woman talking to medical patient

Medical Billing and Coding: The Career for You?

Medical billing and coding specialist have the opportunity to play an important role in the medical profession without the day-to-day patient contact. This career may also allow you to choose whether you work at home or in a medical office. Are these factors that appeals to you? Hopefully, this overview of medical billing and coding can help you decide.

What do Medical Billers and Coders do?

Medical billers and coders play an important role in the healthcare industry. Without good medical billers and coders, physicians would not have an efficient way to get paid for their services. Medical billers and coders use coded data to submit medical claims to insurance companies and patients.

These professionals verify what type of insurance coverage a patient has, answer the patient’s billing questions, and review unpaid claims. Medical billing and coding specialists work directly with the providers, the patient, and the insurance company to ensure the swift payment of medical bills.

What Does it Take to Become a Medical Biller and Coder?

Medical billers and coders are usually required to complete a formal training program. These programs are offered in technical schools, community colleges, and even online. The training can take anywhere from one to two years, depending on if you choose a certificate, associate, or bachelor's degree program. In addition to training, most employers prefer their medical billers and coders become certified, which requires passing a certification exam.

What is the Career Outlook for Medical Billers and Coders?

Because of the increasing demand for trained medical billing and coding specialists, this career is highly in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical records and health information technicians should see an employment growth of 22% between 2012 and 2022. The BLS reported that these medical professionals earned an average wage of $34,970 as of May 2013.

Where do Medical Billers and Coders Work?

Medical billers and coders work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, home health agencies, outpatient clinics, and some insurance companies. As a medical biller and coder, you could have various employment opportunities at your fingertips once you’ve completed training. Many companies are now hiring remote medical billers and coders, which allows them the convenience of working from their homes.

How do I Know if This is the Career for Me?

As stated above, most medical billers and coders complete some sort of formal training, although, occasionally they may just receive on-the-job training. Before you commit to this training, you may want to find out what the job outlook is like in your area. Is the pay consistent with other areas? While the pay may not be as high as some medical jobs, you may have the option of working from home.

This job involves a lot of sitting in one place for hours at a time, which is a plus to some and a negative to others. You may also want to research if a specific position offers chances of advancement. Some people like consistency and minimal change, while others enjoy the variety of new responsibilities.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015