The time could not be any better to enroll in one of the accredited medical billing and coding schools in Kentucky! See what nces.ed.gov and bls.gov data is saying below and how to get started today! We cover the ins and outs of training and how you can start in a few steps below. We cover in detail the steps from enrollment to certification and it all just for your future success!

How to become a medical coding and billing specialist in Kentucky

All medical billers and coders in Kentucky are not required by law to hold a certification but it is highly recommended. Below are the national certifying bodies for all coders and billers in the medical field.

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 Kentucky?

Becoming a medical biller or coder in Kentucky is summarized in the four steps laid out below.

Step 1 – Do you plan to become certified?

Deciding whether or not to get certified is the very first step you will have to take if you’d like to start a career as a medical coding and billing specialist. Not only can this decision affect the jobs you’ll be eligible to apply for, but it can also determine how long it will take before you start working.

As you could likely guess, deciding to take some time to get certified provides some considerable benefits. Certification is also becoming viewed as a necessity by many facilities who see it as a way to safeguard their practices against potential litigation and soaring insurance premiums.

The trend toward mandatory certification has additionally begun to impact non-certified employees who have worked for years. In these instances, it is now very typical for the workplace to require their medical billing and coding personnel to enroll in training and earn their certification in order to remain employed.

Should you nevertheless choose not to get certified, then the next step is to begin looking for job openings for non-certified medical coding and billing specialists. The next step and the subsequent steps mentioned in this article are only necessary if you have made the decision to pursue certification.

Step 2 – Complete a formal training program

Another choice you’ll have to make is whether you want to earn a an associate degree in medical billing and coding, bachelor’s degree, or a certificate (called a “diploma” by some courses). Any of these awards can help you secure your first medical coding and billing position, but you’ll want to be aware of the advantages and drawbacks of each before choosing one.

Diplomas and Certificates

The curriculum for certificate or diploma programs concentrates solely on instructing you on the daily skills you’ll use as a medical coding and billing specialist, and can typically be completed in 12-15 months. A wide range of schools provide these sought after courses, and many of them are offered in an online format too. This is in contrast to associate and bachelor’s degree courses which include general education and additional university courses as well.

Associate Degree

If your career goal is to go into specialized healthcare or a professional-level job, associate degree programs are usually the better option. Admission prerequisites and tuition costs for these courses are higher as they tend to be offered at either traditional junior colleges or trade schools.

Having an associate degree could provide a number of advantages that one will not have with just a diploma or certificate, though.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degree courses typically last at a minimum four years, and ask students to attain a significant command of coding and billing basics, and other standard academic materials. Because these programs are provided only by four-year schools and trade programs, the expense of gaining this degree is usually much higher.

People who complete bachelor’s degrees in billing and coding are often seen as potential management candidates and are commonly paid like it.

Regardless of the approach you decide on, be certain that you base your choice on your future career goals and economic circumstances. In the event you need to begin working as soon as possible, and are concerned about college tuition fees, then the diploma approach is probably the better choice. A lot of medical coding and billing specialists choose to go back to school in the future and earn a degree after starting off with a diploma or certificate, so bear this in mind as well.

If you have a clear long-term professional objective in your mind, however, then investing in an associate degree might be the better decision.

What to search for in a coding and billing program

Medical coding and billing programs in Kentucky are obligated by state guidelines to be accredited by multiple organizations 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 challenge for certification, you have to first graduate from a training course that is approved by one of these organizations. Click a link above to search for accredited training courses near you.

It is important to look for a few factors when deciding upon where to enroll for courses. Think about the following features when comparing one program to another:

  • Take classes accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Get the actual % of course grads that have passed their certification test
  • See that all of your classes fit into your personal schedule
  • See that all the programs cost fits within your budget

Just like any decision, it is important to initially establish what your priorities are. If you are concerned with tuition costs, start your search by figuring out which programs fit into your budget. After that, go on to the second-most crucial thing (e.g. course availability, etc.) and apply that criteria to narrow down your possible choices.

Using this approach, it’s possible to cut your options down to only two or three schools. Doing this greatly improves your likelihood of selecting a course that will meet your needs.

Step 3 – Complete an internship or accumulate some job experience

Some of the coding and billing certification exams will require you to have completed an internship or complete a specific amount of workplace experience before becoming eligible to sit for testing. In order to satisfy this prerequisite, you need to consider doing an internship or working in a non-certified position for a community employer before the end of your education program.

Many accredited billing and coding programs make it possible for pupils reserve internships with area businesses. Nonetheless, it’s a good plan to figure out as early as possible if your school can assist you with this certification test prerequisite.

Step 4 – Complete the certification process

Medical billing and coding specialists in Kentucky must pass one of the national certification tests in order to complete their certification. The exams contain sections on all principal areas of knowledge you would’ve been exposed to in your course.

The most-popular main national certification tests administered in Kentucky are outlined here.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – These popular, highly-valued national credentials are awarded by the AAPC and are accepted by just about {all employers}.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This certification is recognized by the majority of business employers, shows a nicely balanced competency in medical billing and coding, and can qualify its owner for any kind of medical billing and coding job possibility.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) certification is a nationally-recognized certification that certifies its owner for a broad number of positions in medical coding.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) credential shows a focused expertise 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 symbolize advanced proficiencies in the tasks needed to be able to take care of the billing and record-keeping at a medical office.

Medical coding and salary salary and jobs in Kentucky

The need for medical billing and coding specialists is at record levels in not just Kentucky, but across the whole U.S. Through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 27% gain in additional job opportunities for medical coding and billing specialists in Kentucky. Popular workplaces are in general care facilities, hospitals and physicians offices. There will also be some need at registrar organizations.

The chance to become familiar with EHRs (electronic health records) makes the billing and coding field ideal for people interested in progressing into other positions in the health information industry.

Below you will find a list of the largest metropolitan areas in Kentucky and even more information on medical billing and coding compensation by area and county.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Yearly$25,070$38,040$62,840
KentuckyHourly$10.72$17.06$26.91
Yearly$22,310$35,480$55,970
Elizabethtown, KY MSAHourly$12.81$21.17$28.13
Yearly$26,640$44,040$58,520
Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN MSAHourly$13.64$19.71$31.21
Yearly$28,370$40,990$64,920
Lexington-Fayette, KY MSAHourly$11.29$19.08$28.25
Yearly$23,480$39,680$58,750
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN MSAHourly$10.66$17.07$26.46
Yearly$22,170$35,500$55,040
Evansville, IN-KY MSAHourly$10.77$16.77$24.11
Yearly$22,410$34,880$50,150
West Kentucky BOSHourly$10.31$15.84$23.55
Yearly$21,440$32,950$48,990
West Central Kentucky BOSHourly$10.64$15.82$25.21
Yearly$22,130$32,900$52,430
Bowling Green, KY MSAHourly$11.45$15.68$26.79
Yearly$23,820$32,610$55,710
Owensboro, KY MSAHourly$11.85$15.16$26.93
Yearly$24,640$31,530$56,010
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH MSAHourly$10.92$15.10$26.63
Yearly$22,720$31,400$55,390
South Central Kentucky BOSHourly$9.80$15.08$23.04
Yearly$20,380$31,380$47,910
Clarksville, TN-KY MSAHourly$12.23$15.01$24.72
Yearly$25,440$31,210$51,410
East Kentucky BOSHourly$9.05$14.43$23.56
Yearly$18,830$30,020$49,010