Medical billing and coding professionals manage and organize health information data for both paper and electronic systems. Some of their many duties include reviewing patient records, maintaining data for clinical databases, and using classification software to assign clinical codes for data and reimbursement analysis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billing and coding professionals) should possess analytical skills (to understand medical records and determine how to code them), interpersonal skills (to discuss patient information with medical professionals), and technical skills (to use the required software to code) (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012).
Tools and Technology Used in Medical Billing and Coding
The use of technology is a big part of a medical billing and coding professional's job these days. Here's one of the main technologies and tools used in medical billing and coding that you'll likely learn about if you enroll in one of the programs for medical billing and coding in Minnesota:
- Electronic Health Record (EHR) - This digital record system stores patient health information, including patient demographics, medication, problems, past medical history, progress reports, lab data and more. It quickly allows a medical billing and coding professional to enter updated information. An EHR makes it simple to share information among other offices and locations as well, and among medical offices that have implemented the technology, positive results have been demonstrated.
Medical Billing and Coding in Minnesota
Minnesota is a good state in which to be a medical billing and coding professional. Not only are there medical billing and coding schools in Minnesota that can prepare you for this career, but there are also jobs in the field in Minnesota that you can apply to after graduation.
According to the BLS, as of May 2012 there were 3,400 medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billing and coding professionals) in Minnesota, earning an hourly mean wage of $19.37 and an annual mean wage of $40,280 (BLS.gov/oes, 2013). The BLS projects a 21 percent growth in employment between 2010 and 2020 nationally for medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billing and coding professionals), faster than the average for all other occupations (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). As the aging population increases, demand for this position will also increase, as more people will need treatments, medical tests and procedures (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). This inevitably leads to more records that need to be entered into an EHR and more claims from insurance companies that require the expertise of a medical billing and coding professional or medical records and health information technician in Minnesota and across America.
By attending one of the many medical billing and coding schools in Minnesota, you may become qualified to apply at numerous hospitals and medical offices in Minnesota. According to the U.S. News & World Report, there are about 150 hospitals in Minnesota, with five being nationally ranked (2013). Ten other hospitals in the state met strong performance standards. The nationally ranked hospitals include the Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, St. Cloud Hospital and United Hospital of St. Paul. You just may have a shot at one of these hospitals and other medical offices if you complete medical billing and coding training in Minnesota.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, August 7, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-1
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292071.htm
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Minnesota, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm#31-0000
U.S. News & World Report, Best Hospitals in Minnesota, 2013, http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/mn
HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems), Electronic Health Records, 2012-2013, http://www.himss.org/library/ehr/?navItemNumber=13261