If you got questions about medical billing and coding jobs, then, this one’s for you. We are going to provide you with essential information to get into this kind of home-based career.
Medical billing and coding jobs have been around for the longest time already, but still, a lot of people are not truly sure about what these jobs entail.
That is why today, we are going to share with you some of the most important information to help you know and understand better what being a medical biller and coder is.
Although there is no specific record on the total number of medical billers and coders in the country, the Bureau of Labor Statistics included them in the medical records and health information category, which, based on the data has 341,600 employed individuals as of 2019.
Furthermore, BLS reported that the said category has 8% job outlook from 2019 to 2029 — which is much faster than average.
Data such as this only proves that the industry is alive, and in fact, growing. Over time, more medical billers and coders will be needed. The job will eventually become in demand.
Anyway, so, if you are interested to get into this job, there should be no space for dillydallying because for sure, there is a future in medical billing and coding.
To help you start off, as mentioned, we are going to be sharing with you some of the most vital details about medical billing and coding. In particular, we are going to tackle the following:
- What is medical billing and coding?
- What is the difference between a medical biller and a medical coder?
- Why you should become a medical biller and coder?
- What are the qualifications for the job?
- How much does a medical biller and coder make?
- Where to find medical billing and coding jobs?
WHAT IS MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING?
First of all, it is important to note that billing and coding are two separate processes. While you can be a medical biller and coder at the same time, you can also be either of the two.
Both medical billing and coding are crucial to receiving payments for healthcare services.
To be more detailed, and to help you know and understand both processes, here’s a brief explanation of both —
Medical billing involves filing and following up on insurance claims. It uses codes to make insurance claims and bills for patients.
Meanwhile, medical coding involves digging out billable information from the medical record as well as clinical information.
Medical billing and coding cross when creating claims. When both processes traverse, they form the pillar of the healthcare revenue cycle.
The whole process begins when the patient visits the physician’s office, or go to the hospital or other healthcare provider, and then ends when the provider receives full payment for the services delivered or administered to the patient.
Medical coding and billing is a crucial process. It entails expertise.
If you want to deepen your knowledge and understanding of medical billing and coding, here’s an informative video about it by Carrington College:
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MEDICAL BILLER AND A MEDICAL CODER?
Medical billing and coding jobs intersect with one another. While you can be a medical biller and coder at the same time, as mentioned, you can also be either of the two.
So, to help you understand what is expected from you as a medical biller and as a medical coder, here’s a brief definition of both —
According to FlexJobs, a medical coder is considered as a translator. A medical coder’s job includes reviewing of patient’s file, and then, translating everything (from diagnoses to treatments, as well as supplies used) from that file into universal codes required by insurance companies.
It is the medical biller’s responsibility to ensure that the right codes are used every time. That way, insurance companies are billed correctly.
FlexJobs define a medical biller as someone who is tasked to process the insurance claims and do follow-ups on them.
Unlike a medical coder, a medical biller does not determine the codes used. According to FlexJobs, “medical coders do not have anything to do with technological aspects of medical record-keeping“.
Additionally, they also do not keep medical records or ensure the protection and safety of patient information that is kept electronically.
As mentioned, while both are two tally different jobs, a medical biller can be a medical coder at the same time. However, it requires proper training.
WHY YOU SHOULD BECOME A MEDICAL BILLER AND CODER?
In this section, we are going to share with you some of the reasons why you should consider becoming a medical biller or coder, or both.
Some of these reasons include:
1. It is rewarding.
Although you do not work directly with the patient, working as a medical biller or coder is such a rewarding job.
Why? It is because you get to help the healthcare industry (even patients, too) on a day-to-day basis.
As a medical biller or coder, you take a vital role in reducing medical mistakes, keeping costs down, as well as in ensuring that patients’ data are organized, secured, and recorded correctly.
Financially, doing medical billing and coding jobs are also rewarding. Later on, we’ll give you more detailed information as to why we said so.
2. You get to work in the healthcare industry without having to go to medical school.
Medical billing and coding jobs require training, but, it does not necessarily require you to go to medical school or finish an industry-related course (although that would be ideal, for sure).
Definitely, getting trained is more practical and cost-efficient as compared to earning a medical degree. Needless to say, training usually lasts for only a couple of months depending on the provider, as compared to gaining a medical degree that lasts for a few years.
3. You can choose your workplace.
As a medical biller or coder, you do not necessarily have to work in the hospital or clinic.
There are, in fact, lots of options. As a medical biller or coder or both, you can work in hospitals, clinics, medical laboratories, nursing homes, physician’s office, as well as administrative support centers, and even insurance companies.
If you come to think of it, there is such a wide variety of organizations that require an expert like you. In return, it’s a great thing for you as you get to have plenty of options to choose from.
4. It is in demand.
There is a lot of medical billing and coding jobs out there. That’s for sure because the industry is growing.
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical billing and coding specialists is expected to increase by 11% from 2018 to 2028, which is above average as compared to other jobs out there.
5. You can work from home.
Since most of the work is done in front of a computer, a lot of employers offer the work from home option. In fact, remote medical billing and coding jobs have become increasingly popular over recent years.
Additionally, you are given the option to either work part-time or full-time, which is great especially for stay-at-home moms who have lost work on their plates.
The work from home option is also ideal these days when people are limited to staying outdoors unless necessary.
6. It is flexible.
Similar to other home-based jobs, working as a medical biller and/or coder from home means having the ability to enjoy flexibility in terms of work schedule.
Depending on your client, you can work at your preferred time. Needless to say, you can work anywhere you want. At the end of the day, what matters is your ability to get the job done.
Please take note that most companies that offer medical coding and billing jobs operate 24/7, which means plenty of work opportunities with varying work schedules.
