Medical billing and coding degree: The U.S. News and World Reports say that one of the 100 best jobs to pursue in the United States is in the medical billing and coding arena. With the boosting demands for healthcare IT professionals and technology experts, this is an expected increase in these careers’ preferences. 

Aspiring students are also on the lookout for medical billing and coding degree that can help them get started in the industry. Lets have a look at other details of medical school online

medical billing and coding degree
Medical billing and coding degree

Medical billing and coding degree- Steps

There are no hard and fast rules to follow to step into the healthcare sector as a medical biller and coder. Still, aspiring students can prepare for their career path better if they have some standard protocols to guide them through the process in US Government. Here are some essential steps to cover to ensure a good position in the industry.

  • Cover your basics

You will require all your paperwork and documents of your academic and professional career so far. Make sure that they are all in place and hold the genuine records of your experience. Note that any history of misconduct can weaken your chances of getting admission into a good university or institute, so avoid all ill-companies.

  • Enroll in an academic program

While a formal education is not necessary, a bachelor’s and a master’s medical billing and coding degree will only help you get better credentials as a medical biller and coder. The most convenient way of entering the industry is like a professional by completing an education program in the field. Most of these programs can last from 18 months to two years – it can even be less.

  • Focus on the curriculum

Various subjects are covered in these academic programs to give you a holistic idea of the healthcare industry and then specialize in your interest area. For getting the best out of it, you should be focused on the curriculum and even try to participate in internships or practicum to learn with hands-on experience. You can also check medical coding courses online

  • Accredited certification

A specialized certification is like a graduation degree for the aspiring coders, but you surely need a good understanding of the subjects to pass the certification examination. Holding medical billing and coding degree certificates will demonstrate your dedication towards the field and help you stand out from the rest. Specialty certifications that coders commonly attempt for are certified inpatient coder (CIC), certified risk adjustment coder (CRC), certified outpatient coder (COC), and certified professional coder (CPC).

  • Apply, apply, and apply

After all, the primary purpose of this hustle is to land a good job. Therefore this is the final and most crucial step that you apply for as many vacancies as possible. This way, you will have the option to choose the place you want to work at, but firstly, understand if you’re going to work at a hospital, a doctor’s chamber, or in a private company setting. A medical billing and coding degree paves the way for getting into diverse industries, as you desire.

Medical billing and coding choice degree

There are different types of academic programs and certificates that you can opt for, to start your career as a medical biller and coder. The three major distinctions are as follows:

  • Certificate or Diploma

Spanning from nine months to a year, the certificate programs are offered by career colleges and community colleges. They are focused on the subject entirely and aims at teaching as much as possible in less time. Medical billing and coding degree allows you to enter the workforce quicker if you do not have time for a full-time course of two to four years. 

  • Associate’s degree

Associate’s degree provides a general education curriculum that goes beyond the information about medical billing and coding. It gives a better insight into the healthcare sector and helps advance your career. You can also consider other professions in the healthcare industry after gaining experience. Both career colleges and community colleges offer these programs. 

  • Bachelor’s degree

Colleges and universities provide different programs in healthcare information management and health care administration, which revolves around medical billing and coding degree. Aspirants can dedicate four years to learning about the healthcare sector’s operations and follow a diverse educational curriculum. With a bachelor’s degree of four years, the doors to multiple career opportunities open for you, making you eligible for management positions as well. This training also reflects in your salary, which is greater than what you would get after an associate’s degree or a certificate program.

Medical billing and coding courses

There are several medical billing and coding certification requirements that you can easily qualify for if you have the appropriate educational background. As a medical billing and coding professional, you should have an expertise in multiple fields of study, from anatomy to physiology. 

Even insurance claim procedures and medical office administration should be a part of your regular tasks. To learn these skills and be an efficient medical biller and coder, you should choose a medical billing and coding degree program that will cover all the essential topics related to healthcare, like:

  1. Anatomy and Physiology
  2. Insurance Claim Procedure
  3. Medical Coding
  4. Medical Terminology
  5. Medical Office Technology
  6. Medical Office Administration

After getting a thorough knowledge of medical billing and coding courses, you will understand the working of a medical facility better. Internships and training jobs can also help clear your ideas once a solid foundation has been laid.

