On average, the medical coder salary ranges from $34,000 to $43000 per year. However, these figures can be obtained with basic certification but when coupled with both specialization and experience, the figures stand at about $44,000 to $57,000 per year. However, the entry level salary range for medical coders in some areas of the US can be $30,000 per year; various factors are responsible for this disparity.
Pay scale in different parts of the US
There is no question that the geographic location will determine the pay scale even when it comes to medical coders. There are states where the salaries are higher than others as detailed below. Dallas, Houston, Texas, Phoenix and New York are some of the top cities to expect a higher pay. On average, starting salaries will be $40,000 while for people who are fully certified and experienced will earn up to $57,000 per year. Other good cities where medical coders can expect a higher pay rate include Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis, Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta; among others. There are several reasons why these areas will attract better perks than others. First, it is the growth opportunities as well as re-energized health sectors.
Prospects of a stable job in the cities also boost the performance of the sector. In addition, cities that have certified professionals also attract industry standard salaries. The best states where medical coding careers are rife and perks are good include Ohio, New Jersey, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Alabama; the list goes on. At these locations, entry level medical coder salary is not below $34,000; depending on the qualification of the candidate.
Job Description of a medical coder
A medical coder also referred to as a medical biller is a professional whose main duty is to determine medical procedure costs to bill to relevant insurance companies on behalf of the hospital. After the services have been offered by the hospital, the reimbursement is followed up by a medical coder. In this regard, a coder will be in a position to generate both inpatient and outpatient records at the same time provide billing for the cost of the treatments and procedures.
There is a lot of claims processing involved and hence knowledge in medical terminology, physiology and anatomy is critical. In a nut shell, a medical coder will create treatment procedure files and diagnostic codes implementing coding and billing guidelines to claim reimbursement from the relevant insurance groups. They will be familiar with the laid out standardized procedure that goes into making this job possible.
How to become a medical coder
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To become a medical coder, you must have the interest and passion to work in the industry. Furthermore, you must have the right training to enable you quality for specialist training. In addition, you must have time to train accordingly. To become a specialist, you must attain a certificate that will make you a Certified Professional Coder CPC. Alternatively, you can study for the certificate of Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). This is the sure way to get your foot at the door of this promising career choice.
To become a qualified and professional medical coder in the United States, you must posses a AAPC’s Certified Professional Coder certification. In addition, you will need AHIMA’s Certified Coding Specialists credentials. Passing one of these will see you qualify; but getting both will establish you as a professional who will attract higher perks. With the CPC, a 70% will determine your pass. Nearly half of all people who take this exam do not pass for the first time and proper preparation is the key. Among other areas, you will be tested on pathology, medicine, evaluation and management, radiology, anatomy, terminology in medicine; among others. ICD-10-CM and HCPCS are also critical areas of study. Having these two critical certifications will definitely give you the keys to a prosperous career in medical coding in the United States.
Medical coder salary in Canada, Australia and UK
On average, the medical coder salary in Canada is $31,000 per year. Highly specialized and experienced coders in Canada will bag up to $62,000 per year. Medical coders in Australia earn $61,000 per year and those who gain experience in the field over the years will average $72,600 per year. A trainee medical coder in the UK will earn anywhere between 19,000 and 20,000 sterling pounds. For seasoned and experienced professional, they take home not less than 34,000 to 50,000 pounds sterling per year. With every respect, this career is highly lucrative and it gets even better when you are certified and experienced.
Conclusion on medical coder salary
According to the United States, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, medical coding and billing is on an upward trend and this has been forecasted up to 2018. In this regard, if you are looking for a career that holds good prospects for the future, this might just be your area. Those who are passionate about the health sector can also add their weight to make a difference in society. People who did not make to become doctors or nurses can consider this career to get their foot into the medical sector. It is an exciting career to say the least and above all, it pays for your efforts as well. However, to get the most out of this career, be prepared to get certified with relevant certificates.
In addition, get the right experience and establish yourself as a specialist. It is only these factors that will open doors to good pay and better perks. Consider moving to cities that make this career even easier. Miami, Tampa, New York, New Jersey ad Chicago are just a few. Other areas have been mentioned in this article. Here, you will find the right schools and environment for success compared to cities that have less vibrancy regarding this career. There is no substitute for working hard, once you are certified, you can even get jobs in Canada, UK and Australia; do not limit your vision and opportunities. The certification is recognized in various countries and it is your duty to follow up. All in all, this is the right career path if you are interested in making a difference in your society. At the end of the day, it facilitates healing and health in a unique way.