With the medical industry expanding at an unprecedented rate across the country, there are plenty of opportunities for individuals who would like to become a medical biller and coder through medical coding and billing training in Oregon. With little education necessary compared to other healthcare careers it is becoming really popular and is growing in demand through the next decade.

How to become a medical Billing and coding specialist in Oregon

All Oregon medical billers and coders and those across the country are regulated on a national level by the national associations listed below for your convenience..

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 Oregon?

For the step by step easy process for becoming a medical biller or coder in Oregon see our steps listed out for you below.

Step 1 – Determine if you plan to get your certification

The very first step you must take is to consider whether or not you’re going to become certified, and the formal schooling that will require. This choice can affect your future in two important ways: the type of opportunities you will be able to apply for, and the time it’ll take for you to find a job.

As you may likely assume, deciding to take some time to get certified provides numerous important benefits. Certification is also becoming viewed as a must by a large number of facilities who regard it as a means to protect their practices against potential lawsuits and soaring insurance costs.

Even healthcare institutions that retain the services of non-certified medical billing and coding specialists have started to change their positions. An increasing number of employers across the United States have started to expect their non-certified staff to register for certification classes as a condition of remaining employed.

If you nevertheless choose not to get certified, then your second step is to start looking for employment opportunities for non-certified medical coding and billing specialists. Step 2 and all subsequent steps shown in this article apply only if you’ve decided to pursue certification.

Step 2 – Finish the necessary education

Medical coding and billing programs give three different types of credentials to graduates: an associate degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, and a certificate. All three of these awards may help you get a medical billing and coding position, but you will need to be acquainted with the advantages and drawbacks to each before choosing one.

Diplomas and Certificates

The basic training course that awards a diploma or certificate will last approximately 12 months and focuses only on training students to cope with the day-to-day duties of a biller or coder. A wide array of institutions provide these popular programs, and some of them are made available in an online format too. By comparison, associate and bachelor’s degree programs require pupils to take additional courses in non-related fields.

Associate Degree

Tailored toward individuals who want to work in specialized jobs and progress into other opportunities, associate degree courses are in-depth and last at least two years. As traditional degree programs, this credential is typically available at trade schools and junior colleges.

The benefits and advantages of earning an associate degree typically far outnumber the ones from the certificate or diploma, so the extra hurdles are generally considered to be worthwhile.

Bachelor’s Degree

For students who wish to obtain the greatest comprehension of coding and billing, while also getting a well-rounded college education, bachelor’s degree courses are normally the ideal option. These programs are provided by trade schools and traditional four-year universities, so entrance requirements and tuition expenses are generally greater.

Carrying a bachelor’s degree is usually looked at by businesses as a tremendous asset, and one could often expect better pay and responsibilities as a result.

Regardless of the approach you choose, be certain that you base your decision on your long-term career goals and financial circumstances. For people concerned with the money and time necessary to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree, the diploma approach is typically the right alternative. Don’t forget, that you can always go back at a later time and get a degree after you’ve started your career.

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

How to decide on a medical billing and coding program in OR

Medical coding and billing education in Oregon 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 students who complete their classes at a program approved by one of these bodies are able to test for certification. You can click on the links above to search their databases of schools in your area.

Finding the right training for your particular circumstances usually involves a few considerations. As you weigh your choices, you should take the following into consideration:

  • Get training at a program that is currently accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
  • Get percentage of course grads previously passing exams
  • Get training time in to your personal schedule
  • Get school costs to work within your budget

It is best to start off by listing, in order, the things which are most-significant for you about a program. If you happen to be worried about tuition costs, start your search by finding out which programs fit your budget. Then, move on to the second-most important thing (e.g. course availability, etc.) and apply that criteria to narrow down your options.

With this approach, it is possible to limit your choices down to just a few schools. This greatly boosts your probability of selecting a training course that will fit all of your needs.

Step 3 – Do an internship or accumulate some job experience

Many of the medical billing and coding certification examinations require you to have finished an internship or acquire a certain amount of job experience before becoming approved to sit for testing. For this reason, it’s strongly suggested that you either find an internship or a non-certified training position during your education.

Many accredited medical billing and coding schools help pupils arrange internships with area employers. Nevertheless, it is a good strategy to learn whenever possible if your program will assist you with this certification exam prerequisite.

Step 4 – Complete the official certification process

Medical billing and coding specialists in Oregon must pass one of the five national certification tests in order to earn their certification. The tests consist of segments on all important areas of knowledge you would have been exposed to in your study course.

The most-popular main national certification exams administered in Oregon are outlined here.

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

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA credential is recognized by business employers all around the United States, and indicates that its owner possesses a wide-ranging set of medical billing and coding skills.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA is granted to graduates who have finished a diverse course of study in medical coding training, and is respected by virtually all business employers.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) credential signifies a focused expertise in the abilities necessary to stand out in the billing and coding world.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – The CMBS and CMRT certifications signify advanced competencies in the tasks that are necessary to be able to manage the billing and record-keeping at a professional medical business office.

Medical coder and biller salary and jobs in Oregon

In Oregon, and the rest of the country, demand is very high for medical billing and coding specialists. Through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 18% gain in additional opportunities for medical coding and billing specialists in Oregon. The majority of new openings are likely to be created in hospitals and physicians offices. The balance of opportunities may appear in the government job sector.

The chance to become comfortable with EHRs (electronic health records) makes the coding and billing occupation ideal for anyone planning on advancing into another career in the health information industry.

To view salary data for Oregon by region and county, please take a look at the table below.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
Corvallis, OR MSAHourly$14.26$23.39$38.91
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSAHourly$13.81$21.83$30.25
Salem, OR MSAHourly$12.92$20.44$29.24
Bend, OR MSAHourly$13.69$19.94$28.21
Coastal Oregon BOSHourly$13.54$19.24$29.28
Linn County (BOS)Hourly$10.86$19.03$28.30
Eastern Oregon BOSHourly$12.89$18.72$29.03
Eugene-Springfield, OR MSAHourly$13.34$18.49$29.62
Southern Oregon BOSHourly$11.65$17.32$26.99
Medford, OR MSAHourly$12.56$17.10$27.80