Are you considering taking medical billing and coding classes in Nebraska? If you answered “yes”, we have all the details and insight in to the training process and much much more! We walk you through the steps to become a biller and coder below.
Becoming a medical billing and coding specialist in Nebraska
Medical billing and coding specialists in Nebraska are regulated at a national level by the associations listed below.
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 Nebraska?
The not so demanding process for becoming a medical biller or coder in Nebraska is detailed in the following steps.
Step 1 – Decide if you plan to get certified
The very first step you must take is to decide whether or not you’re planning to pursue certification, and the professional training it’ll require. This decision will influence your future in two ways: the type of positions you’ll be able to apply for, and how long it’ll take for you to become employed.
As you may likely assume, choosing to take some time to become certified provides some important benefits. Certification is now seen as a prerequisite by some facilities who see it as a way to protect their practices against potential litigation and rising insurance rates.
Even medical institutions that retain the services of non-certified medical coding and billing specialists are starting to alter their stances. As a condition of continuing employment, non-certified employees are now being asked by employers to get a certification.
Nonetheless, it is possible to start searching for a job as a non-certified medical billing and coding specialist right away if you have decided against enrolling in formal training. The next step and all later steps discussed in this article are only needed if you’ve made the decision to earn a certification.
Step 2 – Finish the necessary education
Medical billing and coding programs award three different types of credentials to graduates: a two-year 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 entry-level medical billing and coding openings, there are some important differences between them.
Diplomas and Certificates
The typical training course that awards a diploma or certificate lasts roughly 12 months and concentrates exclusively on preparing students to manage the daily tasks of a coder or biller. A wide array of schools provide these sought after courses, and some of them are made available in an online format as well. This is a big difference from associate and bachelor’s degree programs that hold similar additional requirements as regular university classes.
Associate degree programs are typically two years long, and the information discussed is much more comprehensive in scope. Admission prerequisites and tuition for these programs are more substantial as they are generally offered by either traditional junior colleges or trade schools.
Nevertheless, along with the additional commitment necessary to complete an associate degree, comes a larger number of benefits.
For students who want to build the strongest comprehension of coding and billing, while at the same time getting a well-balanced education, bachelor’s degree courses are normally the best choice. These kinds of programs are offered by trade schools and regular four-year colleges, so entrance prerequisites and tuition fees are normally higher.
The benefits of getting a bachelor’s degree are many, and include things such as greater pay and increased opportunity for promotion.
Regardless of the option you decide on, be certain that you base your decision on your future career objectives and economic situation. If you have to start your career sooner rather than later, and are concerned with college tuition costs, then the diploma route may be the right choice. There is the possibility of going back later and pursuing a higher degree after earning a diploma or certificate as well.
If you have a clear long-term career goal on your mind, however, then committing to an associate degree program can be the right choice.
What to search for in a coding and billing program
The organizations in charge of regulating medical coding and billing classes in Nebraska include the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). You must complete a program approved by one of these bodies in order to become eligible to challenge to become certified in the state. Click on a link above to search accredited schools in your area.
It is very important to check out several factors when deciding on where to register for courses. You should think about the following when comparing training programs:
- Take training at a program currently accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
- Get the previous % of course graduates that passed their certification exam
- Take classes that fit into your personal schedule
- Get your cost of education to be within your budget
It is best to start off by ranking, in order, the things that are most-important for you about a class. For example, if you’re concerned with the amount your training will cost, you can start by eliminating any training programs that don’t fit your budget. You would then give some thought to the second-most pressing thing to help narrow your list down a little bit more.
Using this approach, it’s easy to limit your options down to just two or three schools. Doing this considerably improves your probability of selecting a course that will meet all of your needs.
Step 3 – Finish an internship or get job experience
Many coding and billing certification exams will require you to have finished an internship or have a specified amount of job experience prior to becoming approved to sit for testing. To help you satisfy this prerequisite, you need to consider completing an internship or being employed in a non-certified position for a community medical employer before the end of your training program.
Area employers oftentimes work hand in hand with accredited coding and billing schools to help arrange internships or work experience for each student. Nevertheless, it is a good plan to figure out whenever possible if your program can help you with this certification test requirement.
Step 4 – Complete the official certification process
The state medical coding and billing certification exams given in Nebraska are the five major national examinations. These exams incorporate sections on each main area of knowledge you would have covered in your training course.
Several of the main national certification tests administered in Nebraska are shown below.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – every employer.
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This credential is recognized by nearly all business employers, represents a nicely balanced expertise in medical billing and coding, and could qualify its holder for almost any medical billing and coding job possibility.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) is granted to students who have finished a diversified curriculum in medical coding studies, and is recognized by virtually all business employers.
Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS offers a national credential for medical billing and coding specialists.
Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – The CMBS and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) certifications represent advanced proficiencies in the tasks that are necessary in order to handle the billing and record-keeping at a medical care facility’s office.
Medical billing and coding salary and jobs in Nebraska
The demand for medical billing and coding specialists is at record levels in not just Nebraska, but across the whole U.S. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% growth in brand new positions for medical billing and coding specialists across the nation through 2024, the agency is expecting to find a 13% increase in Nebraska. The vast majority of new positions are likely to be produced in physicians offices and hospitals. The balance of opportunities should surface in the government job market.
Because of the rapid expansion of EHRs (electronic health records) throughout the healthcare community, the billing and coding industry is extremely desirable for people planning on a career in health information.
To compare wage data for Nebraska by location and county, feel free to check out the table below.
|Northeastern Nebraska BOS||Hourly||$12.71||$19.06||$24.88|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA MSA||Hourly||$13.36||$18.62||$27.54|
|Southeastern Nebraska BOS||Hourly||$13.42||$17.41||$26.90|
|Lincoln, NE MSA||Hourly||$13.13||$17.25||$24.29|
|Western Nebraska BOS||Hourly||$12.57||$16.97||$26.68|
|Central Nebraska BOS||Hourly||$11.05||$16.30||$25.79|
|Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSA||Hourly||$10.92||$15.15||$22.12|