The best medical coding and billing training in Texas are easy to locate with our latest guide. See the pathway to your certification and what you can expect to learn along the way. The time to enroll could not be any better than now!
How to become a medical biller or coder in Texas
Even though it is not mandated by the state of Texas, it is recommended that Texas medical billing and coding specialists get a certification from one of the certifying bodies 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 billing and coding specialist in Texas?
The steps for becoming a medical biller or coder in TX is documented in the following steps.
Step 1 – Decide if you are going to get a certification
Making a decision whether or not to become certified is the first step you will want to take if you would like to start working as a medical billing and coding specialist. Not only can this choice impact the positions you may be able to interview for, but it’ll furthermore dictate how long it’ll take before you can start working.
Despite the fact that there is going to be a commitment of time and money needed to get certified, the advantages that this gives you are significant. Certification is also becoming viewed as a must by a large number of facilities who view it as a way to shield their practices against possible litigation and soaring insurance rates.
Even medical institutions that employ non-certified medical billing and coding specialists have begun to adjust their stances. In such cases, it’s now very common for the workplace to require their medical billing and coding staff members to go to training and earn their certification in order to continue to be employed.
Should you nevertheless choose not to get your certification, then your next step is to begin applying for job openings for non-certified medical billing and coding specialists. The remainder of the process laid out in this article only applies if you have made the commitment to become certified.
Step 2 – Complete a formal training program
Medical billing and coding programs award a few different types of credentials to students: a two-year associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, and a diploma (alternately referred to as a “certificate”). Even though all three credentials may make you eligible for entry-level medical coding and billing opportunities, there are a number of significant distinctions between them.
Diplomas and Certificates
Certificate or diploma courses can oftentimes be completed in 12 months or less, and focus their curriculum entirely on the skill and practical knowledge required to begin working. These programs are offered at a wide range of schools, and may even be provided online. This is in contrast to associate and bachelor’s degree programs which require general education and many other college classes as well.
Intended for individuals who want to become employed in specialized settings and progress into other opportunities, associate degree programs are in-depth and last no less than two years. As regular college degree programs, coursework for this credential is typically available from junior colleges and vocational schools.
The advantages of earning an associate degree have a tendency to surpass the ones from the diploma or certificate, so the additional hurdles are usually regarded as being well worth the while.
The four-year bachelor’s degree in medical billing and coding is the top credential available, and comprises of the greatest quantity of subject matter. Since these programs are administered solely by four-year colleges and vocational schools, the cost of gaining this degree is typically significantly higher.
The rewards of receiving a bachelor’s degree are many, and consist of such things as better compensation and greater opportunity for promotion.
Either of these alternatives is a viable way to start your professional career, so long as it matches your personal goals and financial circumstances. The certificate or diploma program tends to be the better way to go for those who are concerned with being capable of spending the time and expense needed for an associate or bachelor’s degree. Many medical coding and billing specialists decide to go back to school later and complete a degree after starting with a diploma, so bear this in mind as well.
If you’re interested in moving forward quickly in your healthcare career, and already have a larger objective in mind, then the extra time and money needed to complete a degree could make sense for you.
How to compare coding and billing programs in Texas
Medical coding and billing programs in Texas are required by state law to be approved by multiple groups including the Commission of Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). You will need to complete a program approved by one of these organizations to become eligible to challenge for certification in the state. Above are links to each organization’s databases of schools that are accredited as of 2018.
There are several things you should consider when deciding on a program to attend. Think about the following things when comparing a program to another:
- Take and pass training accredited by CAHIIM or AAPC
- Try and get percentage of graduates that had passed their certification exams
- Get schedule in line with your personal time
- Get all your costs in line with your individual finances
Similar to any decision, you need to initially establish what your main concerns are. If you’re concerned with tuition expenses, begin your search by figuring out which programs fit into your budget. Next, you could analyze every program based on your second-most essential criteria and to remove any that aren’t acceptable.
Applying this approach, it’s possible to reduce your choices down to just a few schools. Doing this vastly improves your likelihood of selecting a course that will meet all of your requirements.
Step 3 – Do an internship or accumulate some work experience
Many medical coding and billing certification tests will require you to have finished an internship or acquire a specific amount of on-the-job experience prior to being approved to sit for testing. Because of this, it’s highly suggested that you either go through an internship or a non-certified position while completing your schooling.
