There are many careers for you to choose. Medical Billing and Coding should be high among your list of possible careers because it allows you to work in various institutions within the health sector, it also offers one of the best starting salaries for people holding medical certificates. These institutions may include hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, physician offices, insurance companies and certain consulting firms. This means that horizontal movement from one healthcare institution to another is very easy. A medical biller performs many duties in these institutions such as submitting claims, answering questions regarding claims, calculating charges and reviewing patient records. These professionals also help healthcare institutions to adhere to certain legal parameters and policies such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Why You Should Enter This Field
This field allows you to work in the healthcare sector without limiting yourself to a specific healthcare institution. In other words, it allows you to be flexible in terms of seeking employment. This flexibility is especially important when a certain segment within the healthcare sector is facing a major catastrophe. For example, you can seek employment in specialty hospitals if the unemployment rate in the insurance industry is rising. In addition, professionals in this field will always be in demand. In fact, these professionals are an indispensable part of the labor force in healthcare institutions. Therefore, chances of remaining unemployed for a long period in this career are low if not nonexistent. Furthermore, this job allows you to provide a crucial service to ordinary people by processing their claims quickly as well as efficiently. You also get to keep the healthcare sector afloat by ensuring that healthcare providers receive payment for services rendered.
Education, Skills and Personal Qualities
Medical billing and coding is open to anyone who has a high school diploma. You should focus on mathematics, computers, business, speech development and accounting if you are still in high school. These courses fall in line with the work that you will perform as a medical biller. You will also have to complete a course in medical billing before you can start working in this profession. You can study this course and complete it in a classroom or you can do it online. You will need to posses personal skills and qualities in communication, organization and handling of software for you to work in this sector. This should not worry because you can develop these skills over time.
Necessary Training and Certification
As mentioned earlier, your path towards a career in medical billing and coding will involve a number of courses in medical billing. These courses will include thorough training on medical terminologies, coding methods and medical diagnoses. You will also have to know about various healthcare laws and regulations such as those involving major insurance plans, Medicaid and Medicare. Finally, this training will culminate in a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist Exam. Various institutions offer this exam including the American Billing Association. You should only seek certification from reputable institutions such as the American Billing Association or accredited medical institutions. It is important for you to note that you can actually get a job as a medical biller without this certification but many companies would rather hire a person who possesses it.
Earnings for a Medical Biller
According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics, a medical biller earns a median annual wage of about $32,170. However, remuneration for a medical biller varies widely depending on the institution that has employed you. For example, medical billers and coders working for physicians earn as little as $29,030 per year while the billers and coders in specialty hospitals earn as much as $39,270. The same kind of variance applies in private and public institutions. Medical billers working in private institutions earn much more than their counterparts in public institutions earn.
The Outlook for Professionals in Medical Billing and Coding
Medical Billing and Coding is a field that is always in demand. In fact, employment in this line of work is likely to increase by over twenty-one percent from 2010 to 2020. People in the United States are performing medical tests, treatments and procedures quite often. Subsequently, there is an increase in the volume and value of medical claims in the United States. This increase in medical claims is causing the surge in demand for medical billers and coders. In other words, there is a need for medical billers to process and settle ballooning claims for medical institutions. You should also note that medical billing and coding allows you to advance vertically in an organization’s structure. For instance, you can move from settling claims to handling patient accounts and then to managing these accounts. This kind of vertical movement is only possible with hard work, determination and perseverance.