The medical field is brimming with opportunities that do not require multiple years of schooling. As health care continues to boom, the need for medical billers and coders continues to increase all across the United States. That means getting in now can lead you to a pathway of financial freedom and job stability for years to come. Medical billing and coding professionals play an integral role in health care as it is a job that provides a tremendous sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Arkansas Medical Biller and Coder Overviews
Medical billing and coding are frequently mentioned together, although they are not one in the same. There are some similarities between the two, although the job functions of a medical biller and a medical coder are different.
Medical billing professionals are ultimately responsible for making sure bills are accurate and all procedures are fully accounted for. There are times when medical billers have to consult with both patients and insurance companies, which is when people skills come in particularly handy.
Medical billing involves more time spent with actual patients. Medical billing professionals are well-versed in insurance protocol as well as programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Medical billing specialists are capable of dealing with people and resolving matters with actual interaction. Medical billers are also capable of deciphering complex claims by translating medical codes.
Medical coders are well versed in the coding system was created to represent medical diagnoses, procedures and products. There are many different forms of coding, which includes specialty coding, subcodes and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The conversion of codes is a responsibility that is entrusted to medical coders and also a primary part of their job duties.
Medical coders often consult physicians and other health care professionals to verify the accuracy of each procedure and diagnosis conducted on a patient. Because of the specificity of this job, medical coders in Arkansas have a thorough grasp of the coding system. There are tens of thousands of codes, which makes the job of a medical coder one that is extremely comprehensive. Medical coders also stay updated on the newest codes in addition to learning any adjustments made to codes over the course of a year.
Those individuals who can become proficient in both medical billing and coding significantly increase their prospects of landing a quality job. To accomplish this feat, individuals must have strong memorization and math skills. Medical billers and coders also have a meticulous nature as this type of work demands a high level of accuracy.
State License Requirements
The state of Arkansas has no licensing guidelines for medical billing or medical coding. Those looking to start a career as either a medical biller or medical coder will not need approval from the state before venturing into this profession.
Arkansas Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements
Without any state licensing required of medical coders and billers in Arkansas, obtaining a certification is a way of increasing the chances of finding a job. Many companies require new medical billers and coders to be certified. The journey towards earning a certification can begin with enrollment into one of the state’s post-secondary programs.
These programs are offered by training centers, technical colleges and community colleges in Arkansas. The time it takes to complete these various programs can last anywhere from six months to a year. The training also prepares students to take exams for national certifications administered by organizations like the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) and AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders).
Completion of these accredited programs signifies that students are proficient in billing and coding procedures. Billing certifications are separate from coding certifications as they are similar, but different disciplines.
Some Arkansas colleges also offer two-year Associate’s Degrees in Medical Billing and Coding. These two-year curriculums are more intensive and provide a more comprehensive curriculum in the area of medical billing and coding. A two-year program also allows students to gain a more thorough understanding of medical billing and coding, making them more valuable in the job market.
Meeting Education Requirements
An education in medical billing and coding starts with a high school diploma or GED equivalency. There is no need to take any requisite post-secondary school classes to begin an education in medical billing and coding.
Job Prospects and Potential Pay
Medical billing and coding professionals fall under the classification of Medical Records and Health Information Technicians. In the state of Arkansas, the average salary of a Medical Records and Health Information Technician is $31,180 per year. However, the more experience and credentials a medical biller or medical coder has acquired, the higher their annual salary can be. Top end salaries for medical billers and medical coders in Arkansas is $48,980 per year. New medical billing and coding jobs continue to open up every year in Arkansas as there is more than a 4% increase in job growth expected each year over the next decade.
Some Arkansas cities you may look to for medical billing and coding education information: El Dorado, Pocahontas, Little Rock, and Mountain Home.
Top Arkansas cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Phoenix, Tucson, North Arizona (nonmetropolitan area), Flagstaff, Yuma, Southeast Arizona (nonmetropolitan area), Lake Havasu City-Kingman, and Prescott.
Some potential Arkansas employers of medical billers and coders:
- Baptist Health
- Arkansas Children’s Hospital
- St. Bernards Medical Center
- Sparks Regional Medical Center
Medical billing and coding jobs are both listed under the same classification on this website.
All of the medical facilities based in Arkansas are listed with direct links to each individual website.
The AHIMA is a widely respected and recognized name in the industry and offers a host of valuable resources on its website.
This association brings together a collection of statewide resources that can be a tremendous benefit to medical billing and coding professionals.