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Steps to Become a Medical Biller and Coder in Oklahoma

There is a continual boom in the medical field, one that is showing no signs of slowingoklahoma down anytime soon. That has led to a wealth of new job openings for medical billers and coders. Those jobs come with a host of perks, such as competitive pay, health benefits and job security. A future as a medical billing and coding professional can provide a stable and rewarding career in the health care industry.

 

Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements

Medical billing and coding certifications are not mandatory in Oklahoma, although they are a way of showing prospective employers that candidates are qualified to perform their specific job duties. Oklahoma health care facilities rarely hire medical billers and coders who have no form of certification. For that reason, there are medical billing and certificate programs provided throughout the state of Oklahoma.

These certificate programs teach students all about medical billing and coding. By the end of those programs, which typically last 6-12 months, students are well-versed in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health care documentation and the medical coding system. These certifications earned from these accredited post-secondary schools can be used to gain employment.

Another option is to enroll in a two-year or four-year college that offers an Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing and Coding. In these programs, students are exposed to all the specifics of medical billing and coding. Satisfying all the program requirements results in an Associate’s Degree, which also passes as a medical billing and coding certification.

Post-secondary school training in medical billing and coding sets up students to take other certification exams offered by organizations such as the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) and AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). These organizations issue individual certifications to medical billers or medical coders and are not combined into one comprehensive certification that covers both areas.

More certifications can increase one’s credentials, but it is up to health care facilities to set their own job requirements. Those requirements differ as there are no statewide guidelines to follow. Each hiring facility has the right to choose what is an acceptable form of certification. However, Associate’s Degrees and post-secondary school certificates in medical billing and coding put candidates in a much better position to land a quality job in Oklahoma.

 

Overview of Medical Billers and Coders

Medical billing and coding jobs are not the same as each has its own set of responsibilities and tasks. Both are integral to the health care industry as they combine to provide a service which ensures facilities are financially compensated for the services they provide. Good medical billers and coders see to it that a health care facility receives the maximum amount of financial compensation for its services.

Medical billers prepare and send out actual patient bills, which are referred to as claims. However, there is a good amount of work that precedes that actual part of the process. Claims must be prepared by applying the appropriate codes that represent all of the services performed on a patient. Medical billers review those codes and all of the other information included on those claims.

Once those claims are checked for accuracy, medical billers follow up with insurance companies and payers to ensure each claim is paid. There are often disputes from both insurance companies and patients, which calls for the intervention of medical billers. Communicating with all parties is a common job task as medical billers in Oklahoma are capable of resolving those disputes.

Medical billers perform a wide array of clerical duties, but also deal with patients and insurance companies on a one-on-one basis. That requires a versatile skillset that combines computer skills, people skills, organizational skills and an attention to detail.

Oklahoma medical coders find themselves dealing more with paperwork than people. It is up to medical coders to assign specific codes to every service provided to patients by a health care facility. That includes diagnoses, medications, procedures and products. Medical reports contain all the necessary information that medical coders need. Oklahoma medical coders interpret these reports and translate them into a series of codes,

Medical coders then hand these codes to medical billers, who use them to produce claims. Coding relies on a sound knowledge of medical codes and that includes the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Subcodes are also used as medical coders in Oklahoma have an extensive knowledge in this area.

 

Education Requirements

To get started on a medical billing and coding education, a high school diploma or GED equivalency is generally required. This is not only mandatory among most post-secondary schools, but it also provides students with a foundation for the coursework they will be exposed to in a medical billing and coding program.

 

State Licensing Requirements

Oklahoma has not established any kind of licensing process for medical billers and coders. Some medical professionals must hold a valid license to work in the state, although that does not apply to medical billers and coders. Any Oklahoma hospital, doctor’s office, nursing home or insurance company will hire medical billers and coders without any kind of license. Certifications are not classified as licenses and have no state affiliation in Oklahoma.

 

Job Prospects and Potential Pay

The average pay of medical billers and coders in Oklahoma checks in at $34,240 per year. The top-end medical billing coding professionals in Oklahoma have reported annual salaries up to $51,500. New jobs are being made available all the time as there is a significant amount of growth in the Oklahoma medical billing and coding profession. In addition to the current medical billers and coders, there expects to be a 4% increase in new jobs in each of the next few years.

Oklahoma cities with medical billing and coding education institutions: Tulsa, Ardmore, Oklahoma, Stillwater, Muskogee, Stilwell, Enid, Lawton, Burns Flat, and Omega.

Top Oklahoma cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Oklahoma, Lawton, and Tulsa.

A few potential employers of medical billers and coders in Oklahoma:

 

Resources

Oklahoma Medical Coding Jobs

Look through the numerous medical coding job listings in Oklahoma on this website.

Medical Billing Jobs in Oklahoma

Medical billers looking for work can browse through this website for job listings.

Oklahoma State Medical Association

Learn more about the Oklahoma medical field on this website.

Oklahoma Health Information Management Association

The OHIMA provides a valuable collection of resources for medical billers and coders.