Medical Coding and Billing in West Virginia
While West Virginia medical institutions struggle to keep up with the huge increase in patients that they’ve seen since the Affordable Care Act became law, they are on the lookout for strong health care professionals. You’ve likely been in the position of receiving a confusing or incorrectly processed medical bill before, and you know how frustrating it can be.
Becoming a medical coding and billing technician is a great way to get started in a high-demand field and make life a little bit easier for people in your community.
In particular, medical coding and billing may be a great field for you if you want to work in a community health setting. West Virginia just received a federal grant of $10 million to build and expand more community health centers (WBOY, 2015). As a community health center employee, you can get experience in many types of coding and billing.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your health care career, don’t wait! Contact medical coding and billing programs in West Virginia today to learn more about your options for study.
What to Expect in West Virginia Medical Coding and Billing Training
Medical coding and billing is an administrative specialty in health care, which means that it involves working with paperwork, computer records, and documentation more than it involves working with patients. Many coding and billing technicians only interact with patients to set up billing plans or explain billing discrepancies.
Since you do not have to provide medical care or attention to patients, this program is fairly short and it can often be completed online. You may want to compare Associate’s degree, diploma, and certificate options in West Virginia to find out which option best fits your needs.
Although there are some differences between each type of program, they tend to focus on the same skills and areas of study. As you learn about coding and billing, you may take courses like Physician Chart Auditing, Medical Terminology in Billing and Coding, Hospital-Based Medical Coding, and Physician-Based Medical Coding. Depending on the school you choose, you may also be expected to complete an internship or practicum at a local health care employer.
State government and federal government financial aid programs can be excellent resources for health care students. However, don’t forget about medical employers and associations. CAMC Health System is one of many West Virginia employers that funds awards for promising students.
Working as a Medical Billing and Coding Professional in West Virginia
Many institutions in West Virginia have a growing shortage of support staff, including medical coding and billing specialists. This may put you in a great position to find the perfect position for you once you graduate. In the years between 2012 and 2022, O*Net predicts a 22% jump in medical records jobs in West Virginia (2015).
Their statistics show that the average salary for this position is $30,800 per year (O*Net, 2015). Rural West Virginia communities are notoriously underserved in terms of health care, so you may have even more options to consider if you are willing to live in a rural area.
Becoming certified in medical billing or medical coding does require additional time, study, and money. However, you may find that it pays off in numerous ways throughout your career. AAPC, the certifying body for medical coding and billing, reports that certified individuals tend to earn significantly more than non-certified professionals. You may also use your certified status to apply for more competitive job openings.
With a career in health care, you can help those living in rural areas or below the poverty line get access to the services they need. Check out our list of medical coding and billing programs in West Virginia to get started.