Medical coding and billing careers are on the rise: the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a steady growth rate of 22% through 2022, a rate significantly above average. Of course, success in any career is largely dependent on your skills, so make sure you properly hone yours through a quality education and certification program. Here’s how to successfully launch your medical coding and billing career.
1. Earn a billing and coding certification from a reputable school that suits your needs.
Training schedule: A medical billing and coding program can be completed in as little as four months of full-time study or up to 12 months of part-time work. These courses are offered online and in classrooms, so choose a program that best fits you.
Thorough certification prep: Remember, most employers require industry certifications, so choose a program that will thoroughly prepare you for the industry credential exams AND a career in the industry. The best coding and billing courses will teach you everything from basic computer skills to the legal structure of the industry, common medical terms, prescription drug classifications, and the ICD-10 coding system. Upon graduating, you should be more than ready to earn the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) or Certified Coding Associate (CCA) credential—preferably both!
Practical practice: A comprehensive coding training program includes code application practice and experience with coding. The more real-world experience you can log the better.
2. The landscape of the medical coding and billing industry is changing and growing—make the most of it!
New codes: As of October 2015, ICD-10 is the new coding system, a much larger classification system than the previous ICD-9 system. Medical facilities and coding employers are sure to still be feeling growing pains from this massive transition and are looking for quality coders to help.
Work opportunities: Thanks to the new system and the growing world of healthcare, ICD-10 coders with industry certifications and experience are in high demand. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, nursing homes, and more are all in need of skilled medical coders and billers.
Work from home possibilities: It is also possible to work from home as a medical coder and biller, especially if you have years of experience or the right connections.
It is a great time to enter medical coding careers: the industry is growing, and certifications are affordable and flexible to earn. Check out Career Step’s online medical coding and billing certification program today and take the first step toward a rewarding and fulfilling career in this booming field.
Already a student or medical coding professional? You’re the expert! How have you made the most of the growing and changing ICD-10 coding industry? What might future students look forward to upon graduation? Let us know in the comments below.