There are plenty of benefits that come with choosing a career as a medical billing and coding professional. Healthcare facilities are continually searching for new workers in this field and that makes it an opportune time to start out a career as a medical biller or coder. That future does not have to wait as a career in medical billing or coding can provide a pathway towards competitive pay, job security, and much-needed benefits.
- Penn Foster offers two programs that can be beneficial for those interested or currently working in the healthcare field. ICD-10 Training for ICD-9 Coders is a shorter certificate program that focuses solely on teaching skills needed to process ICD-10 codes.
State Licensing Requirements
Louisiana does not require its medical billers and coders to be licensed. There is no policy or procedure that health information technicians or billing specialists have to follow in Louisiana in terms of licenses. That means medical billers and coders can find employment in any Louisiana hospital, doctor’s office or another kind of healthcare facility.
Louisiana Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements
There is no one certification for medical billers and coders in Louisiana that serves as the unquestionable industry standard. However, many employers will require their medical billers and coders to prove their qualifications with some kind of certification. Those certifications can be attained by completing a one-year certificate program at a post-secondary school, or by earning an Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing and Coding from an accredited college.
Both of those options typically combine medical billing and coding into the same coursework. Being proficient in both disciplines will increase the possibility of obtaining a job and can also demand higher pay rates. A certificate or degree will show that an individual is skilled in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, healthcare documentation, and other necessary job skills.
Job listings feature various qualification requirements as it is up to each health care facility to determine what is acceptable. Certifications are not required to work as a medical biller and coder in Louisiana, although non-certified job applicants often have less of a chance at obtaining employment.
National certifications are offered separately in medical billing and medical coding through the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) or AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). These certifications are not mandatory to work in the state of Louisiana as a medical biller or coder, but they cannot hurt the chances of gaining employment or commanding a higher salary.
The state of Louisiana has not set statewide criteria for the minimum educational requirements for medical billers and coders. However, most post-secondary schools require new enrollees in their respective medical billing and coding programs to hold a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalency.
Job Prospects and Potential Pay
Louisiana features an annual average salary of $32,390 among its medical billing and coding professionals. Medical billers and coders in Louisiana can exceed that annual amount as some professionals within the state earn as much as $47,720 yearly. A lot of the differences in pay rates depend upon the experience and credentials of a medical biller or coder. The job prospects continue to increase with an abundance of anticipated job openings throughout the state in each of the next few years. The Louisiana medical profession is expanding and that has demanded a need for more medical billing and coding professionals.
Some Louisiana cities you may look to for medical billing and coding education information: Eunice, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Chalmette, Hammond, Shreveport and Bossier City.
Top Louisiana cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Bossier City, Houma, Bayou Cone, Thibodaux, Monroe and Lake Charles.
Just a few employers of medical billers and coders in Louisiana:
- Allen Parish Hospital
- Alexandria VA Medical Center
- Abbeville General
- Avoyelles Hospital
- Lake Charles Memorial System
- East Jefferson Memorial Hospital
- West Jefferson Medical Center
- Rapides Regional Medical Center
Overview of a Louisiana Medical Biller and Coder
Medical billers and coders both work in hospitals, private physician practices, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. The two jobs are often labeled together, but the reality is medical billers and coders are completely separate jobs.
Medical billers do a lot of clerical work, but also interact with insurance companies and patients. Medical billers carry out the billing process by ensuring the entirety of each bill is accurate. That involves a good deal of paperwork. Medical billers in Louisiana must also be proficient with computer software that is used by healthcare information technicians.
Medical billers in Louisiana ensure all the data is in order and that includes keeping track of patient information over the course of numerous visits. Medical billers are also familiar with specific insurance company policies and well-versed in the complexities of programs like Medicaid and Medicare. That knowledge is used to clear up any uncertainties among patients and insurance companies. And when there is a claims dispute, medical billers try to work through it as a source of information for both patients and insurance companies.
Medical coders in Louisiana are well-versed in the coding system used in health care. They are responsible for the translation of medical services into the appropriate codes. The billing process uses these codes and relies a great deal on accuracy. To ensure those codes are correct, medical coders analyze patient records and assign the appropriate codes. The information is coded specifically and must be managed right down to every detail. Throughout each job assignment, medical coders in Louisiana are expected to always maintain patient confidentiality.
There is the occasional need for medical coders to contact physicians directly to confirm any discrepancies regarding patient information. However, there is often a minimal amount of interaction required of a medical coder, many of whom are capable of working independently.
While medical billers and coders have different job assignments, one person is capable of handling both duties. That requires a strong multi-tasking individual with an eye for detail and a commitment to accuracy.
Browse through the various job openings for medical billers in Louisiana on this website.
Find out more on all of the primary care services and providers in Louisiana.
Browse through all of the hospitals in Louisiana and learn more by utilizing each hospital’s direct link.
Check out which companies and healthcare facilities are looking for new medical coders in the state of Louisiana, courtesy of LinkedIn.
This association offers a variety of resources on its Louisiana website.