You do not have to have any healthcare experience to become a Washington Medical Billing and Coding Specialist.
So why consider this career?
It may become an extension of your current office assistant position and help you earn a bigger salary.
Otherwise, you perhaps do not want to perform medical tasks on patients anymore but still want to work at the place you do now.
- Licensing Requirements to Become a Washington Medical Billing & Coding Specialist
- 5 Medical Billing & Coding Schools in Washington
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How many years does Washington medical billing and coding training take?
- How much does WA billing and coding certification testing cost?
- What is the highest medical billing and coding job priority?
- What classes does a WA medical billing coding and specialist take?
- What should I expect if I become a WA Billing and Coding Specialist?
Licensing Requirements to Become a Washington Medical Billing & Coding Specialist
You will not hear from the state of Washington concerning the need for a license to work as a billing and coding specialist.
However, you will answer to the healthcare employers in the state, who usually expect you to have a certificate.
One of the most popular credentialing bodies is the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
They offer the Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC) and the Certified Professional Biller (CPB) training.
You also can seek certification through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), which offers the Certified Coding Associate (CCA), Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) or Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based (CCS-P) credentials.
You might not hear about the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) as often as the AAPC or AHIMA, but that does not make it any less legitimate.
AMBA offers Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist Certification (CMRS) credential.
There are other associations too, and WA colleges help you prepare for your certification exams.
5 Medical Billing & Coding Schools in Washington
1. Washington State Community College
This WA community college provides you with training that would prepare you for one of these three exams offered by AHIMA: CCA, CCS or CCS-P.
Other certification options include the AAPC’s CPC, CPB or CIC and the AMBA’s CMRS.
This training will prepare you for a position in a medical facility, where patients often dispute their healthcare charges.
You can help people seeking treatment to make sure their claims are processed right, which will require developing compassion and empathic communication.
2. Lake Washington Institution of Technology
Learn how to provide codes for diagnoses and treatment medical information processing.
Train in the software required for efficient record-keeping and become accustomed to processing patient insurance forms.
This school also has a Medical Billing and Coding, Certificate of Proficiency associate degree that takes four semesters, including one summer, to complete.
3. Perry Technical Institute
This WA school offers a one-year Office Administration and Coding certificate program.
You will receive an introduction to human health conditions, coding related to diagnosis and treatment, and anatomy or physiology.
Your Perry Tech training will also prepare you for helping insurers and patients resolve billing disputes.
In the process, you will gain an understanding of healthcare ethics and confidentiality laws protecting persons receiving treatment.
4. Tacoma Community College
Tacoma offers Medical Billing Specialist certificate training.
It includes a billing practicum, where you would gain hands-on experience.
In addition, you learn the software required for a successful patient records process (ex: Excell I and II).
Train in medical ethics, patient confidentiality and medical alphanumeric codes, with one concentration being for outpatient coding.
5. Atomic Medical Consulting
This institution offers the Professional Billing and Coder Professional Services program.
It covers recent CPT, ICD and HCPCS coding systems.
In addition, it provides information about risk adjustment document classifications, which may interest you if you want to become a Certified Risk CRC provided by the AAPC.
Billing and Coding Schools in Washington – Summary Table
Top 5 Schools in Washington
|Washington State Community College||710 Colegate Dr, Marietta, OH 45750|
|Lake Washington Institution of Technology||11605 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034|
|Perry Technical Institute||2011 W Washington Ave, Yakima, WA 98903|
|Tacoma Community College||6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466|
|Atomic Medical Consulting||Kennewick, WA 99337|
A Medical Coder makes an average of about $44,201 per year in Washington.
The usual range is from $40,022-$48,603.
Before certification, you might earn $42,710 or less, and you might not even earn $36,000 until after you complete your certification training.
If you have worked for several years, you may earn at least $52,611, depending on how many certifications you hold in different specialties.
For instance, you could seek a credential in outpatient or inpatient coding that pushes you beyond the entry-level.
Then, you could earn more advanced certificates than that.
Cities to look for jobs in Washington include Seattle, Olympia, Port Richard or Vancouver.Annual Salary Range:
Average Salary of Medical Biller and Coders in Washington
Frequently Asked Questions
How many years does Washington medical billing and coding training take?
To earn your first certificate, you would only need about four to six months of training.
It does not usually take more than two years if you want to acquire an associate degree in medical office assistant specialties.
You can start working under a certified coder or biller before you even earn your first certificate.
How much does WA billing and coding certification testing cost?
You may not have to pay at all if your tuition covers the expense.
However, each issuing body will have its own fee schedules, usually ranging from $200 up to about $700.
The extra cost may include more than one exam or study material.
What is the highest medical billing and coding job priority?
Accuracy and confidentiality probably tie for first place.
You cannot make mistakes on patient invoices or insurance claim forms, and you also need to keep information about people receiving treatment to yourself unless you have a signed release and need to share it with an insurer.
Of course, you also have the authorization to speak about a patient on-site at a medical facility.
However, this must only occur to staff (ex: doctor or nurse) on duty when absolutely necessary.
What classes does a WA medical billing coding and specialist take?
They usually take three primary categories of classes: Ones that teach the coding systems related to the types of records they would process, others that reveal the foundations of the human body for understanding the codes used in treatment records, and information about the health industry.
Not all the courses taken fit into these three categories, such as the technology and software ones required for becoming a successful Washington Billing and Coding Specialist.
What should I expect if I become a WA Billing and Coding Specialist?
Sometimes expect your shift to be “busy.”
During those times, you will have to enter data into your computer repeatedly and at a fast pace.
However, you oftentimes have to record the same codes over and over again, so you may have some of them memorized after a while.
Come to think of it, you may want to memorize as many of the codes as possible.
It helps to practice using them before working for the first time in a “real” setting with human patients.