With the medical field expanding at a historic pace across the country, there is plenty of opportunity for individuals to get in to medical billing and coding courses in New Jersey if they want to become a medical biller. The time could not be any better to enroll in to training and we show you what to expect from start to finish.
How to become a medical biller or coder in New Jersey
Although medical billers and coding specialists are not mandated by law to hold a certification in order to be emplyed in the state of New Jersy, most of the state’s employers do prefer to hire certified individuals. The medical billing and coding profession in New Jersey is regulated on a national level.
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 billing and coding specialist in New Jersey?
The simple process for becoming a medical biller or coder in New Jersey is detailed and summarized below in the following four steps.
Step 1 – Do you want to get certified?
Prior to anything else, you will first need to figure out if you are going to get a medical billing and coding certification, or try to find a job without one. Not only can this choice affect the roles you may be eligible to apply for, but it’ll also dictate the amount of time it’ll take before you are able to start your career.
Needless to say, there are more pros than cons to holding a certification. Furthermore, the majority of employers now demand that their team members get certified in order to safeguard them against soaring insurance premiums and lawsuits.
Even medical care facilities that employ non-certified medical billing and coding specialists have started to adjust their stances. An increasing range of business employers around the country have begun to ask their non-certified staff to sign up for certification classes as a condition of remaining employed.
Nonetheless, it’s possible to begin searching for a position as a non-certified medical billing and coding specialist immediately if you have decided not to enroll in professional training. The balance of the process laid out in this guide only applies should you make the choice to become certified.
Step 2 – Finish the necessary education
Another choice you’ll have to make is whether you want to get a an associate degree in medical billing and coding, four-year bachelor’s degree, or a certificate (called a “diploma” by some courses). All three of these credentials can help you get a medical billing and coding job, but you will need to be aware of the disadvantages and advantages of each before deciding on one.
Diplomas and Certificates
The syllabus for diploma or certificate programs concentrates entirely on showing you the daily skills you’re going to make use of as a biller or coder, and can usually be finished in 12-15 months. These programs are offered at a variety of institutions, and may even be offered online. This is a significant difference from associate and bachelor’s degree programs that hold similar additional requirements as traditional college courses.
If your primary career objective is to go into a specialized area of medicine or a professional-level job, two-year associate degree programs are typically the better choice. Programs awarding this credential are normally hosted by trade schools and junior colleges, so they commonly have tougher admission standards that have to be met.
Nevertheless, with the greater investment necessary to earn an associate degree, comes a larger number of benefits.
For those who would like to obtain the greatest comprehension of billing and coding, while also getting a well-rounded college education, bachelor’s degree programs are probably the preferred choice. These kinds of programs are provided by vocational schools and traditional four-year schools, so admissions standards and tuition costs are generally higher.
The benefits of earning a bachelor’s degree are many, and include things like better salary and increased opportunity for promotion.
Each of these alternatives is a viable approach to begin your professional career, provided that it fits your personal aspirations and economic circumstances. For anyone worried about the costs and time required to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree, the diploma route is typically the right way to go. There is the option of returning to school later and earning a higher degree after earning one of these credentials as well.
Should you have a clear long-term professional objective in your mind, however, then investing in an associate degree may be the better choice.
How to choose a billing and coding program
The organizations in charge of overseeing medical billing and coding programs in New Jersey include the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Only students who finish their training at a program approved by one of these organizations are allowed to test for certification in the state. Feel free to click on the links above to search their directories of programs in your area.
It is very important to consider several factors when deciding where to register for courses. You’ll want to consider the following as you compare programs:
- Only attend classes and courses that are currently accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
- Find out what percentage of course graduates passed their certification exam
- Get all your classes to easily fit into your personal schedule
- Verify that the programs cost are going to easily fit in your budget
You’ll want to start off by ranking, in order, the things that are most-significant for you about a program. In the event that the cost of classes is the most critical thing for you, make that the first thing you learn about a program. You could then give some thought to the second-most important thing to help narrow your list down a little bit more.
Applying this approach, it is possible to limit your possibilities down to only a handful of schools. Doing this vastly boosts your chances of selecting a program that will meet your needs.
Step 3 – Complete an internship or acquire work experience
A prerequisite for most medical billing and coding certification tests is that the test-taker needs to have already completed work experience or finished a formal internship. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you either find an internship or an entry-level non-certified position during your schooling.
Nearby employers often work together with accredited medical coding and billing schools to help coordinate internships or work experience for students. Nonetheless, it’s a good strategy to figure out as soon as possible if your program will assist you with this certification exam prerequisite.
Step 4 – Successfully pass a certification exam
Medical billing and coding specialists in New Jersey need to pass one of the five national certification exams to receive their certification. These examinations are made up of segments on all important areas of knowledge you would’ve covered in your study course.
The most-popular major national certification tests recognized in New Jersey are detailed here.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – every workplace.
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – This certification is accepted by most business employers, represents a nicely balanced competency in medical billing and coding, and could qualify its holder for any medical billing and coding job opportunity.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA certificate is a nationally-respected certification that certifies its recipient for a broad variety of jobs in medical coding.
Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) presents a certification for medical billing and coding specialists.
Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Suitable for individuals planning on focusing on billing roles, the CMBS and CMRT are credentials that show high level proficiencies in a variety of billing-related competencies.
Medical billing and coding salary and jobs in New Jersey
The need for medical billing and coding specialists is at record levels in not only New Jersey, but throughout the whole U.S. Up through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 8% gain in additional positions for medical coding and billing specialists in New Jersey. The vast majority of new openings are likely to be produced in hospitals and physicians offices. There may additionally be limited demand at registrar organizations.
As a consequence of the rapid growth of EHRs (electronic health records) inside the professional medical community, the billing and coding industry is extremely popular for people considering working in health information.
To review income data for New Jersey by location and county, be sure to check out the table below.
|Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$18.06||$28.51||$41.21|
|Trenton-Ewing, NJ MSA||Hourly||$13.77||$25.56||$37.54|
|Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$16.88||$23.81||$34.47|
|Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$13.55||$18.51||$28.73|
|Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ MSA||Hourly||$12.71||$16.69||$26.48|