Louisiana Medical Billing and Coding Schools
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), 57,810 workers were employed in healthcare support occupations in Louisiana as of May 2013. Medical billing and coding specialists fall under the umbrella of medical records and health information technicians and are responsible for organizing healthcare data with an eye for accuracy, quality, security and accessibility of medical records. Through the use of universal classification systems, they help create accurate patient records that serve as the bridge between patients, providers and insurance companies.
Degree programs and coursework at medical billing and coding schools in Louisiana
Most employers require medical billers and coders to hold certification, according to the BLS. Certification and degree programs customarily cover courses such as:
- Medical terminology
- Classification and coding systems
- Reimbursement methodologies
- Insurance and billing
- Ethics and privacy
- Anatomy and physiology
- Certifications and licensing
Certification is available through numerous national organizations. Certification from AAPC, the nation's largest training and credentialing organization, is recognized by Medicaid and Medicare. In order to receive certification, applicants must typically successfully complete an accredited medical billing and coding program and pass the certification exam. Some organizations also require proof of coding experience. Continuing education is then necessary to keep the certification current. Medical billing and coding certifications from AAPC include:
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
- Certified Professional Coder-Hospital Outpatient (CPC-H)
- Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P)
- Certified Professional Biller (CPB)
Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) programs and certifications are available to those who want to work in medical billing and coding, but perhaps in an expanded scope. For those interested in expanding their medical coding and billing education to encompass all facets of health information, educational programs are available from the certification level to the master's level in health information management (HIM), some of which are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
Medical billing and coding graduates do not have to be licensed in the state of Louisiana, but the BLS reports most employers prefer to hire health information technicians, and thus billers and coders, who have earned professional certification.
Medical billing and coding career overview
The BLS expects job growth of medical records and health information technicians of 22 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2022. In the state of Louisiana, job growth for the profession will be just over 30 percent through 2020, according to Projections Central (projectionscentral.com). Much of the growth in the field will be spurred by an aging population of baby boomers and the move to electronic health records in medical facilities across the nation. Most of this work is in hospitals, but job opportunities are also available in offices of physicians, nursing and residential care facilities, and government entities.
The BLS reported a national median hourly wage of $16.81 in May 2013 for medical records and health information technicians, while the median hourly wage in Louisiana in 2013 was $14.84.
Medical Billing and Coding Certificate, Kaplan University, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/health-sciences/medical-billing-coding-certificate.aspx
Medical Billing and Coding, Louisiana, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
Medical Coding Certification, AAPC, http://www.aapc.com/certification/medical-coding-certification.aspx
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Louisiana, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_la.htm
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292071.htm
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm