The demand for allied health workers is growing at an all time high and medical billing schools in Kansas are doing their part to fill that increasing demand. We use U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to show you how the career as a whole is growing and what to expect over the next decade. We also give you the steps to get certified and how you can get started today in a few easy steps.
How to become a medical coder or biller in Kansas
Medical coders and medical billers in Kansas are regulated at a national level. Though it is not demanded it is recommended that you get certified immediately for your own success and future!
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 Kansas?
The process for becoming a medical biller or coder in Kansas can be summed up in the following steps.
Step 1 – Do you plan to become certified?
The very first step you should take is deciding whether or not you’re going to get a certification, and the professional education it’ll require. Not only can this decision determine the jobs you will be eligible to interview for, but it’ll furthermore dictate how much time it will take before you start your career.
Although there will be an investment of time and money needed in order to become certified, the benefits that doing so gives you are substantial. Thanks to the increased amount of litigation that medical care professionals have to deal with and the corresponding jump in insurance costs, a large number of facilities now want their team members to have a certification.
This is additionally true among employers who’ve previously hired non-certified personnel. A growing number of business employers around the nation have started to require their non-certified staff to sign up for certification training courses as a condition of remaining employed.
With all of that said, it is possible to start trying to find a job as a non-certified medical coding and billing specialist right away should that be your choice. But then again, if you do choose to get your certification, you’ll be able to move on to Step 2 below.
Step 2 – Complete a formal training program
There are three different types of credentials that can be received by completing a formal medical billing and coding training program – certificate, an associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree. While each credential may qualify you for entry-level medical billing and coding openings, there are a number of significant distinctions between them.
Diplomas and Certificates
The curriculum for certificate or diploma programs focuses only on teaching you the everyday skills you’ll rely on as a biller or coder, and can oftentimes be finished in less than 12 months. Because these are typically the most-popular type of programs with students, they are frequently provided both on-campus and online by a range of schools. This is unlike associate and bachelor’s degree programs which require general education and other university classes too.
If your main career goal is to ultimately go into a specialized area of medicine or a professional-level position, two-year associate degree programs are usually the best way to go. Programs offering this degree are generally located at trade schools and junior colleges, so they usually have stricter admission standards that must be met.
The benefits of having an associate degree have a tendency to exceed those of the diploma or certificate, so the additional hurdles are usually regarded as being well worth it.
The four-year bachelor’s degree in medical coding and billing is the highest credential available, and covers the largest quantity of subject matter. These programs are administered by trade schools and traditional four-year colleges, so entrance requirements and tuition fees are normally greater.
The advantages of getting a bachelor’s degree are numerous, and consist of things such as better salary and increased opportunity for promotion.
No matter the approach you decide on, be certain that you base your choice on your future professional objectives and financial situation. In the event you have to begin your career right away, and are concerned with tuition costs, then the diploma program may be the best option. There is always the possibility of going back later and earning a degree after completing a diploma or certificate as well.
If you have a clear long-term professional goal in mind, though, then investing in an associate degree may be the better decision.
What to search for in a coding and billing program
Medical billing and coding programs in Kansas are obligated by state law to be approved by multiple agencies including the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). To become eligible to test for certification, you have to first finish a training course that is authorized by one of these bodies. Follow a link above to search for accredited schools.
It is very important to look for several factors when deciding where to sign up for courses. You should consider the following when comparing programs:
- Attend a program accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
- Find out % of graduates passed their certification exam
- Take classes that fit into your personal schedule
- MAke sure that the programs cost are going to be fit within your budget
We all have different goals that affect the choices we make. For example, if you are concerned with how much your classes will cost, you could begin by eliminating the training programs that are outside your budget. You could then give some thought to the second-most important thing to help narrow the list even more.
By simply following this step-by-step approach, you can narrow your list of options to a handful of classes. This greatly boosts your chances of choosing a program that will meet your requirements.
Step 3 – Do an internship or accumulate some job experience
Most medical billing and coding certification examinations require you to have completed an internship or acquire a certain amount of on-the-job experience prior to becoming approved to sit for the exam. Consequently, it’s highly recommended that you either go through an internship or an entry-level non-certified position while finishing your education.
Area businesses often work together with accredited coding and billing programs to help arrange internships or on-the-job experience for students. It is strongly recommended that you speak with your instructor to determine which solutions are available to help you secure the experience needed to be approved for certification testing.
Step 4 – Successfully pass a certification assessment
The state medical coding and billing certification examinations used in Kansas are the five primary national tests. These examinations contain sections on every major area of knowledge you would have studied in your course.
Some of the major national certification examinations recognized in Kansas are listed here.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – every employer.
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA certification is recognized by organizations throughout the country, and indicates that its holder has a well-rounded set of medical billing and coding skills.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA is presented to individuals who have completed a diversified curriculum in medical coding educaton, and is recognized by almost all business employers.
Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) presents a national credential for medical billing and coding specialists.
Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Ideally suited for individuals interested in concentrating on billing jobs, the CMBS and CMRT are certifications that symbolize advanced proficiencies in a number of billing-related skills.
Medical coder and biller salary and jobs in Kansas
There’s a very high need for medical billing and coding specialists throughout the U.S. and in Kansas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% growth in new job opportunities across the country and a 11% growth in the State of Kansas through 2024. Common workplaces are: general care facilities, hospitals and physicians offices. Certain registrar facilities additionally employ health information technicians.
Thanks to the fast growth of electronic health records (EHRs) in the healthcare industry, the coding and billing profession is quite popular for individuals considering a career in health information.
To view pay statistics for Kansas by region and county, please check out the table below.
|Kansas City, MO-KS MSA||Hourly||$13.13||$18.34||$28.41|
|Lawrence, KS MSA||Hourly||$11.24||$18.01||$23.51|
|St. Joseph, MO-KS MSA||Hourly||$12.32||$17.74||$24.65|
|Topeka, KS MSA||Hourly||$12.68||$17.61||$26.32|
|Manhattan, KS MSA||Hourly||$11.14||$17.33||$26.99|
|Southwest Kansas Balance of State Area||Hourly||$12.20||$16.49||$23.45|
|Northwest Kansas Balance of State Area||Hourly||$10.61||$15.76||$26.78|
|Wichita, KS MSA||Hourly||$11.65||$15.60||$23.16|
|Southeast Kansas Balance of State Area||Hourly||$11.01||$15.33||$23.35|
|Northeast Kansas Balance of State Area||Hourly||$10.38||$14.07||$23.08|