Whether you've been thinking about changing jobs or just entering the workforce for the first time, you may have heard about medical billing and coding positions. Like most jobs, there are upsides and downsides to this career. Before you make a final commitment, learn what it takes to become a medical billing and coding specialist, as well as the pros and cons of this job.
How Do I Become a Medical Biller and Coder?
Although some medical billing and coding specialists receive training on the job, most are required to complete a training program. Certificate programs can be completed in less than a year, and degrees in the field commonly require at least two years.
It's important to receive certification through an accredited program. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is responsible for accrediting ultrasound technician programs.
What Does The Job Entail?
If you’ve ever visited a doctor, you’ve probably noticed how they make little check marks on a tablet or file that has been designated to you. These check marks indicate what service is being provided to you. At the end of the visit, the form goes to the medical billing and coding employee who will then assign a medical code to the service provided. This code indicates what you or your insurance company is being billed for this service.
This is not all medical billing and coding professionals do, however. They also submit claims to insurance companies and work to secure payment. The swiftness and efficiency in which a medical provider gets paid is often a result of the efficiency of the medical biller and coder.
Pros and Cons
Now that you’ve learned what the medical biller and coder does and what the career entails, you’re probably full of questions. You should consider the following pros and cons to help you decide if medical billing and coding is the career for you.
- Does not require several years of college
- Offers room for advancement
- Training programs offered online
- Always learning something new
- Medical billers and coders may find work-from-home opportunities
- Good pay for certified professionals
- Does not require contact with a lot of people (if you’re shy, this is can be a plus)
- Anyone can do this job, regardless of age or gender
- Medical billing and coding is a growing field
- Can work in a variety of settings
- Must have a good knowledge of computers and technology
- Often required to learn new software programs quickly
- Jobs may be hard to find in certain areas
- Requires certification
- May require years of work experience before you can get certified
- Requires detail-oriented work and accuracy at all times
- Involves a lot of sitting in one place for hours
- Very little patient contact
- Must take continuing education each year