The medical and allied health field is growing at a record pace across the nation and medical coding and billing programs in Indiana are filling their classes to satisfy the demand. We will walk you through the steps necessary to get on your way towards billing and coding certification in a few steps!
How to become a medical billing and coding specialist in Indiana
Since the medical billing and coding field is regulated at a national level the state of Indiana does not require certification for employment. But it is much harder to find success in the industry without it.
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 Indiana?
The process for becoming a medical biller or coder in Indiana can be done by following the four steps laid out below.
Step 1 – Determine if you are going to pursue your certification
Making the decision if you’re going to get certified is the very first step you’ll want to take if you would like to start working as a medical coding and billing specialist. Not only will this decision determine the jobs you will be able to apply for, but it will furthermore dictate how long it will take before you can start your career.
Obviously, there are far more pros than cons to holding a certification. With the increased amount of litigation that medical professionals have to deal with and the corresponding rise in insurance premiums, the majority of employers now require their team members to have a certification.
Even healthcare facilities that retain the services of non-certified medical billing and coding specialists have started to adjust their positions. A growing range of employers across the country have begun to require their non-certified assistants to register for certification training in order to remain employed.
Should you still choose against getting certified, then the second step is to begin applying for employment opportunities for non-certified medical coding and billing specialists. Step 2 and the subsequent steps shown in this article are only necessary if you’ve decided to pursue certification.
Step 2 – Complete a formal training program
There are a few different types of credentials that can be earned by graduating from a professional medical coding and billing training program – diploma, two-year associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree. All three of these awards can help you find a medical coding and billing job, but you’ll want to be aware of the benefits and drawbacks to each before choosing one.
Diplomas and Certificates
The curriculum for diploma or certificate classes concentrates only on instructing you on the everyday skills you’re going to rely on as a medical coding and billing specialist, and can often be completed in 12-15 months. A wide range of institutions provide these sought after programs, and a lot of them are provided in an online format as well. This is a significant difference from associate and bachelor’s degree programs that have the very same additional requirements as standard college courses.
If your career goal is to advance into a specialized area of medicine or a professional-level job, two-year associate degree courses are usually the better way to go. As regular college degree programs, coursework for this credential is most often provided by junior colleges and vocational schools.
Nevertheless, along with the additional investment needed to complete an associate degree, comes an even greater range of advantages.
Bachelor’s degree programs typically last at a minimum four years, and expect students to acquire a profound mastery of billing and coding principles, as well as other general college materials. These types of programs are administered by vocational schools and traditional four-year universities, so admissions standards and tuition fees are normally higher.
Carrying a bachelor’s degree is often regarded by employers as a significant advantage, and one can usually anticipate higher wages and responsibilities as a consequence.
Regardless of the program you decide on, be certain that you base your decision on your extended career objectives and economic circumstances. The certificate or diploma approach tends to be the better way to go for people who are concerned with being capable of committing the time and expense necessary for an associate or bachelor’s degree. There is always the possibility of going back later and pursuing a degree after completing a diploma or certificate as well.
If you have a definite long-term career goal in mind, though, then committing to an associate degree program can be the right decision.
How to choose a medical billing and coding program in IN
Medical billing and coding education in Indiana is governed by the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). In order for you to become eligible to test for certification, you will need to first finish a program that is sanctioned by one of these bodies. Search databses of schools with the links above.
Deciding on the right program for your particular circumstances usually involves several considerations. When comparing your choices, you may want to take these factors into consideration:
- Attend classes and courses currently accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
- Find out what the % was of course grads that passed their certification exam
- Do your best to fit school time into your personal schedule
- Verify all costs for school will fit within your budget
It is best to begin by ranking, in order, the things which are most-important for you about a class. For instance, if you’re worried about how much your training will cost, you should start off by eliminating any training programs that don’t fit your budget. After that, go on to the second-most significant thing (e.g. class schedules, etc.) and apply that criteria to narrow down your choices.
With this approach, it is easy to limit your options down to only a couple of schools. This considerably improves your likelihood of choosing a training course that will fit your requirements.
Step 3 – Do an internship or accumulate some job experience
A prerequisite for many of the billing and coding certification tests is that the applicant needs to have previously acquired on-the-job experience or completed a professional internship. To help you meet this requirement, you need to think about finishing an internship or working in a non-certified position for a community business prior to the end of your training program.
Local employers oftentimes work together with accredited coding and billing schools to help coordinate internships or work experience for each student. It’s recommended that you speak with your instructor to determine what solutions are available to make it easier to acquire the experience necessary to be approved for certification testing.
Step 4 – Finish the certification process
In the State of Indiana, you are legally required to pass one of the nationally-recognized exams for medical coding and billing certification. The assessments consist of sections on all important areas of knowledge you would have been exposed to in your training program.
The most-popular main national certification examinations administered in Indiana are detailed here.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – One of the best-known, and most-highly regarded of the medical billing and coding certifications, the CPC and CPB credentials are provided by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA certificate is well known by organizations all over the United States, and shows that its recipient owns a wide-ranging collection of medical billing and coding skills.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) certificate is a nationally-accepted credential that qualifies its recipient for a broad variety of roles in medical coding.
Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) credential signifies a focused specialization in the abilities required to succeed 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) national credentials stand for advanced competencies in the responsibilities necessary in order to maintain the billing and record-keeping at a healthcare facility’s office.
Medical billing and coding salary and jobs in Indiana
The need for medical coding and billing specialists is at record levels in not only Indiana, but across the whole U.S. Up through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 18% increase in additional positions for medical billing and coding specialists in Indiana. Popular workplaces are in general care facilities, hospitals and physicians offices. There should additionally be limited demand at registry agencies.
Due to the rapid growth of EHRs (electronic health records) inside the medical community, the medical billing and coding profession is quite desirable with those interested in a career in health information.
To review wage statistics for Indiana by location and county, be sure to check out the table below.
|Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSA||Hourly||$13.64||$19.71||$31.21|
|Michigan City-La Porte, IN MSA||Hourly||$13.01||$18.50||$24.15|
|Indianapolis-Carmel, IN MSA||Hourly||$12.51||$18.38||$30.13|
|Terre Haute, IN MSA||Hourly||$11.05||$17.74||$27.26|
|Northeast Indiana BOS||Hourly||$11.42||$17.59||$23.22|
|Fort Wayne, IN MSA||Hourly||$11.62||$17.24||$27.46|
|Columbus, IN MSA||Hourly||$10.53||$17.16||$33.47|
|Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN MSA||Hourly||$10.66||$17.07||$26.46|
|Evansville, IN-KY MSA||Hourly||$10.77||$16.77||$24.11|
|South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI MSA||Hourly||$12.33||$16.71||$23.39|
|Elkhart-Goshen, IN MSA||Hourly||$12.24||$16.65||$23.58|
|Kokomo, IN MSA||Hourly||$11.62||$16.54||$28.14|
|Muncie, IN MSA||Hourly||$12.05||$16.34||$43.87|
|Northwest Indiana BOS||Hourly||$11.75||$16.20||$26.65|
|Gary, IN Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$10.45||$15.80||$27.30|
|Southwest/ Southeast Indiana BOS||Hourly||$10.57||$14.94||$24.89|
|Bloomington, IN MSA||Hourly||$10.35||$13.87||$23.99|