How to Become a Medical Biller and Coder in Illinois
Medical billing and coding jobs in Illinois require exceptional organization and attention to detail.
Like other professions in the healthcare field, billers and coders need to undergo specialized training to learn how to perform their duties quickly and accurately.
Obtaining an official billing and coding certification might also be a good idea if you want to qualify for higher-paying positions.
Education and Training
Find Schools Near You
Wondering how to become a medical biller or coder in Illinois? Attending billing and coding classes at a local trade school or community college is essential if you want to qualify for medical billing and coding jobs in Illinois. However, you’ll also need to choose which of these two skills you want to learn.
Medical billing and coding are different jobs, though sometimes, a single person does them both. Because of this, hopefuls can enroll in a program that teaches medical billing or medical coding or take a dual course that covers both disciplines.
Classes for medical billers typically include:
- Medical Terminology
- Health Insurance and Reimbursement
- Clinical Documentation Improvement
- Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, CHIP, and Worker’s Compensation
- Revenue Cycle Management
- Insurance Claims
What Do Medical Coders Need to Know?
Medical coders also need an understanding of medical terminology and standard healthcare practices. However, their classes usually include specific information about the current industry coding systems and standards.
Curriculum varies across institutions, but medical coding students in IL might learn one of the following systems:
- The Current Procedural Terminology/Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (CPT)/(HCPCS)
- The International Classification of Disease, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)
- The International Classification of Disease, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS)
- The International Classification of Disease, 11th Revision (ICD-11)
Coding systems receive annual updates to account for research and policies that lead to new medical procedures and healthcare services. As a result, coders need to complete continuing education hours after they graduate to stay informed about changing trends in the coding industry.
Medical billers and coders in IL review medical charts and documentation as part of their daily tasks. If there are any errors or inaccuracies in a patient’s records, the biller or coder must check with nursing staff, physicians, and other members of the patient care team to clear up any confusion and ensure accurate billing and coding.
Additional Skills to Enhance
Because of this, communication classes are an essential part of medical billing and coding curriculum.
Programs might also include HIPPA regulations and information about pharmacology, phlebotomy, EKG administration, medical lab testing procedures, and other aspects of medical care so students can have a thorough understanding of the codes for each healthcare service and treatment a patient receives.
Illinois Biller and Coder Requirements
For some employers, your certificate or diploma from an accredited trade school or community college program serves as proof of your qualifications. Because of this, hopefuls might be able to get medical biller and coder jobs in Illinois as long as they have the necessary training.
However, obtaining a credential as a Certified Professional Biller (CPB), Certified Professional Coder (CPC), or both might increase your chances of getting hired at a private hospital or specialized medical center. Aspiring medical billers and coders in IL can take a certification exam through one of the following agencies:
- The National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)
- The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
Eligibility requirements differ between these organizations, but candidates typically need to be at least 18 and provide a copy of their high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. You’ll also need to submit your official transcripts from your medical billing or coding course or documentation showing one year of supervised, on-the-job billing or coding experience.
Applying for the Exam
Once you submit the necessary paperwork, you can pay the required fees and register to take your certification exam. Most aspiring medical billers and coders in IL take the online version of the test, though you might be able to find a local testing center in your area if you’d prefer to take your exam in person.
If you want to work in a specialized field of medicine or a certain type of patient care facility, you might consider pursuing certification in one of the following:
- Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC)
- Certified Outpatient Coder(COC)
- Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)
- Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC)
- Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA)
Medical Biller and Coder Salaries in IL
Annual earnings for medical records specialists vary depending on where you live and work. For example, the average medical biller or coder salary in Illinois is about $35,642 per year. However, your wages might be higher or lower than average in some areas. Check out this list to learn about how much medical billers and coders make in different regions:
- Springfield $37,098
- Peoria $31,450
- Chicago $37,217
- Rockford $36,980
- Elgin $34,621
- Decatur $29,885
Employees who perform both medical billing and coding duties might earn a starting salary closer to $40,000 per year. Over time, their wages might increase to about $60,000 annually.
Medical billers and coders perform different tasks during the workday. However, medical billing and coding jobs in Illinois both involve reviewing medical charts and documents to ensure the hospital, clinic, or medical facility you work for receives payment for all the services it provides. Medical coders analyze patient medical records and assign a diagnostic code to each service the patient received, including:
- Physicals and exams
- Diagnostic tests
- Blood and fluid sample collection
- Treatments and procedures
- Medications and immunizations
Billers then review and confirm this information before contacting the patient’s insurance provider to determine the final cost of the patient’s bill. Medical billers also work with patients to set up affordable payment plans as needed.
Billers and coders sometimes change careers to become medical transcriptionists or records technicians or take on more patient care duties as medical assistants. Because of these career transitions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a seven-percent increase in the demand for medical records specialists over the next decade.