If medical coding and billing classes in Iowa interest you, the latest article from us below has you covered! From bls.gov and nces.ed.gov data to the steps to coding certification, we cover it all. The time could not be any better for you to get in to the medical career as a whole and get on your way to certification. Lets not waste anymore time and get started!

Becoming a medical coding and billing specialist in Iowa

The medical billing and coding industry is regulated at the national level and because of that medical billers and coders in Iowa need for certification does not come from the state level but it is recommended highly by the states employers.

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 coder or biller in Iowa?

To see the process for becoming a medical biller or coder in Iowa is detailed in the following four steps.

Step 1 – Do you want to pursue a certification?

Prior to anything else, you will first need to decide if you’re going to earn a certification, or look for a job without one. The decision could impact your future in two significant ways: the kinds of opportunities you will be eligible to interview for, and how long it will take you to become employed.

Although there is going to be a commitment of time and money required to become certified, the benefits that doing so gives you are significant. Furthermore, a lot of employers now require that their team members get certified in an effort to safeguard them against soaring insurance premiums and lawsuits.

The shift toward compulsory certification has additionally started to impact non-certified workers who have been employed for years. In such cases, it is now quite typical for the workplace to call for their medical billing and coding staff to enroll in training and get their certification so as to remain employed.

With all of that said, you could begin trying to find a position as a non-certified medical billing and coding specialist right away if that’s your preference. Step 2 and the later steps shown in this article apply only if you’ve chosen to get a certification.

Step 2 – Finish the necessary education

You’ll find three different types of credentials that may be received by finishing a professional medical coding and billing training course – certificate, two-year associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree. Although each credential can qualify you for starting medical coding and billing opportunities, there are several significant distinctions between them.

Diplomas and Certificates

The basic program that gives a diploma or certificate lasts approximately 12-15 months and focuses exclusively on training students to cope with the routine duties of a medical coding and billing specialist. These courses are offered through a wide range of institutions, and might also be available online. In comparison, associate and bachelor’s degree programs mandate students to attend other classes in non-related fields.

Associate Degree

Tailored toward individuals who wish to work in specialized jobs and progress into other positions, associate degree programs are in-depth and last no less than two years. Training programs awarding this credential are often hosted by trade schools and community colleges, so they often have tougher admission standards that must be satisfied.

The advantages of having an associate degree tend to far outweigh the ones from the diploma or certificate, and so the added challenges are generally considered to be well worth it.

Bachelor’s Degree

For students who wish to build the strongest comprehension of coding and billing, while also getting a nicely balanced education, bachelor’s degree programs are normally the ideal option. Given that these programs are provided exclusively by four-year colleges and vocational schools, the cost of acquiring this degree is usually much higher.

Carrying a bachelor’s degree is usually looked at by businesses as a huge asset, and one can typically anticipate greater pay and responsibilities as a result.

No matter which option you decide on, be sure to base your choice on your future professional goals and financial circumstances. In the event you have to start working sooner rather than later, and are concerned with college tuition costs, then the diploma approach may be the better choice. Keep in mind, that you can always go back in the future and earn a degree after you’ve started working.

If you are planning on moving forward quickly in your medical career, and have a greater destination on your mind, then the extra time and expense required to complete a degree may make sense for you.

How to choose a billing and coding program

Medical billing and coding training in Iowa is governed by the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Only those students who finish their schooling at a program approved by one of these organizations are allowed to challenge for certification in the state. Click on the links above to browse their databases of programs near you.

Deciding on the right training for your particular circumstances typically involves some considerations. You should look at the following when comparing training programs:

  • Get training thta’s accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Gather the percentage of prior grads passed their certification exam
  • Fit your studies in to your schedule
  • Get your overall school costs in order

All of us have different priorities that influence the decisions we make. In the event that the cost of tuition is the most critical thing for you, make that the first thing you learn about every program. You should then give some thought to the second-most important thing to assist in narrowing your list even further.

Return to this method with every criteria that is essential to you, and you should at some point have only a few programs to choose between. By deciding between training programs that match your needs, you are a lot more likely to have a good outcome with your training.

Step 3 – Complete an internship or get work experience

Most of the coding and billing certification exams will require you to have completed an internship or have a specific amount of workplace experience in advance of being eligible to challenge testing. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you either complete an internship or an entry-level non-certified job during your schooling.

Many accredited medical coding and billing programs help students reserve internships with area employers. Nonetheless, it’s a good plan to learn as soon as possible if your program will help you with this certification exam requirement.

Step 4 – Finish the official certification process

The official medical coding and billing certification examinations used in Iowa are the five major national tests. These assessments incorporate segments on all major areas of knowledge you would have covered in your course.

Some of the main national certification examinations recognized in Iowa are detailed here.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – Among the most-recognized, and most-respected of the medical billing and coding certifications, the CPC and CPB credentials are sponsored by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This national credential is respected by the majority of employers, stands for a nicely balanced expertise in medical billing and coding, and may qualify its holder for any medical billing and coding job opportunity.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) is awarded to graduates who have completed a diverse program in medical coding studies, and is recognized by virtually all employers.

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

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – The Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) certifications symbolize advanced expertise in the responsibilities needed to handle the billing and record-keeping at a healthcare business office.

Medical coder and biller salary and jobs in Iowa

Demand for medical coding and billing specialists is at historic levels in not only Iowa, but throughout the entire U.S. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 15% growth in brand new spots for medical coding and billing specialists nationally up through 2024, the government is expecting to witness a 12% increase in Iowa. Hospitals, physicians offices and outpatient clinics are projected to fill the vast majority of these added positions. There may also be limited demand at registry organizations.

The potential to become comfortable with electronic health records (EHRs) makes the coding and billing field ideal for individuals considering progressing into another career in the health information field.

To check out salary data for Iowa by location and county, feel free to take a look at the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Iowa City, IA MSAHourly$16.22$22.64$29.92
Cedar Rapids, IA MSAHourly$14.07$19.50$33.45
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA MSAHourly$13.36$18.62$27.54
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA MSAHourly$12.98$17.89$24.94
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA MSAHourly$11.26$17.73$27.51
Ames, IA MSAHourly$12.88$17.01$25.04
Northeast Iowa BOSHourly$12.73$17.01$24.13
Southwest Iowa BOSHourly$12.56$16.67$23.45
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL MSAHourly$10.86$15.72$25.68
Northwest Iowa BOSHourly$12.04$15.35$21.03
Southeast Iowa BOSHourly$12.37$15.33$28.77
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSAHourly$10.92$15.15$22.12
Dubuque, IA MSAHourly$12.27$14.14$22.17