How to Become a Medical Biller & Coder in Pennsylvania

Pursuing medical billing and coding job is a popular choice if you want to work in healthcare without the hands-on patient care.

Education and Training

To get started, you need to enroll in  training program like ones below.

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Get information on Medical Billing and Coding programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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How Will It Benefit You?

Graduates of the course will be eligible to take any of the major certification exams below:

Certified Professional Coder offered by AAPC

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Certified Coding Associate offered by AHIMA

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Certified Billing and Coding Specialist offered by NHA

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Passing the exam wil give you an advantage over other candidates when applying for local jobs.

Depending on which organization you choose, you might even be able to obtain a specialized coding certificate for specific areas of the medical field, such as cardiology, pediatrics, orthopedic surgery, dermatology, or even family medicine.

How Long Is It?

It will take about 1 year to complete.  It is 370 course hours, but you can work as fast or slow as you want since it is online.

Enroll at anytime.

How Much Does it Cost?

$3,200 for the classes above. Financing is available and included in the fee is a voucher for the exam.

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What Courses Do You Take?

During your education program, you typically take classes on:

  • Essential medical coding terminology focusing on human anatomy and physiology
  • Comprehensive knowledge of disorders and procedures for each body system
  • Understanding of legal, ethical, and regulatory standards in healthcare, including HIPAA and guidelines for insurance claims
  • Proficiency in using key coding manuals: ICD-10-CM, ICD-10-PCS, CPT, and HCPCS Level II
  • Ability to code medical diagnoses, services, and procedures for all body systems
  • Introduction to the basics of medical billing, coding, and terminology
  • Understanding of medical word parts, along with the structure and function of the human body

Other Local Trade Schools

PA State Board Requirements

Those who study medical billing and coding in Pennsylvania can start working in this industry as soon as they graduate from their program.

Certification Requirements

Most medical billing and coding trade school graduates take certification exams to obtain their official license from one of the following organizations:

As a general rule, most medical billing and coding certification boards require applicants to complete an accredited college or trade school course before they can take the licensing exam.

Some institutions might allow high school diploma or GED holders to take the test as long as they also have at least a year of supervised medical billing and coding work experience.

Exam Formats

Some medical billing and coding certification exams give test-takers an hour to answer 90 questions, while others give you over five hours to respond to 200 prompts.

However long the test takes, most exams feature questions that gauge your knowledge and expertise in:

  • Coding modifiers
  • Sequencing
  • Edits and reimbursement classifications
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Health record integrity
  • HIPPA guidelines
  • Healthcare and medical ethics

Salary Range

ZipRecruiter estimates the annual salary for the state to be $49,277.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies this occupation as a “Medical Records Specialist” and estimates a salary of $49,680.

Here is more BLS data for parts of the state:

Area Hourly Annual
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton $24.79 $51,570.00
Altoona $20.47 $42,590.00
Bloomsburg-Berwick $22.78 $47,390.00
Chambersburg-Waynesboro $24.50 $50,960.00
Erie $23.04 $47,920.00
Gettysburg $21.14 $43,960.00
Harrisburg-Carlisle $24.51 $50,990.00
Johnstown $21.28 $44,270.00
Lancaster $24.32 $50,590.00
Lebanon $24.78 $51,530.00
Northern $22.08 $45,930.00
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington $26.29 $54,680.00
Pittsburgh $23.20 $48,260.00
Reading $26.78 $55,700.00
Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton $21.58 $44,890.00
Southern $22.92 $47,660.00
State College $20.87 $43,400.00
Western PA $22.54 $46,870.00
Williamsport $22.24 $46,270.00
York-Hanover $23.41 $48,700.00

Occupation: Medical Records Specialists(SOC Code292072)
source: data.bls.gov

As you gain more experience in the field and earn more specialized certifications, you could start an independent billing and coding business or even become a coding manager or director and earn upwards of $100k per year.

Job Description

Medical billing and coding jobs require a combination of healthcare knowledge, communication abilities, and basic accounting skills.

What Are the Responsibilities?

Both medical billers and coders, also known as medical records specialists, are essentially responsible for ensuring that the medical facility they work for receives payment for their services.

Job Duties

Coders use their understanding of medical terminology and the inner workings of the medical insurance industry to:

  • Analyze patient medical charts
  • Note each examination, diagnosis, and treatment medical personnel performed on their patients
  • Use digital coding software to input this information and assign an appropriate code to each service and procedure the patient received

After the coder completes these tasks, the medical biller calculates the total cost of the patient’s care and submits a claim to the insurance company.

Billers also follow up on unpaid claims to ensure that the facility receives the proper reimbursement.

Once the insurance company has paid its share, the biller draws up a medical bill for the patient and works with them to create payment plans if necessary.

Career Outlook

Experts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics predict a seven-percent increase in medical billing and coding positions between 2021 and 2031, which equates to about 15,000 job openings per year over the next decade. According to reports, medical billing and coding employment opportunities will continue to become available as more coders and billers switch career paths or retire from the industry.

Search Medical Billing and Coding Programs

Get information on Medical Billing and Coding programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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