In the complex world of healthcare, an intricate language connects medicine with the web of insurance policies. The silent warriors use This medical coding language in the indispensable medical billing and coding profession.
Now, most people need to learn about medical billing and coding career options. This scenario is because the job might not be as glamorous as doctors or nurses, but they are essential to the healthcare administration. So, is this enigmatic career the right fit for you? Let us unravel that question!
What does a medical biller and coder do?
You may not have heard about medical billing and coding specialists, but they have a very important job in the hospital environment. Their task is to ensure that your healthcare provider receives all the payments for their services, reduce costs, and help create financial reports for patient insurance providers. Most people do not understand what goes into this process on a daily basis and the knowledge required to ensure that the work flows smoothly.
As a medical biller or coder, your job will be to make sure that the patient’s account will be completed with accurate details and procedural codes for all services provided to the patient. It is also your job to correspond with multiple insurance agencies to help process claims faster and more accurately. You will also need to answer any queries from the patient party and insurance providers in regard to the medical bills.
Where do medical billers and coders work?
Medical billers and coders work in various healthcare sectors such as hospitals, insurance companies, home healthcare centers, physician’s offices, palliative care centers, medical supply agencies, and anywhere where primary businesses are involved in healthcare. Some medical coders and billers also work as independent contractors, in teams, and as individuals.
Is there a medical billing and coding program that you need to study?
There are multiple low-cost medical billing and coding programs where you can gain a certification. One of the best is a 6 month medical billing and coding program offered by AIHT Education.
The program provides training in the present ICD-10 code set, including medical billing, healthcare claim preparation, HIPAA rules, and the entire transmission process. At the end, you will also be provided a clinical internship to develop your skills and network with medical professionals.
What does the work schedule of a medical biller and coder look like?
If you want a career in medical billing and coding, then you will need to understand that your schedule will vary depending on the type of work you do. Some healthcare centers need their employees to work 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, with weekends off.
But some billers have the advantage of working from home and setting their own schedules. Others have flexible schedules where they can choose to work longer hours for some days and shorter for others.
What is the salary of a medical biller and coder?
If you plan to work as a medical biller and coder, you will earn an average annual salary of $ 47,180, as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
When you start in the profession, you will begin with an hourly rate of $ 21.85 per hour (about $ 45,456 per year). When you reach the mid-level profile, you will start earning approximately $ 30.86 an hour (about $ 64,192 per year). For experienced professionals, you can earn over $ 35.17 per hour or $ 73,150 a year.
What are the benefits of working as a medical biller or coder?
If you are planning on becoming a medical billing and coding specialist, then you need to understand its benefits.
1. You do not need to spend years in college
One of the biggest benefits of working as a medical biller and coder is that you can start your career after completing a short training program (within 6 to 24 months). This means that you do not need to spend years in college and can join within a year of graduating from high school.
2. Training costs are lower than other career programs
The training you need to become a medical coder and biller is lower than other careers. You can complete the program within $ 1000 to $ 3000, which is cheaper than even studying to be an electrician ($ 7000 to $ 15,000).
3. Complete your training online
One of the biggest reasons to start a career in medical billing and coding is that you can finish your training online. You can study in your free time, on weekends, before or after work, etc.
Read More:- A Day in the Life of a Medical Coder
4. You can work independently and from home
As a medical biller and coder, you can easily work as an independent contractor for multiple medical facilities. In fact, you also do not need to go to work every day. The profession is flexible enough to provide you with options such as working from home or working shorter hours some days of the week.
5. Your job is always in high demand
Another advantage of working as a medical coder and biller is that your job will always be in demand. Because there is such a high demand, it is not unusual to see experienced coders working late into their seventies.
6. Multiple job benefits
Working as a medical biller or coder means that you will get good health benefits for you and your family. Since you can also choose your work schedule and get weekends off, you can spend time with your family as well.
7. Earn a decent living
When choosing the pros and cons, you need to understand that working as a biller and coder means that you will earn a decent living. At the start, it might not be much, but once you start gaining experience, you can make an average salary of $ 55,000 or more a year.
8. Room for growth
As a medical coder and biller, there is always room for career growth. Once you gain enough experience in the field, you can start working in medical management, compliance, auditing, clinical documentation, education, and others. You can also become a consultant for healthcare service providers and specialize in different types of billing.
Read More:- Most Common Medical Billing and Coding Errors
Are there any disadvantages to being a medical coder and biller?
We now understand the advantages of choosing a medical billing and coding career. However, there are some negatives that can be attached to the job profile.
1. You must have a high school degree or diploma
To be eligible for a medical billing and coding program, you must have at least a high school diploma. This is because, as a medical coder, you will need to have basic language and maths skills.
2. You need to have a certification from an accredited training program
If you want to build a career in medical billing and coding, then you need to have a certification from an accredited training program. These programs can be found in local universities, colleges, vocational schools, and other institutions related to healthcare.
3. You need to learn multiple codes
One of the biggest responsibilities of medical billing and coding specialists is learning the ICD codes. Currently, ICD-9 has over 14,000 codes, whereas ICD-10 has over 110,000.
Read More:- ICD-10: Benefits and Challenges
4. You can develop carpal tunnel syndrome
Before becoming a medical billing and coding specialist, you need to know the medical risks involved. You are at a higher rate of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the medial nerve becomes compressed and results in a numbing or tingling sensation. This condition can become very painful and might need surgery.
5. Your work can be stressful
As Medical billers and coders, your work can be highly stressful. You will have to deal with patient families, insurance agencies, and the hospital itself. If you do not deal with the stress correctly, then it can take a toll on your health.
Read More:- 5 Blunders to Avoid in Medical Coding
Moving Forward – Unlock your future as a medical billing and coding specialist!
If you are planning to join the world of healthcare, you may ask yourself the question over and over again – Is a medical billing and coding career the right choice for you? While the profession is hidden behind the scenes, you will play a pivotal role in ensuring that the healthcare system runs smoothly.
A career in medical billing and coding can be a highly fulfilling path for those who want to work in patient care and have an eye for detail. If you want to know if the career is a fit for you, then take into consideration that you will need to commit to learning for a lifetime, while keeping an eye for detail.
So, is the career the right choice for you? Ultimately the answer lies in your thirst for knowledge, your level of precision and any challenge that may come your way!
1. Is medical billing and coding a good career for medical students?
For medical students looking for a way to earn money, you can get a certification as a medical biller and coder. This way, you will be making good money while continuing with your education.
2. What are the pros and cons of being a medical biller and coder?
Below are some of the positives and negative points of being a medical biller and coder:
- Earn a good living
- Work independently
- The job is in high demand
- There is room for growth
- The work is highly stressful
- You can develop carpal tunnel syndrome
- You will need to learn multiple codes
3. What are the reasons to become a medical biller and coder?
Some reasons to become a medical biller and coder are the easy work schedule, good salary, and high chance of growth.
4. How to become a medical billing and coding specialist?
You will need to get a certification from an accredited program that can last from 7 – 24 months for becoming medical billing and coding expert.
5. How do I know if I would like medical coding?
If you have an attention to detail and want to work in the medical field without having to take an education loan, then medical coding is the field for you.
6. Is medical billing and coding for introverts?
Medical billing and coding is perfect for introverts as you do not need to meet and deal with hundreds of people directly.
7. Is medical billing and coding hard to do?
Medical billing and coding are a highly stressful jobs as you need to know, handle, and enable hundreds of codes.
8. Are medical billing and coders happy?
Medical billing and coders find the job highly stressful, but they are happy as they can choose their work schedule and can work for multiple healthcare specialists at the same time.