If you’re looking to get into a medical billing career, you’re about to make a brilliant decision. It fulfills one of the most vital administrative functions in the healthcare industry. It’s expected to grow by a whopping 8% by 2029, opening a huge number of jobs for candidates.
So, how do you get in and become a medical billing specialist? We’ll guide you through every step you need to take. We’ll cover what the job entails, what education and training you need, and how to find a job once you’re done.
What Is Medical Billing?
Medical billing is about interpreting information on patient charts and generating invoices. Medical billing specialists are health information experts. They can work in a medical office, hospital, or clinic.
They translate patient information and turn it into billable codes. These are the standard pricing agreements for insurance companies. Medical billing specialists prepare and send invoices as well as claims for payment in a timely manner.
Medical billing and coding has become an expanding field. Healthcare has turned to technological advances and electronic medical records.
This advancement has increased the demand for medical billers. It’s a great career path for people who want to be in healthcare without direct interactions with patients.
Medical Billing Education Options
To become a medical biller or medical office assistant, the next step is determining the best education option. Understanding how to obtain the necessary medical billing training.
There is quite a nice array of options to choose from. This makes it imperative for you to do thorough research in order to get into a reputable program.
It’s important that you find a program that has an impeccable track record so it can be easier for you to find a job. You can qualify for medical billing after doing a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program. The difference is the duration of time you spent studying, and the amount of education required.
Sometimes medical billing is covered separately. However, most institutions cover medical billing and coding together. Some of the programs you will take include diagnostic coding, medical terminology, and insurance and billing.
The medical billing certificate program is by far the fastest way to start your medical billing career. A certificate program will take a year, and you will focus on some of the basic topics necessary to pass the exam. Some of these topics include disease processes, treatments and terminology, anatomy, as well as basic coding in ICD-10.
An associate degree is a flexible option for most students. It’ll provide you with more information about the various aspects of working in the healthcare field. Essentially an associate’s degree will be more attractive and alluring for most employers.
It’ll also increase your salary options compared to a certificate. Typically, an associate’s degree involves studying for more than just medical billing. It ventures into healthcare information management or healthcare administration.
With an associate’s degree in medical billing, you can also work towards other positions in the healthcare industry. The program will take you about two years and will be a lot more expensive. Apart from the basic topics, you will also cover writing, critical thinking, as well as various core requirements.
A Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree, like most, will take about four years to complete, but you will undergo a much more comprehensive program. Some of the topics you will cover include health care policy, human resources, and healthcare reimbursement. You’ll also cover project management, healthcare ethical issues, and legislative issues in healthcare.
With a bachelor’s degree, you will have a wide variety of employment opportunities and an option to advance in the healthcare field. Additionally, you are more likely to get a higher medical billing salary.
Finding the Right School
Now that you know whether you want to go with a certificate, associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree, you need to find the right school. One of the best things about schooling nowadays is that you can take your program online, which is much more flexible. When choosing a school, it’s vital for you to go with a reputable institution.
Check whether the school is accredited and recognized by relevant accrediting bodies. You also want to check what kind of financial aid the school provides if you would like financial assistance to pay for the tuition. Check whether the school coordinates veterans benefits, Federal Student Aid, or any other financial support.
Additionally, it’s important to check whether the school prepares students for industry certification. Most employers look for candidates that have the relevant certification.
Check whether the school provides career services or job training. They should have ongoing support for graduates to help launch their careers and get a medical billing job.
Prepare for Your CPC Certification Exam
Once you complete your certificate or degree, you need to be ready to take the certified professional coder examination. This may not be necessary if you’re exclusively taking medical billing and not coding.
However, if you are, most employers prefer candidates with the certification. It means it’ll help you get a medical billing job much faster.
Explore Medical Billing Jobs
There are many medical billing jobs available in the market, and a quick internet search can help you find companies hiring in your area. You can easily view what kind of positions they’re looking to fill. Go through some of the entry-level job postings to see exactly what the job descriptions are and get a sense of what most employers are looking for.
Some of the most common responsibilities include translating medical terminology and entering the codes into programs. You may also have to process healthcare claims and review rejected claims. You’ll submit patient statements, and maintain high billing standards.
How to Start Your Medical Billing Career
Ready to start pursuing your medical billing career? As you can see, the process of launching your career is straightforward. With the relevant skills, knowledge, and experience, snagging a job will not be hard.
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