Medical billing is a necessity for any health care provider. According to the Department of Labor, employment opportunities for trained medical coding specialists will continue to increase. Medical billing specialists work in such places as hospitals, physician offices, home health providers, and durable medical equipment providers. Many coding specialists have created their own home based businesses.
Job Duties and Requirements for Medical Billing
Medical billing requires extensive background in medical terminology, ICD-9 codes, and CPT Codes. This knowledge is important since many insurance companies and Medicare require this extensive information before paying claims. Coding specialists must have an understanding of insurance and reimbursement procedures. The specialists often communicate with insurance providers in the event a claim is rejected. Health care providers rely on skilled billing specialists to ensure claims are filed properly and reimbursement is received in a timely manner.
Due to the complicated rules and regulations related to filing Medicare claims, most health care providers require billing specialists to earn professional certification. In order to become certified, you will need to get at education through an accredited program. However, many of the medical coding programs are available online and can be completed within nine to 12 months. These accredited certificate programs qualify students to sit for certification exams. There are many two-year and four-year degree programs for those who wish to pursue a college degree instead of a certificate.
Many billing specialists will move into supervisory and management positions. For this particular career path, it is advantageous to earn a two-year or four-year degree. However, the requirement for advancement will depend on the employer and many specialists have advanced without the benefit of a college degree.
Many coding specialists earn a certificate within 12 months and they become certified. Once they begin working, they continue their education and earn a degree. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement and this is a fantastic way to pay for a college education. It also provides wonderful opportunities for advancement and potential earnings.
Getting Your First Entry Level Medical Coding Job
Most potential employers require professional certification. However, many will hire a specialist prior to earning the certification. The general stipulation is the certification must be obtained within 12 months of being hired. A student can sit for a certification exam immediately after graduation. It is best to apply for jobs once the certification exam has been taken and passed. Employers prefer to hire a specialist that has already earned certification.
The demand for medical billing specialist is high. This is particularly true in densely populated areas with an abundance of medical facilities. The Department of Labor lists medical coding specialists in the top 10 list of careers in demand. Finding an entry medical billing job is easier than many people think. In fact, many medical billing specialists have more than one job.
The career outlook for medical coding specialists is above average. Many physicians currently outsource their billing because it is difficult to find qualified billing specialists in their area. This is a phenomenal career opportunity for those who are interested in a health care career.