If you choose to become a medical coding and billing specialist, enrolling in one of the accredited medical coding and billing schools in Oklahoma will set you on the correct career path! See what the next decade brings for the growing career in our latest free guide below.

Becoming a medical biller or coder in Oklahoma

Medical billers and coders in Oklahoma are regulated at a national level by the associations listed below. Find out more about certification with any of the links 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 coding and billing specialist in Oklahoma?

The step by step process for becoming a medical biller or coder in the Sooner State is detailed out in the following steps below.

Step 1 – Determine if you plan to get a certification

Making a decision whether or not to get certified is the first step you’ll want to take if you’d like to start a career as a medical billing and coding specialist. This decision is important as it may have a huge influence on not only the amount of time it requires for you to start working, but additionally the types of positions you can apply for.

Needless to say, there are far more benefits than drawbacks to holding a certification. Certification is also becoming regarded as a must by some facilities who view it as a means to shield their practices against possible litigation and soaring insurance costs.

The trend toward compulsory certification has even started to have an impact on non-certified personnel who have worked for many years. As a condition of continuing employment, non-certified employees are now being ordered by employers to earn a certification.

With all of that said, you can begin looking for a job as a non-certified medical coding and billing specialist immediately if that is your preference. Step 2 and all later steps discussed in this guide apply only if you’ve decided to pursue certification.

Step 2 – Complete a formal training program

The second choice you will need to make is whether your goal is 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). Even though each credential could make you eligible for starting medical billing and coding openings, there are a number of significant differences between the three.

Diplomas and Certificates

The traditional training course that awards a certificate or diploma lasts roughly 12-15 months and focuses only on training students to manage the daily duties of a biller or coder. These courses are offered through a variety of schools, and may additionally be available online. This is a significant change from associate and bachelor’s degree programs that have the exact same added requirements as regular college courses.

Associate Degree

Intended for students who would like to become employed in specialized jobs and advance into other positions, associate degree programs are detailed and last at minimum two years. Courses offering this degree are usually located at trade schools and community colleges, so there are often also more-stringent admission requirements that have to be satisfied.

The benefits of earning an associate degree typically exceed the ones from the diploma or certificate, therefore the extra challenges are normally regarded as being worthwhile.

Bachelor’s Degree

For students who want to gain the greatest understanding of billing and coding, while at the same time getting a nicely balanced education, bachelor’s degree programs are normally the preferred choice. These types of programs are offered by trade schools and traditional four-year institutions, so admissions requirements and tuition expenses are typically higher.

The benefits of receiving a bachelor’s degree are numerous, and consist of such things as greater pay and greater opportunity for advancement.

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to base your choice on your extended career objectives and financial situation. The certificate or diploma route is typically the best choice for those who are concerned about being able to spend the time and money necessary for an associate or bachelor’s degree. Keep in mind, that it’s possible to go back in the future and pursue a degree after you have begun your career.

If you have a definite long-term professional goal on your mind, however, then committing to an associate degree program might be the better decision.

How to compare medical billing and coding programs in OK

The bodies in control of regulating medical billing and coding programs in Oklahoma include the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Only students who complete their training at a program sanctioned by one of these organizations are allowed to challenge for certification in the state. Go ahead and click on the links provided to search their databases of programs in your area.

There are a few things you need to look for when you are selecting a course to enroll in. You should consider the following when comparing training programs:

  • Find and only attend courses accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Find out the exact percentage of prior graduates that passed their certification exams
  • Be sure that all of your classes fit into your personal schedule
  • Make sure that all of your school and education costs fit within your budget

You should get started by listing, in order, the things that are most-significant for you about a class. If you’re worried about tuition expenses, begin your search by figuring out which programs match your budget. After that, move on to the second-most crucial thing (e.g. class schedules, etc.) and use that criteria to narrow down your options.

By using this approach, it is possible to cut your options down to only two or three schools. Ensuring that the class you choose fits your personal circumstances can tremendously enhance your chances of graduating.

Step 3 – Complete an internship or get job experience

A requirement for most billing and coding certification examinations is that the student needs to have already completed on-the-job experience or finished a formal internship. To be able to fulfill this requirement, you will want to plan on completing an internship or working in a non-certified role for a area employer prior to the conclusion of your training program.

Most accredited coding and billing programs help students reserve internships with community employers. It’s highly recommended that you talk to your teacher to figure out which opportunities are available to make it easier to get the experience needed to become approved for certification assessment.

Step 4 – Finish the official certification process

In the State of Oklahoma, you are required to pass one of the nationally-recognized exams for medical coding and billing certification. These assessments incorporate segments on every main area of knowledge you would’ve studied in your course.

Some of the main national certification exams administered in Oklahoma are outlined here.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – These popular, highly-regarded national credentials are awarded by the AAPC and are respected by almost {all facilities}.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA certificate is well known by business employers all over the United States, and indicates that its holder possesses a well-rounded collection of medical billing and coding competencies.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA certificate is a nationally-respected certification that qualifies its holder for a wide range of opportunities in medical coding.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS credential shows a chosen expertise in the skills needed to excel in the billing and coding world.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – A good choice for anyone planning on concentrating on billing tasks, the CMBS and CMRT are national credentials that show advanced proficiencies in a variety of billing-related competencies.

Medical coder and biller salary and jobs in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, as well as the rest of the country, the need is extremely high for medical coding and billing specialists. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% increase in brand new jobs for medical billing and coding specialists across the country through the year 2024, the agency expects to witness a 13% growth in Oklahoma. The vast majority of new opportunities are likely to be created in hospitals and physicians offices. Some registry organizations also employ records technicians.

Due to the rapid expansion of EHRs (electronic health records) throughout the healthcare field, the medical coding and billing profession is very desirable for people planning on a career in health information.

The subsequent record features data on medical coding and billing specialist salary in Oklahoma by location.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Lawton, OK MSAHourly$15.06$21.12$24.76
Tulsa, OK MSAHourly$12.15$16.44$26.99
Oklahoma City, OK MSAHourly$9.61$14.90$24.24
Southwestern Oklahoma BOSHourly$12.56$14.28$21.11
Southeastern Oklahoma BOSHourly$10.38$14.22$29.01
Northeastern Oklahoma BOSHourly$9.41$13.44$24.48
Northwestern Oklahoma BOSHourly$10.22$13.38$21.78
Fort Smith, AR-OK MSAHourly$8.87$11.87$18.24