STRONG MARKET FOR MEDICAL CODERS

Strong market for medical codersAny student looking to enter the workforce immediately after college probably has a fair amount of concerns regarding their job prospects. Will I find employment immediately? Will what I do be meaningful? Will I be able to pay off my student loans more quickly than others?

While not all of these questions can be answered definitively, individuals studying Medical Billing and Coding have some good news coming their way. As it stands currently, the market for these students is a very strong one, and job prospects are better than they appear to be in many other fields.

If you’re currently finishing up a program with a billing and coding focus or are a new student and are simply looking to gain an understanding of what will affect your job search process after college, take a look at these current happenings from around the medical world.

Extreme demand

According to The Traverse City Ticker, more and more institutions are looking to make a considerable hiring push when it comes to candidates with degrees or experience in billing and coding.1 This has largely been driven by the continuing need for experts within the field as hospitals and medical clinics all over the country begin to shift their administrative approaches to be centered on big data processes. These individuals help design, use and maintain systems that assign diagnostic codes to all of the medical procedures and services that a given institution can provide to its patients.

These codes are then used to streamline the process of billing people for outpatient services once they’ve left the hospital. To put it simply, without an adequate supply of these skilled coding and billing experts, a given medical institution may not be able to facilitate their billing process quickly and efficiently enough to guarantee an organized and regular influx of money.

New regulations bolstering hiring process

If you’re considering entering the workforce with a billing and coding certification, then it’s vital that you understand exactly what creates the demand for these jobs. Beckers Hospital Review has pointed out that new regulations and expectations for health care providers that use coding systems are requiring the hiring of recently trained experts.2 In fact, these updated standards have already created a bit of a hiring rush in many institutions. For example, one of the newest methods of coding involves a system known as ICD-10, which is being taught to students currently taking courses centered on the industry.

Given that many health care providers will soon need to have their staff up to par  when it comes to these systems, it may make more sense for those providers to hire recent graduates who have completed coursework in the area. If you feel that you will have a firm grip on these skills when you leave your given academic program, then this is certainly a trait that you would want to list on your resume. Further, when searching for new jobs, you’ll want to target positions at institutions that require this sort of knowledge in order to hone your search effectively.

Continuing education

While the demand being created by these new regulations and coding implementations is certainly exciting for students with expertise in the area, it’s important to remember that these systems are constantly evolving. If you’ll be entering the professional world shortly and intend to pursue a career that centers on this sort of data​-driven work, then you need to take note of what you can do to maintain a current knowledge base.

After you’ve landed your first job, stay up to date with the happenings around the field. If you hear that a new sort of coding and billing technology or system will be required by your employer in the future, then you would behoove yourself to go back and take classes in it immediately. Not only will this make you more attractive to your employer,  but it will also bolster your odds of finding a new or better job on the open market.

1) Are you a medical coder? You’re hired, The Traverse City Ticker, Al Parker, 12/2/14 http://www.traverseticker.com/story/are-you-a-medical-coder-you-re-hired 

2) 10 Challenges and Opportunities for Hospitals in 2015, Beckers Hospital Review, Shannon Barnet, 12/30/14 http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/10-challenges-and-opportunities-for-hospitals-in-2015.html

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