Many healthcare facilities and companies depend on medical billing and coding specialists to ensure that insurance claims are coded properly and billed to the insurance in expedient time. Like many other healthcare professions Medical Billing and Coding specialist continue to be in high demand. If you ever thought you’d like to work in the medical field and you knew that nursing wasn’t for you, you might consider Medical Billing and Coding as your career choice.
What is Medical Billing and Coding?
Medical billing and coding specialists are responsible for processing billing and coding for medical insurance bills/claims. Medical Billing and Coding specialist attach diagnosis codes and procedure codes to insurance claim forms to request payment from a patient’s insurance company.
All healthcare settings depend on qualified medical billing and coding specialist to manage their patient’s accounts. They are responsible for making sure the insurance and private pay patients accounts’ are being billed correctly. They also make sure that invoices are paid on a regular basis from both the insurance companies and private pay patients.
Billing and coding specialist duties also involve analyzing and coding data, so the medical invoices are coded correctly to ensure payment.
Where can Medical Billing and Coding Specialist work?
Medical billers and coders work alongside administration to obtain proper billing. As a Billing and Coding Specialist you will have several options available to you when working in the field. You can work in hospitals, private clinics, home healthcare agencies, billing companies and many other health care facilities; you can even start your own medical billing and coding business from home.
What Training do I Need to Become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist?
There are programs available for Medical Billing and Coding that you can train for in a small amount of time. Depending on the particular medical billing and coding courses being taken, the program can be completed in as little as 8 months. There is also the option if obtaining an associate’s degree which will take about 18-24 months to compete.
Accreditation is required to become a billing and coding specialist. The training you will receive will be in health insurance claim forms, , electronic data modifiers and interchange, medical documentation, medical insurance and managed care. Many of the programs will incorporate hands-on training so that you will be well prepared for filing claim forms to help you better understand the basics of billing coding. After completion of the program a certification is all you need to get started in your career.
Online classes are also available; you can take what they call “online billing and coding home study”. The classes are about the same amount of time, but for those who study and work hard, the courses can be completed much quicker than that.
The program is at a very low cost. The costs average around $2,000. Of course that amount will double if you plan to get an associate’s degree in Medical Billing and Coding, but of course you’ll be gaining a lot more education!
What is the Average Salary of a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist?
According to salary.com, typically medical billing and coding professionals make between $35,000 and $44,000 a year. You can expect an even higher pay, as you gain more skills and experience. Experienced specialists who have acquired the CPC-1 credentials can make over $70,000 a year.
Depending on the amount of training, skills and experience you gain after working in billing and coding, some specialist have been also able to work as bookkeepers, accountants, administrative medical assistants and payroll. There are so many opportunities waiting for those interested in this field, and hopefully with this information you will be able to determine if Medical Billing and Coding is the right career path for you.