Medical Coding and Billing in New Mexico
As the medical industry has grown in its reach and efforts, you may have noticed that the headlines are flooded with news about New Mexico’s doctor shortage and its nurse shortage. However, they are not the only health care professionals that are needed in New Mexico. In fact, the increased workload that comes with the Affordable Care Act has left many care practitioners without the time they need to process paperwork, code for different procedures and diagnoses, and follow up on payment with insurance providers and private payers.
The solution is simple: many clinics and hospitals now rely solely on medical coding and billing professionals to process their paperwork. Technicians can make sure that everything is filed and followed up on appropriately. Changing health care statutes and standards have been good for the New Mexico economy; the state has a growing number of jobs and the uninsured rate has dropped significantly in recent years (Biz Journal, 2015).
If you’d like to work behind the scenes in health care, a career in this specialty may be a good fit for you. Keep reading to learn more about medical coding and billing programs in New Mexico and what they can do for your career.
What to Expect in New Mexico Medical Coding and Billing Training
Getting the right training is the key to succeeding in medical coding and billing. The options available to you depend on where you live in New Mexico. Some schools have multiple degree options within this field, as you may want to choose the one that is most in line with your goals. For example, those who want to graduate as quickly as possible may choose a one-year diploma or certificate program. If you would like to someday return to school for your Bachelor’s degree, you may opt for a two-year Associate’s degree program.
The course load for a medical coding and billing program can be intense, so get ready to break open your books and spend some time studying, memorizing, and testing yourself. Some of the courses you may take to further your knowledge include Medical Terminology, Computers in Health Care, Survey of Health Care Delivery, Legal Aspects of Health Care, CPT Coding, and ICD-10 Coding.
If you’re wondering about financial aid, you may be in luck. Since the health care industry has grown so much in recent years, the amount of financial aid options has increased considerably. The New Mexico Higher Education Department funds several different scholarships for health care students.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Professional in New Mexico
When you decide to commit yourself to a career, it is always comforting to know that you have chosen a field with strong job growth and potential for a high salary. In New Mexico, you may enjoy both as a medical coding and billing technician. Across the state, the average salary for a professional in this field is $30,900 per year (O*Net, 2015). Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net hopes to see a 14% increase in job openings in New Mexico (O*Net, 2015).
As soon as you know you’re going to work in this field, it’s important to start building your professional community. Strong academic performance is important, of course, but perhaps equally important is who you know in the industry. Joining professional health care organizations, going to career fairs, and getting experience through internships are all great ways to become part of the health care community. You can also look into getting certified through AAPC, the largest certification organization in the United States for medical billing and coding technicians.
Are you ready to become part of one of the largest industries in New Mexico? Get involved now by contacting medical coding and billing programs in New Mexico.