Are you interested in a career as a medical billing specialist?
Want to learn more about what you can expect out of the job — and whether or not it’s a good fit for you?
The truth is that there are countless reasons why becoming a medical coding and billing specialist is both personally and professionally rewarding.
Not only do you get to perform a vital role in the healthcare industry, but you can also enjoy flexible hours and work environments — and improve your communication skills.
Ready to learn more about some of the biggest benefits of working as a medical billing and coding expert?
If so, then keep on reading this post.
What Is a Medical Billing Specialist?
Before we talk about the many benefits of entering the medical billing and coding career, let’s talk about what exactly the job entails.
When it comes to medical coding, it’s all about taking a look at a patient’s medical reports and history and actually “translating” these findings into specific codes.
These codes are a kind of shortcut to help medical industry professionals classify and learn more about a patient and their needs.
The codes make it much easier for those in the healthcare industry to understand and record a patient’s conditions, any procedures they’ve had, and much more. Think of it as working as a translator for medical reports.
So, what is medical billing?
In a nutshell, you’re the person who submits claims to companies that provide health insurance. This is incredibly important, as that’s how healthcare providers get paid! In addition to working with health insurance providers, you’ll also submit claims to other payers, like Medicare.
You’ll assess eligibility, get referrals, ensure that patient bills are correct and make sure that bills are paid on time. You’ll also need to collect any missing information from patients, and in some cases, appeal claims that have been denied.
You will likely also be expected to work with billing software. A strong knowledge of spreadsheets, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills are all things you’ll need to succeed in this career.
Of course, you’ll also need excellent education and training to get you off on the right foot.
So, what’s so great about being a medical billing specialist?
Let’s talk about the rewarding aspects of this job now.
1. A Flexible Work Environment
One of the biggest benefits of becoming a medical billing specialist?
You’ll be eligible to work within a variety of different professional settings.
Maybe you feel like you’ve always wanted to work in the fast-paced hospital environment. Perhaps you’re the type that feels more comfortable in a smaller setting, like a doctor’s office or other private practice.
You could also work within a nursing home, or even in an outpatient center.
When you first get started in your career, you might consider working as a freelance medical and coding specialist. This will give you the chance to “try out” a variety of these different work environments.
This way, when you’re ready to start full-time work, you’ll know with certainty which of these environments is the best possible fit for you.
And because you now have a skill set that you can take anywhere? You can easily move to a new city or state without worrying about whether or not you’ll be able to find an open position.
2. The Ability to Make a Difference
One of the very best things about a career in medical billing?
Although you might not see it this way at first, the truth is that you’re in a position to make a marked difference in people’s lives.
You help to make sure that patients are billed accurately. You ensure that the healthcare providers that save lives every day get paid on time. In some cases, you can even help patients to get a better understanding of what their insurance does and doesn’t cover.
Without you, the truth is that healthcare providers would lose money, fail to get paid correctly and in the full amount, and even lose profitability.
Everyone wants to work a job that’s both personally and professionally fulfilling.
When you work with medical billing and coding, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re truly making a difference.
3. The Job Outlook Is Strong
No matter what kind of work you’re looking to get into, we understand that one of the most important things is the overall job outlook.
The last thing you want is to spend your time and money on training, only to find that, once you graduate, no jobs are actually available.
The good news?
If you opt for a career in medical billing and coding, that’s not going to happen.
That’s because the job outlook continues to remain seriously strong when it comes to this profession. In fact, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for medical billers/coders is growing at 13% every year.
That’s much faster than the average — which means that you should take advantage of this opportunity as soon as you can.
Additionally, that same BLS data sheet has some good news about the current medical billing and coding salary.
You can expect to make about $40,000 per year. Depending on your specific responsibilities and your unique workplace, you’re likely to make even more than that.
Plus, you’ll also get career flexibility that is hard to come by anywhere else.
4. A Sense of Independence
Did you know that micromanagement is one of the most frequent complaints that employees have about their bosses and their company culture as a whole?
If you’re someone with a strong sense of independence in the workplace, then working as a medical billing specialist is likely a great fit for you.
The same goes if you’re not exactly a huge fan of constant in-person interaction. The majority of your day will be spent at your desk, entering information on electronic databases.
Even the interactions that you do have with both patients and insurance companies will take place over the phone. In most cases, any supervision that you have will be fairly minimal.
And because of the nature of many medical coding jobs? You may even be able to work out of the office fairly frequently.
After all, as long as you have a phone, Internet access, and your computer, you’ll be able to work just as efficiently as you would at the office.
When you’re in the process of interviewing for medical and coding jobs, we strongly suggest that you ask about the possibility of working out of the office. As long as you stress your ability to remain focused and productive in any environment, you might be surprised by your employer’s flexibility.
5. Training Can Be Finished Quickly
Are you in a financial situation that requires you to find a job you can train for quickly? Feel like you just can’t stand one more day at your current workplace?
Just eager to begin your work in medical billing and coding as soon as is possible?
If so, we know that you’ll love the fact that you can earn your medical coding certification fairly quickly. In the majority of cases, you could complete your training in as little as just one year.
So, what should you expect when it comes to your education and training?
You’ll learn basic medical terminology and even have the chance to take a few anatomy classes. You’ll also receive instruction on medical law, HIPAA ethical rules, and of course, medical coding itself.
You’ll learn about different kinds of insurance policies, understand the process of submitting insurance claims, and learn how to follow up with insurance companies and patients alike.
You’ll also get the training you need to be able to pass the Certified Coding Specialist exam.
The training will be challenging at times, but you’ll leave ready for anything that comes your way.
Are You Interested in Becoming a Medical Billing Specialist?
We hope that this post has helped you to understand more about not just what a medical billing specialist does, but also the benefits of becoming one.
You get to make a real difference in the lives of patients and healthcare professionals. You can enjoy a strong sense of independence and a low-stress workplace.
You’ll even be able to have serious flexibility when it comes to your work environment.
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