Steps to Become a Medical Biller and Coder in Illinois

It is important to choose a career path that can provide a future filled with job securityillinois and competitive pay. In this day and age, there are many choices, although not every occupation is guaranteed to be in demand for the long haul. Medical billers and coders are not only in demand now, but that demand is expected to grow over the next decade. A future as a medical biller or coder is an opportunity that can pay off now and for many years to come.

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Job Prospects and Potential Pay

Illinois medical billers and coders can expect to earn an average salary of $40,190 per year. The highest Illinois salary in this profession checks in at $61,540 per year. Pay rates differ according to a location in the state of Illinois and experience also factors into annual salaries. Throughout Illinois, there are increased medical billing and coding jobs available every year. There is expected to be a more than 3% increase in medical billing and coding jobs each year for the next decade in Illinois.

Some Illinois cities you may look to for medical billing and coding education information: Joliet, Oglesby, Glen Ellyn, South Holland, Moline, Belleville, Olney, Danville, and Chicago.

Top Illinois cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Decatur, Lake County, Kenosha County, Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, Champaign, Rockford, St. Louis, Bloomington, Springfield and Northwest Illinois (non-metro area)

Just a few employers of medical billers and coders in Illinois:

General Overview of Medical Billers and Coders

Medical billing and coding should not be confused as being the same job. Medical billers serve a different function as medical coders. Some companies require one employee does provide both job functions. However, there are plenty of companies that hire medical billers separately from medical coders.

The job of a medical biller involves the billing process in a health care facility. Medical billers use medical codes, given to them by medical coders, to put together claims. These claims are itemized and sent to insurance companies. But there is much more to being a medical biller in Illinois.

Medical billers are often required to spend time interacting with both patients and insurance companies. Any discrepancies with a claim are directed to medical billers. As a result, medical billers handle many claim disputes, appeals and the explanation of insurance policy guidelines.

It takes strong communication skills to be an effective medical biller. The job also requires a broad knowledge of insurance policy specifics as medical billers need to be able to explain all the fine details to patients.

Medical coders are responsible for translating medical services into codes. These services are documented in reports, notes and medical transcriptions. It is the function of a medical coder to take all those documents and translate them into codes.

Medical coders are skilled in the health care coding system which is the main tool they use on a daily basis. An expansive knowledge of those codes is a prerequisite in order to work as a medical coder in Illinois. This is also a job that can done independently as medical coders are capable of meeting deadlines on their own.

Medical coders in Illinois are typically very good with numbers. They also possess a keen attention to detail as there is an ongoing need to be extremely precise. There is less personal interaction among medical coders, although they have been known to deal with physicians and other health care professionals on a regular basis. Medical coders are also proficient with the computer software used to assist them in the process of coding.

State Licensing Requirements

Medical billers and coders do not need to apply for a state license in Illinois. There are also no indications that will change anytime soon. Medical billers and coders are free to find work in any Illinois health care facility without acquiring a license. Certifications are separate from licenses as the two should not be considered one in the same.

Meeting State Licensing Requirements

In the state of Illinois, a medical billing and coding education usually begins with at least a high school diploma or GED equivalency. Post-secondary schools are free to set their own guidelines when it comes to admissions, although colleges will require one of those two qualifications. 

Illinois Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements

The quickest way to earning a medical billing and coding certification in Illinois is by completing a certification program. The time it takes to complete this program could be anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the particular post-secondary school. Certain technical institutes, vocational schools, training centers and community colleges all feature medical billing and coding certification programs. This certificate is then used to gain employment.

Another way to become a certified medical biller or coder is to earn an Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing and Coding. These degree programs are offered through numerous colleges and take two years to complete on a full-time basis. While medical billing and coding are separate distinctions, these college programs generally combine the two. That involves in-depth coursework, which provides students with a firm grasp of medical billing and coding.

Either of those aforementioned forms of education prepares medical billers and coders to take national certifications. The AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) and AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders) both offer individual certifications for medical billers and medical coders. However, these certifications are not required to work as a medical biller or coder in the state of Illinois.

Medical billing and coding job openings require various credentials. That extent of those credentials is left in the hands of the hiring health care facility. That is why it is important to have an acceptable form, or forms, of a medical billing or medical coding certification.


Illinois Medical Billing Jobs

A vast amount of medical billing job openings in Illinois can be found on this website.

Illinois Health Information Management Association

This association provides an abundance of online resources that are valuable to health information technicians in Illinois.

Medical Coding Jobs in Illinois

Medical coders looking for work in Illinois can browse through the many job listings on this website.

American Medical Billing Association

Medical billers in Illinois can utilize all the resources provided by this national association.

Illinois Health Organizations

Look up all the different health organizations within the state of Illinois, complete with clickable links.