Medical Coding and Billing in Illinois
With its complex health care system that meets the needs of huge urban areas, affluent suburban communities, and small rural areas, Illinois depends on the services of health care support staff. If you want to work in health care but prefer a specialty that does not focus on patient care, medical coding and billing could be the perfect career for you to explore.
Even if you’ve only ever been on the patient side of the health care industry, you have undoubtedly noticed that this field has evolved a lot in the last few years. Now that everyone in Illinois is required to have insurance, care expenses are on the rise. For both insurance companies and patients, every dollar counts. Medical institutions need professional coding and billing specialists who can analyze, process, and double-check billing paperwork.
Are you interested in pursuing a health care career that focuses on technical skills and technological advancement in medicine? If that sounds like the path for you, use our list of schools below to contact medical coding and billing programs in Illinois.
What to Expect in Illinois Medical Coding and Billing Training
There’s more to billing and coding than filling out paperwork and making sure it’s properly filed. Actually, working in this field requires quite a diverse set of skills. These skills should be outlined by the learning outcomes of your program.
Typically, schools in this area tend to focus on maintaining patient confidentiality, protecting client information, learning about insurance-related practices, and develop a knowledge of health care paperwork and billing procedures.
The curriculum for your medical coding program should help you meet all of these goals and even more. Whether you decide to earn a diploma, certificate, or Associate’s degree, you may take a fairly similar set of courses. Classes that are often required include Health Care Terminology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Health Insurance Principles, Medical Coding, Medical Billing Procedures, and Computerized Medical Billing. If you want to start building connections in this field before you start your career, consider selecting a school with internship or externship opportunities.
There are numerous financial aid opportunities in Illinois, especially if you are willing to work in a rural area after graduation. The Illinois Center for Rural Health awards grants through the state government.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Professional in Illinois
The future is bright in the field of medical coding and billing, and it’s expected to remain that way for several years to come. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net anticipates a 12% increase in medical billing jobs in Illinois, which averages out to 300 new jobs per year (O*Net, 2015). The average salary in this specialty is $35,300 per year, which is very close to the nationwide average (O*Net, 2015). You may find that your job outlook and income potential both improve with experience, continuing education, and certification.
Certification is entirely optional in this field, but it has quite a few benefits. AAPC has several medical coding and billing certification programs. You may qualify for certification after going through the application process, sending in proof of your education, and passing a comprehensive exam.
This is a great time to get started on your new health care career. Discover what your next step is by reaching out to medical coding and billing programs in Illinois.