Specialists in medical billing and coding are still in high demand. Medical billing and coding careers have various benefits, such as adaptable work environments and chances for professional development.
Before the pandemic, medical coders and billers were already familiar with the advantages—and difficulties—of working from home. Medical billing and coding career can allow you to earn a decent wage and positively impact patients’ lives, in addition to the freedom of working remotely.
Hospitals, private offices, and billing corporations employ many medical billers and coders. Because this is a vocation constantly evolving depending on the condition of global epidemiology, many of these organizations have an expanding need for medical billers and coders.
The eight factors we list on this page can help you decide whether or not pursuing a medical billing and coding career is a good choice if you’re unsure.
What is a medical billing and coding career?
The two processes of medical billing and coding are interconnected. The critical reimbursement cycle involves both practices. This cycle ensures that healthcare professionals get compensated for their work.
However, I’m now splitting the two to keep things straightforward. Let’s consider them as discrete steps in a more extensive process.
Medical billing involves a third party in the payment process. The billers use the required data to create a claim—a bill—for the insurance company. The billing cycle, which includes managing claims, payments, and billing, refers to the complete process in question. The term “Revenue Cycle Management” is sometimes used.
Medical coding aims to convert medical terminology from its pure form into a numeric or alphanumeric code. Even if there are countless lines of code, the translation must be as precise as feasible.
Every aspect of each patient’s visit is documented by the medical facility’s doctor or another staff member. Then, they convert the visit into codes. Following that, billers use these codes in the billing process.
Obligations of a medical billing and coding career
Medical billers and coders typically do similar tasks. That implies that their workplaces don’t matter all that much. Medical codes are used in clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices to record patient diagnoses and treatments.
In particular, medical billing and coding career obligations include:
- Determine the appropriate codes for patient reports by reading and scanning patient records.
- Utilize regulations to charge insurance companies
- To ensure accuracy, consult with medical professionals and helpers.
- Keeping track of patient information throughout various visits
- Maintain patient privacy and information security.
- Manage precise, minutely coded information. In circumstances where the coding is complex or odd, scramble about for information.
- Receive and confirm the accuracy of patient records and documentation.
- Review the batch of patient notes from the day before for grading and coding.
- Verify that all codes are active and up to date.
Skills for a medical billing and coding career
To have a successful medical billing and coding career, you must embrace some key talents. Medical billing and coding require the following skills:
- Observation of details
- superior communication abilities
- critically analyzing
- learner forever
- Ability to analyze
- technical expertise
- Integrity (HIPAA compliance)
- preserving the patient’s safety, excellent client service
- computer expertise
- expertise in bookkeeping and accounting
- expert in medical jargon
- capable of teamwork
Eight factors for why a medical billing and coding career is a good choice
1. High demand for medical billing and coding careers
The COVID-19 epidemic hurt the healthcare sector, as it did for most sectors. But despite cutbacks and layoffs, there is still a great demand for medical billers and coders. Medical billers and coders are registered in the medical records and health information experts field, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts will expand by 9% between 2019 and 2029. According to the BLS, firms will increase employment by around 34,300 annually.
Allied health vocations, such as medical billing and coding careers, are currently booming without a predicted halt.
Medical coding and billing were not immune from the pandemic’s effects. The number of patients declined, which reduced the demand for coders.
According to the Epic Health Research Network, non-COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased by November 2020 at a rate that was 80% lower than expected. The field has since recovered.
The demand for medical billers and coders is expected to be at a “historic high,”, particularly for flexible workers who continue to study and advance their knowledge, according to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).
2. You can become a medical biller/coder within a short period.
Medical billers and coders convert medical services into codes to ensure that providers are paid. Learning the skill and becoming a medical biller and coder takes one to four years.
Because people take diverse paths to education and training, the time frames change. A GED or high school graduation are both required for medical coder and biller employment.
Following that, it takes students around a year to earn credentials in medical billing and coding. An associate’s degree requires at least two years of study. Medical billing and coding bachelor’s degrees typically take four years to complete.
Community colleges and vocational schools typically offer medical billing and coding career programs. To meet continuing education requirements and certification exams, students can also receive training from professional organizations like AAPC. The online medical billing and coding course offered by the AAPC last 8–12 months.
