There’s a new profession in town, and it’s called medical billing and coding. Ok, so it isn’t really that new because it actually has its origins from as far back as the 1500’s. And going a little further, the original purpose was simply to categorize and identify causes of mortality.
This process became much more important as trade between countries in Europe and Asia made the transmission of diseases more prevalent with each passing season. A merchant from China might be bringing the most fabulous silk fabrics to France or Italy, but he was just as likely to be bringing the plague as well.
In this way, diseases such as Yellow Fever, Influenza, Black Plague, Typhus, Cholera and Leprosy began to experience epidemic proportions as they swept through populations around the world. Everywhere that man traveled, he brought his microbial companions with him.
Medical Billing And Coding The Origins
The leaders and physicians of their times recognized the need to begin to record mortality rates for the various maladies that afflicted their populations. In this way they could record the numbers of citizens affected by any particular disease, as well as some of the circumstances surrounding the transmission and origin of how the disease might have been transmitted.
In other words, how did this person die? What kind of disease killed them? How did they contract the disease? And where, might the disease have come from? All very important questions if you’re trying to stem the advance of a virulent contagion.
This type of record keeping continued for centuries as the need for this statistical data helped to mitigate the rise in global pandemics. In most of the developing world there were specialists or medical coders who were tasked with gathering and recording these vital records. It wasn’t until approximately the 1960’s that this process took on a new purpose.
Medical Billing And Coding Training
The new science for billing and coding, according to www.medicalbillingandcodings.com, provides a wealth of opportunities, not just in the medical billing and coding schools that provide training, but in the potential growth that this occupation presents.
In truth, certain states have few barriers to entry for this occupation. What this means is that it is possible to gain on the job training and perform the duties that the job requires. This approach while plausible is, not generally recommended because it actually has the potential to retard ones career growth.
Types Of Degrees And Schools
If someone is looking to keep academic costs to a minimum, there is the possibility of attaining an Associate’s degree. This two-year academic program completed at an accredited community college or university and successfully passing a medical billing and coding certification examination should put you on a good path to a solid career.
For those who want an even better start in the business, then the achievement of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and the successful completion of a certification exam is the best possible way to maximize a medical billing and coding salary.
While these are the standard choices for this profession, there are alternatives. There are many vocational schools that offer the academic training and certification programs for medical billing and coding career aspirants.
Enroll In Accredited Programs
A word of caution though, it is vital that any vocational or “for profit” educational institution be thoroughly examined in order to confirm that they are in full compliance with a national accrediting association.
These associations can include the:
- Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT)
- American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
- American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
- Professional Association of Health Care Coding Specialists (PAHCS)
- Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC)
Finally, a new option that has become available as a result of the Internet is, online learning. For those who must maintain their current employment in order to manage life’s daily financial responsibilities, this option presents the best possible choice.
A student can enjoy the flexibility of a training program that revolves around their lifestyle and personal schedule. No more commute through grid locked traffic to a campus, only to discover there is no parking, causing a late arrival for class. Again, the same caution applies if the curriculum is provided by a vocational school.
The career prospects for this occupation are very good, The Goliath that is the American healthcare system show no signs of abating any time soon, and the bureau of labor statistics predicts that this occupation should see at least a 20% growth rate over the next decade.
Medical Billing And Coding Salary Range
Additionally the specialists involved specifically in, medical coding have achieved an annual mean wage of almost $40,000 as of 2008, with the federal government as the primary employer for this occupation. Those working for the Federal Executive Branch earn a median annual salary of almost $43,000.
The specialists specifically focusing on medical billing have attained a suitable average annual salary of well over $30,000. In fact the top five states for this occupation in terms of salaries are, Mississippi $38,000, New York $37,000, Washington DC $36,000, Massachusetts $36,000, and California $34,000.
Remember that we are only talking averages here. Many professionals in this healthcare occupation can earn far more, especially with the appropriate degrees and credentialing. What it comes down to is, the fact that medical billing and coding can be a very lucrative profession, for those willing to lay the proper groundwork and apply their skills in an occupation that, can offer excellent job security and top notch working conditions.