Someone who is searching for a pathway into the growing area of the allied health industry, may want to consider earning a Medical Billing and Coding associate’s degree. Healthcare providers are beginning to greatly transition into using electronic records and billing systems. As a result, it has driven the amount of demand for qualified medical billing and coding professionals, which is creating more opportunities for work within this area of the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry uses various codes to show which services were performed during a visit and what products may have been administered during that time period. As a result, medical billing and coding personnel are very important to the healthcare system.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that there will be a 20% employment growth for medical records and health information technicians. This includes medical billers and coders. The expected period for growth is between 2008 and 2018. Earning a medical billing and coding degree can help to augment skills and help by preparing students for entry-level jobs within this field. Individuals who complete the medical billing and coding program generally work as a health information coder, coding specialist, or medical record coder.
The typical entry level amount of salary for this position is available at $33,000. Although it is not a large salary in comparison to some of the other positions that are available in the medical industry, it is a reasonable level and can be increased assuming that the individual is willing to get further certifications or continue their education to gain more experience. Some positions pay more based purely on experience.
The majority of medical coding programs and certificates can be completed within a year, whether the individual is studying online or at a local school. However, they also have the option of using this time to earn their medical coding and billing certification while earning their associate’s degree. Some additional certifications may be required if the individual would like to continue pursuing their education or their professional goals on a higher level. Generally speaking, getting a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree would allow for the individual to start working in other areas of the medical profession based on their previous experience with billing and coding.
Individuals who are interested in the medical industry but do not want to deal with some of the more personal experiences of medical treatments and procedures may find that medical billing and coding is an ideal position for them. There are many individuals who are able to eventually work freelance with this opportunity or work for private clients, which allows them the flexibility to arrange their own schedule as they want to. However, in most cases, medical billers and coders work within doctor’s offices and other related settings. For those who are considering a work at home position, remember that most work at home clients will request at least 2 to 3 years of in office experience prior to considering you for at home employment.