Medical Insurance Billing and Coding

Whether you are looking for the perfect work at home opportunity or you want to work in a professional healthcare setting in an administrative role, you may want to consider going into medical insurance billing and coding.  Medical insurance billing and coding are actually two different jobs, but since they are related they are often paired together and spoken of as a single opportunity.  The majority of health information technicians only choose to specialize in one or the other, but it is possible to learn both and excel at both professionally.

Medical Insurance Billing And CodingMedical insurance billing and coding jobs are on the rise.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects demand for these roles to increase by an astounding 20% by 2018, which is nearly double the rate of job expansion in other sectors.  That makes this an excellent time to start training to become a medical insurance biller or coder.  By the time you finish school, you should find more openings than there are today.  Even just searching online, you should find a lot of openings right now.

What exactly is medical insurance billing and coding?  What will you be learning about when you decide to go to school for one of these jobs?  Medical insurance billing is exactly what it sounds like—as a biller you send out charges to patients or their insurance companies or the government programs which are covering their procedures, and then you log the payments as they come in.  If there are issues with payments, as a biller you will have to get in contact with all the parties involved to straighten things out.  You can also choose to facilitate payments from patients with payment plans, and if a patient disappears and defaults, you can send the payments to collections to free up resources in the billing department.

Medical insurance coding is a process which takes place prior to medical insurance billing.  Every day there are hundreds of patients who come and go from hospitals, and there are thousands of tests, procedures and treatments performed.  With so much going on it is much easier for hospitals and clinics to keep track of everything using numerical and alphanumerical codes.  These codes are used in billing but are also used for other purposes.  For example, a hospital may use the codes to analyze the procedures performed in their facilities each day in order to shuffle their staff around to generate greater efficiency.

Since the two jobs are related, there are people who perform both functions.  There is so much to learn which is unique to each though that most people only go into billing or only go into coding, but not both.  You will have to think about what interests you the most before you sign up for a training program.  Both of these jobs are “behind the scenes” jobs, though you’ll be interacting with the public much more as a biller than you would if you were a coder.  Do you enjoy working with customers to help resolve problems, or would you rather most of your interactions were with hospital staff?  This is a good basis for deciding whether to become a medical insurance biller or a medical insurance coder.

Medical insurance billing and coding does pay well, especially after you’ve been at it for a while and have become experienced in the field.  The median salary for medical billers and coders in 2008 was $30,610 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The BLS also stated that the upper end salaries were more than $50,000.  The key to getting a great salary is not only to choose your workplace carefully (government roles tend to pay more than roles at clinics, for example), but also to choose a specialty.  Medical billers and coders who specialize in complex areas of medicine tend to earn more money, just as physicians who specialize do as well.  The longer you work in your field and the more experience you gain, the higher your potential salary as well.  What if you choose to work from home?  There is a lot of variation in pay for work at home positions too.  Staring out you might only make $10.00 an hour, but you could eventually work up to $25.00 an hour.  If you have a specialization you may be able to earn more right from the start.  During your education you may also want to look for a chance to intern with a hospital or clinic.  An internship can jump start your career and also help you learn your role more effectively.  You may make the professional connections you need to get your first job in your chosen area of expertise.

To become a medical insurance biller or coder you’ll have to get training through an accredited program.  Not only is medical billing and coding extremely flexible as a profession, but the educational programs are flexible as well.  If you want to attend a traditional college you can, but if you would prefer vocational school you can do that instead.  There are also programs available online if distance learning is more within your budget and schedule.  Just make sure that any program you are thinking about entering is indeed accredited before you start comparing all the details to figure out which one is best.  Medical billing and coding is a very approachable field.  People who enter this field may or may not have any prior college education.

Medical insurance billing and coding offers you a chance to fill a critical, behind-the-scenes function in the medical world.  If you’ve always wanted to work in a hospital or clinic but haven’t had the resources or desire to learn medicine yourself, then this can be an excellent alternative.  If you want a work at home job which is consistent, profitable, and flexible, then medical insurance billing and coding is an ideal field.  You’ll be providing an important administrative service in either case, and whether you choose to manage your own career as a contractor or to become an employee, you’ll be on your way to a rewarding future.

Matching School Ads
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.

Programs:

  • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
  • BS in Health Information Management
  • Medical Office Administration
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students

Programs:

  • Specialization in Nursing Informatics (MSN)
  • Health Care degrees include BA in Health Care Administration, BS in Health Information Management, BS in Nursing (RN to BSN), and more.
  • Coursework focuses on relevant topics in the health care field, such as administration, planning, and policy.
  • Students can specialize in areas like Human Resource Management, Health Care Informatics Systems, and Long-Term Care Management.
  • Online degree programs that can help students pursue a degree on their own schedule.

Programs:

  • MA/Health Care Administration
  • BA/Health Care Administration

Get personalized attention with UMA.

One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services-they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Programs:

  • A.S. - Medical Billing & Coding
  • Diploma - Medical Billing & Coding
  • Diploma - Medical Office Billing Specialist
  • And more...
Advance your education with Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. We offer Associate in Occupational Studies degree programs in a variety of fields, including advanced personal training, clinical and administrative medical assisting, massage therapy, and surgical technology.

Programs:

  • Medical Billing and Coding
Locations:  New York
Penn Foster offers affordable, self-paced career-focused distance education programs in fields like business, criminal justice, health services, technology, engineering, paralegal studies and more.

Programs:

  • Medical Coding and Billing

Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

New England College was founded in 1946 to educate soldiers coming home from war. The same great support system that welcomed returning GIs is still a hallmark of NEC today. From enrollment services representatives who’ll guide you through the application process to interactive tools that help you collaborate with instructors and classmates, NEC inspires you to reach the milestones of your educational journey.

Programs:

  • BS in Healthcare Administration/Health Informatics

The Berkeley Advantage®is part of a proven approach to career-focused education that can help students prepare for success.

Programs:

  • BBA in Health Services Management
Locations:  New York

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

  • The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
  • No set class times or locations
  • Affordable tuition, guaranteed not to increase as long as you are enrolled
  • Accelerated eight-week terms
  • Classes start every month

Programs:

  • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration
  • Master - Healthcare Administration and Management
  • BS - Healthcare Administration and Management

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

Whatever your motivation for considering an undergraduate or graduate degree, Florida Tech offers programs online that can meet your needs. Here are a few reasons Florida Tech may be the right choice for you.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems

Previous post:

Next post: