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Steps to Become a Medical Biller and Coder in Colorado

The job market continues to feature an abundance of openings in the medicalcolorado profession. That includes medical billers and coders as both play an essential role in the day-to-day operation of the medical field. A future as a medical biller or coder could open up brand new opportunities as these separate positions are in constant demand. The road to a successful future can be paved with a stable and rewarding job as a medical biller or coder.

 

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State License Requirements

Colorado does not require medical billers and coders to hold a state license. Medical billers and coders are free to work in any setting without a license, such as hospitals, private practices, medical facilities, clinics and other health care facilities.

 

Colorado Certification Requirements

The state of Colorado has a large number of colleges that offer two-year degrees in Medical Billing and Coding. While the two disciplines are different, colleges combine the two together in a curriculum that spans four semesters on a full-time basis. Students are taught medical billing essentials, which include medical terminology, insurance guidelines, and basic anatomy and physiology. Meanwhile, the coding portion teaches the universal health care coding system and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT).

A two-year Associate’s Degree will serve as an adequate form of certification when applying for most medical billing and coding jobs in Colorado. Certification programs are also offered and typically take less than a year to complete. These programs are not as comprehensive as Associate Degree programs and it is important to ensure these shorter certification programs are accredited.

Ultimately, it is up to the hiring company to decide what is and what is not an ample form of certification. Colorado has no statewide certification that is universally required to work as a medical biller or coder. Increasing one’s certifications can increase the chances of acquiring a job and also increase annual salaries.

Completing a certification program or earning an Associate’s Degree will prepare medical billers and coders to take national certification exams offered by the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) and AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). These organizations have separate exams for medical billers and medical coders. Having one of these certifications is not mandatory to work in Colorado, although it can be beneficial in a variety of ways.

 

Meeting Education Requirements

To enter into a two-year Associate’s Degree program in the state of Colorado, applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED equivalency. One-year certification programs are sometimes more liberal with their admissions policies, but it is recommended to have a high school diploma or GED equivalency to begin that kind of education as well.

 

Job Prospect and Potential Pay

Medical billers and coders in Colorado can make a very handsome salary as the average for a health information technician in the state stands at $47,800 per year. Top-end medical billers and coders can see their salary exceed $71,000 on an annual basis. The medical billing and coding job opportunities are booming with a 5% increase in new jobs each year. By the year 2024, there is expected to be 32% overall job growth in this budding field.

Colorado cities you may look to for medical billing and coding education information: Thornton, Aurora, Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Pueblo and Centennial.

Top Colorado cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Denver, Aurora, Broomfield, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins, Loveland, Pueblo, Grand Junction, and Greeley

Some potential Colorado employers of medical billers and coders:

 

Colorado Medical Biller Overview

Medical billing and coding are frequently linked together, although each is a completely different job. While the two share some similarities, there are a significant number of differences within each job description.

Medical billers in Colorado are at the heart of the legal billing process. They prepare medical bills based off codes that are provided by medical coders. The medical billing process also involves knowing the specifics of various insurance policies. Once all that information is ascertained, a medical biller completes a medical claim, which lists the costs of any services, procedures, medicines and products that were provided to the patient. These claims are itemized, which demands that medical billers be extremely accurate.

If there is some discrepancy, medical billers will contact patients and insurance company representatives to provide some clarity on the matter. This component of the job calls for strong communication and people skills. Medical billers do a lot of clerical work over the course of a day, so there is a high efficiency level when it comes to paperwork and entering information into computer systems.

 

Colorado Medical Coding Overview

Medical coders in Colorado deal more with paperwork and numbers than actual people. It is their job assignment to take medical reports and translate them into the appropriate codes. These codes are then used for billing purposes, although that facet of the process is a separate job. Medical coders provide medical billers with the necessary codes used to complete each individual claim.

Medical coders in Colorado are capable of identifying which codes are assigned to specific medical services, treatments and diagnoses. The coding system that is used on a daily basis is a rather extensive one, with various codes representing everything from a patient check up to a diagnoses for strep throat.

To keep pace with so many codes, medical coders require very good memorization skills and must also possess a close attention to detail. Medical coders routinely examine an abundance of patient records throughout the course of a normal workday. There are also instances when medical coders are required to ascertain more information about a patient in order to ensure the appropriate codes are used. It is a job that demands a high level of accuracy.

 

Resources

Medical Coding Jobs in Colorado

Medical coding jobs are available in great abundance in Colorado and here is a look at some of the current openings.

Colorado Medical Billing Jobs

This website specializes in listing medical billing jobs that are available in the state of Colorado.

Colorado Health Care Association

The Colorado Health Care Association provides a variety of informative resources that can prove helpful to medical billers and coders.

Colorado Health Care Professionals

This state-operated website provides information that is useful to all health care professionals.

American Health Information Management Association

This widely recognized organization does more than provide certifications and its website is full of valuable resources.