Medical Billing and Coding Careers
More Answers From Medical Billing and Coding Professionals
Did You Know?
Medical billing and coding jobs are expected to grow 7% by 2030, faster than the national average.
What Can You Do With A Medical Billing and Coding Degree?
Medical billing and coding degrees enable you to enter a wider variety of careers than you might have imagined. Here are a few of the more common careers for someone with a medical billing and coding degree and what they do:
- Medical coder: Responsible for assigning codes to medical diagnoses and procedures for billing and record-keeping purposes.
- Medical biller: Responsible for submitting claims to insurance companies and ensuring timely reimbursement for medical services.
- Medical records technician: Responsible for organizing and managing medical records in accordance with regulations and policies.
- Medical auditor: Responsible for reviewing medical records and billing information to ensure compliance with regulations and policies.
- Medical claims analyst: Responsible for analyzing medical claims and determining their accuracy and validity.
- Medical claims reviewer: Responsible for reviewing medical claims and determining whether they meet the requirements for reimbursement.
- Insurance claims processor: Responsible for processing insurance claims and ensuring timely reimbursement for medical services.
- Health information manager: Responsible for managing and organizing medical records and ensuring compliance with regulations and policies.
- Coding compliance specialist: Responsible for ensuring compliance with coding regulations and policies, and identifying and addressing any issues.
- Medical office manager: Responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a medical office, including billing and coding.
- Medical transcriptionist: Responsible for transcribing medical reports and records into written documents.
- Medical data analyst: Responsible for analyzing medical data to identify trends and patterns and providing insights to healthcare providers and policymakers.
Who Are The Largest Employers For Medical Billers and Coders?
The 186,400 medical billers and coders employed in the United States, work for a wide array of employers including hospitals, third party billers, physicians, nursing homes and more. The largest employers of medical records and health information technicians as of May 2020 were:
- Hospitals (state, local, and private): 29% of employed medical billers and coders worked for hospitals, with an average annual salary of $51,740.
- Offices of physicians: 19% of medical billers and coders worked for offices of physicians, with an average annual salary of $43,060.
- Professional, scientific, and technical services: 9% of employed medical billers and coders worked for professional, scientific, and technical services, with an average annual salary of $52,870.
- Administrative and Support Services: 6% of medical billers and coders worked for outpatient care centers or administrative and support services, with an average annual salary of $50,040.
- Nursing and residential care facilities: 5% of medical billers and coders worked for nursing and residential care facilities, with an average annual salary of $45,600.
What Is The Employment Outlook For Medical Billing and Coding Professionals?
The job market for medical billers and coders, also known as medical records and health information technicians, is projected to grow by 7%, significantly faster than the average profession in the coming years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The aging baby boomer population is one of the primary drivers of this growth, as more individuals will require medical services in the coming years. Additionally, the increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) means that more technicians will be needed to manage patient data and ensure that records are accurate and up-to-date.
Furthermore, as healthcare regulations become increasingly complex, there is a growing need for trained professionals to ensure compliance. Medical billers and coders who possess the necessary skills and certifications may find themselves in high demand, particularly in hospital and outpatient care settings.
Overall, the employment outlook for medical billers and coders is promising, with a range of job opportunities available for those with the right education and training.
The chart to the left illustrates the projected growth of employment of medical coders and billers through 2031 (source: BLS.gov: Occupational Outlook: Medical Billers and Coders, data for 2021).
To become a medical biller and coder, a formal degree is not always required. Most employers, however, prefer to hire candidates who have completed a post-secondary education program in medical billing and coding or a related field.
Degree programs range from medical billing and coding certificate programs that take several months to complete, to associate’s degree programs that can take up to two years. Some schools also offer bachelor’s degree programs in health information management or related fields designed for management level positions in medical billing and coding.
Medical billing and coding classes typically includes courses on medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical coding systems (such as ICD-10 and CPT), healthcare laws and regulations, and billing and reimbursement procedures.
Experience And Credentials
In addition to a degree or certificate in medical billing and coding, medical billers and coders may also seek certification through organizations such as the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Certification is not required, but it can demonstrate a higher level of expertise and may be preferred by some employers.
There are several professional certifications that are common for medical billers and coders. These certifications are optional, but because they can demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill in medical coding and billing, they are preferred by many employers. Some of the most common certifications for medical billers and coders include:
- Certified Professional Coder (CPC) – This certification is offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) and demonstrates proficiency in coding for physician and outpatient services.
- Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) – This certification is offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and demonstrates proficiency in inpatient and hospital-based coding.
- Certified Coding Specialist – Physician-based (CCS-P) – This certification is also offered by AHIMA and demonstrates proficiency in coding for physician services.
- Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) – This certification is offered by the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) and demonstrates proficiency in medical billing and reimbursement.
- Certified Professional Biller (CPB) – This certification is also offered by the AMBA and demonstrates proficiency in medical billing.
- Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) – This certification is offered by AAPC and demonstrates proficiency in medical auditing, which involves reviewing medical records to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations.
The requirements for these medical billing and coding certifications can vary, but they typically involve passing an exam and meeting certain education and/or experience requirements.
Medical Billing and Coding Degree Types
To work in medical billing and coding, you can choose from campus and online medical billing and coding programs at the associate, bachelors, and certificate levels, with the most common a certificate. For detailed descriptions of common degrees in this field click the links below:
What Our Experts Say About Medical Billing and Coding Careers
For careers, there are so many options from private clinics to big hospitals, also known as in-house billing… And then there are plenty of third party billing companies where you might service multiple clinics or even multiple hospitals, and then there’s plenty of freelance work.
I actually like the challenge. You have to really dig in there sometimes and ask yourself, is this the right code, especially for procedures. There is a little bit of a gray area. So it’s important to stay getting your continuing education credits. So I do like the challenge.
To be successful in a medical billing and coding career, you have to be curious. And if you like jigsaw puzzles or if you like puzzles of any kind, that’s all very helpful.