The unemployment rate in Oregon seems to be slowly decreasing.
Entering the administrative sector of medical coding and billing is relatively the easiest to enter, and a good choice for those who want to work in the healthcare system.
If you live in Oregon and want to learn more about this field, read on!
Article Table of Contents
Medical Billing – Requirements, Exam, Certification
A medical biller is a trained and certified individual who creates medical invoices, for the treatments received by the patients of the facility the billers work for.
There are some requirements to become a biller:
- Obtain an associate’s degree – recommended but not imperative
- Being familiar with these topics:
- Medical terms
- Become an AAPC member
- Score a minimum of 70% on the exam
If you don’t have the required knowledge for the three subjects mentioned, AAPC offers classes for them.
The exam is administered by AAPC, it costs $399, and if you pass, you’ll become a Certified Professional Biller (or CPB).
Those that failed can try again once for free, within a year.
Medical Coding – Requirements, Exam, Certification
AAPC invented the shortcodes used nowadays in the healthcare industry.
These codes make certain processes easier and faster to complete.
A medical coder transforms the info from medical records into shortcodes, according to some rules.
These are the requirements to become a medical coder:
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Understand anatomy
- Understand medical terms
- Earn the certification from AAPC
A score of at least 70% on the exam is needed to earn the certification.
The test has 150 questions and lasts for 5 hours and 40 minutes.
You can consult these books during the exam:
- AMA’s CPT Professional Edition
- Your choice of ICD-10-CM code manual
- Your choice of HCPCS Level II code manual
It’s best to attend some training classes before attempting to take the exam.
There are the sets of codes you’ll be working with:
- HCPCS Level II
AAPC offers training for both medical billing and medical coding.
Such training classes can also be found at other schools.
Attending classes at one of the following colleges means you can earn an Associate’s degree, useful for better career prospects and salary.
|CHEMEKETA COMMUNITY COLLEGE||4000 Lancaster Dr NE Salem, OR|
|CONCORDE CAREER COLLEGE||1425 NE Irving Street, Bldg 300 Portland, OR|
|LANE COMMUNITY COLLEGE||4000 E 30th Ave Eugene, OR|
|MT HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE||26000 SE Stark St Gresham, OR|
|UMPQUA COMMUNITY COLLEGE||1140 Umpqua College Rd. Roseburg, OR|
The coding field has 4 specializations:
- Certified Outpatient Coder
- Certified Inpatient Coder
- Certified Risk Adjustment Coder
- Certified Professional Coder
The first 3 certifications are more specific compared to that of the Certified Professional Coder (CPC).
AAPC might be the only institution offering training for all these specializations.
No matter the training course you want to enroll in, you might have up to 6 months to complete it and earn your certification.
A medical biller’s course program includes the next topics:
- The medical codes
- The types of insurance plans
- Local and national coverage determinations
- Payer policies,
- The rules and regulations in the healthcare industry, related to billing
- The life cycle of a billing claim in the medical world
AAPC is not the only school to offer help with job placement to those who became certified.
Expected Salary and Other Information
Aspects such as experience, earned degrees, location, and certifications will influence how much money you’ll earn.
For instance, many individuals choose to obtain both the CPC and the CPB certificates.
In Oregon, you’ll want to search for a job in cities like Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, where salaries are higher.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Regional Salary in Oregon
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Grants Pass, OR||40||$51,990||$25||$63,840||$34,660|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
The most important employers in Oklahoma, in this administrative field, are:
- The Three Rivers Community Hospital,
- The Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital,
- The Mercy Medical Center
All these employers offer perks such as time off, a retirement plan, various health, and life insurance plans.
Do know that medical coders and billers can work from home, and this is why many other individuals choose this career path.