The healthcare field is growing and evolving at breakneck speed, consistently creating new job opportunities in medical billing, medical coding, and medical transcription. The career prospects for billing, coding, and transcription school graduates have never been better. There are two main degree options from which to choose in this expanding field: one year certificate and diploma programs, as well as two-year associate’s degree programs. Additionally, evening, weekend, and online classes are available, making it easier for those who have a full-time job to further their education and pursue a career in billing, coding or transcription.
What to Expect from Billing, Coding, and Transcription Degree Programs
Billing, coding, and transcription programs teach students to codify patients’ medical information for reimbursement purposes, calculate charges, develop bills, and transcribe dictated recordings made by doctors and other healthcare professionals. While undergoing billing, coding, and transcription training, students study a variety of healthcare-related subjects, including medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and diagnostic procedures. Furthermore, students are typically required to take billing, coding, and transcription courses in areas like report writing, medical insurance, and legal issues in health professions. In addition to taking standard billing, coding, and transcription classes, students may be required to study English grammar and punctuation, as well as database security and management.
When you graduate with a degree in medical billing and coding, you will be expected to know the basics of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) terminology, and you will likely gain computerized medical and hospital billing skills.
Medical Billing, Coding, and Transcription Career Paths and Certification
The are several career paths for graduates of medical billing, coding, and transcription programs, including:
- Medical transcriptionists, who transcribe the recordings made by medical professionals into medical reports.
- Medical records and health information technicians, who assemble patients records or “health information,” including history, symptoms, exam and test results, treatment methods, etc, in order to ensure their accuracy and security.
- Medical coders, a specialty within health information, where individuals are responsible for assigning a code to each patients’ diagnosis and treatment to determine how much medical providers will be paid.
- Medical billers, who are responsible for taking the coded patient records and submitting the claims to insurance companies on the healthcare providers’ behalf.
Aspiring medical transcriptions can sit for two exams provided by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI): the Registered Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) certification, which can be earned by recent graduates of transcription programs, and the Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) for those who have at least two years of experience. To become a Registered Health Information Technicians (RHIT), you can take an exam provided by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) once you have completed an accredited associate’s degree program, and for coding certification, you must pass a test give by the American Academy of Professional Coders.
Job Opportunities Available to Billing, Coding, and Transcription Program Graduates
A billing, coding, and transcription degree prepares you to work in a variety of settings. For example, you could work at an insurance company, helping to follow up claims for payment. Other facilities where billing, coding, and transcription specialists are commonly employed include hospitals, nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, federal government agencies, and home healthcare services.
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for medical transcriptionists is projected to increase by 11% through 2018, and jobs for medical records and health information technicians are expected to grow by 20%. Someone with a degree from a billing, coding, and transcription college can expect to earn median hourly wages of $15.41 as a transcriptionist and the median annual wage of $30,610 as a medical records and health information technician (also includes the salary of coding specialists).
The higher your education level and the more experience you have, the higher your earning potential will be. If you would like to advance your medical billing, coding, and transcription career, you could earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in health information management or healthcare administration in order to qualify you for a supervisory position.
The healthcare industry is growing, as is the demand for qualified medical billing specialists, medical coders, and medical transcriptionists. You, too, can become a part of this rewarding field by pursuing an education. Explore the various billing, coding, and transcription training programs available to decide which one is right for you. Start researching billing, coding, and transcription schools today.