Medical Billing and Coding Education in Nebraska - NE

Medical billers and coders learn to identify medical conditions and diagnoses through specific codes that are used to bill insurance companies. In the state of Nebraska, approximately 1770 people work in the field, which includes Medical Records and Health Information Technicians. This makes Nebraska the third-highest state with the largest concentration of workers in this field. These medical billers and coders in Nebraska earn an average annual salary of $30,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is in line with the median national salary for this position. Employment in this field is expected to grow faster than other occupations through 2016.


Steps to Becoming a Medical Biller & Coder in Nebraska

  1. Graduate from high school with your diploma, or earn your GED.
  2. Complete a medical coding and billing training program. This will help prepare you to take certification tests and earn your credentials. At the completion of your program you will either earn a certificate, diploma or an Associate of Science Degree in Medical Billing and Coding, depending upon which type of training program you choose.  This could be a Nebraska medical billing certificate, coding certificate, or comprehensive medical billing and coding certification in Nebraska.
  3. Find an entry-level position as a Medical Biller/Coder. You will need to gain work experience in the field prior to earning certification or credentials.
  4. Depending upon your job setting and/or where you wish to work in Nebraska, there are different certifications you can earn. Some hospitals, private practices, and organizations require national certification as a competency standard for the field. You can definitely expect to earn a higher salary if you become certified. Certain employers in the state value one certification over another, so you might want to check with your employer/potential employer to find out which certification(s) are right for you.
  • The American Academy of Professional Coders offers the following certifications, all of which require work experience of at least a year. Exam locations in Nebraska are typically in Omaha. All exam locations and information can be found at www.aapc.com/certification.
    • Certified Professional Coder (CPC) – this credential encompasses the broadest area of medical billing and coding, and is appropriate if you work for a physician, group of physicians, hospital, home health agency, physician billing service, or ambulatory surgery center. The CPC examination covers the correct application of CPT (Current Procedural Terminology), HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) Level II procedure and supply codes, and ICD-9-CM (International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification) diagnosis codes used to bill professional medical services to insurance companies and CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).
    • Certified Professional Coder – Outpatient Hospital (CPC-H) – if you work in hospital outpatient billing and coding, or work for an Ambulatory Surgery Center, this credential is right for you. The CPC-H exam covers the same as above plus codes for billing outpatient facility services to insurance companies and CMS.
    • Certified Professional Coder – Payer (CPC-P) – if you are a claims manager for a payer such as private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid; are an auditor for a payer, or work for a billing service, this credential is the one you want. The CPC-P exam tests basic knowledge of coding-related payer functions, emphasizing how those functions differ from provider coding.
  • The AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) also offers certifications in medical billing and coding. Exam fees range from $199 to $399 (depending upon whether or not you're a member of the AHIMA) Register online to take these exams and find exam locations at www.ahima.org.
    • Certified Coding Associate (CCA) – This is the starting point for those entering the coding field, under the AHIMA classification tier. Six months' work experience is recommended before taking this test. 
    • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) – This is the next step of certification in the AHIMA tier. Three years of job experience is recommended before taking the exam.
    • Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P) – This  level in AHIMA's tier of certifications requires more in-depth knowledge of the CPT coding system and the ICD-9-CM and HCPCS Level II coding systems. Three years of job experience and training /coursework is recommended before taking this examination.
  • Another certification is available through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA):
    • Certified Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS) – Work experience is required, as is a written certification exam. Exams are available at locations throughout the United States and online. Register online at www.nhanow.com/natl_cert_exam.htm
  • The Practice Management Institute offers the following certification:
    • Certified Medical Coder (CMC) – for physician-based coders, requires no work experience, but is recommended for experienced medical office professionals with training and  knowledge of the CPT, ICD-9-CM, and HCPCS manuals . Candidates are given six hours to complete the exam. Exams are available in certain states (not including Nebraska) or online. You can register online at www.pmimd.com/certify/cmc/cmc.asp .

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