Medical Billing and Coding Career Information

Medical Billing and Coding Career and Schools

The Healthcare industry is one of the few industries that seem to be immune to the effects of the economic downturn. There are many different career opportunities available in the healthcare industry, all you need is the proper training. So what do Billers/Coders do?

What do Billers and Coders do?

Billers & coders work on the administrative side of medical health care and are responsible for organizing and managing health information data. Billers and coders employ various classification systems to log patient information.

Billers and Coders, although often grouped together under a single term, have differing job responsibilities. Medical billing is the process of billing insurance carriers to file and appeal claims.

Billers facilitate the interaction between the health care provider and the insurance company. A medical coder fills out a patients paperwork based on a national standard.

A coder converts a patients diagnosis chart into a series of alphanumeric codes known as ICD-9 which identify how much to pay a physician for his or her services.

What kind of certification will I need?

There is a wide range of medical certifications available to those in the billing and coding field. A certified professional biller has proven by examination that they are able to submit claims and appeals and are familiar with insurance terminology.

A certified professional coder is able to demonstrate through examination and experience their competent to read a medical chart and assign the correct diagnosis based on the ICD-9 standards.

For Coders, The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) offers options including the Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Professional Coder Outpatient Hospital (CPC-H), Certified Professional Coder- Payer (CPC-P), as well as Specialty Coding Credentials for expert coders.

For Billers, The AAPC offers the Certified Professional Biller exam (CPB).  The American Health Information Management Association offers three certifications.

The first is the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) which is generally acquired by beginners in the coding field. The Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) is obtained by those with more experience and is typically for work in hospitals.

Lastly, the Certified Coding Specialist, Physician Based (CCS-P) is a certification typically for work in a physicians office.

What Medical Billing and Coding salary can I expect to earn?

Medical billers & coders generally make around $13-15 per hour and around $31,000 per year. As a biller or coder increases their experience and level of specialty, the hourly wage can reach up to $30 or $40 per hour*

How long will I be in school?

Training for medical billing and coding is offered at various private vocational institutions with programs that range from nine-months to two-years. Most colleges offer medical billing and coding classes that provide credits in order to receive an Associates Degree.

One of the main advantages of the profession is that students can complete their healthcare education in less than year.

*Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do Medical Billing and Coders Do?