7. It is a fast-paced industry.
The healthcare industry is a huge industry, and medical records maintenance is just a part of it. This particular aspect of the industry, though, experiences some of the biggest changes, and a lot of these changes have something to do with better use of electronic records or EHRs.
Apart from the fact that it helps improve the way patient medical records are shared and used, it also significantly saves a lot of money, at the same time, improve outputs.
With all these changes, medical billing and coding professionals sit at the core.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE JOB?
So, by this time, you already know what medical billing and coding is, the difference between the two processes, as well as some of the reasons why pursuing a career in this field.
This time around, we are going to provide you information on some of the key requirements to land a medical billing or coding job.
Generally speaking, companies look for certain skills and experience when hiring a medical biller or coder.
If you are eyeing to become a medical biller, in particular, you should know that you have to get some education first.
As mentioned earlier, as a medical biller, you are going to work on medical codes, which you will only learn if you undergo medical billing training.
Furthermore, you also need to have solid knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, as well as billing guidelines, and industry standards.
To acquire the knowledge you need, you can opt to pursue a degree — whether it be a two- or four-year program. There are a lot of colleges in the country that offer such degree options.
Meanwhile, when it comes to medical coding certification, there are also a lot of options to choose from. You can opt to take a self-paced certification course online that lasts for less than a year, or you can opt a face-to-face course, which lasts for a couple of months only.
Experience is also vital especially if you are eyeing to work from home eventually. In most cases, companies that hire work from home medical billers and coders require at least three to five years of experience.
As mentioned earlier, companies look for certain skills when hiring medical billers and coders.
Some of the skills require include:
- Excellent Communication Skills – As a medical biller and coder, you are responsible for communicating with patients, physicians, as well as insurance companies, and other people in the medical industry. Thus, it is only right that you communicate excellently both in written and oral forms.
- Organizational Skills – Since you need to track multiple cases and do follow-ups, you have to have strong organizational skills to be able to manage your caseload.
- Attention to Detail – Your work requires you to deal with numbers and charts, and record data accurately. All these are vital information, and the error should never be part of your vocabulary.
- Strong Computer Skills – The job requires you to be in front of the computer most of the time. Thus, it is only right that you are fully knowledgeable about basic computer programs, and that you have the ability to learn new software when the need arises.
In addition to the above-mentioned skills, you must also have the ability to maintain patient confidentiality, as well as ensure that all medical records are secured.
HOW MUCH DOES A MEDICAL BILLER AND CODER MAKE?
In this section, we are going to talk about how much a medical biller and a medical coder make.
Earlier, we mentioned that becoming a medical biller or a medical coder can be financially rewarding, and it’s true!
But of course, there are certain factors that may affect the amount of salary you receive. These factors include your years of experience as a medical biller or coder, your expertise, the certification you have, your educational attainment, as well as the demand of the job.
However, to give you an idea, according to Payscale, the average hourly pay for home-based medical billers is $16.58.
Depending on the factors we mentioned, your pay can go as low as $10.57 per hour up to $23.21 per hour. This means you can earn between $24,000 and $48,000 annually.
Meanwhile, according to Glassdoor, remote medical coders earn an average base pay of $33,716 per year. The range falls between $24,000 and $49,000 annually.
As compared to other work from home jobs, working as a remote medical biller and/or coder is definitely competitive – salary-wise.
WHERE TO FIND MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING JOBS?
Now that you already know some of the most important details about working as a medical biller and/or coder, this time, we are going to provide you with some of the places where you can find medical billing and coding jobs.
There is plenty of medical billing and coding jobs, that’s for sure, and some of the companies that offer such jobs are:
- Aviacode – Aviacode is a medical coding company that has been in the industry for 20 years now. As stated on its website, the company delivers excellent “medical coding and medical coding compliance services to large-scale healthcare systems, individual hospitals, physician groups, surgery centers, and imaging centers, as well as payers“.
- LexiCode – Lexicode is the country’s leading provider of HIM Coding and Consulting Services. The company offers various employment options including auditing, coding, as well as education, and management. The company has been part of the medical billing and coding industry for over 35 years now.
- Maxim Healthcare – Maxim Healthcare Group has been around for over 30 years now. As stated on its website, the company is committed to “customer service, compassionate patient care, and filling critical staffing needs“.
- MRA – MRA has been providing high-quality services to hospitals and other healthcare providers in different parts of the country. Established in 1986, the company’s dedication to providing excellent customer service as well as industry expertise led to earning a 92% retention rate.
- MT Stars – MT Stars is an online community for medical transcriptionists in the United States. Started in 2001, the community has grown to have more than 40,000 members and 3 million visits every month. MT Stars, though initially created for medical transcriptionists has evolved and over time, has welcomed medical billers and coders, too. Apart from forums, the site also has a job board for medical transcriptionists, billers, and coders.
- nThrive – Formerly known as MedAssets-Precyse, nThrive “empowers health care for everyone in every community”. Furthermore, the company transforms “financial and operational performance to enable health care organizations to thrive”. Currently, the company is servicing around 4,400 clients with a loyal customer base that includes all 20 healthcare systems that were named by the U.S. News and World Report in their Best Hospital’s Honor Roll 2019.
Apart from these companies, we recommend checking out job marketplaces like FlexJobs, Indeed, and Upwork, too. These job listing sites do have medical coding and billing jobs, too.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING JOBS
At first, medical billing and coding can be intimidating for some especially since it’s about dealing with important patient information and then translating it into medical codes, as well as ensuring that all healthcare providers receive their payments correctly.
While it can be nerve-wracking, it can eventually be won over with proper education and training.
So, do you think you have what it takes to work as a medical biller or coder, or both?