Medical Coding and Billing in Kansas
Medical billing and coding specialists in Kansas work for hospitals, doctors offices, and sometimes for insurance companies or government agencies. They have a surprising range of duties. They find pertinent information on medical charts and classify and code it for the purpose of research or reimbursement. They may also, depending on setting, follow up on issues like denials and missing charges. Some educate other professionals on documentation and other compliance issues.
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How do you know if a position in medical billing and coding might be right for you? You are of an inquiring mindset. You enjoy learning about medicine: anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and preventative medicine. You don’t necessarily want to work with patients, though, or have their lives in your hands. Medical billing and coding experts in Kansas may spend some time managing the front desk or carrying out the most basic clinical duties. They don’t work much with patients, though, except vicariously, by sifting through and abstracting information from health care providers. Still, they need a good grasp on medical terminology and procedures, which is gained via a medical billing and coding training program or a health information technology program. These programs can be found both online as well as at campuses throughout the state of Kansas.
Medical Billing and Coding Training in Kansas
There are many medical billing and coding training programs, both online and traditional offered in Kansas, that will help students amass medical knowledge, master ICD-9-CM and CPT-4 coding, and learn applicable statutes and regulations. A good medical billing and coding program is generally one that leaves candidates well prepared to sit for national board examinations through AAPC or AHIMA. While the state does not require certification, many employers do. Some prefer credentialing through AAPC, others either, while a few give preference to candidates with both. Medical coders on the Indeed.com forum have noted that having multiple certifications can be an asset.
Those pursuing certification should expect questions at the level of analysis and application as well as recall. Questions may reference a wide variety of texts, including the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, and various editions of the CPT and ICD-9-CM coding taxonomies.
A medical billing and coding or related health informatics program will help prepare you for the certifications as well as entry-level positions in the field.
Medical Billing and Coding Salary and Job Outlook in Kansas
A person may earn an Associates of Science, Associates of Applied Science, or Associates of Art in Applied Business. Program selection depends on career goals. Those who are pursuing the billing field from a business angle may constitute an exception to the certification rule. It is a good idea to talk with a school representative about specific job opportunities that exist with each type of degree. A representative of American Intercontinental University notes that their A.A.B.A degree with an emphasis in medical billing and coding is actually not designed to prepare candidates for board exams. The content is, however, rich in business skills. Accounting is something a person wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in an A.S. or A.A.S. billing and coding program, but does find in the A.A.B.A.
It can be a good idea to search job postings to see what qualifications employers prefer. Aerotek Professional Services, for example, recently posted looking for medical billers and coders. The organization prefers, but does not require, a year of experience. The position does require computer skills, proficiency with medical terminology, and experience communicating in a healthcare setting, and pays at the rate $12.00 an hour.
Additional employers to research include some of the largest employers in Kansas. They are Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Via Christi Regional Medical Center in Wichita and Saint Francis Health Center in Topeka. These facilities either employ a medical billing and coding agency or have in-house departments to take care of their medical billing and coding needs.
What can a medical billing and coding professional hope to earn in Kansas? The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies medical billers and coders as medical records and health information technicians and reports the following income information. The statewide average is $31,350. The Kansas City metropolitan area leads the state with an average income of $33,960 a year. Topeka and Lawrence report average salaries between $32,000 and $33,000. Slightly lower are the nonmetropolitan areas and, surprisingly, Wichita. Average salaries in these regions of the state are between $29,000 and $30,000. There is a wide range of incomes within geographic regions, with those at the 90th percentile making about twice as much as those at the 10th percentile. What factors effect earnings? According to a 2009 survey by AAPC, experience, education, and certification level can each have a big impact.
The Medical Assisting programs in Kansas can also lead to a successful career in the allied health field and are worth researching in addition to the Medical Billing and Coding programs in Kansas.