Medical Coding and Billing in Kentucky

Medical billing and coding may at first seem like a monotonous job, requiring only rudimentary training. This is far from the truth. It is getting increasingly common to have an associates or even a bachelors degree. As the medical profession grows more adept at treating illness, coders grow more adept at classifying and describing it.

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Medical billing and coding specialists abstract information from patient charts; for this, they need knowledge of medical terminology and physiology. Medical coding experts must also have a grasp on what procedures are considered medically necessary or standard in various circumstances. This is important for reimbursement purposes, whether a person is covered by a PPO, an HMO, or Medicaid. Sometimes it is also necessary for research purposes.

A medical coder does more than look up information. Sometimes he or she also has to weigh criteria against each other and make judgment calls to attach a code to a certain procedure. Medical billing and coding training and health informatics education and certification programs reflect the level of understanding required. AHIMA, which offers national board examinations in coding, notes that their exams requirement understanding at the recall, analysis, and application levels.

Medical Billing and Coding Training in Kentucky

What educational path should a future medical billing and coding specialist pursue in Kentucky? For an answer, one might look to prospective employers. Many employers in Kentucky prefer associates level degrees. Many also seek applicants with national board certification, so the ideal medical billing and coding or health informatics program will prepare a person to pass these exams. Kentucky employers will often accept certification through either AHIMA or AAPC, although some may state a preference for AHIMA. PHIA is not nearly as well known a credentialing agency on a national level, but since it is based in Louisville, local employers may be more likely to recognize it.

Those who already have a bit of medical coding experience can follow a slightly different path. AAPC offers twenty specialty credentials. Each exam can stand alone as a credential, as it demonstrate general coding ability as well as expertise within a given area. One example is the CEDC or Certified Emergency Department Coder credential. Medical coders with this designation are experts when it comes to coding those incidents which precipitate emergencies. Such coders are very familiar with the medical terminology that describes procedures generally performed in an emergency room setting, for example, laceration repairs and thoracentesis. They also have expertise with regard to codes related to moderate sedation. Experts with knowledge of medical billing in various specialty settings may also move up to medical billing management positions.

Get a head start in this field today and find a medical billing and coding training program or a health informatics program offered in Kentucky listed below.

Medical Billing and Coding Salary and Job outlook in Kentucky

Kentucky employers often want a year or so of experience, so medical billing and coding training program graduates may do well to take a position in their desired setting and work their way up. Some medical office positions, for instance, outpatient office representative, look favorably on prior medical billing and coding experience.

A career in medical billing and coding has good long term potential and offers solid wages.
The state average for medical billing, coding, and other closely related professions is $15.12, according to the BLS. Some metropolitan areas report higher wages. Lexington, one of the state leaders with regard to income, is listed at $17.11 an hour.

Permanent medical billing and coding positions in Kentucky generally provide benefits a well as wages. A 2009 AAPC study found that 91% of the approximately 10,000 respondents had health insurance and 89% had paid holidays. Sick time and dental coverage were just a little less common — both were enjoyed by approximately four in five professionals.

Of course some job benefits aren’t measured in dollars. Medical billing and coding specialists are among the only health care professionals who are able to work from home. An AAPC survey found that medical billers worked from home more frequently than medical coding specialists. 13% worked from home all the time; another 26% worked from home part of the time. A person generally needs to prove themselves in an office setting first, but an experienced medical billing and coding professional may go to work the same place they went to school — their home computer.

Some of the larger employers in Kentucky are health care agencies and facilities, which include Norton Hospital in Louisville, Saint Elizabeth Medical Center with locations in Covington, Falmouth, Ft. Thomas, Grant, Florence and Edgewood and Owensboro Medical Health System. These are great places to explore the medical billing and coding qualifications employers are looking for as well as look for jobs once you have completed a training program or a health informatics program.

Explore some of the online medical billing and coding program options as well as the campus based options offered in Kentucky to find a program that fits into your schedule.

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