A medical billing career attracts individuals who excel at working independently and have an affinity for detail. Medical billers, who may perform coding duties as well, are employed in a variety of settings. Qualified workers are expected to be in demand for quite some time as the general population ages and requires more medical care. The opportunity to largely determine their working conditions and salary often leads people to choose this challenging field.
The first step toward entering a medical billing career is to obtain the right training. Few employers demand specific credentials to take on this role, but individuals who have acquired an appropriate education will have an easier time finding jobs and will likely command higher salaries. Any medical billing specialist should have specialized knowledge relating to the insurance industry, insurance forms, anatomy, medical terminology and insurance coding. The best place to gain this type of knowledge is at a community college or vocational school. A rigorous, accredited program can be completed in a few months, meaning that students can embark on their career within a brief time period.
Individuals interested in medical billing should have strong computer skills and the ability to type at 35 words per minute. Interpersonal skills are also important, as the biller will interact with other staff members, patients and insurance personnel.
After acquiring training, most students find employment at a billing office, hospital or doctor’s office. Eventually, many of these experienced medical billers will decide to work from home. As a matter of fact, the ability to work from home is one of the major advantages of choosing this career. Some billers start a home business through which they manage the medical billing for various independent doctors. Other billers are employed by a medical billing clearinghouse. They receive their work through an electronic connection with the main office.
Working from home means saving time and money on a daily commute. There’s a great deal of convenience in being able to work from home. Such workers are more readily available to meet the needs of their families and enjoy flexible working hours. Many of these employees work at their own pace and can largely determine how much they earn by how much they work. Of course, working at home can also be a source of distraction, making it difficult for the medical biller to focus and complete projects. Additionally, those who set up an independent business must put forth the expense of purchasing equipment to get their business started and take care of advertising in order to secure more clients. Billers who choose to work for an established company have the advantage of equipment that is provided for their use and an existing client base.
Whether medical billers decide to establish an independent office or work within a larger organization, the benefits of the medical billing career are many. Salaries tend to be competitive, and workers who excel at their work should have reasonable expectations for regular increases. A medical biller occupies a position of respect within the medical community. Without their skill, doctors and insurance companies would have great difficulty communicating and getting paid. The job of the medical biller is largely one of getting the details right. Inaccuracies on insurance and billing forms cause unnecessary delays that can go on for weeks or even months. Medical billers should continually strive to send outgoing hospital patients home with an accurate billing sheet. This ensures prompt, accurate payment and fewer headaches down the line.
Individuals possessing good communication skills, computer knowledge and attention to detail may succeed in a medical billing career. With the right education and a passion for excellence, medical billers will find plentiful job opportunities and attractive salaries.