Medical Billing and Coding professionals are the women and men who are involved with the billing processes at healthcare facilities across the country. These employees are found in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and insurance companies or billing agencies.
What does it take to join this specialized career, and what is the job outlook for those interested in joining the healthcare industry as a medical billing and coding authority?
Defining the Terms
It is helpful to know exactly what the terms “Medical Billing” and “Medical Coding” mean. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) explains that “Medical Billing is the process of submitting and following up on claims with health insurance companies in order to receive payment for services rendered by a healthcare provider.”
Medical Coding has a slightly different definition. “The main responsibility of a Medical Coder is to review clinical statements and assign standard codes using CPT, ICD-10-CM, and HCPSC Level II classification systems.” (In a future blog, The Knowledge Nook will look at some of these standard codes and what they mean.)
According to the AAPC, “The Medical Coder and Medical Biller may be the same person, or may work with each other to ensure invoices are paid properly.”
This career is projected to grow by 21% by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. AAPC reports that, “in addition, (The U.S. Department of Labor) projects high demand for coding services as the healthcare industry continues to grow and the country’s population ages - in addition to the increasing number of tests, treatments, and procedures.”
Salaries, depending on experience, location, certifications held, and educational background, can run as high as $40,000 to $65,000 per year.
One of the credentials available to individuals in this field is that of “Certified Medical Coder®,” a handle designed for physician-based coding professionals. Individuals who are able to successfully complete the exam, which measures levels of physician-based coding knowledge, are awarded the CMC® certification. This certification can validate personal achievement, demonstrate commitment to the industry, improve employer confidence, and help guard the practice against fraud and abuse.
Individuals in this industry find work in private practice, hospitals, large group practices, and other types of healthcare facilities. A quick scan of area hiring sites can give you an idea of the number of jobs available in your region.
Medical Billing and Coding is a growing field with a lot of opportunity for individuals motivated to work within the healthcare industry. Learn more now!