Medical Billing and Coding Education in South Dakota - SD
Steps to Become a Medical Biller and Coder in South Dakota
- If you are still in high school and think a career as a medical biller and coder might be for you, make sure to take some basic background courses. These would include biology, health, chemistry, algebra, language and grammar, and computer proficiency courses. You’re off to a great start to earn your South Dakota Medical Billing Certificate.
- After graduating from high school, enroll in a South Dakota medical billing certificate program for medical coders and billers. These programs are offered at community colleges, trade, and vocational schools, and typically take from one to two years to complete. When you graduate, you will receive either a diploma or associate degree.
- Look for an entry-level job as a medical biller and coder in the state. Examples of some employers of medical coders and billers throughout South Dakota include government health centers, Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, Precyse Solutions in Pierre, and Avera Health in Yankton.
- Once you have worked for a minimum of six months as a beginning biller and coder, start thinking about obtaining your medical billing and coding certification in South Dakota. South Dakota does not require medical billers and coders to be certified; however, there are some employers, who will not hire those who do not possess some credentials. There are two main certification bodies when it comes to health information management: The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). Many employers consider certification to be a standard among medical billers and coders. Depending upon your particular employers, choose one of these organizations to become certified.
- Testing for certification through the AHIMA costs $199 to $399 . You can find exam locations and register at www.ahima.org/certification/exam/documents/CCS_CCSP_CCA_ExamApp_HR_10.pdf . There are three main steps to certification with the AHIMA:
- Certified Coding Associate (CCA) – must have six months of on-the-job experience as a medical biller and coder prior to taking this certification exam
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) – recommended to have three years on-the-job experience as a biller/coder before taking this certification exam
- Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P) – recommended for those who have had formal training in in-depth physician – level coding and three years on the job prior to taking the certification exam
- All of the certifications offered by the AAPC require candidates to have at least a year of job experience as a medical biller and coder. Information on how to apply to take the exam and where to take is at www.aapc.com/certification.
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC) – meant for those who work in a general, non-specific area of medical billing/coding
- Certified Professional Coder – Outpatient Hospital (CPC-H) – targeted to medical coders/billers who work in hospital outpatient billing/coding or outpatient surgery center billing/coding
- Certified Professional Coder – Payer (CPC-P) – directed towards those who manage claims for payers like insurance companies, Medicaid, or Medicare
- Other organizations that certify medical billers and coders exist, but these are the two most important, most highly valued certification bodies.