ESSENTIAL FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT A MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING CAREER!
Are you thinking about going back to school for a career path where you can be an integral part of the healthcare industry? Perhaps, you want a career where you remain largely independent in your work environment? Consider a career as a medical billing and coding specialist.
Medical billing and coding professionals work in behind-the-scenes roles of the health claims industry. They are crucial to helping the healthcare providers reimbursed for their services. If you’re considering going back to medical billing and coding school, then you’ll be researching information about this career path. At Salter School we’re here to make life easier for you!
Before you enter a medical billing and coding training program, we offer you a guide of essential facts to know about this career path. Reading the answers to these frequently asked questions may help you decide if it’s the right career path for you to pursue.
Here are six facts to know about the medical billing and coding profession!
Q #1: What do medical billing and coding specialists do?
A: Medical billing and coding professionals, also called health claims specialist or health information technologists, process and code health insurance forms. They are the professionals who also manage, maintain, store, and submit medical records and claims for reimbursement within the healthcare industry. Throughout the day, they review patient medical records to assess the documentation of medical procedures and checkups. Then, they identify ICD-10 diagnostic codes that can be applied to the claims so insurers know how much to charge patients. Medical billers and coders also check records for time, accuracy, and completeness. They are crucial for maintaining the security and confidentiality of a patient’s medical history. Their responsibilities also include organizing data in clinical databases and registries, operating classification software, and electronically recording, collecting, analyzing, and storing data. Sometimes, they need to do detective work to determine which code is appropriate for billing by clarifying patient details with a doctor or nurse practitioner. They are a crucial part of the healthcare industry because they help make sure patients are billed for the correct amount of money and that healthcare providers are reimbursed on time.
Q #2: Where do medical billers and coders work?
A: Medical billing and coding experts work at a computer and desk in the medical offices of doctors and hospitals. Some may work in skilled nursing care facilities, administrative and support systems, or insurance companies. They are usually located in the back rooms of these facilities. Depending on your specific employer, some medical billers and coders may have the opportunity to work from home if they have a computer, internet access, and the ICD-10 handbook to use as a reference for coding.
Q #3: What are the typical hours for medical billing and coding specialists?
A: Many medical billing and coding professionals work a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift. However, these hours may vary between employers. Ask your potential employer what a typical day is like at your job interview. If you work in a hospital, you may be required to work night shifts.
Q #4: What is the projected job growth for this career path?
A: Under the Occupational Outlook Handbook’s Medical Records and Health Information Technicians' Job Outlook section, these types of jobs are expected to grow by 15% from 2014-2024. Due to the baby boomer generation getting older and being more susceptible to diseases, more health insurance claims will need to be processed. Now may be a great time to become involved in the health claims industry!
Q #5: How much do medical billers and coders earn?
A: Medical billing and coding specialists’ salaries may vary. You can get an idea of the median annual wage under the pay section of the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The median annual wage identifies a given salary where half of all workers earned above the median wage and the other half earned less. You can get an idea of what medical billers and coders in your local area make by researching what entry-level work is offered on job posting sites like Monster or Indeed.
Q #6: Is being a medical billing and coding professional a rewarding career path?
A: Medical billing and coding pros like this job because of the level of independence the career can give them. You can do detective work by figuring out which code should be used and why. If you like identifying problems and small details then this job may be great for you. Plus, you have the satisfaction of working in the healthcare industry, learning medical terminology, and assisting patients without having to work directly with them.
If you think that a career as a medical biller and coder sounds like a valuable path, think about applying to the Salter School’s health claims specialist training program today.
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