Medical billing and coding can be the gateway to a great career path, giving you the satisfaction of working with your brain while helping people with their financial and insurance challenges in an ever-changing world of medical billing practices.
Just ask Madelaine Whitmore, who is a financial counselor at Virginia Cancer Specialists in Woodbridge, Virginia. She has been doing medical bill and coding for several years and was recently promoted to medical claims specialist/financial counselor. She really enjoys helping patients wade through the maze of modern health insurance plans; she often files appeals on behalf of patients to the different insurance companies nation-wide, auditing and correcting their claims so that they become acceptable to the insurance companies. It takes concentration and attention to detail, but at the end of the day Ms. Whitmore more often than not feels she has really made a difference in the life of someone who needed her help.
Medical billing and coding specialists are the financial foundation of the health insurance industry. No clinic or hospital can do without their services, and it is one of the top telecommuting jobs in the country, with approximately 33% of all billers and coders working from their home offices. As a medical billing and coding specialist you have to keep accurate online records, work out payment plans with patients, process outstanding bills and payments received.
It sounds a little bit like a glorified office clerk, but the work is always challenging and interesting, and demands excellent people skills and communication savvy. Starting salaries, on the national level during 2012, averaged over $41-thousand annually. And the best part is that by starting as a medical billing and coding specialist you are on the fast-track for promotion at your clinic or hospital; 89% of all hospital administrators and clinical office managers began as medical billing and coding specialists.
If this sounds like the exciting kind of career course correction you'd like to make, be sure to consult with educational experts, like Career Glider, whose co-founder Monish Sahni reminds those who want to take a course in medical billing and coding that because the job prospects for this career are so fantastic (with an estimated 20% increase in the number of medical billing and coders expected to be hired in 2014), there are fly-by-night schools popping up like toadstools that will take your tuition and leave you high and dry, without the proper certification to be hired. Mr. Sahni warns prospective students that they must be knowledgeable in the Health Insurance and Portability Act, as well as be prepped to pass the CMRS exam (Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist) and the RHIA exam (Registered Health Information Administrator). Career Glider keeps an up-to-date list of all the schools that offer a legitimate 15-month certificate in medical billing and coding.
Madelaine Whitmore is proud of her knowledge and expertise in the field of medical billing and coding; she advises everyone who wants to enter this field to pay special attention to the coding languages being used to index doctor's diagnoses. "ICD-9 is becoming obsolete" she says, "and ICD-10 is now being used by all major insurers, including Medicaid and Medicare; so be sure you study it very carefully when you're in class - it'll make your career path so much smoother!"
You could be one of the most significant income builders at a hospital or clinic, and it just takes 15 months! What have you got to lose, besides the dead-end job you're in right now?