One consequence of the Affordable Care Act and its inclusion of 30 million, previously uninsured, Americans is that the medical billing industry exploded. The demand for medical billers and coders increased drastically and this trend is expected to continue rising by 13% (faster than average) up till 2026 before it evens out. The effect of this is that there’s an increase in the demand for medical billing services in NY and other more populated parts of the country, since hospitals have determined it’s too costly to have billing departments.
The good news is that if you’re weighing the pros and cons of getting a medical billing education, then the odds are firmly in your favor. There are more vacancies that qualified candidates, so chances are a job will literally fall on your lap the moment you become certified.
How Long Does It Take to be Qualified?
To be certified as a medical billing and coding specialist, you’ll need to take a training course that’s nationally recognized at preferably a technical college. With intensive study, the course takes between 10 months to one year, and you’re ready to enter the job market. Most colleges prepare students with industry standard software or use similar ones to teach coding practices in a fast-paced environment. The idea is to ensure you practice in an environment that looks as close as possible to the real work place. Here’s what a typical day looks like.
How Important is Medical Billing and Coding in Healthcare?
Hospitals aren’t free. So let’s just say that without competent medical billing and coding staff on hand, even the best intentioned doctors won’t be able to treat their patients.Medical coders are tasked with translating the medical personnel’s report on patients into alphanumeric codes and numbers that enable billers make their claims to insurance companies.
If you know anything about insurance firms, it’s that they’ll look for any reason to get out of paying a claim. Once a claim gets rejected, it can be difficult sifting through the paper work to find the reason for denial, plus, patients who notice higher deductibles won’t take the issue smiling. This makes the job of a medical biller valuable. Here’s an image of the billing and coding process.
What’s their Expected Income?
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the annual income of medical billers is expected to exceed $39,000 on average. Medical billers and coders wit better specialization are expected to make about $64,000. Other places like medical billing services in NY offer more lucrative pays due to the high cost of living in the city. Bottom line though, salaries are this competitive because hospitals aren’t the only ones in need of medical billers and coders. You also have outpatient care facilities, nursing homes and other smaller clinics around the nation.
Literally anyone looking to transfer their skills from one profession to another, perhaps in search of a pay upgrade. Bear in mind though that though a career in medical billing may seem solely administrative, it actually combines the job of coding with billing. Billing is the more administrative portion, while coding requires a bit more technical knowledge of medical terminology.