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Medical Billing and Coding Careers

Health care is the fastest growing Industry in the United States and is projected to continue this growth through, at least 2014. The aging baby boomers are starting to make more visits to their medical providers each year and this trend will continue as more and more of them begin to develop more complications. With more visits comes more billing and with more complications and services being provided by medical professionals there has been a rapidly growing need for medical billing and coding specialists. In fact, this career has become one of the fastest growing jobs in health care.

Medical billing and medical coding careers have blended together in many health care settings and individuals are usually responsible for a facility’s insurance billing as well as the coding for diagnosis and procedures. A career in medical billing and coding will include analyzing patient charts, medical provider notes and superbills to determine what CPT-4 and ICD-9 codes to assign to each exam, procedure and diagnosis. You will also have responsibilities processing and filing insurance claims for the office or organization you work for so that the insurance company will pay for the services your health care facility has provided. The bottom line is that without you, being a medical billing and coding specialist, no one gets paid. This is why medical billing and coding has become such a secure and well paying career.

How to Become a Medical Billing & Coding Specialist

You’ve already taken the first step by researching a career in medical billing and coding. Next, you need to find a school that offers a medical billing and coding program that will prepare you for certification exams in your state. Our medical billing and coding programs will meet this certification preparation requirement and at most locations as well as the online schools offer free certification exam preparation tutoring. Once you complete a medical billing & coding program or associate’s degree you are immediately a hot commodity and with the help of the school you attended will be able to find employment in a reasonable amount of time. Most hospitals and some larger health care facilities require that you have at least 6 months to a year of work experience and have completed your billing or coding certification from a recognized association. Most new graduates get their first work experience in a private medical practice, Dental Practice, a clinic, a laboratory, or an imaging center. With work experience and certification you will find work in many other areas including law offices (personal injury), managed care companies, pharmaceutical companies, consulting firms and more.

A very exciting new trend in the billing and coding field is the option for experienced professionals to freelance. This does involve some legwork finding clients but can payoff financially and personally in the long run. Also, many medical practices and health care agencies are allowing their billing and coding employees to do their work from home due to the electronic nature of the work.

Skills that Billing and Coding Employers Are Looking For

Experience in Data Entry, billing with Private Pay, HMO and PPO type insurances, Workmen's Comp and Medicare billing, knowledge and understanding of ICD-9 & CPT coding with the ability to read & interpret billing documents, familiar with medical terminology, have excellent organizational skills, excellent oral & written communication skills.

Medical Billing and Coding Salaries

According to the BLS, new graduates can anticipate an average annual salary of $31,000 to $40,000 and $10 - $15 hourly is common.

medical billing coding career

Sample of Schools Offering Online Medical and Billing Programs

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Kaplan University - Online

The Medical Billing and Medical Coding Certificate programs at Kaplan are designed for individuals with a GED or high school diploma that want to begin a career in allied health in in a data management setting. Programs are online and can be completed in 12 months or less.

Programs Offered: Medical Coding Certificate

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Herzing University

The Medical Billing and Insurance Coding programs at Herzing have been developed for those seeking entry level employment in the medical billing and insurance area of health care. The diploma program can be completed in as little as 12 to 18 months while the associate's degree can be finished in 16 to 24 months. Each program is offered online. Request information from Herzing University to learn more.

Programs Offered: Medical Billing and Insurance Coding (Diploma or Associate's Degree)

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