One of the most lucrative allied health sciences, medical billing and coding may not be too well known but it is a program you would find highly beneficial due to its high demand and high pay. Along with that, it has great flexibility and you can work whenever you like, whether it is fulltime or part-time. You can opt for medical billing and coding as a secondary career option.
If you want to pursue a secure career with a stable income, your best bet lies with medical billing and coding. You can prepare yourself for a professional career in the Medical Coding and Billing specialist. In order to pursue this career, you will need to complete the certificate of associate’s degree in the field of medical billing and coding. The programs will give you insight related to crucial classification systems that include HCPCS, CPT, DSM-IV and ICD-9.
As a medical coder, you can make a decent amount of money that could be around $39,000. The healthcare sector is growing at an exponential rate compared to all the other industries and this has resulted in an increase in the number of job opportunities. The increased influx of hospital admissions results in increased work for the medical coding and billing department.
Therefore, the demand for medical coding and billing specialists has been on the rise. In addition to that, you will receive tremendous satisfaction while you work with other healthcare professionals including doctors. As a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist, you will be responsible for several important tasks and be part of a highly integrated team of healthcare professionals.
Every doctor needs medical coding specialists on their team so that important tasks like coded documentation could be carried out in order for the doctor to receive the payments. Insurance companies, including private to Medicare, have their own techniques and coding styles and this is where you as a medical coder would come in.
Insurance companies including Medicare require medical coding and billing specialists to apply all the special codes that Medicare, insurance companies and state medical aid plans need before they transact a claim made by a patient. Now imagine this happening in every single healthcare facility and hospital across the country and you will realize what a high rate of employment this lucrative field of medical billing and coding brings to the equation.
As medical coding and billing specialist, there is a high chance you could earn a decent sum. According to a survey carried out by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average yearly salary is $34,160 whereas the lower limit is $22,250 and the upper limit could go to around $56,200.
What Medical Coding And Billing Specialists Do
Medical coding is known by several other names that include health information technicians and is a healthcare profession that requires you as coder to keep and classify records. The field is also known by several other names, including medical records or classification. As a medical coding and billing specialist, you are expected to code lab results and physician’s and doctor’s notes. You as a coder will be applying a specialized coding system that could help health professionals including doctors and administration access and analyze easily.
Coding is an important section the healthcare industry requires to comprehend the various diseases and sicknesses through the statistics and analytical lens. Apart from the other tasks that are included in the designation, medical billing and coding specialists send reports to insurance companies in order to ensure that the transactions and reimbursement can be carried out without any discrepancies. This smoothens the administrative tasks for the healthcare facility.
The job does not require a high level of interaction with the people and the career is a great option for you if you do not like too much public dealing. You will not be expected to interact with the patients at all in most cases but if a problem or discrepancy arises during reimbursements, you may be expected to solve it. In addition to the minimal human interaction, it pays well.
If you choose to pursue medical billing and coding, rest assured the career choice is highly lucrative and secure. The expected growth rate in the field over the next half a decade or so is 22%. Due to the health affordability policy, people have been able to afford medical care more and due to this, the influx of patients has increased exponentially. In addition to this, the baby boomers’ generation is aging which has also been a leading cause in the increase in the number of patients.
Due to the regulation and digitalization, of the system, it has become even more crucial to eradicate inaccuracy and lack of precision in written documentation for healthcare facilities. Therefore, the demand for medical billing and coding specialists’ increases as well as for other healthcare professionals. Even though the demand is high, you should know that you would be much more preferred by employers during the recruitment process, especially during the entry-level, if you were certified.
When you begin your journey in a medical coding and billing program, you will be introduced to several niche concepts of the medical world. These include the human anatomy, physiology, how the medical diagnoses and procedures are to be coded, and how you as a coder will use coding software in a medical context to enable coding through the internet in order to boost the overall productivity and profit of the facility.
Therefore, if we put it simply, your job as a medical coding specialist would include translation of all the details of a patient’s record into digital language by turning it into codes, which could later be used by insurance companies to determine how much they need to give or reimburse the clinical facility or hospital. The coders are highly important elements in the equation and play a huge role in systemizing and regulating the healthcare facility’s administration. As a medical coding and billing specialist, you bridge the gap between the business parts of the health facility and the clinical/ medical part.
You will also the have the option of freelancing as a medical coding and billing specialist. In fact, the Trust HCS plans to double its medical coding and billing workforce by contracting out work to medical coders who are willing to code at home. Therefore, this is also a great secondary career option that can be done on the side with any other job. Contracting out has been the most convenient form of medical billing and coding
You can easily be done with your formal education and start pursuing your career as a medical coding and billing specialist within four months. You can make $39,000 annually as a medical coding and billing specialist. There is also a lucrative option of studying online which allows you to choose when and where you want to study. Once you have your medical billing and coding certificate in hand, you can embark on a stable and lucrative career in the field.
If you want to become a medical coding and billing specialist in Connecticut, you should complete your certification after high school. To become an accredited medical coding and billing specialist, you have to cover a range of courses including physiology, pharmacology and anatomy. These courses are accessible and affordable as they are available online and can be completed within four to twelve months. To obtain and acquire the certification, you might have to spend up to $2,000.
When you decide to begin your certification program, you should know the tuition fee and the materials you will need for the course will be worth the investment as you will receive several times more your than you put into the program once you have completed it.
The American Health Information Management Association has been helping people pursue a career without having to pay too much by launching paid apprenticeship programs. You can now attain the prerequisite experiences without having to pay and allowing you to give a holistic insight in-hospital experience to help alleviate the costs. You will be asked to fill out an application free of cost for the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that helps examine and determine your proficiency and evaluate if you are eligible for financial aid.
Pursuing any career in the medical niche requires a proper accredited certification for you to be eligible for the job. If you wish to pursue a program in medical billing and coding, you should have a legitimate ‘stamp of approval’ for the job. It symbolizes that the institution shows a standardized level of what it believes in and is at par with the overall primary criteria for the program that is universally acceptable.
You will see that in all the cases it proves the threshold requirements are met and followed in a way that provide you a platform that signifies academic formidability and shows operational and structural integrity. In order for a school to maintain its prestige, it must uphold its academic and educational quality and must keep working and improving on it.
Agencies that are responsible for accrediting medical billing and coding programs include:
• American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
• American Academy of professional coders (AAPC)
Regional accrediting bodies include
• Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
• North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NASC)