Was 2014 a Good Year for Medical Coders?

Medical coders were one of the most in-demand Health Informatics workers in 2013-2014. There were approximately 24,270 total job postings for medical coders last year. From 2012 to 2014, an upward trend has been witnessed in the median salaries for the coders too. However, the increase was distributed unevenly based on factors like the geographical location, professional experience, workplace and certification.

States that Paid High Salaries to Coders in 2014

The states located on the Northeast and West Coast of the US offered attractive pay packages to medical coders in 2014. The average income for coders working in New York, New Hampshire, California and New Jersey ranged from $36,000 and $52,000. In 2014-2015, the highest paying jobs for coders were in the following cities:

  • Houston, Texas
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Dallas, Texas

As far as the coder training schools, internship and volunteer opportunities with hospitals and doctors are concerned, Florida, Georgia, California, Texas and North Carolina were the top five states in 2014 for starting a career in medical coding.

According to the U.S. Bureau and Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for coders was $34,970 as of May 2013. Coders with CPC (Certified Professional Coder) credential received a median annual salary of $48,593. The median yearly income of medical coders increased to $53,200 in 2014, according to Salary.com. According to Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-2015 of the BLS, 10% of medical billers and coders earned more than $56,200 on an annual basis.

Industry facts

As estimated by the U.S. Department of Labor, the demand for medical coding specialists will increase by 22% from 2012 to 2022
On an average, the medical coding field is experiencing a faster rate of growth as compared to all other occupations in the US. This field is expecting an increase of approximately 37,700 employees by 2020
Coders with CPC credential have to face 1.7% unemployment rate as compared to the national average of 7.4%, according to BLS
According to a CNBC report, the shortage of medical coders can increase to as much as 50% by 2015

With an increase in the aging population, more healthcare services will be used by the Americans. New healthcare regulations and reforms will call for more accountability from the providers. This will create more jobs for qualified and certified medical coding specialists.

Salary Increase Based on Experience

The average salary of coders with 15 years of experience ranged between $56,667 and $65,790 annually. It has been observed that substantial salary increases take place in the first 20 years of work experience for medical coders.

Job Prospects for Medical Coders

Coders holding specialized credentials are likely to make more money. According to the Salary by Responsibility results of AAPC, coders who branch out into other positions in the healthcare industry tend to make approximately $15,000 more, annually. Certified Medical Billing Specialists can take up roles like CPC or CMC (Certified Medical Coders). These positions pay them $3,000 or $4,000 more. As per the 2014 data, coders holding specialty credentials by AAPC make an average annual salary ranging between $56,489 and $60,289.

Providers will Hire Skilled Coders at High Salaries in 2015

According to a report by M*Modal, a provider of clinical documentation services, the shortage of coders will pose as grave challenges for providers in 2015. Physicians will have to hire experienced coders if they want to avoid cash flow disruptions in the coming year. Providers will also have to plan refresher training for coders in the said year.

MedicalBillersandCoders.com offers effective coding and medical billing services to hospitals and private as well as group practices across the US. Coders can use the MBC job board as a unique platform for finding attractive job opportunities in the healthcare industry. They can access the job portal, newsletters and industry updates available through MBC to gain relevant industry knowledge and job assistance.

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