance billing to primary and secondary payers. I transmit, either manually or electronically, all billing to third party payers. I also complete denial notifications and maintain the Medicare database and statistics logs. I love a challenge and I have a problem-solver personality, so I find this kind of work really interesting. And even though I actually never meet patients face to face, I know that what I do helps them.
What would you say to someone who might be thinking about enrolling in the Medical Billing and Coding program?
I think it’s important to do your research and make sure it’s a field you like and want to work in. I reviewed a lot of YouTube videos to make sure I understood what I was getting into. If it’s something that interests you, I’d say go for it and don’t be afraid. Carrington offers a really supportive environment, and that support continues even after you graduate. They were really committed to helping me find a job after I graduated. I even did a mock interview session with my Career Services Advisor so I was better prepared for job interviews. That kind of support really made a big difference. It helped boost my self-confidence. When I received four job offers within two weeks, I was so grateful. If someone has told me even a year ago that this is what I’d be doing, I never would have believed them. When I scan my employee badge to enter the hospital, I feel very proud.”