With the healthcare industry growing at an unprecedented pace all around the region, opportunities are numerous for people who want to become a medical biller and coder and enroll in to medical billing and coding training in South Carolina. We cover the detail and expectation of your training in our latest article below.
Becoming a medical coding and billing specialist in South Carolina
Medical coding specialists in South Carolina and across the country are regulated at a national level by the associations 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 South Carolina?
To see the step by step process for becoming a medical biller or coder in SC is summarized below.
Step 1 – Decide if you plan to pursue a certification
Prior to doing anything else, you’re going to first need to decide if you’re planning to earn a certification, or try to find a position without one. This choice is very important as it will have a major impact on not just how long it requires for you to start your career, but also the types of positions you can apply for.
As you can likely assume, opting to take some time to become certified provides several important benefits. Thanks to the increased amount of litigation that medical care professionals have to deal with and the corresponding surge in insurance premiums, many facilities now require their medical billing and coding specialists to be certified.
The move toward mandatory certification has even started to have an impact on non-certified employees who have worked for many years. As a requirement of continuing employment, non-certified employees are frequently being ordered by employers to earn a certification.
With all of that said, you should begin looking for a job as a non-certified medical billing and coding specialist immediately if that’s your preference. The remainder of the process laid out in this guide only applies should you have made the decision to get certified.
Step 2 – Finish the necessary education
Medical coding and billing programs award a few different types of credentials to their students: a two-year associate degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, and a diploma. Either type of credential is accepted by the majority of hiring managers, but you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
Diplomas and Certificates
Certificate or diploma programs can often be finished in 12 months or less, and target their course of study only on the competencies and practical knowledge required to begin your career. These classes are offered at a wide range of schools, and may also be provided online. This is a significant differentiation from associate and bachelor’s degree programs that hold the very same additional requirements as conventional university courses.
Tailored toward individuals who want to become employed in specialized settings and progress into other roles, associate degree programs are in-depth and last at least two years. As traditional degree programs, this degree is typically provided by trade schools and junior colleges.
The benefits of holding an associate degree tend to surpass those of the certificate or diploma, and so the added challenges are usually considered to be worthwhile.
The four-year bachelor’s degree in medical billing and coding is the strongest credential available, and addresses the largest amount of subject matter. These kinds of programs are offered by trade schools and traditional four-year schools, so entrance standards and tuition expenses are usually greater.
Students who have bachelor’s degrees in billing and coding are often viewed as potential management prospects and are typically paid as such.
Each of these options is a good way to start your career, provided that it matches your personal objectives and financial situation. For anyone concerned with the cost and time necessary to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree, the diploma program is likely the best way to go. Many medical billing and coding specialists decide to return to school in the future and get a degree after starting out with a diploma, so keep this in mind as well.
The best choice is typically the associate or bachelor’s degree in cases when you do have a precise career objective which will require higher education at some time.
How to decide on a billing and coding program in South Carolina
The bodies in charge of overseeing medical billing and coding courses in South Carolina include the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Only graduates who complete their training at a program accredited by one of these bodies are allowed to test for certification in the state. Click on the links provided to look through their databases of programs in your area.
There are a few things you will need to consider if you are choosing a program to enroll in. You’ll want to look at the following as you compare classes:
- Take CAHIIM or AAPC accredited programs
- Find how many previous course graduates passed certification exams
- Fit studies into your personal schedule
- Fit all costs of education in your budget
Similar to any decision, you will need to initially determine what your priorities are. If, for example, the cost of tuition is the most important thing for you, that should be the first thing you learn about a program. Second, you should evaluate every program according to your second-most essential criteria and to eliminate those that are not satisfactory.
By using this step-by-step process, you can narrow down your list of options to a handful of programs. This vastly improves your probability of choosing a program that will fit all of your needs.
Step 3 – Complete an internship or acquire work experience
A precondition for almost all medical coding and billing certification tests is that the applicant must have previously had job experience or completed a formal internship. To help you satisfy this requirement, you need to consider finishing an internship or being employed in a non-certified position for a community employer before the end of your training program.
Many accredited medical coding and billing programs make it possible for pupils arrange internships with area companies. It is strongly recommended that you have a talk with your instructor to determine what solutions are available to let you acquire the experience needed to become qualified for certification assessment.
Step 4 – Pass your certification assessment
The state medical billing and coding certification exams administered in South Carolina are the five major national tests. These exams are made up of sections on every main area of knowledge you would have been exposed to in your training course.
The most-popular main national certification tests administered in South Carolina are detailed here.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – every workplace.
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA credential is recognized by business employers throughout the nation, and signifies that its owner holds a comprehensive set of medical billing and coding competencies.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA is granted to students who have finished a diverse program in medical coding studies, and is respected by the majority of facilities.
Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS awards a national credential for medical billing and coding specialists.
Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Ideally suited for anyone planning on concentrating on billing positions, the CMBS and CMRT are certifications that represent high level proficiencies in a number of billing-relevant abilities.
Medical biller and coder salary and jobs in South Carolina
There’s a very high need for medical coding and billing specialists around the nation and in South Carolina. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 15% growth in additional job opportunities across the nation and a 15% growth in the State of South Carolina through 2024. Hospitals, physicians offices and outpatient clinics are expected to fill the bulk of all added openings. There may additionally be limited need at registry organizations.
The opportunity to become familiar with electronic health records (EHRs) makes the billing and coding occupation perfect for those thinking about advancing into other roles in the health information field.
The subsequent listing reflects specifics on medical billing and coding specialist salary in South Carolina by region.
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC MSA||Hourly||$12.47||$20.20||$27.13|
|Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC MSA||Hourly||$12.49||$18.48||$27.56|
|Columbia, SC MSA||Hourly||$11.14||$18.16||$32.42|
|Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC MSA||Hourly||$11.48||$16.95||$25.15|
|Florence, SC MSA||Hourly||$10.01||$16.50||$31.63|
|Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC MSA||Hourly||$10.99||$15.99||$24.22|
|Low Country South Carolina BOS||Hourly||$12.02||$14.88||$32.78|
|Spartanburg, SC MSA||Hourly||$11.23||$14.86||$24.02|
|Upper Savannah South Carolina BOS||Hourly||$10.61||$14.70||$32.40|
|Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC MSA||Hourly||$10.75||$14.28||$21.60|
|Pee Dee South Carolina BOS||Hourly||$9.33||$14.02||$24.83|
|Lower Savannah South Carolina BOS||Hourly||$10.62||$13.49||$17.53|