Welcome to BillingAndCoding.org – an online resource designed to help students learn about careers and majors in the medical billing and coding industries. Medical billing and coding is an essential part of the health care industry and jobs in this field are predicted to grow at an above-average rate over the next decade. To learn more about your options, the links below jump to detailed information to better assist you.

  1. What is medical billing and coding?
  2. How can I become a certified coding specialist (CCS)?
  3. What are the duties of a medical billing and coding specialist?
  4. What is the employment outlook for this occupation?

What is medical billing and coding?

Medical billing and coding are often referred to as one profession; however, in terms of employment they are quite different. Medical coders classify the clinical processes which are performed in a health-care facility into recognized codes, while medical billers are responsible for compiling, distributing, and processing health insurance statements. The programs listed below offer the training you’ll need to enter this in-demand field:

Kaplan University
  • HLC
  • NCA
Herzing University
  • HLC
  • NCA
Ultimate Medical Academy
  • HLC
  • NCA
Liberty University
  • SACS

Click here to see more Billing and Coding Degree Programs

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How can I become a certified coding specialist (CCS)?

The need for professionals who understand how to code and bill healthcare services and procedures is growing substantially. To become a certified coding specialist (CCS), the following steps are often required to qualify for employment:

Step #1: Enroll in an accredited associate or certificate degree program that provides training in the use of software for medical coding and billing, medical terminology, and medical transcription.
Step #2: Successfully complete coursework in medical terminology, medical office administration, patient information management, and medical claims processing.
Step #3: Get a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential by passing the RHIT exam administered by the AHIMA. This exam represents high-level proficiency in the managing and coding of medical records and the use of computer software and systems.
Step #4: Get a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credential by passing the CCS exam administered by the AHIMA. This exam represents high-level proficiency in inpatient and outpatient coding and billing.
Step #5: Find and apply for jobs that promote your current professional needs and future career goals at hospitals, insurance companies, medical laboratories, medical offices and group practices, dental offices, and rehabilitation clinics, both outpatient and inpatient.

Both the RHIT and CCS certifications are offered by AHIMA. The CCS certification demonstrates a mastery of medical coding while the RHIT certification helps candidates move beyond coding and into other health information jobs. Most employers value these certifications when looking at job candidates.

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What are the duties of a medical billing and coding specialist?

Medical billing and coding specialists are the crucial link between patients and health insurance companies. General activities that billing and coding workers do throughout a workday include:

  • Entering data into computer programs. Fast typing skills and a good memory and organization skills will help you learn the medical jargon and know how to efficiently take notes and translate them into official medical terminology.
  • Retrieving records from both electronic and paper databases for physicians and other health information technicians to review. This element of the job can scale up massively depending on the size of organization you work for. A private family medical practice may have several hundred or a thousand medical records on file, while hospitals or other large organizations may have hundreds of thousands.
  • Interacting with both physicians and patients, gathering information from them, and generally keeping everyone on the same page. Although you won’t be directly involved in treating patients, you may need to collect billing or insurance information from them.

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What is the employment outlook for this occupation?

General growth across the health industry, combined with increasing dependence on electronic communication and record keeping, makes for great employment opportunities in the billing and coding field. Below are some general facts about the earnings and employment prospects for billing and coding workers.

  • The median annual wage of medical records and health information technicians was $38,860 as of May, 2014.
  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing are the top-paying industry for this occupation, with a median annual wage of $50,170.
  • Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The map below from the BLS illustrates employment of this occupation across the US:

Employment of medical records and health information technicians

As the volume of electronic medical data grows, and the management of it gets more complex, new positions will be created for billing and coding specialists and other health information technicians with strong computer skills and knowledge of data management software.

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