Laureen:  The next question is a fun one: “How can I increase my salary as a medical coder?”

We could say medical coder or medical biller, really. One way that I know of that all the salary survey show are multiple credentials. I think when you get to a certain point where you don’t see an increase in income, but going from one to two is, it’s shown in the salary surveys that people tend to get paid more. That’s one way.

Another way that I can think of is if you want to have a regular job and then maybe dabble into another specialty by doing some remote coding, maybe an evening or weekend hours, 5-10 hours a week to supplement what you’re doing. Some people do that. I know several risk adjustment coders I talked to in the recent month said that they actually worked as a risk adjustment coder for two different companies, and almost full-time for both, so they’re doing like 30 hours and 30 hours. That’s one way. I don’t know what other ideas that you might have, Chandra. Increasing salary, multiple credentials, any other…?

Chandra:  Multiple credentials, continuing to gain experience and never being afraid of a challenge. As long as you’re willing to take on something new, you’re going to increase your value and give you the leverage to continue to negotiate salary increases and build your experience, if you want to continue to either move up in the organization that you are in, or look for another organization.     

Laureen:  And sometimes, you know, you might not have to get the multiple credentials, but if you get multiple skills, you learn how to do more things. Like Chandra is really big at talking about getting proficient at Excel skills, you could see what she was just doing with Powerpoint. If you’re going to do any physician education and you can make things visual like that, you will become a more valued employee, and hopefully when it’s time for raises, that will be reflected accordingly. And certainly when you go to look for a new job, show examples of that kind of work, and that will make you more valuable in their eyes when you get offered your next job.   

This segment “How Can You Increase Your Salary as a Medical Coder” originally aired on Live with Laureen #013 on January 5th, 2017.