According to a salary survey conducted by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), medical coders experienced 8.4% average increase in their salaries in 2014. The survey also stated that the salaries of certified medical coders in the US have increased to an average of $50,775 annually.
With only a few months left for the implementation deadline of ICD-10, certified coders are in huge demand. As per the industry reports this demand will increase by 30 – 40% in 2015. In a market that’s already strained with shortage of coders, this increased demand will pose challenges for hospitals and healthcare organizations.
AAPC survey highlights:
- Education has a significant impact on a coder’s salary. It was observed that coders with a bachelor’s degree earned an average salary of $54,522 whereas coders without a college degree earned $44,338 in 2014
- Coding specialists with advanced certification were earning high salaries in 2014. CPC-I certified coders (Instructors) were paid the highest with an average annual salary of $76,021. The average salary of CPCO certified members was $71,542
- Of all the coders who responded to the survey, merely 9.5% of apprentice coders were unemployed
ICD-10 preparation has caused shortage of skilled billers and coders in the US, posing revenue challenges for healthcare organizations. However, it has opened up doors of opportunities for experienced coders because hospitals are ready to hire skilled coders at high pay packages.
The demand and growth opportunities for certified and skillful coders will remain strong in 2015. Hence, it is a good time now for coding specialists to pursue a job in healthcare organizations.
The AAPC members in hospital inpatient setting received a significant salary increase in 2014 of almost 16.6%. According to the AAPC survey, members with 31+ years of experience made the most money amounting to around $68,868 per year on an average.
Coding and Billing Being Outsourced
Medical billing companies work with experienced and certified billing professionals to ensure error-free coding, timely delivery of reports and getting the payments for their clients. Many practices across the US have started outsourcing their coding and billing processes to overcome potential revenue challenges post ICD-10 implementation.
It is predicted that the adoption of ICD-10, the new coding standard will reduce a coder’s productivity by 50%. To make sure the billing and payments are not falling behind, providers will have to hire experienced staff or train the existing ones for enhancing their productivity.