Whether you are a person who is thinking about becoming a medical billing specialist or a company looking for a medical billing specialist, then this article is for you. There are several things that you should be aware of in the medical billing industry and I will walk you through them so that you will have the background information that you need to help you make a decision that will best suit your needs. We will first take a look at what it takes to become a medical billing specialist, and then we will also explore the alternatives to hiring a medical billing specialist.
What is a Medical Billing Specialist?
A medical billing specialist is someone who works with a medical office and is in charge of the company’s medical billing. If you desire to be a medical billing specialist then accuracy and attention to detail is a must as you will most likely be in charge of claims processing, charge entry, and billing and collections. However, most medical offices will hire someone to do more than just be in charge of medical collections. They will want someone to be more of a medical assistant as well. Job duties will then expand to include things like:
o Accounts payable, payroll and banking tasks
o Prepare and maintain patient charts
o Schedule appointments
o Receive and make phone calls
o Perform insurance verification, pre-authorize and referral duties
How do I become a Medical Billing Specialist?
Most businesses will require you to either have several years of experience working as a medical assistant or some kind of advanced certification as a medical assistant. There are several programs out there to help train and educate you to become a medical billing specialist. By doing a Google search for “medical billing specialist” you should be presented with a lot of options to help guide you to becoming a certified medical billing specialist. There are programs that you can complete online and at your own pace. Others require you to attend some classes for a couple of semesters. In my search I found many of the programs to cost around $1000 but some were as much as $6500.
Is it worth it to become a medical billing specialist?
The medical industry is experiencing a tremendous demand for individuals knowledgeable in medical office operations. Medical billing specialists are one of the fastest growing professions and are currently a very high demand job. According to the American Medical Association, there are over 1.2 million Medical Specialists in the United States. If you are interested in this kind of profession, it would be to your advantage to learn more about it.
What about outsourcing?
Because of the time and meticulous accuracy that medical billing requires, there are some companies that only specialize in being a medical billing specialist. Medical offices outsource all of their medical billing practices out to these companies rather than hiring an in-house specialist to manage their medical billing needs.
Is there software that can do everything a Medical Billing Specialist can do?
There is yet another solution to managing your medical billing needs. Companies such as AdvancedMD provide a software solution to be your medical billing specialist. An advantage for a medical office to go this route might be that it will be cheaper in the long run to have software to manage all of their billing needs. Also the electronic medical billing specialist will be less prone to errors unless they are due to a human entry error.
As you can see there are many solutions to help you to better manage your medical office. There are advantages in every category; it just depends on what will be the best fit your office. If you are thinking about becoming a medical billing specialist, I feel that it is worth looking into as it is a very high demand job. However, you should be aware that with alternatives out there, like outsourcing and medical billing software, you might have a little competition.