What Do Medical Billers Do?
If you’re interested in outsourcing medical billing or even a career in the medical field, then you may be interested in medical billing. But, what do medical billers do? Find out here.
The medical billing field is exploding with potential, expecting to grow 13% by 2026.
Medical billers are responsible for documenting and filing all transactions between patients and practitioners. Because this is such an important role to fill, the demand for skilled billing clerks will only increase.
Not everyone will enjoy medical billing as a career. It requires patience, attention to detail, multi-tasking, computer skills, and level-headedness. Medical billers don’t need to attend a four-year college in order to work.
This is one of many examples of why it is so popular. Let’s find out more about what they do and how to become one.
Medical Billers Overview
Billing and coding for the health care industry is an ever-changing and expanding industry. Whenever a patient receives medical service, their records get entered into the database. There are short-hand codes for every single action, piece of equipment, and substance involved.
These individual codes are used to file claims on behalf of providers to insurance companies. Not all medical billers code and not all coders handle billing. Knowledge of how these duties intersect is required by both specialized jobs. Some medical billers handle both duties and earn much more.
Education and Training
In order to become a medical biller, you will need access to the systems used in the healthcare industry. The codes and software used are constantly changing, so only accredited institutions will qualify.
The American Academy of Professional Coders, for example, teaches medical billing in a four-month online program. This is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to become a medical biller. We recommend learning in a classroom environment over a longer period.
The more experience you have under the wings of a professional, the better. Medical billing can take place under intense conditions and you need to relay accurate information. When going into any program, understand that it is not a linear learning experience.
As we mentioned, this is a field that is constantly evolving and updating. What you learned at the beginning of your program could very well become outdated by the time you finish. That’s where a comprehensive and accredited program can protect your job security on the way out.
Everywhere in the healthcare industry, there’s a medical biller somewhere entering and processing codes. As a medical biller, you have your choice of workplace environments. You can work at a hospital, clinic, private practices, insurance agencies, legal firms, and the government.
Another great perk about a profession that is computer-centric is that you can work from home. Some companies offer remote positions, or you could work for individual clients. If you decide to freelance as a medical biller, you will need to know how to acquire clients and actively find new leads.
The potential for making good money as a medical biller varies based on where you want to work. The industry median pay sits anywhere between $33k and $40k, depending on location. Billers that work in doctor’s offices, clinics, and hospitals generally fall into the lower end of that range.
Nursing homes average about $17/hr, while insurance companies pay as much as $20/hr. The biggest potential lies in working for yourself and acquiring valuable clients.
Potential Challenges and Scams
Have you come across those advertisements about work-from-home billing and coding careers? They guarantee a rewarding experience and lucrative jobs in a short amount of time with no previous experience. This is a textbook instance of “when it sounds unrealistic, it most likely is.”
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has documented charges against numerous organizations for making false cases about the guaranteed job placements and the amount somebody can make. Since specialists and healthcare offices depend on billers and coders to get paid, they’re searching for an individual with good training.
To qualify as a reputable institution, you’ll need to look for:
- Adherence to insurance industry standards
- Teaching long-form insurance claims
- Knowledge of Explanation of Benefits
- Accounts receivable reporting for clients
- Training and internships for communicating over the phone
For the work-at-home course, you’ll need to investigate your nearby market to decide the requirements as a biller. You should have sufficient office space for work and tax purposes. You’ll need to submit to all similar healthcare protection laws (HIPAA) as a home office.
You need a secure room where nobody else can get to patients’ records. HIPAA violations carry serious consequences, including termination of employment and legal penalties.
Medical billers and coders have plenty of freedom to increase their earning potential. As a medical biller or coder, you can become specialized in both tasks. You can also become a teacher or move into upper management.
Medical billing and coding specialists can become cancer registrars. This is a growing segment in the industry, as more cancer treatment options are discovered. Patient recordkeeping is vital for accurate diagnosis and treatments.
New codes are created every day to identify and track treatment progress. This data is also important for medical research.
Finding Your Path
If providing health care and helping thousands of lives is your passion, being a medical biller is one way to do it. Medical billing is a fulfilling and important practice, which will only grow in demand. As the senior population grows, so does the need for accurate reports.
Medical billing mistakes are often devastating for those on a fixed income. Your role as a biller could make a difference in so many lives. This is one of the few career fields that pay well, provide a valuable service, and can be worked from home.
Learn more about how successful medical billers work from home. Contact us for more information about marketing and building your own clientele. Control your own destiny as a medical billing specialist.