Health Claims Specialist training is within your reach!
Are you looking for jobs in the field of healthcare, but finding that you are not qualified? If you need additional job training, you might want to consider getting trained in medical billing and coding. Medical billers and coders are an important part of today’s healthcare system. They are responsible for processing health insurance claims. With the recent shift to converting all paperwork to electronic health records (EHR), these professionals play an important role in maintaining important patient information.
How do you become a medical biller or a medical coder? It’s not as difficult as you may think. Take a look at these 6 steps, and see if you have what it takes!
Step 1. Learn more about medical billing and coding
Before diving in headfirst, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Find out all you can about a career in medical billing and coding. One place to look is the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This handbook, published online by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, gives overviews of hundreds of career options. Their description of Medical Records and Health Information Technicians will tell you all about this field. Read it carefully, and decide whether you want to pursue this career path. Or try reading this blog post: Medical Coder-Is It the Right Path for You?
Step 2. Take tours of medical billing and coding schools near you
The next step is to search for medical billing and coding programs near you. You can do a Google search for “Medical Billing and Coding training” or “Health Information Technician training.” You can also try the College Navigator, which allows you to search by zip code and program. You should be able to find community colleges or private career schools that offer training programs. Some programs can be completed in about one year, while other programs may be two-year associate’s degree programs or four-year bachelor’s degrees. It is up to you what level of training you want to pursue. Once you identify some nearby schools, be sure to take a tour. Taking a tour allows you to see the schools and decide which programs you like the most.
For Massachusetts residents, you can explore the option of attending the Salter School. The Salter School is an accredited school, offering a Health Claims Specialist program that can be completed in less than one year. For those students in the Greater Lowell area, Salter School has campuses in Tewksbury and Malden. Or if you live farther south, you can explore the locations in New Bedford and Fall River. Whatever your choice, be sure to find a school that is accredited. You also want your school to have a long history and a strong reputation in your community.
Step 3. Apply for financial aid
Once you have identified one or more schools that you might want to attend, it’s time to apply for financial aid. Start this process by filling out the online FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This will determine whether the schools will be able to offer you a financial aid package. For more information on completing the FAFSA, see Filling Out the FAFSA or 5 Tips on Filling Out the FAFSA. After you have heard back from your schools about whether or not they can offer you financial aid, it’s time to choose a school and get started. Complete the school’s application and enrollment procedure, and get ready to start classes!
Step 4: Attend classes, do your homework, and study hard
Like any school, your medical billing and coding school will require you to put in effort. Be sure to attend your classes every day. Don’t skip! Skipping one class can lead to a slippery slope of missing more classes and getting behind in your work. Set aside a dedicated time to do your homework and study for exams. Find a quiet place to study that is free of distractions. If you are having trouble in school, don’t be shy about it. Ask your instructor for help. Your teachers want you to succeed. Your success shows that they are doing their job well!
Step 5: Take your internship seriously
Most career schools will offer an internship placement in which you get placed in an unpaid position in medical billing and coding. It typically lasts a few months, and it is your opportunity to try out your new skills on the job. Treat your internship like a real job. Show up early every day. Work hard. Ask questions. Be professional. Learn as much as you can. If you treat your internship seriously, it can lead to good job recommendations once you start looking for your first job in your new field.
Step 6: Get started on your job search before graduation
Even before you graduate, you can get started with your job search. Make sure you have a strong resume and a good LinkedIn profile. Talk with your Career Services advisors, who can help you refine your interview skills and suggest possible job leads. Learn networking techniques and go out into the job market with the confidence you have earned through your hard work!
We hope these six steps have taken the mystery out of how to become a medical biller or medical coder. This career field is a respectable position in the healthcare field, and we wish you all the best in your new career pursuit.
This article was provided by the Salter School. We offer four career training campuses in Massachusetts, including Malden, Fall River, Tewksbury, and New Bedford. Contact us online for more information about our 1-year Health Claims Specialist program.