Medical Billing and Coding Education in Vermont - VT
By Susan Maphis, allied health world contributing writer
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Medical Biller and Coder – Vermont
The state of Vermont has the fifth highest number of workers in Medical Records and Health Information, which includes Medical Billers and Coders. Five hundred and sixty citizens of Vermont are employed in this growing field, making an average of $33,000 per year (about $3000 more than most workers in the field who live in other states earn). Once you are trained in medical coding/billing and have earned certification(s), it is possible to work as a medical biller and/or coder from home.
How to Be a Medical Biller and Coder in Vermont
- After high school, enroll in a program accredited by one of the primary organizations involved in medical billing and coding (the AAPC, or American Academy of Professional Coders; and the AHIMA, or American Health Information Management Association, are the two main accrediting bodies)
- Work in an entry-level job in medical billing/coding in Vermont. You need practical work experience combined with education in order to ace any national certification exams later. After about six months to a year (depending upon from whom you seek certification), you can sit for a certification exam.
- Medical billing and coding certification in Vermont is offered by various organizations including the AAPC, AHIMA, the National Healthcareer Association, and the Practice Management Institute. While certifications by the National Healthcareer Association and the Practice Management Institute are valid with some employers, most employers of medical billers and/or coders will also readily accept a Vermont medical billing certificate given by the AAPC and/or the AHIMA.
- AAPC certification tests are given across the country in most states. In Vermont, they are given in Barre, Morrisville, and Richford. The stratus of certification in the AAPC goes from Certified Professional Coder (CPC), which requires a year of practical experience; to Certified Professional Coder - Outpatient Hospital examination (CPC-H), requiring experience /training in outpatient billing/coding; to the Certified Professional Coder – Payer examination (CPC-P), which is for those working as payers. More information and registration for all of the certification tests given by the AAPC is at www.aapc.com/certification.
- AHIMA certification exams cost $199 to $399. Information and online registration for these tests is available at www.ahima.org. Their certification levels begin at Certified Coding Associate (CCA), requiring six months of practical experience in medical billing and/or coding; Certified Coding Specialist (CCS), requiring three or more years of practical experience; and Certified Coding Specialist – Physician Based (CCS-P), requiring three or more years of practical experience plus specialized training/education in physician-based billing and coding.
- Once you have earned the above medical billing and coding certification in Vermont (AAPC or AHIMA), renew them as directed and take continuing education courses to maintain your credentials. (Certification/credentials offered by the National Healthcareer Association and the Practice Management Institute do not require renewal or continuing educational courses, which might explain why credentials from these organizations are not as highly valued by employers).