3. You can earn more money the more you understand
Employers are not required to hire qualified coders. However, according to the AAPC, certified coders make 39% more money than uncertified professionals. The typical annual income for medical coders is $53,051. Non-certified medical coders make an average yearly wage of $41,543, compared to certified medical coders’ average annual salary of $57,646.
Medical billers and coders that possess AAPC qualifications are more marketable and more likely to land jobs in niche medical sectors. In specialties including anesthesia and pain management, cardiology, dermatology, and pediatrics, credentials are necessary for career growth.
Read detailed updates on Medical Billing and Coding Salary Here.
4. There Will Be Possibilities for You to Advance Your Career
Medical coders and billers might bargain for more excellent pay by obtaining more certifications. According to the AAPC’s 2020 Medical care Salary Survey, medical billing and coding professionals with two credentials earn an average salary of $63,085 annually. Those with a minimum of three certifications or more make an average salary of $68,589 annually.
The highest-paid credentials range from $70,535 to $77,186 on average and include certifications as certified professional coder teachers, certified experienced compliance officers, and certified documentation expert outpatient specialists.
One of the critical reasons medical and billing professionals choose the field and stick with it is still career mobility. Medical billers and coders have the privilege to switch employment and work environments without quitting their line of work.
You won’t ever get tired of the medical billing and coding career industry because it is constantly evolving.
5. Opportunities for ongoing learning will exist.
Medical billing and coding professionals are constantly learning new things. Credentials allow specialists to update their knowledge or pick up unique expertise. Exams for specialty credentials put medical billing and coding experts to the test in particular coding and reimbursement activities. Employers need employees who are familiar with specialized medical terminology and practices.
The sector of healthcare coding is highly friendly. Numerous organizations provide webinars, seminars, and other tools for obtaining the yearly continuing education credits necessary to keep certification.
Since the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system is updated annually, medical billers and coders must also learn new codes.
6. You can work in a range of sectors.
Medical billing and coding specialists still have a lot of demand. In hospitals or health systems, about 72% of medical billing and coding specialists work, according to the Health Information Management Professional Census of 2020. Moreover, half of those experts are remote workers. Medical billing and coding careers offer the ability to work remotely in addition to other locations. According to the BLS, 10% of health information techs work in doctor’s offices, 7% provide educational services, 6% are employed by the government, and 5% provide professional, scientific, and technological services. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, and insurance companies also need travel medical coders for temporary labor.
Health systems, inpatient hospitals, large group practices, and hospitals pay the highest salaries to medical coders and billers.
7. Medical billers’ and coders’ schedule is flexible.
One of the critical motives for people to work as medical coders and billers continues to be the flexibility of a good schedule. Remote medical billers and coders can choose their programs and frequently work under pressure. Because these professions demand a very detail-oriented person, most medical billing and coding career positions offer work-from-home assignments, flexible scheduling, little face-to-face customer contact, and work spaces built for little distraction.
8. You’ll Advocate for High-Quality Patient Care
Is medical billing and coding career worthwhile? People with extensive experience concur. To improve a patient’s health and welfare, you don’t need to work at their bedside at a hospital. Without medical billers and coders, the healthcare industry could not function and serve its patients, especially in these challenging times. The patient’s ability to receive future healthcare services and treatments may be impacted by incorrect billing or coding.
FAQ On Medical Billing and Coding Career
Is medical billing and coding career challenging?
While sometimes challenging, medical billing and coding are by no means impossible. Medical billing and coding are careers in the medical care industry that require education and talent. In other words, it will need a lot of effort.
How can someone with no experience acquire a medical billing and coding career?
Here are a few measures to follow if you lack the experience to land a job in medical coding:
- Develop your coding abilities.
- Make a portfolio.
- Establish an internet presence.
- Make connections with other programmers.
- Participate in coding competitions or challenges to get certificates.
- Write a compelling résumé.
- Create projects.
How long does it take to learn how to code to pursue a medical billing and coding career?
You may become an expert in coding in as little as three months if your objective is to learn it as rapidly as possible. If you’re looking to switch careers, a coding boot camp or self-study can help you become an expert in a medical coding career.