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Medical Billing and Coding Schools in California

Medical billing and coding professionals work with health care providers to calculate charges for patients' procedures and services, maintain records, and itemize and code claims in order to send them to insurance companies. They manage patient information and data, ensuring that it is private, secure and in compliance with data exchange standards. Medical billing and coding professionals work behind the scenes for physicians offices, hospitals, mental health organizations, nursing homes, insurance companies, information system vendors and more.

Medical billing and coding schools in California

Medical billing and coding schools in California typically offer certificates or associate degrees. Students generally need a high-school degree or GED to enroll. Courses are offered both in traditional classroom settings and online, and may include:

  • Advanced medical coding
  • Diagnostic and procedural coding
  • Insurance in the medical office
  • Introduction to health information management
  • Legal aspects of health care
  • Medical terminology
  • Medical billing

Students may learn the basics of how to solve insurance billing problems, how to file claims, how to trace delinquent claims, and how to code using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and the International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition (ICD-9). Students may also learn basic pharmacological terminology, disease processes and computer applications.

Medical billing and coding certifications

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) reports that many employers seek job candidates with professional certifications. Many medical billing and coding programs prepare students to take one of several national billing and coding certification exams. These comprehensive exams include:

  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  • Certified Professional Coder - Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H)
  • Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
  • Certified Professional Biller (CPB)

Some employers also require job candidates to have billing and coding experience, which can sometimes be obtained through a medical billing and coding school in California.

Medical billing and coding earnings and career outlook

The BLS considers medical billing and coding to be a subset of medical records and health information. The BLS projects job growth of 22 percent from 2012 to 2022 for medical records and health information technicians, faster than the national average. Higher demands for health services should lead to an increased need for professionals to submit claims to insurance companies and track patient records.

According to the State of California Employment Development Department, the median annual wage for health information technicians in 2014 was $40,782. In 2013, the national mean annual wage was $37,710, compared to a mean annual wage of $44,330 in California. California had the second highest employment level of health information technicians in 2013, and was the second-highest-paying state.

Yuba City, California had the second highest concentration of jobs in 2013. The following metropolitan areas in California were among the top-paying in the country in 2013:

  • Oakland-Fremont-Hayward ($57,100 annual mean wage)
  • San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City ($53,730 annual mean wage)
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($50,640 annual mean wage)

With projected job growth of 20.6 percent, California is expected add approximately 3,400 new jobs for medical records and health information technicians through 2022.

Sources:

Medical Billing and Coding Professional, Professional Development Certificate, San Francisco State University, http://www.cel.sfsu.edu/medical-billing/

Medical Certification Overview, American Academy of Professional Coders, https://www.aapc.com/certification/

Medical Coding Specialist Certificate, Program Information, Santa Barbara City College, http://www.sbcc.edu/hit/mcs.php

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians in California, California Occupational Guides, State of California Employment Development Department, http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/OccGuides/Summary.aspx?Soccode=292071&Geography=0601000000

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013 http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292071.htm

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm

Medical Billing & Coding Schools