Medical Biller & Coder
How to become a Medical Biller and Coder
Medical billers submit claims to insurance companies to receive payment for the treatments that doctors provide their patients. Every time a patient receives medical care, a claim is coded, billed, and then processed. Medical coders use classification systems software to assign a code to each medical diagnosis and treatment. These medical codes determine the amount of reimbursement healthcare providers will receive.
Medical billers and coders work for physicians, healthcare practitioners, dental offices, pharmacies, nursing homes, rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, and health maintenance organizations (HMO’s). Medical billers and coders need to understand all aspects of medical terminology, pharmacology, and diagnosis is order to perform their jobs properly.
Education Requirements for Medical Billers & Coders
If becoming a medical biller and coder is your career goal, you will need to be knowledgeable in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, health data requirements and standards, clinical classification and coding systems, data analysis, healthcare reimbursement methods, database security and management, and quality improvement methods.
In general, a medical biller and coder needs to have earned an associate degree. Most employers prefer to hire certified medical billers and coders. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the Board of Medical Specialty Coding (BMSC), and the Professional Association of Health care Coding Specialists all offer coding credentials.
Job Opportunities for Medical Billers & Coders
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical records and health information technicians (including medical billers and coders) is expected to increase by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. Medical billers and coders who are proficient with computer software and technology will be hired by employers who transition into using electronic health records. Employment will grow as the number of tests, treatments, and procedures performed on patients increases. The median annual wage of medical records and health information technicians (which includes medical billers and coders), was $30,610 in 2008, where the middle 50 percent earned between $24,290 and $39,490.
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.