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Medical Coding and Billing in Texas

2013 will be a very important year in the medical billing and medical coding profession. The United States will follow behind a number of other nations in adopting the ICD-10-CM coding system. At that time, the code set will increase from approximately 17,000 to 140,000. That represents a lot of diagnoses and procedures! With the coming of ICD-10-CM, the codes will also change in format, and there will be new software programs to master.

Code books make it easier to implement standards for what Medicaid and other payers reimburse; sometimes they are useful in health research as well. They do, however, create a lot of work. Coding taxonomies, along with complex regulations, have gone a long way toward creating a new profession: the professional medical coding specialist.

Are you analytical and detail-oriented? Do you enjoy classes in medicine and take pride in being a lifelong learner? If so, medical billing and coding might be the career path you choose to pursue.

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Medical Billing and Coding Training in Texas

Medical billing and coding courses teach pharmacology, medical terminology and medical law, in addition to payer policies and coding taxonomies. Nationwide, the most respected certifications include the RHIT and RHIA, which require graduation from an accredited health information program, and the CCS and CPC, which require significant field experience or education. AHIMA offers the CCA, as well. The CCS exam tests more coding, so a formal medical billing and coding program or health information technology program is a good idea to prepare for these exams as well as prepare yourself for the more competitive job opportunities in Texas.

What are health information professionals, and prospective ones, doing to prepare themselves for upcoming changes? Those already enrolled in education program (or in the field) will be glad to know that there are a few courses in ICD-10-CM available. As ICD-Day approaches, there will no doubt be many more. People who already hold certifications can earn CEUs for acquiring this knowledge

Medical Billing and Coding Salary and Job Outlook in Texas

It can be good to think of externships as job interviews as well as learning experiences. Some students are hired at establishments where they extern. For others, the process takes longer. It is not uncommon for a first position to be in the medical front office. Medical billing or coding duties may be secondary to other duties, like scheduling appointments or greeting patients. It’s still a career opportunity. When people demonstrate competency, they find themselves with an ever increasing list of job duties -- and pay often increases right along with it.

Medical coding specialists can ultimately make good money. In December of 2010, the AAPC released a salary survey, based on responses from more than 10,000 industry professionals. $44,319 was listed as the average for the Lone Star State. It does take some time and effort to work up to this figure. The same survey found certified coders with six years experience averaging $7,000 more than those with one year of experience. A nationwide average of $34,551 was reported for those with one year of experience.

What skills translate to employability and success on the job? A staffing professional at Office Team has the following to share. Experience is valued, of course. So are communication skills because “medical billers often interact with insurance providers and coders to clarify information prior to bill submittal.” As it grows closer to ICD-10 implementation time, candidates with knowledge of this system may well catch the eyes of the hiring team.

Learn more about the qualifications sought after by some of the largest employers in Texas by checking out the job postings at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital, San Antonio's CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital and Baylor Medical Centers with locations in Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Fort Worth Southwest, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Irving, McKinney, Plano and Waxahachie.

You might also want to explore the Medical Assistant programs in Texas. Medical assisting often times offers a shorter training to work period and similar job growth projections to that of Medical billing and coding in Texas.

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