Is There a Demand for Medical Billers and Coders?
In a single word: yes!
With the increasing demand on the American healthcare combined with a population that is aging, the healthcare industry is poised to see substantial growth in the service and treatments that are used. And this means an increased need for medical billers and coders.
In their role, medical billers and coders assign codes to every diagnosis and every procedure for every patient, address and submit claims to insurance companies, and manage reimbursements within any medical facility that handles patients and treatments.
Job Requirements for Medical Billers and Coders
To stand a good chance of obtaining gainful employment, you should register in an accredited certificate or associate’s degree program for online medical billing courses. You will be introduced to common coding classification systems, such as ICD-9 and DSM. You will also learn about medical insurance providers, medical terminology, human anatomy, as well as the ethics of health insurance, medical billing, and patient confidentiality.
Once you complete your certificate or associate’s degree program through online medical courses, you may also be eligible to achieve certain professional certifications. While not necessary to your success, obtaining certifications can help you advance in your career and specialize in a certain area of medical billing and coding.
For example, you can achieve the Certified Coding Assistant which enables you to translate information about various diseases and procedures used in health care providers into alphanumeric codes. After a specified amount of work experience, you will also be eligible to become a Certified Coding Specialist, allowing you to interpret medical terminology to record numerical codes for the purpose of insurance and medical statistics.
Job Market Outlook
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of medical billing and coding professionals was slated to increase between 2012 and 2022 by 22%. This is faster than the national average. The mean yearly compensation as per May 2013 was $37,710.
For Texas, the average salary was $35, 250, with the salary in the 90th percentile being $56,930. There are approximately 16,520 medical billing and coding employees in Texas.
Overall, the economic prospects in Texas are promising. The BLS indicates that unemployment is lower than the national average – 6.9% versus 8.2% for the rest of the United States. Unemployment is at a lower rate than it is for the country as a whole — 6.9%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared with 8.2% for the rest of the country.
Assuming that your medical billing courses were comparable, the length and depth of your program were similar, and you were able to participate in hands-on training in a professional environment, the job market situation for graduates with an online education is similar to those graduates who attended an in-person campus.
Your Personal Outlook
How will your online medical billing courses help you gain employment? That is up to you. If you registered at an accredited program, such as the one offered by Southern Careers Institute, graduated with high marks, and have or will be obtaining professional certifications, then your personal employment outlook is bright as the Texas sun.