Find out why this essential role in healthcare might be a good fit for you
If you are interested in an office job in the healthcare field, consider training to be a medical billing and coding specialist. These professionals ensure that patients receive the services their insurance plans cover, and that the healthcare provider they work for receives payment for services in a timely fashion. This is an essential, highly valued role within a healthcare team. It requires efficiency, accuracy, organization, and attention to detail.
Some of the responsibilities include:
- preparing insurance claim forms for medical practitioners to send to insurers
- using specialized software to maintain up-to-date insurance information on patients and track the proper codes for diagnoses and treatments
- recording payments made and keeping track of any outstanding payments.
Now that you have some idea of what this job entails, here are some of the benefits to becoming a medical billing and coding specialist (also known as a health claims specialist):
A range of work environments
Once you complete your training and learn the fundamentals of this career, such as the proper insurance codes and how to use industry software, you will look for a work environment to put your skills to work. The following organizations tend to hire medical billing and coding specialists, each offering a slightly different routine and pace of daily work:
- Private medical, dental, or specialist offices
- Outpatient, nursing, or long-term care facilities
- Diagnostic, urgent care, or surgical centers
- Insurance companies
- Medical billing or government agencies
An opportunity to use your skill set
This is a good job for someone who is highly organized, detail-oriented, and accurate. These traits will ensure that you complete the right forms, at the right time, for the right procedures and diagnoses, which leads to your employer receiving timely payment for services rendered. If you have some of these skills, and value working with patients and as part of a team, consider becoming a medical billing and coding specialist.
In-depth training in a short time
Many people complete training to become a medical billing and coding specialist in about a year. In one year, you can gain the required knowledge and the marketable skills you need for an entry-level job in this field. In other words, you will be ready to hit the ground running.
Job outlook for this field
Choosing a career in a field that is expected to grow can provide opportunities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” A lot of people choose to go into this field for this reason.
Flexibility, options, and portable skills
Becoming a medical billing and coding specialist may provide options, whether you are looking to stay close to your hometown, venture to a new area down the road, or move to another state. Your skills will be transferable to medical institutions across the country.
If you’re interested in this field, some important factors to consider are the skills and training, the variety of potential work environments, and the positive job outlook. What’s a good next step? Learn more about the medical billing and coding process. Then look into training programs near you. This could be the beginning of a new career in healthcare!
This article is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School. We offer several different professional training programs at our campuses in Malden and Fall River, MA. Reach out to us today for more information or to schedule a campus tour!