Get in to one of the fastest growing allied health careers with medical coding and billing courses in Florida. The demand for qualified workers is extremely high and we are here to showcase the career as a whole and provide our readers with the steps to get started in the process of coding certification.

Becoming a medical coding and billing specialist in Florida

Not technically mandated by the state of Florida, certification is basically a must for aspiring medical coders and billers. Below are the national certifying organizations that regulate the industry as a whole.

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 billing and coding specialist in Florida?

If you want to see the process for becoming a medical biller or coder in Florida, it is summarized in the following steps.

Step 1 – Do you plan to earn a certification?

The first step you must take is to consider if you are going to become certified, and the professional schooling it’ll require. This choice can impact your career in two major ways: the type of jobs you will be eligible to apply for, and the amount of time it’ll take you to get a job.

Needless to say, there are far more pros than cons to holding a certification. Thanks to the increased amount of litigation that medical professionals face and the corresponding surge in insurance premiums, most employers now require their employees to have a certification.

This is even true of employers who previously hired non-certified personnel. As a requirement of continuing employment, non-certified personnel are frequently being asked by employers to get a certification.

Regardless, it’s possible to get started searching for a position as a non-certified medical billing and coding specialist immediately if you’ve opted against enrolling in professional training. But then again, should you decide to earn your certification, you should advance to Step 2 below.

Step 2 – Complete a formal training program

There are a few different kinds of credentials that might be earned by completing a professional medical billing and coding program – diploma, two-year associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree. Even though each credential can make you eligible for starting medical billing and coding positions, there are a number of important differences between them.

Diplomas and Certificates

Certificate or diploma programs can often be finished in 12 months or less, and concentrate their curriculum solely on the skill and practical knowledge required to begin working. Due to the fact that they are usually the most-sought after program format among students, they are typically provided both on-campus and online through a wide range of schools. This is in contrast to associate and bachelor’s degree programs which require general education and other college classes as well.

Associate Degree

Associate degree programs are generally two years long, and the material included is a lot more extensive in scope. As regular college degree programs, coursework for this credential is most often offered by vocational schools and junior colleges.

Nonetheless, with the additional investment required to earn an associate degree, comes an even greater number of benefits.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degree programs typically last at a minimum four years, and will require students to attain a considerable command of billing and coding theory, along with additional general academic materials. Since these programs are offered only by four-year educational institutions and vocational schools, the expense of acquiring this degree is typically significantly higher.

Holding a bachelor’s degree is often seen by employers as a significant asset, and one can usually expect higher salary and responsibilities as a result.

Each of these alternatives is a good way to start your professional career, provided that it matches your personal aspirations and economic situation. The certificate or diploma program is typically the better choice for people who are concerned about being capable of committing the money and time needed for an associate or bachelor’s degree. There is the possibility of going back later and pursuing a higher degree after earning a diploma or certificate too.

If you’re planning on advancing fairly quickly in your medical career, and have a greater destination on your mind, then the additional time and expense needed to complete a degree could make sense for you.

What to search for in a medical billing and coding program

Medical billing and coding training in Florida is governed by the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). You must graduate from a program approved by one of these bodies to become approved to challenge to become certified in the state. Follow the links above to search for accredited training programs.

It is very important to check out a few things when deciding upon where to sign up for training courses. As you weigh your choices, you should take these factors into account:

  • Attend courses that are accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Find out % of previous graduates passed their certification assessments
  • See that classes fit into your personal schedule
  • See that programs cost fits within your budget

Just like any decision, you need to first establish what your priorities are. If you’re concerned with tuition expenses, start your search by figuring out which programs fit into your budget. You would then think about the second-most pressing thing to assist in narrowing your list down even further.

By using this step-by-step process, you can narrow down your list of options to a handful of classes. By simply deciding between training programs that meet your requirements, you are a lot more apt to experience a good outcome with your training.

Step 3 – Do an internship or acquire job experience

Many of the billing and coding certification examinations call for you to have finished an internship or complete a certain amount of on-the-job experience prior to becoming approved to sit for the examination. In order to fulfill this prerequisite, you will want to plan on doing an internship or being employed in a non-certified role for a community employer before the end of your education program.

The majority of accredited coding and billing schools make it possible for each student reserve internships with local companies. It is recommended that you consult with your instructor to find out which opportunities are available to make it easier to acquire the experience necessary to be eligible for certification assessment.

h3>Step 4 – Complete the official certification process

In the State of Florida, you are required to pass one of the nationally-recognized examinations for medical coding and billing certification. The examinations are made up of segments on all principal areas of knowledge you would have covered in your training program.

The most-popular major national certification assessments recognized in Florida are detailed below.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – The well-known, highly-respected national credentials are awarded by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and are respected by virtually {all organizations}.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This certification is accepted by virtually all employers, signifies a well-rounded proficiency in medical billing and coding, and can qualify its holder for just about any medical billing and coding job opportunity.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA certificate is a nationally-accepted credential that certifies its holder for a broad number of opportunities in medical coding.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS offers a national credential for medical billing and coding specialists.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – A good choice for those considering focusing on billing tasks, the CMBS and CMRT are national credentials that show high level proficiencies in a range of billing-relevant abilities.

Medical coding and salary salary and jobs in Florida

There is a very high need for medical coding and billing specialists across the country and in Florida. Whereas the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% growth in brand new positions for medical billing and coding specialists nationally through 2024, the government expects to see a 24% increase in Florida. Popular workplaces are: general care facilities, hospitals and physicians offices. There should additionally be some need at registrar organizations.

The opportunity to become acquainted with EHRs (electronic health records) makes the medical coding and billing occupation perfect for those planning on progressing into another career in the health information industry.

The following listing provides data on medical coding and billing specialist salary in Florida by region.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Gainesville, FL MSAHourly$15.19$23.41$30.07
Naples-Marco Island, FL MSAHourly$14.23$21.00$60.64
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSAHourly$14.16$20.12$29.67
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$12.25$19.02$34.36
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$11.59$18.67$34.23
Northwest Florida BOSHourly$10.86$18.33$23.83
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSAHourly$12.46$18.20$32.66
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSAHourly$12.56$17.74$23.93
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL MSAHourly$12.20$17.45$37.08
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL Metropolitan DivisionHourly$12.35$17.33$29.34
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL MSAHourly$12.06$17.15$23.52
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL MSAHourly$13.00$17.02$24.67
Port St. Lucie, FL MSAHourly$9.46$16.78$24.03
Jacksonville, FL MSAHourly$11.92$16.63$25.54
North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL MSAHourly$11.84$16.45$30.44
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL MSAHourly$11.33$16.38$23.59
South Florida BOSHourly$10.64$16.18$22.53
Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, FL MSAHourly$11.22$15.80$23.56
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL MSAHourly$11.11$15.51$33.16
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL MSAHourly$9.02$14.59$23.41
Tallahassee, FL MSAHourly$10.00$14.52$23.55
Northeast Florida BOSHourly$10.43$14.46$23.74
Ocala, FL MSAHourly$9.48$14.38$26.53