The accredited options for medical billing and coding courses in South Dakota are detailed below and we cover the ins and outs of training. The medical biller and coder is a key healthcare professional who performs a variety of record-keeping and insurance functions. Below we cover all the details!

Becoming a medical coding and billing specialist in South Dakota

Being certified is not mandatory for employment as a biller or coder in South Dakota. That being said, it is highly recommended to get certified since employers are looking for certified candidates. Below are the national certifying bodies for medical billing and coding specialists in South Dakota and across the country.

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 Dakota?

The simple step by step process for becoming a medical biller or coder in South Dakota is detailed in the following steps.

Step 1 – Do you want to get certified?

Before anything else, you’ll first have to figure out if you’re going to get a certification, or look for a position without one. This choice could impact your career in two important ways: the type of positions you’ll be eligible to apply for, and how long it’s going to take for you to become employed.

As you may probably assume, choosing to take some time to become certified offers many important advantages. Furthermore, most employers now require that their staff be certified in an effort to help protect them against rising insurance premiums and lawsuits.

This is additionally true of employers who have previously employed non-certified staff. As a requirement of continuing employment, non-certified employees are frequently being required by their employers to get a certification.

Nonetheless, it is possible to start looking for a job as a non-certified medical coding and billing specialist immediately should you have decided not to enroll in professional training. The remainder of the process outlined in this guide only applies if you make the choice to become certified.

Step 2 – Complete a formal training program

Medical coding and billing programs award a few types of credentials to graduates: an associate-level degree, a bachelor’s degree, and a diploma (alternately referred to as a “certificate”). Although each credential may qualify you for entry-level medical coding and billing positions, there are several significant differences between the three.

Diplomas and Certificates

The typical program that awards a certificate or diploma lasts about 12-15 months and concentrates exclusively on getting students ready to manage the day-to-day responsibilities of a biller or coder. A wide array of schools provide these sought after courses, and some of them are made available in an online format too. In contrast, associate and bachelor’s degree programs require pupils to attend additional courses in non-related fields.

Associate Degree

Associate degree courses are usually two years long, and the content discussed is much more thorough in scope. Courses awarding this degree are normally hosted by junior colleges and trade schools, so they normally have higher admission prerequisites that have to be satisfied.

However, with the larger commitments needed to earn an associate degree, comes an even greater range of advantages.

Bachelor’s Degree

For students who would like to acquire the greatest understanding of coding and billing, while at the same time pursuing a well-balanced education, bachelor’s degree programs are probably the ideal choice. These programs are offered by vocational schools and traditional four-year institutions, so entrance prerequisites and tuition expenses are typically greater.

Having a bachelor’s degree is typically seen by businesses as a significant advantage, and someone can usually expect greater salary and responsibilities because of this.

Each of these alternatives is a viable way to begin your career, as long as it meets your personal objectives and economic circumstances. Should you need to start working right away, and are worried about college tuition costs, then the diploma route might be the best option. Many medical billing and coding specialists choose to go back to school at a later date and earn a degree after starting with a diploma or certificate, so keep this option in mind as well.

If you have a clear long-term career objective in your mind, however, then investing in an associate degree program may be the right decision.

How to choose a billing and coding program in South Dakota

The organizations in charge of overseeing medical billing and coding programs in South Dakota include the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). In order for you to become eligible to test for certification, you have to first complete a program that is approved by one of these organizations. The links above go directly to their databases of accredited schools.

There are several things you need to consider if you are selecting a program to attend. Think about the following features in a program when comparing it against another:

  • Only attend CAHIIM or AAPC accredited training courses
  • Get the percentage of graduates that previously passed their exam
  • Get all classes and studies to fit into your personal schedule
  • Get all of the the programs cost and educational costs to fit within your budget

You’ll want to start off by ranking, in order, the things which are most-important for you about a program. For instance, if you are worried about how much your training will cost, you can begin by eliminating any programs that are outside your budget. Next, you can analyze every program based on your second-most crucial requirement and to remove any that are not satisfactory.

Repeat this approach with every criteria that is essential to you, and you’ll eventually have only a few programs to pick from. Doing this vastly improves your likelihood of choosing a training course that will meet all of your needs.

Step 3 – Do an internship or get work experience

A requirement for many of the medical coding and billing certification tests is that the test-taker needs to have previously acquired job experience or completed a formal internship. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you either go through an internship or a non-certified job during your education.

Local employers oftentimes work together with accredited coding and billing programs to help setup internships or on-the-job experience for each student. It’s recommended that you talk to your instructor to figure out which opportunities are available to make it easier to acquire the experience needed to become qualified for certification evaluation.

Step 4 – Finish the certification process

In the State of South Dakota, you are legally required to pass one of the nationally-administered tests for medical billing and coding certification. These assessments incorporate sections on every main area of knowledge you would’ve covered in your study course.

The most-popular major national certification examinations administered in South Dakota are detailed below.

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – every workplace.

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA certification is respected by facilities all around the nation, and shows that its owner holds a comprehensive set of medical billing and coding skills.

Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The Certified Coding Associate (CCA) certification is a nationally-recognized credential that qualifies its holder for a broad variety of opportunities in medical coding.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) certification shows a specific expertise in the skills needed to succeed in the billing and coding world.

Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS) and Certified Medical Records Technician (CMRT) from MAB – Ideally suited for anyone interested in specializing in billing tasks, the CMBS and CMRT are national credentials that represent advanced proficiencies in a range of billing-related competencies.

Medical coder and biller salary and jobs in South Dakota

In South Dakota, as well as the remainder of the country, the need is extremely high for medical billing and coding specialists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 15% increase in new positions across the nation and 9% in the State of South Dakota through 2024. Hospitals, physicians offices and outpatient clinics are expected to fill the majority of these new positions. The balance of opportunities should appear in the government job market.

Thanks to the fast expansion of EHRs (electronic health records) inside the healthcare industry, the medical coding and billing profession is very desirable among people considering working in health information.

The subsequent list features information on medical billing and coding specialist compensation in South Dakota by region.

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$12.05$18.29$30.21
South DakotaHourly$12.46$17.26$28.52
Western South Dakota BOSHourly$13.60$18.12$24.15
Sioux Falls, SD MSAHourly$12.55$17.95$32.07
Rapid City, SD MSAHourly$12.60$17.62$27.70
Eastern South Dakota BOSHourly$11.83$15.53$23.67
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD MSAHourly$10.92$15.15$22.12