Medical Coding and Billing in Indiana
JACHO, COP, CHIP, CPT, ICD-CM… Medical billing and coding specialists in Indiana know more than their share of acronyms! They have extensive knowledge of medical coding taxonomies as well as the policies of various insurance carriers and regulatory agencies. As the medical field grows more complex and more regulated, medical billing and coding becomes increasingly a profession for highly educated professionals.<!- mfunc search_btn -> <!- /mfunc search_btn -> <!- mfunc feat_school ->
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People are attracted to the medical billing and coding field in Indiana for many reasons. Some enter medical billing and coding as a first career because the field has good growth potential and because their skill set is a good match. They may also like the idea of being able to work from home at least part time; this is a viable option for a person who has gained some credibility in the field and can arrange the opportunity with their employer or set up their own medical billing and coding business.
Some people enter medical billing and coding by way of other health care professions. It may be their desire to transition out of clinical work, or they may simply want to increase their options. Medical billing and coding credentials may be valuable in combination with other health licensing or experience. A recent post for a supervisory level position in women’s imaging, for example, seeks, in addition to licensure as a radiological technician, the ability to oversee billing and coding.
Medical Billing and Coding Training in Indiana
Medical billing and coding training programs in Indiana develop coding proficiency, prepare students for national board examinations, and often include general studies courses to make them more marketable. Typical coursework includes medical terminology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, billing processes and software, and coding systems. There will likely be a class geared toward analyzing case studies, a skill required for certifying exams. National board certification is a signal to employers that one has the skills for the job. Indiana employers may indicate preference for either AHIMA or AAPC. Many, perhaps most, are just fine with either. Some employers specify, in addition, knowledge particular programs: Word, Lotus, Access.
Those who already have some experience in the field may pursue different certifications, based on the particular settings they have worked. Some Indiana employers look for coders who have prior experience with various specialties such as radiology, cardiology, nephrology, urology, or surgery. The AAPC offers specialty certifications in these areas, but some field experience is generally expected first.
Enrolling in a health informatics degree program is another option to become a medical billing and coding specialist in Indiana. These programs cover many of the same coding and billing topics that are covered in a medical billing and coding training program in Indiana.
Medical Billing and Coding Salary and Job Outlook in Indiana
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2009 released detailed wage information for the occupation. Indiana’s medical records and health information technicians enjoy an average annual salary of $14.90. There is a good deal of regional variance. Average hourly wages range from $12.85 in South Bend to $18.38 in Anderson. The Indianapolis-Carmel metropolitan region is listed at $16.37, Gary at $14.74, Fort Wayne at $15.24, and Bloomington at $13.84. Two of the top five metropolitan areas in the nation, in terms of concentration of workers within the industry, are located in Indiana. They are the Bloomington area and the greater South Bend area (which also includes part of Michigan). This may be why salaries in those regions are not quite as high as in other parts of the state.
Ultimately, income is good, and there is long term growth potential. For many, the hardest part is landing that first job. Connections can be important. Many medical billing and coding training programs in Indiana, both online and traditional, offer internship opportunities. A representative of Colorado Technical Institute says that they place candidates in settings near where they live. A job candidate should not discount experience in loosely related fields. Some break into the field by way of data entry, other office management. A recent ad for a business office manager for a hospice requires previous office management experience. While the company prefers it be in healthcare setting, they don’t necessarily require it.
Some of the largest employers in Indiana are in the health care sector. They include Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Community Hospital East in Indianapolis and Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. These are great places to explore medical billing and coding job opportunities and learn more about what employers in Indiana are looking for in applicants for their positions.
Your first step should be to find a billing and coding training programs or a related health informatics program. Online is a great option for those needing a more flexible option.
You may also want to explore the Medical Assisting programs in Indiana, as they are also an entry-level pathway to the health care field.
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