Medical Billing Specialist with the US medical system coming under an increased amount of scrutiny, it comes as no surprise to anyone that the number of medical frauds has been increasing over the years. In order to prevent these frauds from happening and provide patients with accurate and fast medical bills, a Medical School specialist is employed and know about how to become a medical billing specialist, and also how much does a medical billing and specialist program cost?
Since their demand has gone up, it comes as no surprise that the medical billing specialist salary figures have gone up too. Over the years, it has been increasing at an astounding 5% per year rate.
Medical Billing Specialist – Job Description
The medical specialist job description is as follows –
- Accurate and fast billing
- Calculating and collecting bills
- Creating and sending invoices
- Developing payment plans
- Keeping track of medical procedures undertaken by the patient
Overall, with the US medical industry rapidly increasing in both size and scope, the need for a medical billing specialist is only said to increase with time. So if you are someone who is looking to make a career in this field, then this is the perfect opportunity for you.
With that being said, let us take a deeper dive into everything there is to be a medical billing specialist. One can also click for know about medical billing schools online.
How to become a Medical Billing Specialist?
There are a number of ways through which one can become a medical biller. One key thing to note here is that you don’t necessarily need any certification in order to work as one. However, a certification will go a long way in advancing your career. With that being said, let us get started –
- Try and get a certification from AHIMA or AMBA or the American Academy of Professional Coders.
- In case you can’t get a direct certification, consider getting enrolled in a 2 to 4 years program in a college or university
- The required education level need to become a medical biller is as follows –
a. High school diploma
c. Associate’s degree for AAPC
d. Coursework in anatomy
e. Coursework in physiology
f. Vocational training (optional)
Now that we have talked about the required education in order to become a medical biller, let us now take a look as to how to get that certification.
- Directly apply through AHIMA or AMBA websites. They are national bodies so you can never go wrong with them.
- In case you can’t apply through them, look for affiliated bodies in your area.
- Be sure to have completed your education requirements before applying.
- If possible and if your medical billing specialist course requires you to, then try and get an internship before applying for certification. Internships are useful tools to gain industry experience and enhance your value in the job market.
- Have at least 2 years of experience prior to applying for certification. At times, it may be lower, however, to err on the safer side of things, get at least 2 years of experience under your belt.
- Prepare for and give your certification exam. Once you have done it, congratulations, you are now a certified medical biller.
Once you have gained your certification, you are now officially ready to enter the professional world. Keep in mind that you can still do so without a certification. However, if you do indeed choose to go down that road, then your prospects will be severely limited.
How much does a Medical Billing and Specialist Program Cost?
As stated above, you can become a medical biller without certification, with only your high school diploma. However, this process may hinder your growth in the field. So if you want to take the more traditional approach to things, this is how much it is going to cost you –
- Online certification from accredited bodies – 750 USD
- Local trade schools – 2,500 USD
- Medical billing programs from accredited colleges – 8,000 USD
- Associate coding programs from accredited colleges – 20,000 USD
So suffice to say, one can quite easily afford their education in order to become a medical billing specialist. In case you are someone who is financially or physically limited, you can always opt for the much cheaper online alternatives. With that being said, enrolling in any one of these courses will open a lot of new avenues for you.
The best course that you can opt for is a 2 year Associate’s degree. It will provide you with all the necessary knowledge and skills for you to succeed in the field. However, you can always opt for a 4 year Bachelor’s program, which is a little more demanding as it has a lot more to offer. Whatever you choose at the end of the day, is down to you.
Medical Billing Specialist Jobs
Once you have completed your course, internship, and finally gotten your certification (assuming you didn’t just circumvent the whole process), you are now a professional. So the next question that arises is what all professional options do you have now?
Apart from becoming a medical billing specialist, there is a whole host of other options. These options can be far-reaching, from medical work to even software related work. But rest assured, they still fall in your sphere of knowledge. With that being said, here is a list of career options that might interest you, off the top of our heads –
- Medical records coordinator
- Medical coding specialist
- Medical records technician
- Health information specialists
- Medical records clerk
- Health information clerk
While a lot of medical billing specialist jobs might not seem glamorous to you, they still are an ideal starting place. Plus, with the medical industry going at a breakneck pace, and so there are next to none job downsizing there. This means that there is exceptional job security in this field.
Now in case you are looking for career growth, then that too is quite easily possible. As said before, most of medical billing specialist jobs are the starting points of one’s career. If you work with due diligence and are competent enough at your job, then you can move up the ranks quite quickly.