Area businesses oftentimes work hand in hand with accredited medical coding and billing programs to help setup internships or work experience for each student. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to figure out as soon as possible if your school can assist you with this certification test prerequisite.
Step 4 – Successfully pass a certification assessment
The state medical billing and coding certification examinations administered in Texas are the five primary national tests. The examinations are made up of segments on each major area of knowledge you would have studied in your program.
The most-popular main national certification exams recognized in Texas are outlined here.
Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified Professional Biller (CPB) from AAPC – Undoubtedly one of the best-known, and most-highly regarded of the medical billing and coding certifications, the CPC and CPB credentials are sponsored by the AAPC.
Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) from NHA – The NHA certification is respected by businesses all over the country, and shows that its owner has a broad collection of medical billing and coding competencies.
Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from AHIMA – The CCA certificate is a nationally-recognized credential that qualifies its holder for a wide range of opportunities in medical coding.
Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS) from NCCA – The NCICS presents 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 considering specializing in billing jobs, the CMBS and CMRT are credentials that show high level proficiencies in a range of billing-relevant skills.
Medical biller and coder salary and jobs in Texas
In Texas, as well as the remainder of the country, the demand is very high for medical coding and billing specialists. Through 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% gain in new job opportunities for medical billing and coding specialists in Texas. The majority of new positions are likely to be produced in hospitals and physicians offices. The remainder of positions should arise in the state and federal government job sector.
The potential to become comfortable with EHRs (electronic health records) makes the billing and coding occupation a good choice for individuals planning on advancing into another opportunity in the health information sector.
Below you will find a list of the largest metropolitan areas in Texas and further information on medical billing and coding pay by location and county.
|San Angelo, TX MSA||Hourly||$15.26||$23.04||$37.56|
|Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$12.72||$20.58||$34.03|
|Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX MSA||Hourly||$11.74||$19.35||$28.97|
|Amarillo, TX MSA||Hourly||$11.11||$19.20||$28.82|
|Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA||Hourly||$11.16||$18.55||$32.62|
|Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division||Hourly||$12.28||$18.13||$33.70|
|Abilene, TX MSA||Hourly||$12.00||$17.46||$25.15|
|Wichita Falls, TX MSA||Hourly||$12.86||$17.45||$25.52|
|Odessa, TX MSA||Hourly||$12.36||$16.94||$24.03|
|Texarkana, TX-Texarkana, AR MSA||Hourly||$10.65||$16.79||$34.67|
|College Station-Bryan, TX MSA||Hourly||$10.22||$16.61||$26.95|
|Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX MSA||Hourly||$10.18||$16.58||$24.24|
|Gulf Coast Texas BOS||Hourly||$10.51||$16.56||$30.82|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX MSA||Hourly||$10.13||$16.25||$25.51|
|Central Texas BOS||Hourly||$10.69||$16.03||$29.37|
|Eastern Texas BOS||Hourly||$10.08||$15.61||$24.48|
|Victoria, TX MSA||Hourly||$11.03||$15.51||$23.86|
|Brownsville-Harlingen, TX MSA||Hourly||$9.64||$15.19||$25.05|
|North Central Texas BOS||Hourly||$10.28||$15.06||$32.19|
|Tyler, TX MSA||Hourly||$9.62||$14.88||$32.79|
|Lubbock, TX MSA||Hourly||$9.91||$14.82||$28.84|
|Corpus Christi, TX MSA||Hourly||$9.87||$14.73||$23.74|
|Midland, TX MSA||Hourly||$10.81||$14.73||$27.94|
|Sherman-Denison, TX MSA||Hourly||$10.81||$14.73||$22.91|
|Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX MSA||Hourly||$10.82||$14.70||$26.80|
|Southern Texas BOS||Hourly||$10.64||$14.64||$27.41|
|Waco, TX MSA||Hourly||$9.87||$14.61||$27.00|
|El Paso, TX MSA||Hourly||$9.81||$14.07||$24.16|
|Northwestern Texas BOS||Hourly||$10.17||$13.99||$25.02|
|Laredo, TX MSA||Hourly||$10.04||$13.56||$26.93|
|Longview, TX MSA||Hourly||$9.47||$12.04||$20.44|
|McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX MSA||Hourly||$8.17||$10.82||$20.74|