When the time comes to choose a new career, the option of entering the medical profession is something everyone should strongly consider. There are positions available that do not require years of training as new members of this field can start earning formidable salaries in less than a year. Medical billers and coders can get a fast start on a future filled with job stability and competitive pay. The future can begin now as there is a high demand for new medical billers and coders.
A high school diploma or GED Equivalency serves as the minimum requirements to start out in most medical billing and coding post-secondary school programs. Colleges require at least one of those qualifications and could also request transcripts and even issue a placement test. However, no post-secondary school credits are needed to begin a South Dakota education in medical billing and coding.
South Dakota Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements
South Dakota does not oversee a mandatory test for medical billers and coders that would result in the awarding of a certification. However, most employers require their medical billers and coders to hold some type of certification or degree. An Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing and Coding is offered by both two and four-year colleges. These programs provide comprehensive coursework in medical billing and coding, combining the two disciplines into one curriculum.
Certification programs at post-secondary schools offer a similar type of training. This training is part of a program that lasts anywhere from six months to a year. Technical institutes, vocational schools, professional training centers and community colleges typically offer these programs.
Once all of the training in a certificate program or college has been completed, both will serve as qualifications that can be used to earn a medical billing or coding job in South Dakota. It is up to each hiring agency to determine what passes as an acceptable form of qualification. But keep in mind that non-certified applicants tend to have a minimal chance of obtaining employment.
Training programs will also prepare medical billers and coders to take national certification exams offered by the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) or AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). These national organizations offer separate certifications for medical billing and coding. Neither are required to work as a medical biller or coder in South Dakota, but both can enhance one’s overall credentials.
Job Prospects and Potential Pay
Medical billing and coding salaries in South Dakota average out at $37,870 annually. That does not mean medical billers and coders cannot earn more on a yearly basis. The top earning medical billers and coders in South Dakota report salaries that reach up to $56,960 per year. Job growth continues to grow among South Dakota medical billers and coders as there expects to be an 9% overall increase over the next eight years.
South Dakota cities with medical billing and coding education institutions: Madison, Aberdeen, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls.
Top South Dakota cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: Rapid City and Sioux Falls
A few potential employers of medical billers and coders in South Dakota:
- Rapid City Regional Hospital
- Avera Heart Hospital
- Spearfish Regional Hospital
- Avera Queen of Peace Hospital
- Custer Regional Hospital
- Prairie Lakes Healthcare System
- Lewis and Clark Specialty Hospital
- Sturgis Regional Hospital
- Brookings Health System
- Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital
- Mobridge Regional Hospital and Clinics
South Dakota License Requirements
The state of South Dakota has not made it mandatory for medical billing and coding professionals to be licensed. An absence of licensing allows medical billers and coders to work in any South Dakota health care facility. It should also be noted that medical biller or coder certifications are not considered to be licenses.
Overview of a Medical Biller and Coder
The job of a medical biller and medical coder are different from one another. While some professionals perform both medical billing and coding duties in their daily assignments, it is not a requirement to do so. Medical billing and medical coding positions are entrusted to more than one employee as each job has its own specific requirements and tasks.
Medical billers in South Dakota are responsible for putting together patient bills, also known as claims. These claims are often sent to third-party payers, which are typically insurance companies. That requires South Dakota medical billers to have a sound understanding of various insurance policies and all that they entail.
Medical billers use medical billing software to facilitate this process. They also submit secondary claims, handle claims disputes, claims denials, and occasionally perform soft collections on accounts that are past due. Medical billers also prepare claims for patients who are not covered under insurance policies. There is always the need for medical billers to abide by HIPPA guidelines when handling these claims.
Medical billers have very good organizational skills and are capable of handling clerical work that involves handling paperwork and computer systems. Because they often deal with patient inquires and insurance companies, South Dakota medical billers have good communication skills as well.
Medical coders often find themselves working more independently. It is their job to supply medical billers with the appropriate codes that are to be included on patient claims. Medical coders in South Dakota take medical reports and documents and then translate them into a series of codes. Physicians, nurses and other health care professionals document all of the services provided to patients, although those documents are too extensive to be included in patient claims. That is where a coding system has simplified the process.
South Dakota medical coders have a strong knowledge of all the codes used in the health care industry. Every patient diagnosis, prescription and procedure is represented by a specific code. Without the right codes, a patient will not be billed correctly for all the services provided to them by a health care facility.
Capable medical coders can make a valuable difference and ensure that health care facilities receive the maximum amount of financial compensation from patients and insurance companies. This requires a high level accuracy as South Dakota medical coders possess a close attention to detail. Medical coders in South Carolina are also capable of working without any direct supervision and capable of delivering on tight deadlines.
Check out which companies are looking for new medical billers and apply online.
Look through a host of valuable health information technology resources in South Dakota.
Browse through medical coding jobs available in South Dakota.
This association provides and abundance of resources for South Dakota medical billers and coders.