Mother of 3 launches affordable medical coding academy to give others opportunity for higher paying career
Jasmine Hall’s first job in her teens was in medical collections, a role where she found a natural talent for understanding the terminology and explaining bills to patients. Later, as a young mother, Jasmine was looking for a higher paying career that would also allow her to spend more time with her daughter. After seeing a commercial for medical coding school, she decided to put her talents to use and earn her Certified Professional Coder (CPC) certification.
“Medical coding condenses a whole medical chart, or a whole patient’s medical history, into a code,” says Jasmine. “Coming from the collections side, coding opened up this whole other component to my skill set. I could do what I had a passion for, which is numbers. Plus getting my CPC certification would mean a real career instead of just a job.”
Getting that certification, however, would come with a lot of sacrifice. For a full year, she worked nine-hour shifts and went to night class from 5 to 9pm, only seeing her daughter on the way to daycare.
“We lived with my mom and she was my absolute backbone,” says Jasmine. “We sacrificed a lot that year, but once I graduated and got my first medical coding job, it was life-changing to be able to provide for my daughter in a way I hadn’t been able to before.”
Turning a proven need into a small business
Soon, friends and family began asking Jasmine if she could teach them medical coding. She did some digging and decided to get certified and launch her own school. Her model would strip away the extra courses that for-profit schools include to more efficiently and cost-effectively prepare students to enter the job market. At her father’s suggestion, Jasmine used the business plan template from SBA.gov to apply for her loan from Pathway Lending.
“I think going into a lender’s office can be intimidating, but Pathway Lending was different. They were very supportive and so excited about my idea,” says Jasmine. “They were very open to the idea and said ‘Let’s do this together.’ So after ten years of planning and working toward my dream, MedCode Professional Career Academy was born.”
With a $15,000 SBA microloan from Pathway Lending, Jasmine purchased the curriculum license, all the equipment she need to teach, and started meeting with her Pathway Lending business advisor, Phylicia Coleman Moye.
Jasmine meets regularly with Phylicia to “roll up their sleeves” and dig into QuickBooks, social media, business systems, and more.
“My meetings with Pathway have been essential to the growth of my business,” says Jasmine. “I’ve spent hours in QuickBooks with Phylicia. Together, we make sure everything is set up correctly, that my business is growing, and that I’m accomplishing my goals.”
“I think Pathway was such a good fit because they treat me the same way that I treat my clients,” says Jasmine. “When they pour that dedication and compassion into me, it just gives me more to pour into my students and my business.”
Jasmine stays with each student through their entire journey. She’s with them through their 15-week course and boot camps to prep for the CPC test. She helps her students secure jobs and works on resume building after graduation. Jasmine holds each student’s hand until they find success. And says she’s found the same level of support that she offers her students in her relationship with Pathway Lending.
Jasmine plans to graduate 20-25 students in 2018 and has her sights set on opening up two or three additional MedCode locations in Middle Tennessee within the next five years.
“Never give up on your dream,” says Jasmine. “I had to stop telling myself it wasn’t the right time to start my business. There’s somebody out there that believes in you, there’s somebody out there that needs you. Now is the time to start.”
Learn more about Jasmine and the courses she offers on the MedCode Professional Career Academy website.
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