Major technological advances in the medical field have propelled the demand for certified billing and coding specialists in Alabama. According to statistics from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, there is a projected 11% increase in jobs for certified medical billing and coders statewide, and a 20& rise nationwide is expected for these professionals.
The mean salary in Alabama for medical records technicians is $29,360 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even though the two professions are highly related and co-dependent upon each other, medical billing and medical coding are actually two distinct occupations requiring separate certifications. However, a two-year associate’s degree program allows students to earn both licensures concurrently.
The work of medical billing and coding professionals
All consultations, tests, procedures, supplies, and diagnosis in a medical environment have codes associated with them. The most popular coding systems that both billers and coders will need to become familiar with are ICD-P, CPT, and HCPCS. Medical coding specialists translate physician and nurses notes into codes, which correspond to specific services for billing. Medical billing staff then takes coder’s notes and translates them into their corresponding service for billing purposes to make insurance claims or process patient bills.
Medical billing and coding training in Alabama
Medical Coding Classroom: Once enrolled in an associate’s degree program, students will become very familiar with coding systems and specifically will focus on learning subcodes involved in traditional and specialty medical environments. Additional studies will concentrate on code conversions, auditing, and extensive software programs. Then candidates must pass the exam related to their specialty for certification, and the most common starting point is the CPC Exam for a Certified Professional Coder. Students should seek out training schools that have accreditation and recognition by reputable coding industry organizations such as the American Association for Professional Coders (AAPC).
Medical Billing Classroom: Also known as medical billing and reimbursement specialists, medical billers should seek out an accredited school that meets the requirements of certifying agencies such as the American Medical Billing Association, or AMBA. In addition to learning several coding systems, billing specialists will gain extensive software and recordkeeping knowledge, learn about insurance claims procedures, Medicare benefits, and all aspects of the medical billing process. Students must pass the CMRS, or certified medical reimbursement specialist exam in order to earn licensure.
Choosing an online medical billing and coding school or traditional classroom setting
Some students prefer traditional classroom settings, while others have time and financial constraints to consider that make online medical billing and coding schools in Alabama the best choice. Distance learning courses are cost and time effective, user friendly, and allow you to complete the program at your own pace. Some institutions offer hybrid courses where both classroom and online courses for medical billing and coding are part of the curriculum.
Becoming a certified medical billing and coding specialist increases the likelihood of landing a secure job, earning higher wages, and securing your livelihood for the future. See below for exceptional learning opportunities within this field to earn your certification quickly and affordably.