There is no doubt that getting into a new career is often difficult and confusing for most people. However, it can also be rewarding. Did you know that healthcare is now one of the fastest-growing industries for many job seekers? Note that a career as a medical billing or coding professional may be right for you if you are a detail-oriented person. If you are considering a medical billing and coding career, this guide can be useful for you.
It is worth noting that a rewarding profession like medical billing and coding is more secure with regard to long-term employment. Also, note that it’s much simpler to get started as a medical billing and coding professional. This is because you will not have to spend six to ten years in school.
If you are considering making a critical career switch to medicine, or administration, you would like to know whether becoming a medical billing and coding expert is right for you.
Keep in mind that because of the aging population, recent advances in healthcare technology, as well as the increasing complexity of the modern medical reimbursement process in the US, the medical billing and medical coding field is rapidly growing.
Why Choose Medical Billing and Coding as a Career
Work in the US Healthcare Industry in an Office Setting
You may know that medical billers and coders often work in offices. This is why they don’t have much direct contact with patients, apart from resolving billing issues.
If you would like to work in the healthcare industry, but are uncomfortable with the strenuous demands of patient care, note that this can be an ideal career choice for you.
The best thing is that you can feel satisfied and content knowing that you’re in a respectable industry and helping other people receive valuable healthcare, which is excellent.
Steady and Predictable Work Hours
Are you tired of your current job because you do not know your work hours from one week to another? If so, a career in medical billing and coding could be a welcome change for you.
You will be happy to know that specialists operating at home may work a standard 9-to-5 schedule or even set their hours, which is convenient. Note that if you work in a hospital or other healthcare facility that’s open 24 hours per day, you may have night shift options; however, for the most part, you’ll be working during the day with a regular and predictable schedule.
Get Educated Online
To work in many healthcare professions, specialists have to invest in proper education. However, the benefit of a medical billing and coding career is that many schools offer you convenient, online courses, as well as job placement assistance.
Medical Coders and Billers can Work in Several Places
When you think about changing careers, you are often concerned about whether you’ll be able to find employment. You will be happy to know that medical billers and medical coders work with members of healthcare teams in various settings, such as hospitals, insurance companies, physicians’ offices, healthcare facilities, and billing companies. Also, keep in mind that employment as an independent contractor or freelancer is possible, as well.
You should know that with such a wide variety of healthcare organizations needing such experts, you can certainly look forward to a dynamic and promising job market with many opportunities.
Complete Your Job Training in Just One or Two Years
Here is another benefit. Depending on the educational options you choose, you may complete your job training in about one to two years’ time. This is why a career in medical billing and medical coding is suitable for people who want to work in healthcare settings without having to spend several years in higher education. As a medical biller or coder, you can start your career only after a couple of months of training!
You will find private career schools offering accelerated programs that usually take about one year. And that is not all; you may choose to expand your opportunities by simply enrolling yourself in an associate’s degree program at a local community college.
Things to Consider before Choosing a Medical Billing and Coding Career
What does it usually take to enter the dynamic field of medical billing and medical coding? How to find out if medical coding and billing is right for you? Here are some things to consider before making the transition.
People have a common misconception that a medical coding and billing job does not entail dealing with people as you are dealing with numbers. However, this is not true, and you will need good people skills to succeed. Keep in mind that working with other people goes along with professionalism. Also, keep in mind that you may work in a tiny office or a huge corporation.
In many cases, you will have to speak with patients, and you will also need to talk with other people in the office. This is why having excellent people skills and the ability to communicate with others is a must if you’re going to go far in this dynamic field.
As medical billing and medical coding can be complex, it pays to be thorough and well-organized. Also, note that depending on the office environment, you may have to bill or code for hundreds to tens of thousands of patients.
This is why you need to be able to track all the claims, making sure that they all get paid in a timely manner. While you will have assistance from the practice management program in your office, if your work desk is a disorganized mess, your job will likely be much harder.
Are you good with numbers? If not, this may not be the right field for you. You’ll need decent math skills, particularly when working with several medical billing applications. So, keep this in mind before pursuing this as a long-term career.
Attention to Detail
It is no secret that attention to detail is now very important in the medical coding and billing profession. This is because many responsibilities of medical coders or billers rely heavily on the ability to pay due attention to minor details as they can make a big difference.
Attention to detail is vital as mistakes in medical coding may damage someone’s health.
A New Landscape
According to the recent HIM Professional Census 2020, over 72 percent of medical coders work for a hospital or healthcare system. And of those, over 50 percent were fully remote-based workers; only 17 percent of medical coders reported they were based fully on-site. This represents a new landscape.
You will be glad to know that the employment of medical secretaries, which includes medical billing and medical coding specialists, will increase 22 percent from 2016 to 2026, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Besides creating nationwide unemployment that we haven’t seen since the 2008 recession, note that the coronavirus pandemic mandated new ways of working for people still on the job. Note that one of the best things about being a medical coder and biller during the pandemic is that you can work from the comfort of your home, which is excellent.
Also, it is worth noting that the Medical Group Management Association revealed that telemedicine has dramatically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is mainly because of the critical need to lower the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. It is no secret that these patient interactions will create a higher demand for medical coders in the US.
Potential for Growth
According to Bls.gov, the medical billing and medical coding industry in the US will grow appreciably in the near future. It will actually grow much faster than other industries. Keep in mind that the job outlook for healthcare technicians in the field of medical billing and coding is expected to grow by 8 percent until 2029, according to BLS.
Many medical billing and coding schools can help bring you into a lucrative career in the healthcare industry that you will likely enjoy for the rest of your life.
What is the Salary of Medical Billers and Coders?
Like other professions, salaries tend to differ by how much experience you’ve, where in the country you work, and your employer. However, it is worth noting that salary studies, such as the AAPC’s latest salary survey, list that the salary (average) for medical coding and billing positions is about $52,411 a year, plus excellent benefits.
Despite the economic situation in the country, there will always be a great need for medical billers and coders. Also, note that experts predict that more medical billers and coders will be required in behavioral health, telehealth, and many other technical communication healthcare services.
It is never too late for you to make the right career move. It is best to pursue training in medical billing and medical coding if you are looking for an administrative career in the field of modern healthcare.
Passionate and dedicated medical coders and billers can enjoy long careers. Note that the profession is a very attractive option—even in the middle of a global pandemic—for people who would like to work in healthcare. For more information, you can visit www.ucontrolbilling.com.