One of the fastest-growing industries for job-seekers is healthcare. You can still work in the thriving healthcare industry even if you’ve no interest in patients’ care. That can be either in the billing or coding. The billing and coding is a highly coveted function in the healthcare industry.
Careers in the healthcare occupations continue to expand as the healthcare sector continues to grow. The U.S Bureau report on labor shows that the demand for secretaries like billing and coding specialists is on a continuous rise, with a prospect of 22% between the years 2016-2026.
This article is supposed to give you guidelines and answer questions on the medical billing and coding career.
Medical billing and coding
The billing and coding professionals help other healthcare industry professionals obtain records and receive payments for the services rendered. They assign codes for every medical procedure and diagnosis. The codes are then added to the patients’ health records, and the information is forwarded to the insurance companies for claims processing.
The specialists work in all healthcare facilities, from medical facilities to rehabilitation centers; health offices to medical departments.
All this happens in an office environment. Many of these billing and coding officers work on a full-time basis. Part-time opportunities are also available depending on the employer. And the dress code depends on the setting and the employer’s dress code.
You may be required to wear the same scrubs as other medical officers or just the traditional office outfit in some places.
Annual Salary Payment
BLS report on the payment of medical secretaries shows that their median annual wage is $35,000, but that will vary depending on several factors. Mainly, your location and the office you work in are the determinants of how much pay you get. Medical secretaries working in the development and scientific research fields earn the highest median annual salary while those in state governments lead this category.
Being certified as a professional coder from the AAPC could land you a high paying job, especially when paired with additional experience. AAPC salary survey’s report shows that those with more than thirteen years of experience receive an annual salary of up to $54,000.
Medical biller and coder path
Formal training is the first step toward becoming a medical biller or coder. Some people opt for on-the-job experience, which is an option but the best way is to go for specialized education. There are a few education options you can pursue on your path to becoming a biller and coder.
A diploma or a certificate program is the shortest route, and both courses can be completed in less than a year. You can also pursue a degree program path that will help you qualify for stricter job requirements. For an associate degree, you go for general education classes, including billing/coding and healthcare coursework. These will, on average, take less than two years.
Choosing a medical coding program
Before you begin a coding and billing program, you’ve to take time and evaluate the options at hand to determine the one that fits you. You can try searching online for related jobs to see what qualifications employers are looking for.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred course, you can select campus-based training or pursue online education programs. The online program’s convenience has made it so attractive to many of those who want to pursue medical billing and coding.
The path you take to becoming a medical coder will determine how long you take to complete the course. Again the duration will depend on the program that you choose; degree, diploma, or certificate. Before you enroll in any of these, you need to do enough research on the job market, see what fits you, and one that will earn you a good annual Salary even as you pursue other life goals.