Medical Billing Careers
A career in medical billing involves going through claims from healthcare providers to insurance companies. Medical billers act as liaison between healthcare providers and insurance companies to ensure that claims made are well-supported by medical documents, have the necessary industry codes, and are fair for both parties.
A successful medical biller should be knowledgeable in medical terminology and anatomy in order to better process claims and correlate with medical records. He or she should also be knowledgeable in the proper way of completing forms and in the coding systems used in the industry, such as the ICD and the CPT. Basic information and skill with computers are also essential, and a typing speed of at least 35 words-per-minute is helpful.
The medical billing career is especially good for individuals who have good interpersonal skills, as the job entails much time talking with insurance companies and patients. Medical billers should especially know how to speak with patients, as they are dealing with illness and going through an especially sensitive period. The goal of the medical biller is to ensure that the medical billing process runs smoothly and that both parties reach a fair outcome.
Working conditions usually involve working in an office setting. Medical billers can either work in the hospital, or they can be outsourced and work in an agency building not necessarily near the hospital. Work hours are usually convenient, and medical billers are not required to come to work during nighttime or weekends. They usually have 40-hour work weeks, however, positions at insurance companies may offer the medical biller late night shifts.
Medical billers can also work from home, due to the development of medical billing software that easily facilitates electronic billing, and the availability of many online medical billing training courses. They can work independently by setting up a home business and working for independent physicians. They can also work from home with larger firms that provide their workload based on the firm’s clientele. They are sent their work assignments electronically. Both options are lucrative as work-at-home jobs.
Aside from working for healthcare providers and hospitals, medical billers may also be hired by insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.
In order to become a medical biller, one must have a background in medical terminology, anatomy, and the industry codes for medical procedures and diagnoses. While currently there are no set educational standards in order to be a medical biller, employers usually look for those with formal medical billing training. Enrolling in formal accredited programs is usually recommended as they also offer career placement assistance to their graduates.
Currently, opportunities in medical billing continue to grow. Insurance companies are being more and more stringent with claims, which is why more medical billers are being required by both healthcare providers and insurance companies to make the medical billing process more efficient.