Medical Billing and Coding Education in Illinois - IL
Steps to becoming a Medical Biller and Coder in the state of Illinois
The steps to follow in becoming a biller and coder are best pursued as follows:
- Acquaint yourself with the daily workload of a biller and coder from someone in that field.
- Look into what opportunities and specializations are available to fit your goals.
- Enroll in an accredited college or online program for this field (a one or two year program for an Associate’s degree but only three to six months for an Illinois medical billing certificate)
- Fulfill the internship part of the program to qualify for medical billing and coding certification in Illinois.
- Seek employment with a hospital, clinic, insurance company, billing and coding firm to start your career.
- As you gain proficiency in the intricacies of the position increase your knowledge and seek a higher level of certification.
A hiring profile of the industry shows hospitals as the major employer of billers and coders. Following hospitals in the profile are physician offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient treatment centers and other types of healthcare facilities.
There are many avenues to explore in a career as a Medical Biller and Coder in Illinois. The most valuable will be your hands-on experience in conquering the basics of the field. After accomplishing this during the first year or two you can apply for a specialization that interests you or seek to move into a supervisory or other role in management.
Professional Associations for Illinois Medical Billing and Coding Specialists
It is beneficial to be a part of one or more professional organizations for billers and coders. Most are national organizations, but many also have local groups for more direct contact. Most offer training, preparation for exams, the exams, CEU (continuing education units) to maintain and acquire additional certifications, as well as numerous other benefits and resources. Some have membership status that can allow discounts when renewing or applying for additional certifications.
Here are some of the highly regarded associations:
AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association, www.ahima.org
AHIMA offers training, exam preparation, and the exam together with specialization programs, and other benefits and resources. They offer a student membership for $35 as well as active membership for credentialed professionals for $165.
AAPC, American Academy of Professional Coders, www.aapc.com
AAPC has both online and classroom programs for training and certification. They also have a student membership for $70 or individual membership for $120.
BMSC, The Board of Medical Specialty Coding, www.medicalspecialtycoding.com
PAHCS, The Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists, www.pahcs.org
BMSC and PAHCS are national organizations dealing with coding specialization certification. Costs and information vary according to the type of specialization you are applying for and whether or not they are membership-based.