Many people may not have a clear idea of what type of career options are available to those with certification in medical billing and coding in NYC. There have been many exciting changes in the medical industry recently that have made this career red-hot in not just New York City, but around the country as well. They include:
- The passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Because more United States residents than ever before are now insured, more doctors and allied health professionals are needed to adequately meet the increased demand for services.
- The recent change from the old ICD-9 coding system to the greatly expanded ICD-10 system. Recently, health care providers all over the United States switched from the old coding system (with approximately 17,800 codes) to the new ICD-10 system (with approximately 141,700 codes.) The expanded system of codes has a higher clinical accuracy intended to streamline the process.
- The aging of the large Baby Boomer population. So-called “Baby Boomers” who were born in the years following WW II through the mid-1960s are just now entering their retirement years. As such, they will be requiring more medical care in subsequent years.
- Healthier populations living longer lives. Technology has made transplants possible and enabled cures for diseases to be discovered. Consequently, Americans are living longer, more productive lives and the healthcare industry must rise to meet their demands for adequate care.
The role of medical billers and coders
What does all of that have to do with medical billing and coding in NYC, you might wonder. As one of the nation’s population hubs, there are many health care facilities located in and around the city. Below are some examples of potential employment venues for those certified as medical billers and coders:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Private physicians’ offices
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Health insurance companies
CPT versus ICD-10 coding
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding is the standard used by the American Medical Association to identify the services that were provided by the doctors and other medical staff. These codes are very important, because the way services are coded determines the amount the doctor gets paid for their care. Because of this, those certified in medical billing and coding in NYC who work in outpatient clinics and physicians’ offices deal primarily with CPT codes.
CPT codes are sometimes referred to as physician-based codes, and are often classified together with evaluation and management codes, or E/M codes. Under most circumstances, coders working in outpatient clinics and doctors’ offices will deal solely with these type of codes. Oncologists, OB/GYN doctors and cardiologists typically pay the highest wages in the field for medical billers and coders.
ICD-10 coding (and formerly, ICD-9) is performed by inpatient coders working at hospitals, nursing homes and similar settings. There can be large sums of money involved with these procedures, meaning that it is very important for those doing medical billing and coding in NYC to do it right the first time. When these codes get rejected for mistakes, it can adversely affect the facility’s bottom line.
Many entry-level billing and coding jobs will be for physician-based coding positions, with inpatient coding jobs opening up to those with a couple of years of experience in an outpatient setting.
Home-based billing and coding businesses
Those who have established themselves in the industry and gotten a few years of experience working for others may consider branching out and starting their own home-based billing and coding business. This is a good option for single parents who have limited options for childcare, as it allows them to work full- or part-time shifts while their children are away at school or asleep in the evenings.
It usually will be much easier to get this type of business off the ground when the prospective business owner already has a proven track record for medical billing and coding in NYC.
Making the decision to expand your career horizons
If the idea of working as a medical billing and coding specialist is appealing to you, this is a great time to follow up on the idea and speak to an admissions advisor about your proposed career path. Learn the steps you will need to take and the qualifications you must have to enroll in a program for medical billing and coding in NYC. Financial aid may be available to those who apply.