Why You Should Consider an Exciting Career in Medical Billing
As a young person or someone who is looking to switch careers, you’re probably bombarded with career planning information all day. It can be difficult to tell whether the ideal move is following your passion or whether there’s a career out there that offers the elusive combination of job satisfaction as well as a lucrative paycheck.
Many people who explore medical billing and coding as a career option find that they’re impressed with the benefits, as well as the fact that they can be trained and ready to go in less than a year. Here are some details to check out if you’re considering an exciting career in medical billing.
What is Medical Billing and Coding?
As a medical biller, your job is to ensure that the billing process in a health care facility — such as a doctor’s office or hospital — goes smoothly. They’re assisted by their counterparts, medical or clinical coders, who are responsible for putting a variety of data into universal alphanumeric codes.
The coder starts the process by going through the doctor’s notes and other documentation and pulling out the information that they’ll need to turn into codes. This could be anything from the type of procedure done to the medication that was administered. This information is turned into simple codes, which are then sent to medical billers.
The medical billers take these codes and put together an organized and itemized claim, which is sent to an insurance agency. The goal is to create a simple, easy-to-understand claim that can make its way quickly through the insurance company’s system.
What is the Salary Range for Medical Billing?
The median salary of a medical biller or coder is around $39,000 per year. Salaries can range between $24,000 for a new trainee to around $65,000 for someone in a management position.
As you gain more experience, you can expect to receive a boost in salary commensurate with your skill. Many people work in health care facilities like hospitals, but it is possible to work as a self-employed contractor and carry out your duties from home. If you are self-employed, you may make more money per hour, but you’ll have to pay benefits and deductions out of pocket.
How do I Get into Medical Billing and Coding?
If you’re interested in the field of medical billing and coding, you may be relieved to know that you don’t need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in order to enter the field. Medical billers and coders are trained at a variety of institutions, from community colleges to vocational schools. You will need to have a high school diploma or GED in order to attend one of these programs, but fortunately, you don’t need to have any specific credits.
During these training programs, which last anywhere from one to two years, you’ll be trained in medical terminology, anatomy, and organizational protocol. Despite no national accreditation programs, employers will need to see evidence of your proficiency in the subject matter in order to qualify for a job in this field. Many employers accept an associate degree as evidence of your expertise. Also, membership in an official organization like AAPC will help boost your application.
Benefits of Entering the Medical Billing Field
If you don’t know anyone in the field, you may need a bit more convincing regarding the benefits of entering the medical billing field. To help, here are some reasons why thousands of people have chosen to train to become medical billers.
You get the satisfaction of helping patients and their families
As a medical biller or coder, you’ll be able to play an active role in a patient’s treatment. You’re responsible for making sure that the information on their charts matches the doctor’s notes, which ensures that the right treatment is administered. Without your guidance and organization, fatal errors could occur.
Billers and coders are also responsible for communicating the correct information to insurance companies. With 44 million people in the United States living without insurance, it’s never been more important to ensure that no one is getting charged more than they should.
You can work in the health care industry without needing to go to medical school
If you’ve always dreamed of taking care of patients in a hospital or doctor’s office, medical billing is a great way to do that without having to spend years and thousands of dollars attending medical school. You’ll still be playing a key role in day-to-day operations, without being saddled with all that debt.
The field is growing every day
It’s estimated that national demand for qualified, trained medical billers and coders is going to rise more than 13 percent by 2024. That’s six percent more than the average career.
This means that you will have a lot more options for your career path. You can even choose to work from home as a freelance consultant, so you can make your own hours and set your own rates.
If you’re an organized, methodical person who thrives on a challenge, medical billing or coding may be the career for you. It’s a great way to dip a toe into the medical profession and play an active role in helping and healing patients when they’re at their most vulnerable.
If this interests you, do some research to learn more about the responsibilities of this engaging and challenging career path.