See what you can expect in medical billing and coding courses in Louisiana and how you can get started in a few steps. See what the details of training are and how the allied health career is growing as a whole at a furious rate. From enrollment to certification, we cover it for you, so lets get started below!
How to become a medical biller or coder in Louisiana
Below are the national certifying bodies for all medical billing and coding specialists in Louisiana and across the nation. Though it is not required it is highly recommended to be certified as soon as you can.
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 Louisiana?
Becoming a medical biller or coder in Louisiana can be summarized in the following 4 steps listed below.
Step 1 – Determine if you are going to get your certification
Before anything else, you will first need to figure out if you’re going to earn a medical billing and coding certification, or seek out a position without one. This choice is important as it may have a significant impact on not only the amount of time it requires for you to begin your career, but also the kinds of jobs you can apply for.
As you could probably guess, choosing to take the time to become certified provides some considerable benefits. Being certified is also becoming viewed as a necessity by many employers who view it as a means to safeguard their practices against potential lawsuits and soaring insurance rates.
This is also true for employers who have traditionally hired non-certified staff. In such cases, it’s now quite typical for the employer to call for their medical billing and coding team to go to training and earn their certification in order to remain employed.
If you nevertheless choose not to get certified, then the next move is to start looking for employment opportunities for non-certified medical billing and coding specialists. The next step and all subsequent steps shown in this guide apply only if you’ve decided to pursue certification.
Step 2 – Finish the necessary education
Medical coding and billing programs give three types of credentials to students: an associate degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, and a diploma (alternately referred to as a “certificate”). Even though all three credentials may qualify you for starting medical coding and billing opportunities, there are several significant differences between them.
Diplomas and Certificates
The typical training course that awards a diploma or certificate lasts about 12-15 months and concentrates exclusively on preparing students to manage the day-to-day tasks of a biller or coder. A wide variety of schools provide these popular programs, and a lot of them are provided in an online format as well. This is a significant change from associate and bachelor’s degree programs that hold similar additional requirements as traditional college courses.
If your main career objective is to move into a specialized field of medicine or a professional-level position, associate degree courses are generally the best way to go. Admission requirements and tuition costs for these programs are more substantial as they are generally offered by either trade schools or junior colleges.
Having an associate degree can give you many benefits that one may not enjoy with just a certificate or diploma, though.
Bachelor’s degree courses generally last at least four years, and expect students to build a profound command of coding and billing basics, as well as additional basic college subject matter. These programs are administered by trade schools and traditional four-year colleges, so entrance standards and tuition expenses are normally higher.
The rewards of holding a bachelor’s degree are numerous, and consist of things like higher pay and greater opportunity for promotion.
Either of these alternatives is a good approach to begin your professional career, provided that it matches your personal objectives and economic circumstances. The diploma or certificate route is typically the best option for people who are concerned about being able to spend the time and money necessary for an associate or bachelor’s degree. There is the option of returning to college later and getting a higher degree after receiving one of these credentials as well.
The better option is probably the associate or bachelor’s degree in cases where you have a clear career goal that will require college at some point.
How to pick a medical billing and coding program
Medical coding and billing training in Louisiana is managed by the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Only those graduates who finish their education at a program accredited by one of these bodies will be allowed to challenge for certification. Go ahead and click on the links above to look through their directories of schools in your area.
There are several things you need to look for when selecting a course to enroll in. Take into account the following features in a program when comparing it against another:
- Only attend courses that are currently accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
- Get percentage of prior grads passed their certification exam
- Be sure that all your classes fit into your personal schedule
- Be sure that all the programs costs are going to fit in your budget
Each one of us has different concerns that affect the choices we make. If you are worried about tuition costs, start your search by finding out which programs match your budget. You would then think about the second-most important thing to assist in narrowing your list down even further.
By following this step-by-step approach, you can narrow your choices to a couple of courses. This greatly improves your likelihood of choosing a course that will fit all of your needs.
Step 3 – Do an internship or get job experience
Many medical billing and coding certification examinations require you to have finished an internship or have a specified amount of work experience before being approved to sit for the examination. For this reason, it’s strongly suggested that you either go through an internship or a non-certified position during your schooling.
Nearby businesses sometimes work together with accredited medical coding and billing programs to help setup internships or work experience for each student. It’s recommended that you consult with your teacher to figure out what opportunities are available to let you gain the experience necessary to become qualified for certification testing.
Step 4 – Complete the certification process
The state medical coding and billing certification tests administered in Louisiana are the five main national tests. These assessments are made up of sections on each major area of knowledge you would’ve studied in your training course.
The most-popular main national certification examinations administered in Louisiana are shown below.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – every facility.
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This national credential is respected by almost all facilities, represents a well-rounded expertise in medical billing and coding, and could qualify its owner for just about any medical billing and coding job opening.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) is presented to graduates who have completed a diversified program in medical coding studies, and is accepted by nearly all facilities.
Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS credential symbolizes a chosen expertise in the skills necessary to succeed in the billing and coding field.
Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Suitable for individuals interested in specializing in billing jobs, the CMBS and CMRT are certifications that show high level proficiencies in a range of billing-related skills.
Medical billing and coding salary and jobs in Louisiana
In Louisiana, and the rest of the nation, the demand is extremely high for medical billing and coding specialists. Whereas the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 15% growth in brand new openings for medical coding and billing specialists across the nation through 2024, the government is expecting to witness a 21% growth in Louisiana. Popular workplaces are: general care facilities, hospitals and physicians offices. There may additionally be limited need at registry agencies.
The potential to become acquainted with electronic health records (EHRs) makes the billing and coding profession perfect for people planning on progressing into another career in the health information field.
The subsequent list reflects specifics on medical coding and billing specialist salary in Louisiana by location.
|Shreveport-Bossier City, LA MSA||Hourly||$9.41||$16.97||$26.73|
|Monroe, LA MSA||Hourly||$11.47||$16.39||$22.44|
|Alexandria, LA MSA||Hourly||$10.56||$15.88||$25.03|
|Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA MSA||Hourly||$10.76||$15.78||$22.66|
|New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA MSA||Hourly||$10.85||$15.68||$23.08|
|New Iberia BOS||Hourly||$11.33||$14.88||$22.28|
|Baton Rouge, LA MSA||Hourly||$10.44||$14.60||$25.07|
|Lafayette, LA MSA||Hourly||$10.30||$14.39||$19.56|
|Lake Charles, LA MSA||Hourly||$9.26||$13.17||$18.35|