Medical Coding and Billing in Washington
As the health care industry of Washington has grown and grown, you may have thought about the benefits of starting a career in health care. After all, expansion in this field means that you may enjoy job security as a health care professional.
However, not everyone is cut out for a career in patient care—that doesn’t mean that your dreams of a medical career are over. In fact, there are plenty of ways that you can contribute to this field. The Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference focuses on the many ways in which this industry can improve (State of Reform, 2015). One of the biggest areas of concern in Washington is health care costs.
Studying medical billing and coding may prepare you for one of the fastest growing jobs in this field. In this type of program, you learn about how to properly bill for procedures and make sure that insurance companies receive the appropriate paperwork and documentation.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading and find out more about medical coding and billing programs in Washington, then contact those that interest you.
What to Expect in Washington Medical Coding and Billing Training
There are many ways to become a trained, professional medical coding and billing technician. Many technical schools and community colleges in Washington have programs in this area, typically lasting between one and four semesters. Completing your training may lead to a certificate, Associate’s degree, or diploma.
Each program has a specific set of learning goals that you have to meet if you want to succeed, so make sure to look into each school’s learning goals before selecting a program. You may be expected to understand ICD and CPT coding, know the ethics of billing procedures and patient privacy, and be able to effectively work with health care professionals.
The courses you take focus on these skills and many others. Some of the classes you may take include ICD-10 Coding, Introduction to Health Insurance Concepts, Medical Office Management, CPT-4 Coding, and Reimbursement and Health Insurance.
There may be several types of financial aid that you can apply for, depending on your academic performance, your connections, and your financial need. Filling out the FAFSA is the first step. Once you’ve exhausted your government resources, you can apply for private grants, such as those offered by the Washington Hospital Healthcare System.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Professional in Washington
When you graduate, you may discover that the need for medical billing and coding technicians is very high in Washington. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net hopes to see a 20% boost in medical records technician jobs in Washington (2015). Throughout the state, the average salary for this position is $38,800 per year (O*Net, 2015).
With any health care job, it’s important to be aware of the licensing and certification procedures required in your state. Medical coding and billing technicians do not have any specific licensing requirements in the state of Washington. However, you may find that employers prefer to hire graduates with experience or certification. If you meet the educational requirements of AAPC, you may apply to take their certification exam. Once you have earned certification, you must maintain it by renewing your certification and meeting continuing education requirements.
The health care industry is so large and diverse that there are many ways for you to improve access to health care services in your community. Find out how you can start a billing career by contacting medical coding and billing programs in Washington.