Along with the massive transition to digital recordkeeping, California’s medical industry is booming, and now is an excellent time to find a niche within the industry. A career in medical billing and coding allows you the opportunity to work within a variety of medical facilities and the freedom to even own your own business working from home. Earning certification in the field is not mandatory, but those who do are likely to enjoy greater salary and more job prospects.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions for medical billers and coders have the potential to rise by a staggering 20 percent over the next decade with a 14 percent increase projected statewide. Remarkably, there are more than 17,000 of these professionals employed in California currently. These medical billing and coding specialist typically earn more than the national average, and top-level professionals can earn more than $60,000 annually when working full time.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist in California
Medical billing and medical coding are two distinctly different, although related, professions that each boast their own educational and certification procedures. In a medical environment, just about any service, procedure, medication, equipment, test, diagnosis, and even the paper goods have a code that is associated with it. This code helps keep medical records organized, create patient bills, make insurance claims, and keep up with inventory. Coders take the notes and charts for every patient and translate each procedure into its related code. Billers then take these codes and create bills and insurance claims to be processed.
Medical Billing and Coding Training in California
Medical Billing: Enrolling a training program that is accredited by the state is essential to success. Consider only schools that are recognized by the most popular certifying groups such as the American Medical Billing Association, or AMBA. You will learn the most common coding systems including ICD-P, CPT, and HCPCS in addition to software programs, Medicare claims procedures, and handling the tedious task of preparing insurance claims. To earn certification, you will need to pass the CMRS Exam through the governing body.
Medical Coding: Students will also learn the most common coding methods, but will traverse more deeply into subcodes that often come into play within specialty medical environments. Expect to learn a bit about recordkeeping, auditing, code translations, and how to work within complex software systems. Be sure to enroll in a two year associates program that is accredited and recognized by certifying organizations such as the Association for Professional Coders. Once education is achieved, students will take the CPC, or Certified Professional Coder Exam for basic licensure.
Is Learning Medical Billing and Coding Online Right for You?
In today’s busy world, not every student has the time to head to campus and take classes in person, which makes opportunities for hybrid and online medical billing and coding a great option for many. Hybrid courses allow you to spend some time in the classroom and still perform much of your studies from home, while online courses are fully taught through the Internet. Cost effective and convenient, online studies may be the ideal solution for the busy student.
Look below for accredited medical billing and coding training, and get your education started today.