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Take the First Step Towards a Rewarding Medical Insurance Billing and Coding Career

A career in medical billing and coding is one of the most important jobs in the healthcare industry. As the gatekeepers of information, they must be people-oriented, organized and technologically savvy. Students who are most successful are also very good at memorizing information and following directions exactly.

Not only is it an incredibly important job, it is a relatively quick way to launch a fresh career for a low cost. The need for highly-trained medical billing and coding specialists is high. This means that you will have a good chance of success upon graduation. This career path can even allow you to work from home, giving you additional income while you raise a family or pursue additional education. read more ยป

What Does a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Do?

Medical Billing and Coding are actually two different, but related jobs. Medical coding is the process of applying international codes to any possible treatment, diagnosis, procedure, or condition. These codes help doctors and specialists understand exactly what treatments have been provided and what ailments the patient suffers from. There are approximately 13,000 codes in the current ICD-9 coding system, and a projected 68,000 in ICD-10, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This rigorous coding knowledge is vital for healthcare organizations to run smoothly, which is why certified coders are so desperately needed.

Medical billing is the process of organizing and filing coded documents with insurance companies or governmental insurance bodies like Medicare and Medicaid. In order for a medical biller to be effective, they need to have a good working knowledge of the medical coding system. In addition, they need to have excellent interpersonal skills, as they deal with patients and insurance representatives on a regular basis. Math skills are also highly desirable, as they are predominantly interested in invoicing and managing payments. They need to have an ability to memorize data, especially as it relates to insurance companies and their general coverages.

What are the working conditions of a Specialist?

Specialists in these fields work in both large and small healthcare organizations. They are mostly concerned with the day-to-day business applications of these organizations, however, and are not involved in administering health care to patients. General duties include hours of sitting, standing and talking on the phone. Most of the time, billers and coders work in office buildings on typical 9-5 shifts, although some employers allow them to work remotely in quiet home offices.

What is the typical pay and career outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median wage for medical records and health information specialists in 2012 was $34,160. While the lowest 10% earned around than $22,000, the highest 10% earned more than $56,000. Although it is possible to get a medical billing or coding job without certification, the highest-paying jobs usually require an associates degree or certificate in these fields. Medical billing and coding online courses that prepare students for certification with organizations like the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) or the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) are the best choices for having a long-lasting billing or coding career.

As more and more hospitals and doctors' offices employ work-from-home coders and billers, these careers have become much more attractive to full-time parents and professionals with other career responsibilities. In addition, the large baby-boomer generation will be aging rapidly over the next decade. Because of these factors, medical billing and coding careers are projected to grow 22% over the next 10 years. This is much faster than the projected average for all occupations. Job prospects will be best for those students that pursue a certification in Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification or as a Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR).

Why should I choose "Online" Schools?

Getting a certification online is often the only way that busy professionals can break into this new career. Accredited online schools must pass the same rigorous standards that on-campus billing and coding programs have, and are often more intensive due to their distance learning platform. At the same time, courses can be completed on the student's timeline, allowing them to focus their attention on their current job or family responsibilities. Another benefit of working through an online school is that there are accelerated options available that may allow early graduation from certificate programs.

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