Medical Coding and Billing in Mississippi
As you explore career opportunities in the medical industry, you may be curious about careers that do not depend primarily on hands-on care or patient care. This industry is massive, so no matter what your skills are, you can most likely find a job that you are excited to go to every day.
If patient care isn’t quite up your alley, you may wish to look into jobs that help the industry run more smoothly behind the scenes. The field of medical coding and billing is one of the largest in this area. When you work in the coding and billing department, you code for different diagnoses and procedures, bill patients and insurance companies, and ensure that bills are paid in full and on time. Without coding and billing specialists, care providers would be unable to continue working.
In Mississippi, this role is quite important. The state pours over $1 billion into Medicaid funding each year, and it is extremely important to them to see that their money is well spent (Daily Journal Jackson Bureau, 2015).
Find out how you can get started on this career path with medical coding and billing programs in Mississippi.
What to Expect in Mississippi Medical Coding and Billing Training
No matter which health care career you decide to pursue, it begins with the education and practical training you get. Luckily, coding and billing is one of the shortest training programs at most schools. Diploma and certificate programs often require one year or less of full-time study, while an Associate’s degree program requires an average of two years.
Upon graduating, you should feel confident about your knowledge of insurance procedures and laws, coding languages, billing languages, and ethics in the health care industry. You may take classes like Procedure Coding, Medical Terminology, Diagnostic Coding, ICD-10, and Reimbursement Methods. Since practical experience is an important part of success in this field, you may spend some time working with computer programs, shadowing medical billing specialists, or getting unpaid experience as an intern.
Once you have been accepted to the school of your choice, you can jump into the financial aid process. Your school may have scholarships and grants, and of course you can apply for federal or state funding. In Mississippi, one of the largest sources of health care scholarships is the Mississippi Rural Health Association.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Professional in Mississippi
The job outlook for medical coding and billing professionals in Mississippi is bright, as it is in many states. You may see this trend continue as federal health care standards lead to higher patient numbers in coming years. By 2022, O*Net predicts a 15% increase in medical records jobs (2015). They report an average salary of $28,100 per year in Mississippi (O*Net, 2015).
While completing your education, you may be surprised to see how many different employers hire medical coding and billing technicians. You may expect to see openings at hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. However, other places of employment include insurance companies and government agencies.
If you want to qualify for as many jobs as possible, certification may be a priority for you. AAPC offers optional certification to coding and billing graduates. This process involves passing a thorough exam and providing AAPC with proof of your educational credentials. Certification is often very beneficial during the job search, particularly if you want to work for a well-known institution or if you want to work in a specialty wing.
Are you ready to explore your opportunities in the health care industry? Learn more now by contacting medical coding and billing programs in Mississippi.