Guide to Medical Billing and Coding Programs
Medical billing and coding is a dynamic and growing career field. In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released job information on the field of medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billing and coding).
Job growth is expected to increase by 11 percent from 2018 through 2028, which is much faster than average. Such favorable statistics appeal to many who are looking for a rewarding career with a median salary of $40,350 according to the BLS.
Why Become a Medical Biller and Coder?
Take your natural analytical mind and attention to detail and use it to start a career in the healthcare field. As a medical biller and coder, you will organize and manage healthcare records. You’ll learn the different classification system to code and categorize patient information which is utilized by both physicians and insurance companies. You’ll be responsible for protecting patient security and ensuring confidentiality, reviewing records for accuracy and regulatory compliance in a manner consistent with the healthcare industry’s numerical coding system.
Upon completion of your training program, you will qualify for positions in doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals and insurance companies. You can apply for jobs such as: Medical Coder, Health Information Clerk, Health Information Specialist, Medical Record Analyst or Coding Specialist.
This is an exciting career path for someone who wants to help others and make a difference without having direct patient care. You will speak directly with patients, medical professionals, and insurance providers and act as a liaison to ensure patients are able to obtain the medical services they need. The medical field is growing as the population has increased access to quality medical care. You’ll find yourself with a specialized skill set which is in demand and offers advancement opportunities with additional certifications and education. This is a career trajectory which can advance to associates, bachelors and even master’s degrees. You will be able to get into the field in a short period of time and begin to gain additional knowledge and skills which will set you up for countless opportunities. With a certificate program, you will be qualified for entry-level positions and be able to work in a variety of capacities across several specializations.
How do I become a Medical Biller and Coder?
The only thing standing between you and a bright future is the appropriate certifications necessary for medical billing and coding. You can choose a certificate program, which is usually able to be completed in as little as 36 weeks (9 months) and will qualify you for entry level employment. You can also choose to complete an associate degree which is usually able to be completed in approximately 2 years when attending full time. A Bachelor degree will qualify you for much more advanced positions but this can be a very expensive and time consuming path, as a Bachelor degree can take 4 to 5 years to complete when attending full time. Many students choose to start with a certificate program to get a “foot in the door” and begin to work and gain experience and then pursue degree programs. Check out the training institutions in Austin and learn more about their student success rates.
Carefully researching potential schools for graduation and employment rates is an important part of your selection process. You will want to ensure that you are choosing an accredited program. Many people know accreditation is important but aren’t sure exactly what accreditation means. Accreditation means that a school has met and maintains the standards set forth by the accrediting agency. This article contains valuable information on accreditation and why accreditation matters. Make sure you get accurate statistics by speaking to the appropriate school officials before making your final choice.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm.
Want to learn more about how National Certifications might help you in today’s job market?