Become a Health Claims Specialist at Salter School
If you live near Boston or Cambridge, Massachusetts, you already know that our region is famous for top-notch medicine and healthcare. Have you ever considered getting career training in a healthcare-related field? Healthcare careers are not just for doctors and nurses. There are dozens and dozens of other career options!
This article looks at becoming a medical biller or a medical coder (also called a Health Claims Specialist). At the Salter School, just 20 minutes away from Boston in Malden, Massachusetts, you can get trained as a Health Claims Specialist in less than one year’s time. That’s a short time commitment that can get you started in a whole new career direction. Why not learn more about it?
What is a Medical Biller or Medical Coder?
Medical billers and medical coders play an important behind-the-scenes role in helping the healthcare system to function smoothly. They are the ones who prepare claims for insurance providers. They ensure the claims have the correct codes on them, and then follow up to make sure the claims are paid out accurately. Without these professionals, the reimbursement system might come grinding to a halt! To find out more, check out 5 Things to Know about Becoming a Medical Biller or Coder.
How do you enroll in a training program?
The good news is, enrolling in a training program is easy! Most programs—like the one at Salter School—only require that you have a high school diploma (or equivalent, like a GED). The program takes about one year to complete, and then you are prepared with the medical billing and coding skills you need for an entry level position.
Do you need a college degree to become a medical biller or medical coder?
No. Most employers don’t require a college degree, and most training programs are short-term programs where you earn a diploma, but not a degree. Some people choose to get a two-year associate’s degree in this field, but it is not necessary. To find out more professions that don’t require a college degree, try Careers You Can Get Without a College Degree.
How much does a medical biller or medical coder make?
Like many professions, wages and salaries will vary depending on a number of factors. The American Association of Professional Coders conducts an Annual Salary Survey which can give you some insight on the kind of income you can expect to earn in this field. Take a look at the survey and see what you think!
What classes are required for medical billing and coding?
When you inquire about a training program, you can ask to see the full list of courses you will need to take. Most programs will include courses such as:
- Insurance Terminology: Students learn about terminology and the various types of insurance such as private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and Workers Compensation.
- Medical Coding: The coding courses will get students familiar with the main coding systems used in the industry, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT-4).
- Computerized Billing: Students will learn how to insert the proper patient information into online billing programs and prepare reports.
- Electronic Health Records: Most offices have converted their records to electronic records, and students will learn how to record information into patients’ electronic health records.
What are the benefits of becoming a medical biller or medical coder?
There are many reasons why people choose to get career training in this field. Consider some of the advantages to making this career choice:
- You can get trained in less than one year
Compared with many professional positions that require a 2-year or 4-year college degree, the training for medical billing and coding is relatively short. And you don’t need a college degree. Most programs take less than one year to complete and provide you with the skills you will need for an entry level position in a medical records or billing department.
- You can work in an office setting
Are you tired of being on your feet in retail or food service jobs? Medical billers and medical coders typically work in a climate-controlled professional office where they sit at a desk or work station. If you picture yourself in an office job, this could be a good career path for you.
- The atmosphere is professional
If you are currently working in a customer service job and fielding complaints from angry customers, you might find that this career would be a welcome change! Medical billers and coders do not often deal with the public. Their interactions are more often with physicians and other healthcare professionals who submit medical records information. Working with healthcare professionals is certainly challenging, and you have to maintain professional customer service skills, but you will not have the same stresses as dealing with the public.
- You can work in healthcare without direct patient contact
While many people know that healthcare can be a great career path, many feel they simply don’t have the stomach for it. Maybe the sight of blood makes them queasy, or maybe they feel disgusted by germs. As a health claims specialist, you are working primarily at a computer all day, and have very little contact with patients. This can be the perfect solution for a squeamish person who wants to be in healthcare!
- The job outlook is positive
When you commit to a career training program, you want to know whether there will be job opportunities in your new field. The Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Department of Labor) predicts that the job outlook for people in the field of health information is positive. The handbook says: “Employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” This prediction is based on the aging population and its need for more claims and reimbursements.
- You can be proud of your profession
When is the last time you felt really proud of an accomplishment? Completing a training program in medical billing and coding is something that you can truly be proud of. And working in the field of healthcare is gratifying, because you know that you are helping people get the healthcare they need.
We hope this information has helped you to consider this career path. If you are looking for medical billing and coding schools in the Greater Boston region, check out the Salter School in Malden, Massachusetts. We know that taking the first step to start a new career path is a big one! We invite you to come take a tour of our school and find out if you like our small class sizes and hands-on learning environment. We accept applications year-round. Fill out our online information form for more details or call us at 781-324-5454.