The booming medical profession is calling on new workers to help out in a wide range of capacities. Medical billers and coders are part of that growing demand as they provide a key service that is integral to every health care facility. This career path can be a gateway to a whole new future as medical billers and coders enjoy competitive pay and job stability. A better tomorrow can begin right away as a professional medical biller or coder.
Pennsylvania Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements
There is a need to earn some type of certification or degree to be hired for most medical billing and coding jobs in Pennsylvania. Certification programs are offered by post-secondary schools and some colleges. These programs typically last one year, with some spanning less than 12 months. Within these programs, there is instruction that covers all the important components of medical billing and coding. The two disciplines are combined into one as certifications are evidence that recipients are prepared for a career in both fields.
Select colleges feature two-year programs that conclude with an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Medical Billing and Coding. This degree is often used to gain employment as a medical biller or coder in Pennsylvania. While it is technically not a certification, earning a degree has proven to be a sufficient qualification during the hiring process.
Medical billers and coders who are looking to add to their qualifications can take a national certification exam offered by the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) or AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). Neither of these are mandatory in Pennsylvania, although both add credibility.
Health care facilities in Pennsylvania establish their own criteria for hiring medical billers and coders. Some organizations will require more certifications while others will ask for the bare minimum. There are enough Pennsylvania job openings that allow new medical billers and coders to make good use out of their certificates or degrees as it is a field that continues to usher in new personnel each year.
Pennsylvania License Requirements
The state of Pennsylvania does not require its medical billers and coders to be licensed. Certifications do not double as licenses in Pennsylvania. The fact that there is no licensing procedure gives medical billers and coders the option of working at any kind of health care facility within the state of Pennsylvania.
Job Prospects and Potential Pay
Pennsylvania medical billers and coders can expect to earn an average salary of $38,120 per year. That does not account for the higher paying Pennsylvania medical biller and coder jobs as the top salary checks in at $55,410 annually. There is already a high population of medical billers and coders in Pennsylvania and those numbers are expected to grow by the hundreds each coming year. Job openings are available in all kinds of health care facilities, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and health clinics.
Pennsylvania cities with medical billing and coding education institutions: Philadelphia, North East, Washington, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Newtown, and Media.
Top Pennsylvania cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Altoona, Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, York, Hanover, Scranton, Wilkes, Barre, Lancaster, Reading, and Lebanon.
A few potential employers of medical billers and coders in Pennsylvania:
- Excela Health-Frick Hospital
- Eastern Regional Medical Center
- Somerset Hospital
- Nazareth Hospital
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Allegheny General Hospital
- St. Vincent Hospital
- Waynesboro Hospital
- Common Wealth Health
- Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital
- Pinnacle Health Harrisburg Hospital
Overview of Medical Billers and Coders
The job of a Pennsylvania medical biller is different from the job of a medical coder. Medical billers are required to partake in a lot more personal interaction than medical coders. Medical billers are entrusted with making sure every patient’s bill, also called a claim, is entirely accurate. That involves a fair amount of paperwork as medical billers are responsible for reviewing patient histories and verifying medical codes in claims.
That leads to direct interaction with patients and insurance companies. Since many claims go through a third-party, there is the need to distinguish the specifics of various insurance policies. When claims are disputed or denied, medical billers act as a go-between and try to resolve the issue. Medical billers also contact responsible payers when claims remain unpaid. The billing process has a lot of different moving parts, all of which involve medical billers in Pennsylvania.
Medical coder jobs are more straightforward, but remain equally as important. Medical coders perform the all-important duty of applying codes to every individual medical service provided to a patient. Those services include diagnoses, procedures, prescriptions and much more. There is a code that represents everything from an x-ray to a bronchitis diagnosis. It is the job of a medical coder to know all of those codes.
The codes are applied after reviewing medical reports which explain all of the services that were provided to individual patients. These codes are important because that is what appears on claims. Without those codes, there is no way of billing patients for the services they received at a health care facility. Pennsylvania medical coders have the capability of ensuring that a health care facility receives the maximum amount of financial compensation for the services it provides to patients.
Medical billers and coders in Pennsylvania do not deal with patients in a direct manner. While there is some interaction, there is never a need for medical billers or coders to be present during checkups, treatments or any other kind of medical services. Medical billers and coders both possess sound organizational skills and each have the ability to multi-task. The job of a medical coder in Pennsylvania is more independent in nature, although medical billers and coders both exhibit a precise attention to detail. There is the need for both billers and coders to comply with health care ethics and HIPPA laws as well.
Meeting Education Requirements
A medical billing and coding education in Pennsylvania first begins with a high school diploma or GED equivalency. Colleges may request high school transcripts or even administer a placement test to new enrollees. Post-secondary schools set their own individual admission requirements, but generally require a high school diploma or GED to get started.
Online users can apply for a full-time or part-time medical coding position in Pennsylvania.
Look through the many Pennsylvania job listings for medical billers on this website.
The PHIMA continues to be a valuable resource for all kinds of health information technicians.
The secure exchange of health information in Pennsylvania is at the forefront of this association’s website.