Medical Billing and Coding Schools in Illinois - IL
Healthcare is huge business in Illinois, where one of every ten jobs is in the healthcare sector, according to a 2014 report issued by the Illinois Hospital Association. In fact, healthcare support occupations provided 167,000 jobs in Illinois as of May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov).
Medical billing and coding specialists, considered by the BLS to be a subgroup of medical records and health information technicians, work behind the scenes in hospitals, offices of physicians, and anywhere that medical records might be generated. They are responsible for ensuring that health records are accurate, secure and accessible to authorized people. Their work also aids insurance companies in billing and reimbursement practices.
Illinois medical billing and coding schools coursework and degree programs
Those who want to attend medical billing and coding schools may want to explore the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). This organization maintains a list of health information programs in each state accredited by the organization. Health information management programs range in level from certificate to master's degree.
While medical billing and coding coursework may vary depending on the program, students may expect to take classes in some or all of the following:
- anatomy and physiology
- privacy and ethics
- medical terminology
- healthcare reimbursement
- coding fundamentals such as diagnostic coding, procedure coding and claims processing
Though licensure of medical billing and coding specialists isn't required in Illinois, the BLS reports many employers seek out applicants who have become certified. According to the BLS, the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) designation is one of the more popular certifications in health information. This may be a desirable certification for those who wish to work in healthcare information beyond billing and coding, or even for those who wish to work solely in billing and coding. There are also certifications available from AAPC that are specifically for medical billing and coding, and include:
- Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
- Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P)
- Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H)
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
Graduation from a medical and billing program is usually required for certification, along with a passing grade on the certification exam. Some organizations also require evidence of coding experience. Continuing education could also be required in order to keep certification current.
Medical billing and coding career overview
According to the BLS, medical records and health information technicians, which includes medical billers and coders, earned a median hourly annual wage of $16.81 nationwide in May 2013, while those in Illinois earned a median hourly wage of $16.00. The BLS reports Illinois offers one of the highest employment levels for this profession in the nation, behind California, Texas, Florida and New York.
Demand for medical billers and coders is expected to grow thanks to an aging population and new requirements for electronic medical records. The job outlook for medical records and health information technicians is good, according to the BLS, with 22 percent growth expected nationwide from 2012 to 2022. Projections Central shows slower growth for the state of Illinois, with 8 percent growth through 2020. While work might be found in offices of physicians, nursing homes and the like, some billers and coders may expect to find work in hospital settings.
"Illinois hospitals, health systems generate $83.4 billion on state's economy," Paxton Record, March 27, 2014, http://www.paxtonrecord.net/news/health/health-care/2014-03-27/illinois-hospitals-health-systems-generate-834-billion-state%E2%80%99s-ec
Illinois, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
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, Illinois, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_il.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 Insurance Billing and Coding, Altierus Career College and Altierus Career Education, https://www.altierus.org/program/healthcare/medical-insurance-billing