It is commonplace to see people in high administrative positions in hospitals etc. to have started their careers at positions similar to the ones listed above. So if you are looking for career growth and financial & job stability, then this is the line for you.
But enough about the other career paths. Let us now turn our attention back to being a medical billing specialist. If you do opt to become one, then you will quite easily find employment in places such as –
- Doctor’s offices
- Insurance companies
- Data management firms
- Billing companies
- Law firms
- Government agencies
Once again, all of these listings have immense scope for career growth and relative job security. With that being said, let us now take stock of the financial aspect of things in this profession.
Medical Billing Specialist Salary
Your salary will depend on a lot of factors, to begin with. For starters, your salary will depend quite a lot on where you are practicing your profession. This may sound weird but it is actually true. Here are the top 5 states in terms of a medical billing specialist salary offers –
- Columbia – 70,000 USD per year
- New Jersey – 60,000 USD per year
- Alaska – 52,000 USD per year
- California – 49,000 USD per year
- Maryland – 48,000 USD per year
One interesting thing to note here is that the salaries might vary quite a lot amongst the districts themselves. So do not go in expecting top dollar right from the start. It is something that you will have to work towards.
Across the whole country, a medical biller will make 45,000 USD per year on an average. This roughly comes down to 17 USD per hour for all billable hours. However, the number is down at roughly 13 USD per hour for working professionals with less than 1 year of experience.
So while the beginnings might seem to be humble, the fact of the matter is that once you start moving up the chain, the salary offered will also start to go up. In terms of return of investment, medical billing specialist with the salary offered right off the gates, and with the career potential, it is quite immense.
In case you are more interested in the other branches of this field, then you can expect to earn along different lines. To illustrate this, let us take the example of the jobs listed before –
- Medical records coordinator – 43,000 USD per year on average
- Coder – 54,000 USD per year on average
- Medical coding specialist – 70,000 USD per year on average
- Medical records technician – 35,000 USD per year on average
- Health information specialists – 37,000 USD per year on average
- Medical records clerk – 35,000 USD per year on average
- Health information clerk – 61,000 USD per year on average
So needless to say, there is quite a lot of variation here. However, all of these jobs have immense scope for growth. As a result, the higher up the ladder you will go, the more you will be earning. Plus, as stated before, there is a great deal of job security and financial stability in this sector due to its relative independence from the market.
Now that we have touched upon salaries being offered, it makes sense to talk about the workload that you will have to take in order to make it in the field. As a newcomer, the initial phase might prove to be quite stressful. However, as you learn about medical billing specialist complexities of the job, the stress levels will automatically start to go down.
The initial issues will mostly arise due to the adjustment period and learning the new codes etc. As you learn them, the time needed to draw up reports, etc. will go down drastically.
In terms of time, an average medical biller works around 40 hours a week. This number may vary based on the position and location of the job. In order to get a proper lay of the land, we would advise all potential professionals to do some volunteer work before committing to this field. This will give them a proper idea of what goes on and what to expect.
Medical Billing Specialist Skills
While you can train yourself to become a medical biller, there are a few skills that you ought to acquire if you plan on going far in this line.
For starters, a good knowledge of computers will save you a lot of time in drawing up bills, etc. A solid grasp of arithmetic will also go a long way in reducing the time needed to come up with bills on the fly with great accuracy.
The most important one amongst these will be great communication skills. While billers don’t have to often interact with patients, good communication skills will go a long way in improving those interactions that they do have. Plus, being understanding and empathetic has never hurt anyone.
So all in all, a good command of these general skills will help you quite a lot as a professional. Most of medical billing specialist skills can be honed by an individual on their own. However, in case you need some professional help to do so, you can always find affordable solutions for this online.
Now that we have covered everything that there is to cover in this segment, let us quickly wrap it all up. There are no special requirements that one has to fulfill in order to become a medical biller. However, if they plan on earning the industry standard and going far in the field, then a certification becomes necessary.
These certificates can be obtained quite easily and at an extremely affordable rate. The best course of action would be to pursue an Associate degree from any traditional or online university. And in case you want a more thorough education, then a Bachelor’s degree is also there.
So if you are someone who is looking to pursue a career as a medical billing specialist, then you should do it without thinking twice. And if you need any further assistance from us in this pursuit of yours, then do not hesitate in contacting us. Kindly visit our home page online school website.