Accredited medical billing and coding schools

accredited medical billing and coding schools

Accredited medical billing and coding schools

To get a professional certificate, it is necessary to enroll in an accredited program. Two agencies that provide the most authentic and industry-standard medical billing and coding degree programs are:

  1. American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
  2. American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

Apart from these national organizations, accredited medical billing and coding schools are regional centers as well where you can look for more information and programs, like:

  1. Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
  2. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NASC)
  3. New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  4. Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC)
  5. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  6. Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Cost of medical billing and coding certification

Cost of medical billing and coding certification
Cost of medical billing and coding certification

The workplace greatly defines your future career growth and salary increase. This is why the aspirants must have a clear idea of the credentials they can apply for and the work opportunities that a medical billing and coding degree offers. The health systems are the largest employer of medical billers and coders, providing 19.3% higher salaries than solo practitioners. 

As a medical coder, here are the employers you can work for:

  1. Health System- $57,338 
  2. Large Group Practice (50 or more physicians)- $55,209 
  3. Hospital Inpatient & Outpatient- $54,606
  4. Hospital Inpatient- $53,018
  5. Hospital Outpatient- $50,526 
  6. Medium Group Practice (11-49 physicians)- $49,392 
  7. Solo Practice/Small Group Practice (1-10 physicians)- $48,038 

Once you have understood the salary patterns and the expected figures from each industry, it is also important to know cost of medical billing and coding certification can pay you. Some of the most common credentials that medical billing and coding degree coders go for, are:

  1. Certified Professional Biller (CPB™) – $55,078 
  2. Certified Professional Coder (CPC™) – $57,201 
  3. Certified Outpatient Coder (COC™) – $65,028 
  4. Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P™) – $62,612 
  5. Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC™) – $63,191 
  6. Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC™) – $64,882 
  7. Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA™) – $69,172 
  8. Certified Documentation Expert-Outpatient (CDEO™) – $69,987 
  9. Certified Professional Coder-Instructor (CPC-I™) – $75,403
  10. Certified Professional Practice Manager (CPPM™) – $71,004 
  11. Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO™) – $77,333 

Medical billing and coding salary

Medical billing and coding salary
Medical billing and coding salary

With a 5.8% increase in the average salary from the last year, a medical coder can make about $54,890 in the United States of America, with figures varying from state to state. The medical billing and coding salary also depends on the certification, where the non-certified professionals make approximately $42,015 while the certified ones make up to $55,923 annually. 

This includes all kinds of medical billing and coding degree certifications provided through AAPC, AHIMA, and other accredited organizations. The average salary for an AAPC-certified professional is about 8.7% higher. The salary keeps increasing with experience and credentials, like, a billing and coding specialist with three or more credentials, can earn about $70,608 per year.  One can also explore 4 week online course for medical coding and billing

Medical billing and coding salary by state

Medical coding and billing prospects are booming in the United States, with almost every state paying from $20-$33 per hour to the professionals. Still, the salary highly depends upon other factors like experience, professional capacity, expense as per the medical billing and coding salary by state, etc. Here are the top ten highest paying states to the medical coders:

  1. California – $68,698
  2. New Jersey – $63,270
  3. Delaware – $55,049
  4. Maryland – $59,486
  5. Colorado – $60,162 
  6. Massachusetts – $62,148
  7. Connecticut – $59,968
  8. New Hampshire – $57,957
  9. Hawaii – $60,980
  10. New York – $61,436

What does the future look like for medical billers and coders?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts medical coding amongst one of the 20 fastest-growing occupations. The demand for health information technicians increases with each passing day, and their employees will also see an exponential rise. The most reliable way of joining this expanding workforce is by getting a medical billing and coding degree right away! Kindly visit our online schools webpage.