The healthcare industry in the United States is expanding rapidly, and that trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
In a country where a large portion of the population is aging, the need for those interested in working in the medical field is on the rise.
A medical billing specialist has skills that every aspect of the medical industry needs. If you have a desire to be involved in medicine but aren’t geared toward nursing or the practical side of the job, a career in medical billing may be a good career choice.
Let’s take a look at a career in medical billing, a typical Medical Biller salary, and what it takes to become one.
What is Medical Billing and Coding?
Before we discuss a Medical Biller salary, it is important to first understand what medical billing and coding are.
In order for medical offices to be able to correctly bill insurance carriers for procedures done on patients, coding is necessary.
Essentially, complete and detailed descriptions have to be re-written into a code that people can understand. This code overviews complex medical procedures into an efficient data-friendly language.
Once the medical biller codes everything involved in a patient’s visit or hospital stay, the patient, their insurance company, or other paying agency such as Medicare or Medicaid, can be invoiced or billed.
The following are job duties of a medical billing and coding specialist:
- Reviewing patient information for pre-existing conditions so that data can be coded properly
- Making sure records are timely, complete, and accurate
- Assigning diagnoses and procedural codes for patient care, health statistics, and billing purposes
- Working as a liaison between healthcare providers and billing offices
- Tracking patient outcomes for quality assessment
- Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, reporting, and retrieval
- Maintaining confidentiality of records
The following code sets are used to document the condition of a patient and the medical procedures performed:
- CPT: (Current Procedural Terminology) – numerical codes that describe tests, evaluations, surgeries, and any other medical procedure a health care provider might perform on a patient.
- ICD: (International Classification of Diseases) – used to classify diseases and injuries, their causes, manifestation, location, severity, and mortality rate.
- HCPCS: (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) – alpha-numeric codes representing procedures, supplies, products, and non-physician services.
Medical Biller Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a coding specialist or medical biller salary is about $40,350 per year.
Similarly, the medical biller salary of those working in state, local, and private hospitals average about $43,470 a year.
Additionally, a medical biller salary for those employed in physicians’ offices is around $35,520 a year.
And lastly, in the state of Texas, the average annual wage for a medical billing and coding specialist is $41,950.
The best job opportunities are available to those who have a solid understanding of technology and computer software.
This field is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations and those with specialized certifications also earn more.
In fact, according to the 2018 salary survey conducted by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), certified coders earn approximately 20% more than those who are not certified.
Become a Medical Biller
Now that we know what a medical biller is and what to expect for a medical biller salary, how do you become one?
To become a medical billing and coding specialist, specialized training and certifications are required.
Southern Careers Institute offers both an online training program and an on-campus programs that trains students in various categories.
For example, we offer training in data collection, diagnostic and procedural coding, insurance claim completion and submission, documentation, updating insurance rules and regulations, and following-up on claims.
Furthermore, the program can be completed in 36 weeks by students who enroll full-time.
Required program courses include the following:
- Anatomy and Physiology I & II
- Electronic Health Records I & II
- Medical Billing I & II
- Medical Coding I, II, III & IV
- Diseases of the Human Body
- Medical Terminology
- Customer Service
- Medical Law & Ethics
- Medical Practice Management
- Office Procedures I
- Word Processing
- Customer Service
- Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Externship
- Career Readiness
Graduates of the program are prepared for entry-level positions in doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, emergency/urgent care facilities, nursing homes, pharmacies, and public health offices.
Additionally, training prepares them for lawyers’ offices, insurance companies, and other businesses that require knowledge of billing and coding.
Medical Billing and Coding Certifications
Medical billing and coding certifications can help to advance a career. Certifications available upon completion of a training course include the following:
- CBCS (Certified Billing and Coding Specialist): assesses the ability to accurately post claims and obtain reimbursements for patient care and procedures.
- CMAA (Certified Medical Administrative Assistant): designates specialists who have the training and skills to manage and streamline the operations of a medical office. These professionals help to reduce wait times and are adept at keeping everyone up to date on clinical information.
- EHRS (Electronic Health Records Specialist): identifies specialists who have shown that they can adhere to patient confidentiality laws, guarding patient identities, and protecting healthcare facilities from potential lawsuits.
- Microsoft Word (MS Word Certified): expresses proficiency at using Microsoft Word software.
Medical Billing Career Training
It has never been more important to take on a new career path as it is right now. At Southern Careers Institute, our purpose is to help you do just that.
With online classes that you can tailor to your schedule, we make it possible for you to complete your education and advance your career at your own pace.
Upon graduation, our student career services team will assist you in launching your new career. We then work with local employers to match their needs to our students’ skills.
Students can even create personalized profiles that include their resumes, skills badges, and experience. In addition to this, job readiness training, resume building, interviewing techniques, and guest speakers are available.
So what are you waiting for? Start fresh, explore a new career path and fill out an application today!
We will contact you to answer any questions, discuss your career goals, walk you through the enrollment process, and inform you about financial aid.
Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. SCItexas.edu does not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute. Career and program information stated in this blog does not guarantee that programs and specifics are offered at Southern Careers Institute.
This article was published on: 03/31/20 12:47 AM