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Steps to Become a Medical Biller and Coder in Utah

The health care industry is booming all over the country, which means thereutah are lots of job openings for all kinds of medical professions. Among those professions is a rewarding career as a medical biller or coder. Health care facilities of all types rely a great deal on medical billers and coders in their day-to-day operations. This career path awaits those in search of a promising future filled with competitive pay and job security for years to come.

 

General Overview of Medical Billers and Coders

Medical billers and coders perform different job functions, but both are related to one another. One job cannot function without the other, although that does not classify them both as one comprehensive job. Some professionals perform both medical billing and coding duties. However, there are an abundance of health care facilities that employ medical billers and medical coders for individual job assignments.

Medical billers are entrusted with overseeing the billing process. Utah medical billers prepare patient bills, which are also known as claims. These claims need to be accurate before being sent out to patients and third-party payers. That requires medical billers to review patient histories, and enter all the necessary information on patient claims. That includes an itemized list of services that are represented by medical codes.

Medical billers continue with the process by dealing with both insurance companies and patients. There is a need for Utah medical billers to be well-versed in various insurance policies as many claims are sent out to third-parties. Medical billers frequently find themselves explaining the intricate details of these policies to patients.

There is also the need to interact with insurance company representatives in the event that a claim is disputed or denied. This requires Utah medical billers to possess good communication and people skills. These customer service areas make it essential for Utah medical billers to be comfortable with personal interaction.

Medical coders are not required to engage in nearly as much personal interaction on a daily basis. Much of their work can be done independently. The primary function of a Utah medical coding job is to translate medical reports into codes. These reports detail all of the services provided to a patient. For billing purposes, those services need to be represented by codes. That is where a medical coder comes in.

To complete this task, medical coders rely on a vast knowledge of medical codes, subcodes and ICD (International Classification of Diseases) codes. Medical coders in Utah also have a strong command of medical terminology and medical procedures. They readily recognize medical jargon and are capable of matching the right codes with the right diagnoses, procedures, products and prescriptions.

 

Utah License Requirements

Utah has no formal licensing process for medical billing and coding professionals. Utah hospitals, nursing homes, and private physician practices are various types of health care facilities where medical billers and coders can find work. The application process at any of those places does not require medical billers or coders to provide any kind of license. Certifications in medical billing or coding are not classified as licenses.

 

Utah Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements

A medical billing and coding certification is available through a variety of post-secondary schools. In order to earn one of these certifications, the completion of a certificate program is necessary. The essentials of medical billing and coding are taught in these programs, which can span anywhere from six months to a year. Each program is differentiated by individual curriculums, although most are similar in structure and length.

Similar training is available through an Associate’s Degree program in Medical Billing and Coding. These programs last two years and concentrate on similar subjects, although the extra year of study allows for a more comprehensive curriculum. Completion of one of these programs results in the awarding of a degree and not a certification. Four-year degrees are also available for those looking for an even more extensive education in medical billing and coding.

The AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) and AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) are national organizations that also offer individual certifications in medical billing and medical coding.

Acquiring certifications, certificates and degrees are a way of enhancing job prospects in the field of medical billing and coding. Each health care agency creates its own criteria for hiring medical billing and coding professionals in Utah. While there is not one generally accepted certification across the state of Utah, it is highly recommended to acquire some kind of credential.

 

Education Requirements

In the state of Utah, earning a high school diploma or GED equivalency is the first step towards becoming a medical biller or coder. Colleges make this a mandatory requirement while most post-secondary schools do the same. A high school diploma or GED equivalency provides students with the basic skills needed to move forward with a medical billing and coding education.

 

Job Prospects and Potential Pay

Medical billers and coders in Utah earn an average salary of $38,300 per year. The top earning medical billers and coders have reported making a salary of up to $58,040 annually in Utah. Those salaries differ according to location and experience. One commonality throughout the entire state is the constant need for new medical billers and coders. Each year, there is expected to be a 6% increase in the number of Utah medical billing and coding jobs. By the year 2024, estimations show that the job growth of health information technicians will expand by 32% in Utah. Those estimations were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Utah cities with medical billing and coding education institutions: Ogden, Salt Lake City, Murray, Layton, Draper, Logan, Lehi, and Tooele.

Top Utah cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Salt Lake City, St. George, Provo, Ogden, and Clearfield.

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

 

Resources

Utah Medical Billing Job Listings

The current medical billing jobs available in Utah are listed on this website.

Utah Health Information Management Association

The UHIMA is an informative resource for Utah health information technicians.

Job Openings for Medical Coders in Utah

Look through this list of job openings for medical coders in the state of Utah.

Utah Health Information Network

Connect with other professionals and utilize a host of resources on this Utah website.