If you’d like to be part of the healthcare industry without having daily patient contact, a career a medical insurance biller and coder might be the perfect fit for you. With electronic records becoming a regular part of the medical industries, the demand for qualified medical insurance billers and coders continues to grow. Continue reading to learn about medical insurance billers and coders and what type of jobs may be available.
What is a Medical Insurance Biller and Coder?
A medical insurance biller and coder is an individual who works in a medical facility or insurance agency and takes care of most of the billing that goes to insurance companies and patients. When a physician treats a patient, the physician makes notations on the patient’s chart in regards to what treatment the patient received. The medical insurance biller and coder then assigns designated codes to each treatment – codes that specify what the cost is for each treatment. Medical insurance billers and coders use the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding system, with the ICD-9 and ICD-10 the most commonly used.
Medical insurance billers and coders may work in hospitals, clinics, government entities, nursing homes or insurance companies. In an effort to keep down costs, many medical facilities hire remote medical insurance billers and coders. As a remote medical insurance biller and coder, the individual works as a contract for the medical facility and does the work out of his or her home.
Most medical insurance billers and coders complete a training program, which are offered at technical schools and community colleges. These programs, which offer certificates or degrees, can usually be complete in one to two years. Students generally take classes in medical terminology, coding, and medical office procedures. Depending the where they work, the medical insurance biller and coder may be required to obtain certification through agencies like the American Health Information Management Association or the American Association of Professional Coders.
What is the Career Outlook for Medical Insurance Billers and Coders?
Medical insurance billers and coders are categorized as medical records and health information technicians by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to the BLS, these professionals can expect an employment growth of 22% between 2012 and 2022. As of May 2012, medical records and health information technicians earned an average annual wage of $34,970. Factors that can affect wages include location, place of employment, level of training and number of certifications. Wages across the nation ranged from $22,700 to more than $57,000 in 2012.