7 things to know about medical coding and billing specialists | 2017

Medical coding and billing specialists are an integral part of hospitals' and health systems' efforts to optimize revenue cycle management processes.

Here are seven things to know about medical coding and billing specialists.

1. Medical coders are tasked with reviewing clinical documentation and designating standard codes using ICD-10 classifications. Medical billers primarily process and make sure claims are sent to payers for reimbursement of services administered by a provider, the American Academy of Professional Coders states.

2. A hospital or a health system may combine the responsibilities of coding and billing into a single department, or may divide coding and billing operations into two separate branches. AAPC states if the positions are separated, medical coders and medical billers work together to assure proper payments and avoid insurance denials.

3. Currently, AAPC has more than 160,000 members worldwide, of which more than 155,000 are certified.

4. The average annual salary for medical coders as of March 29 is $49,872, according to AAPC. Salary data shows the more AAPC credentials an individual earns, the higher their annual salary. The average annual salary in 2016 of members with:

  • 1 credential (any credential) was $52,605
  • 2+ credentials (any credentials) was $60,305
  • 3+ credentials (any credentials) was $66,999

5. In 2016, the average annual salary for medical coders/billers in health systems was $52,320, while medical coders/billers in large group practices had an average salary of $49,452.

6. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases national salary averages for medical billers and coders under the categorization of "Medical Records and Health Information Technicians." According to the BLS, medical records and health information technicians who work in general medical and surgical hospitals had an average annual wage of $43,080 as of May 2015.

7. The medical billing outsourcing market, valued at $6.3 billion in 2015, is expected to reach $16.9 billion by 2024, according to a study published by Grand View Research in October 2016. 


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