Medical Billing and Coding Career Information

A career in medical billing and coding offers not just job security but more than the average amount of salary as well. Moreover, a career in medical billing and coding requires fewer educational requirements.

A person specialized in medical billing and coding decodes medical diagnosis and gives it a numerical designation. These are needed by insurance companies for providing accurate information about the extent of injury, illness and complications that have taken place. Medical procedures have specific types of numerical designation, each describing how the procedure was exactly performed.

A medical billing and coding specialist usually works in doctors’ clinics or hospitals, some of them also work independently. They work in well-lit and clean environment. They usually work for 40 hours a week; however, at times they are required to work overtime. If the billing department in the hospital operates round the clock, they may have to opt for shifts – either day shift, night shift or the evening shift. They seldom have to liaise with patients.

Job outlook and salary

Thesalary of a medical billing and coding specialist could be as low as $33,777, as high as $58,488 and $43,995 as the average pay. Job opportunities are going to be better than average by 2016. Government regulations on billing and health information will ensure plenty of opportunities. Also workers will be needed to replace those who retire from the work force.

Colleges and programs for medical coding

A certified coder is trained not just in medical terminology but in physiology and anatomy too. They need to understand pathology, etiology, disease processes and its signs and symptoms. There are over 200 universities and colleges in the country offering bachelors degree for coders. There are institutions offering coding certificate programs too. Online medical coding colleges and classes are also present.

Medical billing and coding specialist usually prefer to get certified in their area of expertise. A high school diploma or something equivalent is all that is needed to take up the certification exam. Although it is not a necessity, six months experience in coding is recommended before attempting the exam. Certified candidates have an edge over these having little experience in this profession.

Specialists in this profession usually move up the ladder in two ways, firstly through specialization and secondly through management positions. Specialization areas include privacy, security and cancer registry among others. They also need to have excellent reading and computer skills.