How Do Medical Coders Increase Salary?

Are you a medical billing and coding clerk? If so, you may want to get a higher salary. But, how do medical coders increase their salary? Let’s find out how medical coders can increase their salaries.

Some Factors That Can Increase Medical Coders’ Salary

If you want to have a higher salary as a medical biller and coder, you need to know some factors that can affect the salary. There are several factors that can affect the amount of salary that you will get as a medical billing and coding clerk.

How Do Medical Coders Increase Salary

According to the Desert Medical Careers website, those factors are workplace, location, certification, years of experience and hiring agency. Here is the explanation of each factor.

    • Workplace

The type of workplace is one of the factors which can increase the salary that you earn as a medical billing and coding clerk. The American Academy of Professional Coders’s salary surveys show that the best places to work as a medical billing and coding clerk are in these places: Hospital Inpatient, Health System, or Large Group Practices. According to the AAPC site, the salary of medical billers and coders by workplace per year is like this:

      • Health System
        The average salary of a medical billing and coding clerk in this workplace is $56,246.
      • Hospital Inpatient
        The average salary of a medical billing and coding clerk in this workplace is $54,458.
      • Large group practice (with 50 or more physicians)
        The average salary of a medical billing and coding clerk in this workplace is $53,615.
      • Hospital Inpatient and Outpatient
        The average salary of a medical billing and coding clerk in this workplace is $52,973.
      • Hospital Outpatient
        The average salary of a medical billing and coding clerk in this workplace is $48,828.
      • Medium Group Practice (11-49 physicians)
        The average salary of a medical billing and coding clerk in this workplace is $48,360.
    • Location

Location is another important factor which affects how much money that you will earn from your job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, locations which have the highest annual average salary of May 2016 are:

      • The West Coast including Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada
      • The East Coast including New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland
      • Minnesota
      • Colorado
      • Alaska
    • Certification

Medical billers and coders with a certification will have a chance to get a higher salary. According to the AAPC’s annual salary survey, it has shown that credentials can make a billing and coding clerk have higher income. In the 2017 salary survey, there was a report that if you only get one credential, it can increase your salary by an average of $6,442 per year. A number of organizations are available to offer certifications for medical coders and billers. AAPC is one of them. According to the AAPC’s salary survey from 2014 to 2017, some of the highest paying medical coding certifications are listed below.

      • CPC-I
        If medical billers and coders had this certification, they could earn an average salary of $75,000 per year. The meaning of this certification is that you are an AAPC certified instructor and you have a right to teach at licensed schools or businesses.
      • CPCO
        Are you coders who have CPCO certification? If so, you could earn an average salary of $73,500. CPCOs are compliance officers where they have a task to be able to develop, implement, and monitor a healthcare compliance program based on governmental regulatory guidelines. To become a CPCO, having at least five years of medical coding and auditing experience is required.
      • CPPM
        If the medical coders had CPPM certification, they earned an average of $65,250 annually. With this certification, you will manage a physician’s practice and you are knowledgeable in compliance, health care reform issues, EMR, and other areas which have relation to the general business processes of the office of physician.
      • CPMA
        Let’s say that medical coders had CPMA certification. So, they earned an average yearly salary of $64,000. To get this certification, you need to be an expert in coding, coding risk analysis, and medical documentation which is in line with governmental guidelines. You will also be required to be able to communicate audit conclusions comfortably in report form and also verbally.

According to AAPC, here is the average medical coding salary by credential per year.

      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Professional Biller (CPB) get median salary of $53,903.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Professional Coder (CPC) get median salary of $56,164.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) get median salary of $61,435.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Professional Coder-Payer (CPC-P) get median salary of $60,544.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC) get median salary of $53,811.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Risk Adjustment Coder (CRC) get median salary of $62,916.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) get median salary of $68,172.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Documentation Expert-Outpatient (CDEO) get median salary of $70,535.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Professional Coder-Instructor (CPC-I) get median salary of $73,623.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Professional Practice Manager (CPPM) get median salary of $68,744.
      • Medical billers and coders with Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) get median salary of $77,186.
    • Years of Experience

Medical billing and coding clerks who have more experience will be able to earn more money. According to the AAPC’s salary survey, medical billers and coders who have more years of experience are able to earn more money than those who are just starting out in the profession. According to the 2017 Salary Survey, the average salary of medical billers and coders whose experience was between 0 to 1 year of experience was $38,011. However, medical billers and coders who had 10 to 15 years of experience could earn an average salary of $55,793 per year.

    • Hiring Agency

Have you heard that there was someone who got a job  before the job vacancy was advertised? Or, you may also have heard that there was someone who was recruited for a new position and it matched for him/her when she or he was not looking for a new job. Those people have done something which made the right people know their experience, skills, and career goals. If you want to be like them, you can work with an agency which specializes in healthcare and has a long term relationship with healthcare employers. By working with them, usually you will get a quicker and better job.

According to the Medical Billing and Coding website, having a higher level job in this field is another thing that you can do to have a higher salary. On that website, those higher level jobs are Advanced Specialty Certification Jobs, Health Information Manager, Medical and Health Services Manager, Hospital Coding Manager, and Clinical Manager.