Once you see the future growth for the medical coding field, enrolling in medical billing and coding programs in Colorado will seem like a wonderful idea! We show you the entry point to start and the steps to the finish line! See what the future holds with our data from bls.gov and nces.ed.gov, which is detailed below for you. We are all about the showcasing of the allied health sector and the health information industry is one if the fastest growing!

How to become a billing and coding specialist in Colorado

As it is throughout the country, the medical billing and coding profession in Colorado is regulated on a national level. Below are the nation certification associations.

Certifications for billing and coding are recognized from several different national bodies. Employers in the state recognize a wide range of certifications from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), National Healthcare Association (NHA), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and the Medical Association of Billers (MAB).

What is the process for becoming a certified biller or coder in Colorado?

Becoming a medical biller or coder in Colorado can be summarized in the following steps laid out below.

Step 1 – Make the choice if you plan to become certified

Deciding if you’re going to get certified is the initial step you will have to take if you want to start a career as a medical billing and coding specialist. Not only will this decision impact the jobs you may be eligible to apply for, but it’ll additionally determine the amount of time it will take before you are able to start working.

As you can likely imagine, opting to make an effort to get certified provides many important benefits. Being certified is also becoming viewed as a prerequisite by many employers who regard it as a means to shield their practices against potential lawsuits and increasing insurance premiums.

The move toward mandatory certification has additionally begun to affect non-certified workers who have been employed for many years. In such instances, it is now very common for the workplace to ask their medical billing and coding staff to go to training and earn their certification in order to stay employed.

Should you still decide not to get certified, then your next move is to begin looking for job openings for non-certified medical coding and billing specialists. The next step and the later steps mentioned in this article apply only if you have chosen to pursue certification.

Step 2 – Finish the necessary education

There are a few different types of credentials that may be earned by graduating from a formal medical coding and billing training program – a diploma (or “certificate”, as they are also called), two-year associate degree, and a four-year bachelor’s degree. Either type of credential is recognized by most business employers, but you should be cognizant of the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Diplomas and Certificates

The syllabus for diploma or certificate programs concentrates solely on teaching you the everyday skills you are going to depend on as a medical billing and coding specialist, and can typically be finished in 12-15 months. A wide variety of schools offer these popular training programs, and some of them are offered in an online format too. This is in contrast to associate and bachelor’s degree programs which require general education and additional college classes as well.

Associate Degree

If your career goal is to ultimately move into specialized healthcare or a professional-level job, associate degree programs are typically the better option. Courses offering this degree are usually located at trade schools and junior colleges, so there are typically also tougher admission prerequisites that need to be satisfied.

Holding an associate degree could offer a lot of benefits that one might not enjoy with just a certificate or diploma, though.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degree courses normally require a minimum of four years, and ask students to display a significant command of billing and coding theory, along with additional basic college materials. These types of programs are administered by trade schools and regular four-year schools, so entrance prerequisites and tuition fees are generally greater.

People who complete bachelor’s degrees in coding and billing are usually regarded as potential management candidates and are usually compensated accordingly.

Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to base your decision on your extended career objectives and financial situation. In the event you need to start working right away, and are worried about college tuition fees, then the diploma route may be the best choice. Remember, that you could always go back later and finish a degree after you’ve begun your career.

The best option is typically the associate or bachelor’s degree in cases when you have a definite career goal which will call for higher education at some point.

How to pick a billing and coding program

Medical billing and coding programs in Colorado are required by state guidelines to be accredited by multiple groups including the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Only those students who complete their education at a program sanctioned by one of these organizations are able to challenge for certification. Go ahead and click on the links above to search their directories of programs in your area.

Choosing the right program for your specific circumstances usually requires some considerations. When weighing your possible choices, you may want to take these factors into account:

  • Take courses accredited by either the CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Find out the % of course grads passed their certification exam
  • See that classes will fit into your schedule
  • See that program costs fits in your budget

Similar to any decision, it is important to first determine what your main concerns are. If the cost of tuition is the most critical issue for you, that should be the first thing you find out about every program. You would then consider the second-most important thing to assist in narrowing the list down even further.

Return to this approach with every criteria that’s essential for you, and you’ll sooner or later have only a couple of programs to make a choice between. Making sure that the course you choose will fit your personal circumstances can significantly boost your likelihood of successfully graduating.

Step 3 – Complete an internship or acquire work experience

A prerequisite for most medical coding and billing certification exams is that the student must have already completed work experience or completed a professional internship. In order to satisfy this prerequisite, you should plan on doing an internship or working in a non-certified position for a area healthcare employer prior to the end of your education program.

Nearby companies often work hand in hand with accredited billing and coding schools to help coordinate internships or work experience for each student. It’s recommended that you get in touch with your teacher to see what opportunities are available to help you to get the experience necessary to become qualified for certification testing.

Step 4 – Successfully pass a certification exam

The official medical coding and billing certification tests administered in Colorado are the five major national examinations. The exams contain segments on each major area of knowledge you would have been exposed to in your training course.

Some of the major national certification tests recognized in Colorado are detailed below.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – These well-known, highly-regarded national credentials are provided by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and are respected by almost {all employers}.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This national credential is recognized by the majority of business employers, shows a well-rounded expertise in medical billing and coding, and may qualify its holder for any medical billing and coding job opening.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) is awarded to individuals who have finished a diversified course of study in medical coding training, and is accepted by virtually all employers.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS credential shows a targeted specialization in the competencies required to stand out in the billing and coding field.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – The CMBS and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) credentials signify advanced expertise in the responsibilities required in order to handle the billing and record-keeping at a medical care business office.

Medical billing and coding salary and jobs in Colorado

There is a higher than average need for medical coding and billing specialists throughout the country and in Colorado. Through the year 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a an amazing 32% increase in new opportunities for medical coding and billing specialists in Colorado. The bulk of new opportunities are likely to be created in physicians offices and hospitals. Some registrar facilities additionally hire records technicians.

Because of the rapid growth of EHRs (electronic health records) inside the healthcare industry, the medical coding and billing industry is particularly desirable for those planning on a career in health information.

Below is a list of the largest cities in Colorado and more data on medical billing and coding compensation by area and county.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO MSAHourly$16.10$25.15$36.79
Pueblo, CO MSAHourly$14.00$22.76$30.22
Northcentral Colorado BOSHourly$15.76$20.87$31.02
Grand Junction, CO MSAHourly$14.29$20.25$30.35
Fort Collins-Loveland, CO MSAHourly$14.48$19.76$33.01
Boulder, CO MSAHourly$15.27$19.27$31.05
Greeley, CO MSAHourly$14.40$19.17$29.33
Colorado Springs, CO MSAHourly$13.14$17.95$24.91
East and South Colorado BOSHourly$11.58$17.25$29.00
West Colorado BOSHourly$12.40$16.08$24.19