Medical Coding and Billing in Louisiana
While doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners are essential parts of the Louisiana health care industry, support staff are often the glue that holds the industry together. This can be seen clearly in health care institutions all over the state. Nearly 150,000 people in Louisiana have enrolled in health insurance programs under the Affordable Care Act (KATC, 2015).
You have likely experienced what this means for medical institutions. It means that pa-tient loads are greater, care providers have less time, and it takes longer to process pa-perwork through a variety of insurance companies. If you become a medical coding and billing specialist at a Louisiana school, you can develop the career skills needed to accurately code and bill for diagnoses, procedures, and time. This has a domino effect.
When care providers can rely on billing specialists, they can spend more time with pa-tients, delegate their billing paperwork, and increase the quality of care.
If this sounds like the health care career for you, keep reading to discover what medical coding and billing programs in Louisiana have in store for you.
What to Expect in Louisiana Medical Coding and Billing Training
Before you can start your career as a coding and billing specialist, you have quite a bit to learn. Billing and coding, while related, are distinct parts of the field. By the time you graduate, you should understand the different languages, programs, and procedures used in both parts of this career. You can get the experience that you need at a diplo-ma, certificate, or Associate’s degree program. These options tend to last between six months and two years.
While evaluating different schools, you should look at their objectives and learning outcomes. Learning outcomes can show you what you need to do to thrive in this field, allowing you to properly prepare for your education. Throughout your education, you may build new skills and courses like Electronic Coding for Body Systems, Computer-ized Health Care Billing, Anatomy and Physiology, Health Care Information Systems, and Medical Terminology. As you tackle each subject and skill, you may practice with real coding and billing programs or apply your skills to work experience courses.
You may have financial aid opportunities through your school, local associations, or federal programs. For example, you may apply for health care scholarships through the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Professional in Louisiana
When you commit to a new career, it is exciting to know that a great job outlook awaits you. That’s a feeling you can enjoy when you study this field in Louisiana. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net predicts a 29% increase in job openings. That is 7% higher than the national average (O*Net, 2015). Currently, medical records technicians in Louisiana earn an average salary of $29,900 per year (O*Net, 2015). Your earning po-tential may increase as you gain experience, work in different specialties, and gain cer-tification.
You may choose to start your career without becoming certified, particularly since it is not required. Once you learn the benefits of certification, however, you may find that certification is worth the time it takes to apply. AAPC, a national or-ganization that runs certification programs for many health care careers, is home to the largest medical billing and coding certification options in the United States. You have to fill out a thorough application, supply proof of your education and degree, and earn a passing score on a rigorous exam. These efforts may pay off with a higher earning potential or more job opportunities.
Are you ready to take the next step? If so, reach out to medical coding and billing programs in Louisiana now.