Choosing a career is a decision that does not come around very often. When faced with this choice, it’s a good idea to join a field that is in demand and also has a bright future ahead. More medical billing and coding professionals are needed every year as the healthcare industry continues to grow. A position as a medical biller or coder provides a valuable service, along with job stability and competitive pay.
Medical Billing and Coding Certification Requirements
The steps to becoming a certified medical biller and coder take candidates through a training program offered by accredited post-secondary schools and colleges. Certificate programs are shorter in duration as they take anywhere from six months to a year to complete. An Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Medical Billing and Coding takes a little longer to earn as this type of program lasts two years.
Both of these options will provide medical billers and coders with the necessary knowledge and skills to begin working in this profession. Medical terminology, medical coding, healthcare documentation, and anatomy and physiology are some of the areas covered in certificate and degree programs.
Post-secondary schools award certifications upon the completion of their respective programs while colleges award an Associate’s Degree. Either of those can be used to gain employment as a medical biller or coder in the state of Texas. Since there is no individual statewide certification issued to medical billers and coders, job qualifications are decided by each healthcare facility.
That also presents the option of acquiring additional certifications through nationally recognized organizations like the AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) and AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). These organizations offer exams that certify medical billers and coders across the country. Some health care agencies will ask for these certifications and adequate training in a certificate or degree program will help prepare medical billers and coders to take these exams.
General Overview of Medical Billers and Coders
Medical billing and coding are frequently grouped together, although both are separate jobs. They share similarities, but medical billers and coders perform different daily assignments. Medical billers or coders in Texas do not deal with patients in a medical capacity, meaning that neither is present during patient exams. However, both are essential to the medical billing process.
Medical billers in Texas are in charge of preparing patient bills, which are known as claims. These claims are itemized and are double checked for accuracy before being sent out. That requires medical billers to be extremely thorough when checking codes, updating patient histories and finalizing claims.
There is also a customer service component of the job as Texas medical billers deal directly with patients and insurance companies. Explaining and resolving claims is a common part of the job. That can require some back and forth, which is helped out with strong communication skills.
Medical billers in Texas contact patients and insurance companies when claims are unpaid. They also set up payment plans and contact collection agencies when necessary. The clerical part of a medical billing job demands good organizational skills and the ability to multi-task. Medical billing software is also used frequently by Texas medical billers, who ultimately shoulder a lot of responsibilities.
Medical coders in Texas are less inclined to deal with actual people. Their job focuses on translating medical reports into codes. Every medical service provided to a patient needs to be represented on a claim with the proper code. It is up to medical coders to review medical documents and apply the appropriate codes. To complete this task, Texas medical coders rely on a strong knowledge of the medical codes as well as the ICD (International Classification of Diseases).
This type of job takes high levels of concentration and the work is usually done independently. Without medical coders, a medical biller will be unable to process claims. Those codes are integral to the billing process and a top-quality coder can guarantee that a healthcare facility is fully compensated for all of the services it provides to patients. Texas medical coders practice their work with a high level of accuracy, relying on a broad knowledge base in medical coding.
Texas License Requirements
The state of Texas has not established a licensing process for medical billers and coders, both of which fall under the classification of health information technician. A lack of licensing policy allows medical billers and coders to work in any Texas hospital, ambulatory service, nursing home or physicians’ offices. Medical billers and coders can apply for job opportunities upon the completion of their training. There is no waiting for any license application process that typically requires fees and renewals.
Meeting Education Requirements
In Texas, a high school diploma or GED equivalency is typically required when starting out as a medical billing and coding student. That educational background provides students with the basic skills needed to make it through a training program. Most Texas colleges will also request that high school transcripts be sent during the admissions process.
Job Prospects and Potential Pay
The average salary of a medical biller or coder in Texas is $38,810 per year. More experienced medical billers and coders have the potential to earn up to $61,810 annually as Texas has one of the higher top-end salaries for those working in this field. The job growth is also considerable within the state of Texas as there expects to be close to 1,000 new health information technician jobs each year. That is expected to continue as Texas is anticipating a 30% job growth for medical billers and coders over the next eight years.
Texas cities with medical billing and coding education institutions: San Antonio, Tyler, Paris, Baytown, Brenham, San Antonio, Odessa, Carthage, Pasadena, and Waco.
Top Texas cities/areas for medical billing and coding careers: San Antonio, New Braunfels, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston, Sugar Land, Baytown, Killeen, Temple, Fort Hood, El Paso, San Angelo, Lubbock, Amarillo, Austin and Round Rock.
A few potential employers of medical billers and coders in Texas:
- Texas Children’s Hospital
- Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
- Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
- The Woman’s Hospital of Texas
- Texas Spine and Joint Hospital
- Methodist Hospital
- Laredo Medical Center
- Denton Regional Medical Center
- Medical City Dallas Hospital
- Texas Orthopedic Hospital
Browse through all the medical coding job listings in the state of Texas.
The Texas Medical Association offers a long line of online resources that are very useful to medical billers and coders.
View the numerous Texas medical billing job openings and apply online.
The state of Texas operates this website which features strategies and procedures in the field of health information technology.