Medical coding and billing training in Missouri is growing fast and every year. See all the detail below with our data based on bls.gov and nces.ed.gov information. We cover the steps to get certified as a medical coder and we get into the ins and outs of training. The time to enroll could not be any better than now! See what we are talking about below!

How to become a medical billing specialist in Missouri

Although medical billers and coders are not mandated to be certified to work in Missouri. That being said, of the state’s employers prefer to hire certified candidates. The industry as a whole is regulated at a national level. Below are the national accrediting bodies for billing and coding specialists.

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 coding and billing specialist in Missouri?

Becoming a medical biller or coder in Missouri is detailed below in the following steps.

Step 1 – Determine if you want to earn a certification

The very first step you should take is to determine whether or not you are planning to earn a certification, and the formal education that will require. The decision will influence your future in two ways: the types of opportunities you will be allowed to interview for, and the time it will take you to become employed.

Despite the fact that there is a commitment of both time and money needed to get certified, the benefits that doing so provides are considerable. Certification is now seen as a necessity by a large number of employers who view it as a means to protect themselves against possible lawsuits and soaring insurance premiums.

This is even true for employers who have previously hired non-certified personnel. A growing number of business employers around the country have started to expect their non-certified assistants to sign up for certification classes as a condition of remaining employed.

With all of that said, you could begin searching for a position as a non-certified medical coding and billing specialist right away if that’s your choice. Step 2 and all subsequent steps shown in this article apply only if you have decided to pursue certification.

Step 2 – Finish the necessary education

There are a few different kinds of credentials that can be received by completing a professional medical billing and coding training program – a diploma (or “certificate”, as they are also called), an associate degree, and a bachelor’s degree. Either kind of credential is recognized by the majority of business employers, but make sure you are aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

Diplomas and Certificates

The traditional training course that awards a certificate or diploma lasts roughly one year and concentrates exclusively on getting students ready to cope with the daily duties of a medical coding and billing specialist. A wide array of institutions offer these sought after courses, and a lot of them are provided in an online format too. By comparison, associate and bachelor’s degree programs require students to attend extra classes in non-related subjects.

Associate Degree

Intended for students who wish to become employed in specialized settings and progress into other opportunities, associate degree programs are in-depth and last no less than two years. As traditional college degree programs, coursework for this credential is usually available from junior colleges and trade schools.

Nevertheless, with the greater investment needed to earn an associate degree, comes a larger number of benefits.

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degree courses normally last at least four years, and ask students to attain a considerable command of coding and billing basics, along with additional general education material. Because these programs are provided exclusively by four-year universities and vocational schools, the expense of obtaining this degree is normally much higher.

People who have bachelor’s degrees in billing and coding are usually viewed as potential management prospects and are frequently compensated accordingly.

Each of these alternatives is a viable approach to start your professional career, as long as it meets your personal goals and financial circumstances. The diploma or certificate approach tends to be the better way to go for people who are concerned about being able to commit the time and money necessary for an associate or bachelor’s degree. Keep in mind, that you could go back later and finish a degree after you’ve begun working.

If you have a definite long-term professional goal in your mind, though, then committing to an associate degree may be the right choice.

How to choose a coding and billing program

Medical billing and coding education in Missouri is governed by the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). You will need to complete a program sanctioned by one of these organizations if you wish to become approved to test for certification in the state. Above are links to databases of accredited schools.

There are a number of things you may want to look for when you are deciding on a course to enroll in. You’ll want to look at the following as you compare classes:

  • Find a program accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Find the actual % of prior program grads passed their certification exam
  • Make sure that all of your classes work into your schedule
  • Make sure that the programs cost are going to work within your budget

It is best to begin by listing, in order, the things that are most-important to you about a class. In case you’re concerned with tuition costs, begin your search by seeing which programs fit into your finances. Next, you can evaluate every course per your second-most essential requirement and to eliminate any that aren’t acceptable.

With this approach, it’s easy to limit your options down to only a few schools. By deciding between programs that match your needs, you’re far more apt to have a good outcome with your training.

Step 3 – Do an internship or acquire work experience

Many of the coding and billing certification tests require you to have completed an internship or have a specified amount of workplace experience before being eligible to challenge the exam. To help you meet this requirement, you should think about doing an internship or being employed in a non-certified job for a local business prior to the conclusion of your training program.

The majority of accredited billing and coding schools make it possible for pupils reserve internships with local employers. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to figure out as soon as possible if your school will help you with this certification examination requirement.

Step 4 – Pass your certification exam

The official medical billing and coding certification examinations administered in Missouri are the five main national examinations. The exams are made up of segments on each main area of knowledge you would have been exposed to in your study course.

Some of the major national certification examinations administered in Missouri are listed below.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – The well-known, highly-regarded national certifications are awarded by the AAPC and are recognized by almost {all employers}.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This credential is accepted by most facilities, represents a nicely balanced proficiency in medical billing and coding, and can qualify its holder for just about any medical billing and coding job opportunity.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA is granted to individuals who have completed a diversified course of study in medical coding studies, and is recognized by the majority of organizations.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) certification shows a specific specialization in the competencies needed to stand out in the billing and coding industry.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Ideally suited for anyone interested in focusing on billing roles, the CMBS and CMRT are certifications that represent advanced proficiencies in a range of billing-relevant competencies.

Medical coder and biller salary and jobs in Missouri

The demand for medical billing and coding specialists is at historic levels in not only Missouri, but throughout the whole U.S. Up through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10% gain in new opportunities for medical billing and coding specialists in Missouri. The majority of new positions are expected to be produced in hospitals and physicians offices. The remainder of positions may surface in the state and federal government job market.

As a result of the rapid expansion of EHRs (electronic health records) throughout the professional medical community, the billing and coding industry is particularly desirable with people interested in a career in health information.

To compare income information for Missouri by region and county, be sure to take a look at the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Yearly$25,070$38,040$62,840
MissouriHourly$12.38$18.92$28.79
Yearly$25,750$39,360$59,870
Columbia, MO MSAHourly$11.68$20.52$30.13
Yearly$24,290$42,680$62,670
St. Louis, MO-IL MSAHourly$12.62$20.17$28.99
Yearly$26,250$41,950$60,290
Jefferson City, MO MSAHourly$10.68$18.38$30.17
Yearly$22,210$38,230$62,760
Kansas City, MO-KS MSAHourly$13.13$18.34$28.41
Yearly$27,310$38,150$59,100
Central Missouri (BOS)Hourly$12.34$17.97$25.02
Yearly$25,660$37,380$52,050
St. Joseph, MO-KS MSAHourly$12.32$17.74$24.65
Yearly$25,620$36,890$51,270
Springfield, MO MSAHourly$11.33$16.75$27.91
Yearly$23,570$34,840$58,040
Southwest Missouri BOSHourly$10.49$15.82$22.95
Yearly$21,810$32,900$47,730
Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL MSAHourly$9.26$15.77$27.10
Yearly$19,270$32,800$56,360
Joplin, MO MSAHourly$10.81$15.30$26.07
Yearly$22,490$31,830$54,230
Southeast Missouri BOSHourly$10.22$14.38$23.43
Yearly$21,260$29,920$48,730
North Missouri BOSHourly$9.78$14.06$23.23
Yearly$20,340$29,240$48,310
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO MSAHourly$10.14$13.65$23.55
Yearly$21,100$28,400$48,980