For those looking for an exciting career in the medical field, medical billing and coding is often the most logical choice. Applicants to this field can not only expect competitive wages with other positions in the medical field, but also job security as a professional who is always in demand. Medical coders are responsible for maintaining patient records and assuring those records meet the guidelines established by insurance companies and federal regulators. It is a line of work that is not only extremely valuable to the medical community, but is also personally satisfying.
Medical coders sort, file and maintain patient records. They are responsible for coding the information contained within those files according to a universal coding system called the ICD-9 Index. It has been estimated that almost twenty percent of the medical billing and coding jobs in the state of Missouri are unfilled because of a lack of trained professionals in this field. As a result, professionals in the medical billing and coding field enjoy some of the most secure positions in the health care industry.
Missouri medical billing and coding professionals have a median income of about $34,320 per year depending on which city you reside in. (Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.) Large urban centers tend to have a higher demand and thus applicants in these areas also command a greater salary. A quick look at your local employment ads can give you a great idea of what the going salary is in your area.
Medical Billing and Coding Education in Missouri
Depending on whether your looking for an entry level position or a management position, degrees in medical billing and coding can take anywhere from nine months to four years. The majority of the applicants to this field usually begin with a two year Associate Degree and those looking to enter into management positions in the field of medical billing and coding usually enroll for a four year Bachelor Degree.
Financial Aid Information
Financial aid can be obtained through the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Students can apply for state student loans or get assistance with obtaining a loan through the Federal Direct Loan Program. The Missouri Department of Higher Education also gives students access to various grants and scholarships.
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