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Kentucky Medical Billing and Coding Schools

As key players in the health care system, medical billing and coding professionals are at the ground-level of the economic infrastructure, from coding a diagnosis to billing and insurance company, troubleshooting coding errors to receiving payments.

Medical billing and coding professionals may be employed across a range of organizations, including insurance companies, hospitals, doctors' offices and HMOs. Employment in this field typically requires specialized training and education, which is provided by a number of medical billing and coding schools in Kentucky.

Medical billing and coding diploma, certificate and associate degrees

There are multiple avenues to completing an education in medical billing and coding: certificate, diploma and associate degree programs. One major benefit of programs in the field is access: Programs are available in both online and on-campus formats, providing students with several choices when it comes to selecting a school or university.

Students may be able to complete their certificate or diploma program in as little as six months to one year, depending on class availability and the actual program requirements. Associate degree programs may be completed in as little as two years, but -- again -- depend on university requirements, class schedules and program availability.

Indeed, coursework varies, but there are three fundamentals to training in medical billing and coding: ICD coding, Current Procedural Terminology and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System.

  • ICD-9 Coding. ICD-9 is the standard diagnostic coding system used in today's health care system. However, on October 1, 2015, ICD-9 will be updated and replaced by ICD-10.
  • Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). CPT is a comprehensive coding system used by medical practitioners and is managed by the American Medical Association.
  • Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS). A collection of procedure codes, the HCPCS is based upon the American Medical Association's CPT.

Students may encounter a host of other courses and topic areas including medical office management, data processing, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and more.

Medical billing and coding certifications

Although the state of Kentucky does not have formal certification or licensing requirements, graduates of medical billing and coding schools in Kentucky may want to pursue professional certification upon graduation.

Depending on their particular program, students may be eligible to take several certification tests after completing their studies:

Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). Sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association

Certified Coding Associate (CCA). Sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association

Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS). Sponsored by the National Healthcareer Association.

Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-Based (CCS-P). Sponsored by the American Health Information Association

Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS). Sponsored by the Certifying Board of the American Medical Billing Association.

Insurance and Coding Specialist (NCICS). Sponsored by the National Center for Competency Testing

American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) Certification

The American Association of Professional Coders (AAPC) is one of the largest certification providing organizations within the industry. Located in Utah, the AAPC provides numerous certification exams to graduates of medical billing and coding programs.

Common certifications include the following:

  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  • Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H)
  • Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
  • Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P)

For coders with significant experience, the AAPC also offers 22 advanced, specialty certifications for specific areas of practice. Example certifications include Cardiology (CCC), Urology (CUC) and Family Practice (CFPC).

Career overview for Kentucky medical billing and coding

Medical billing and coding falls under the occupational subset of medical records and health information technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). In 2013, the national median wage for those professionals was nearly $35,000 (BLS).

Data from the BLS shows that, in 2013, medical billers and coders in Kentucky earned an average wage of $33,280. Across the state, incomes varied by location. Information from the BLS reveals earnings by metro areas in Kentucky:

Metro Area

2013 Average Salary

Bowling Green, KY

$34,980

Elizabethtown, KY

$38,730

Lexington-Fayette, KY

$38,650

Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN

$32,890

Owensboro, KY

$32,550

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 Metropolitan Occupational and Wage Estimates - Kentucky

Nationally, job openings are expected to reach 22 percent between 2012 and 2022 for those working in the medical records and health information technician occupation category. Within Kentucky, however, employment opportunities are projected to grow by 25 percent between 2012 and 2022, which should be welcomed news for certificate, diploma or associate degree graduates.

Sources

AAPC, Medical Coding Certification, https://www.aapc.com/certification/medical-coding-certification.aspx

AHIMA, CCS Certification, http://www.ahima.org/certification/CCS

AHIMA, CCSP Certification, http://www.ahima.org/certification/ccsp

American Medical Association, CPT Coding, http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/cpt/cpt-process-faq/code-becomes-cpt.page

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 Metropolitan Occupational and Wage Estimates - Kentucky, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ky.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Health Information Technicians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, OES, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292071.htm

Drexel University, Medical Billing and Coding, http://www.drexel.com/online-degrees/nursing-degrees/medical-billing-coding/index.aspx

Kaplan University, Medical Billing and Coding, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/health-sciences/medical-billing-coding-certificate.aspx

National Healthcareer Association, Billing and Coding Specialist Certification, http://www.nhanow.com/billing-coding.aspx

Penn Foster University, Medical Billing and Coding, http://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/medical-billing-and-coding/medical-billing-and-coding-career-diploma

Projections Central, Kentucky, ProjectionsCentral.com

Medical Billing & Coding Schools