Employee SPOTLIGHT: Marie Franklin Finds Her Life’s Calling in Coding
In our first employee spotlight of 2022, we talked with Marie Franklin on family, work-life, and what got her interested in healthcare coding.
“Coding is like a puzzle. And coders tend to be analytical. We start by looking at what needs to be done from a high-level structural perspective. We then identify what we’re coding and pull together all the clinical information with the necessary elements to code that service. Coding is super exciting because it paints a picture of what providers have done,” says Marie Franklin, MBA, CPC, CPMA National Director of Coding, Education & Audit.
Live with Passion
Although she has always had a passion for healthcare, Marie didn’t initially set her sights on a coding career. “My mother insisted I become a nurse. She’d say: ‘You’re going to become a nurse! You’re going to become a nurse!’ When I started my training, I quickly realized I was too emotional and may not have the bedside manner necessary. However, I loved healthcare. Then, I crossed paths with a coder at my job and we collaborated on some charts. I loved it and had a knack for it. The rest is history,” says Marie.
Marie, who is the youngest of, yes, 11 children (her eldest sister is 22 years her senior), wanted to change her path through education. Says Marie: “I’ve always wanted to change the legacy of my family to be more career oriented. For that, I knew I needed credentials on top of my work experience, so I went to school while working full-time and raising a family. It took a while, but I finally earned my MBA. Talk about blood, sweat and tears! In the end, it was a great experience – and a challenge that helped me advance in my career and in my life.”
Certified Seasoned Coders
Marie appreciates the fact that her team is comprised of devoted coders who stay the course, even when confronted with challenging cases. “Among other advantages, what makes my team unique is that we only hire seasoned, certified coders, many of whom have been coding for 25 years or more (and in many cases have been with the company for 25 years) and can code just about anything at this point. I’m a big believer in collaboration and brainstorming because it’s important to see situations from every angle – and everyone’s input counts.”
Having an open-door policy with her team helps ensure that every AdvantEdge client gets the utmost attention. “I lean on my team, and they can take the lead because of the excellent connectivity and synergy among all of us. They understand our audience. When confronted with challenging cases, we jump on Zoom and figure it out together. Our ‘Whatever It Takes’ philosophy gets the job done.”
Marie started as an AdvantEdge Coding Manager in 2016, was promoted to Assistant Director of Coding after eight months and filled the shoes of the National Director of Coding, Education & Audit a year later. She has held the later position for nearly four years. Most AdvantEdge coders and four auditors report directly to Marie.