Friday, April 1, 2011

You must get the position before you can go to school, to get the position. Huh?

I work for a large health insurance company. In our particular building there are many different departments that do different things. The company offers tuition reimbursement. I don't know the full details of how it works, but basically they will pay for a percentage of your tuition if you pass the class, course, program, etc. You must stay with the company for a given amount of time if they pay for it, etc. Nothing out of the norm. A great thing, Yes?

I have a friend who currently works in the Customer Service department. Basically answering phones, helping providers get details on their bill, why it didn't pay, why it paid the amount it did, answer their questions, research issues, send the bill back for re-processing, etc.

She decides to go to school to help better her career within the healthcare industry. A great idea! She decides to go into a program to get certified as a Medical Coder. At our company this is a great thing! In fact, I too am thinking of this direction. She finds a great school where their program is about $2,000.00. Really, not bad at all given there are other programs that are more expensive for the same end result.

So I tell her to check with our human resource department as it should be covered under tuition reimbursement; we're a health insurance company who primarily administers and processes health insurance bills. Her training would be to become a Certified Medical Coder. Our company needs Certified Medial Coders. Can't go wrong, right? Wrong!

Human resources tells her that her schooling doesn't directly relate to her job. Wait, Huh? Apparently because her current job is "Customer Service" and there is no actual bill processing it therefore doesn't directly relate. Now I need to add that I used to work in that same Customer Service department. The thing is, although they don't actually process bills, they are still trained to understand how the bills were processed in order to fully answer the providers questions. Processing knowledge is needed for that position!

Are you kidding me? I was speechless. You would think the whole point of tuition reimbursement is for employees to get an education to better themselves, as to be a better asset to the company. To move up with the company. To join a department where their company paid for education will benefit, not only the employee, but the company. Nope. It doesn't count that you already work for the company. It doesn't count that your current position does need a foundation of bill processing knowledge. You must already be in that position before the company will help you get in that position with education.


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