October 14, 2014
Experienced coders can enhance their earning potential by becoming peer reviewers, supervisors and then auditors. They can also become consultants and start earning a six figure salary. Medical coding is one profession in the US healthcare industry that offers flexibility as well as a good package.
Shortage of medical coders will increase to 50% in the coming year
ICD-10 is expected to decrease the productivity of coders by 50%
How can Coders Earn more Money?
Considering the increase in demand medical coders can make advancements in their profession and earn more money by obtaining certification from a reputed organization and get a high-paying job in a hospital or practice. Coders who work from home can increase their remuneration by taking up extra work. They can also take up a part time job in a small practice on weekends.
Medical coders can also increase their earning potential by continuing education and training. By attaining more certifications and qualification they can apply for a better job with better salaries. For instance, some of the advanced medical coding jobs have started hiring coders with a bachelor’s degree. There are certificate examinations and online learning courses with the help of which medical coders can prepare themselves for coding requirements in a better manner.
Location and choice of specialty also affects a medical coder’s salary. As per the government records in Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of 2012, the highest paying medical coder jobs are available in the Northeast and West areas, whereas the coders in Southeast and Midwest are not so well-paid. Coders working in a surgical or general medical hospital have high earning potential compared to the ones working in a small, private medical practice.
It requires anywhere between 700 to 1,000 hours of coursework in anatomy, pharmacology and physiology for coders to become accredited. These courses are also available on the Internet. Coders with accreditation and experience are highly preferred by hospitals.
According to industry experts, a coder’s salary increases with his / her experience. Typically, it ranges between $30,000 and $60,000. Coders who have worked only in a small practice will earn less than coders who have worked in a hospital and coded records from oncology and orthopedics to pediatrics.
Shortage of Coders - A Growing Concern
Medical coders play an important role in helping hospitals and practices get timely payments. However, due to the adoption of the new coding standard (ICD-10), the US healthcare industry is experiencing shortage of skilled coders. In order to sail through reimbursement challenges caused by this shortage, hospitals and large practices have started hiring more coders. This is also being done to make up for the estimated productivity loss.
The MedicalBillersandCoders.com job board has been helping coders and billers across the US find high-paying jobs in healthcare organizations. They can easily access their informative and insightful newsletters, the job portal and industry updates offered by MBC to obtain required industry information. The ICD-10 training guide offered by MBC is also a useful resource for coders who want to prepare for the ICD-10 transition in a better manner.
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