Medical coding and billing are important parts of the healthcare system.
Those who want to enter the healthcare industry but also prefer to help it run smoothly rather than being in the middle of the action, so to speak, can consider this niche.
Read on if you want to learn more about medical billing and coding in Alabama, including the schools you can attend and the expected salary.
Article Table of Contents
What is Medical Coding?
Medical coding is the process used to transform medical reports into a short code that can be used easier within the industry.
The code is basically a collection of data that can be used for various purposes.
There are 3 main code sets:
Individuals need to know how to navigate these codes with ease.
In Alabama, individuals need to be fluent in CPT, ICD-10-CMN, and HCPCS Level II coding.
These coding languages have special terminology for various illnesses and procedures.
Additionally, each type of code is organized differently and has a specific way in which it is used.
What is Medical Billing?
The invoices for the received medical procedures are prepared through a method called billing.
The invoices are received by both the patients and the insurance companies.
Without this process, the medical personnel would not be able to receive payments for their services.
Individuals need to know how the insurance process functions as well as what can affect the reimbursement process.
Billers also need to know specific terminology in order to properly create an invoice.
Getting the Appropriate Education and Certification
To get started in this career path, the main requirement is to be a high school graduate, and neither an associate nor a bachelor’s degree is needed.
Those who want to work in the medical billing and coding niche are expected to be certified.
The certification is obtained through the AAPC, after graduating from the appropriate class.
AAPC is the nation’s largest medical coding training and certification association.
The training program for these specialists lasts for as little as 8 months, allowing you to start working faster than any other occupation.
The CPB and CPC certifications were created by AAPC and most employers now require candidates to have them in order to get the position.
The CPB certification is needed for billing and the CPC certification is needed for coding.
While AAPC is the best source for certification, do know that in Alabama the following institutions also offer such training classes.
School Name Address Brown Mackie College 105 Vulcan Road, Suite 100Birmingham, AL FORTIS Institute 100 London Pkwy Ste 150Birmingham, AL Herzing University 280 West Valley AveBirmingham, AL Providence Hospital 6801 Airport Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36685 Remington College 828 Downtowner Loop WMobile, AL University of Alabama Hospital at Birmingham 1802 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233 Virginia College 488 Palisades Blvd.Birmingham, AL Virginia College 2021 Drake Avenue, SWHuntsville, AL Virginia College 3725 Airport Blvd, Suite 165Mobile, AL Virginia College 6200 Atlanta HighwayMontgomery, AL
When choosing a school make sure the classes can fit your needs, especially your free time if you’re already working.
Some schools might offer these classes online and they might even offer support when it comes to finding employment.
Dual courses, for both certifications, are also possible in some cases, and they might open the doors for a better career, with more responsibilities but also a higher paycheck.
The job growth for medical billers and coders is favorable, both in Alabama and at a national level, meaning that now is a good time to consider changing your career.
Working from home is also possible in this occupational field, making it accessible to those who have mobility issues.
As in most cases, the salary depends on the accumulated experience as well as from city to city.
Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary Birmingham $36,269 Montgomery $34,354 Huntsville $36,238 Mobile $35,460 Tuscaloosa $35,915 Dothan $33,894 Auburn $34,341 Decatur $35,131 Madison $36,238 Florence $33,034
Billing and coding are separate processes, however, they’re equally important when it comes to paying for the medical services received.
The best employers in Alabama for medical coding and billing professionals are:
- DST Health Solutions: This is a service provider with more than 40 years of experience
- The University of Alabama Hospital at Birmingham: Employs over 16,361 people and is the largest in Alabama
- Providence Hospital: This hospital opened back in 1854 and has more than 550 employees