If you are seeking to advance your career or break into the emotionally and financially rewarding medical industry, you should consider medical billing education. A certification in medical billing will allow you access to jobs that are stable and offer strong starting pay and benefits. The field itself has a great deal of room for career development and growth. The industry is strong and those who acquire certifications are able to find jobs rapidly, even in an otherwise tight job market. Job growth is expected to continue growing over the next decade, offering you ample opportunities for relocation or job changes.
The Skills That Will Help You Succeed
- Strong Communication Skills - As a medical biller, you will have to interact regularly with patients, doctors and insurers. Being able to communicate effectively while maintaining confidentiality and treating people respectfully is vital in ensuring you are able to perform your job effectively.
- Detail Oriented - A large part of your job as a medical billing specialist will entail converting procedures, examinations and treatments into short codes for billing purposes. Being an accurate typist with an ability to pay attention to details will allow you to perform your job quickly and accurately, avoiding costly errors.
- Tech Savvy - Medical billing software can be simple or complex, but it changes frequently. Innumerable systems are currently in place in hospitals, insurance companies and practices all over the country. You will need to be able to learn new systems quickly in order to continue improving your job performance.
- Ability to Analyze Information - Sometimes the information you will be coding can be difficult to decipher or equate to an existing code. You will need to be able to quickly process and absorb the information you read and translate it accurately to the correct billing code.
Pros and Cons of the Job
Medical billing, like any other career, offers both positives and negatives. Some of the greatest benefits include secure, long-term employment, excellent benefits and competitive salaries. This job does not require a college degree but does require vocational training that can be completed in a relatively short period of time.
As a medical biller, you will likely work in a hospital, insurer’s office or in a private practice. These employers are likely to offer superior medical benefits. You may work full time or part time. Your benefits package should include sick time or vacation time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, the median salary for the job was $32,350.00 each year.
You will also have the opportunity to work with other people and feel you are making a significant contribution to their lives. Careers in the medical industry can be very rewarding for many people. It is difficult to put a price on the feeling that you are making a difference with your work.
On the negative side, the job itself can be difficult and stressful. Attention to detail is critical, as mistakes can be costly for patients and for your employer. Work is expected to be completed at a rapid pace, which can leave you prone to errors or fatigue over time. In addition, the emotional challenge of speaking with people facing critical health problems can take a toll on you if you have limited coping skills outside the workplace.
The Most Dangerous Mistake You Can Make
Accuracy is everything in medical billing. Imagine you present a patient with an invoice on his way out of the hospital, but the invoice is filled with inaccuracies or discrepancies. In some hospitals, this can delay a patient’s discharge. In all situations, valuable time and resources will be drawn from other projects to rectify the situation. Errors reflect poorly on you but also on your institution. In the worst cases, patient confidentiality can be compromised by carelessness. Maintaining strong focus and a solid attention to detail is vital to your success in the career.