How to Become a Medical Coding and Billing Specialist

Become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

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An important part of a well-functioning economy is that businesses are able to collect the money that's owed them. Billing and posting clerks are responsible for the tasks necessary to make sure companies and organizations receive the payments they're due. If you are good with details and numbers, you could retrain as a billing and posting clerk. One way to improve your skills for this occupation is through online billing and coding training programs.

Billing and coding clerks are found in almost any industry that needs to send out bills and collect payments. About a third of these workers are found in the healthcare industry. In addition to a wide range of smaller companies, consulting and law firms also employ these specialists.

Important Career Skills of Billing and Coding Clerk

A billing and coding specialist first needs to understand the industry in which they work well enough to make sure that payments can be collected. For instance, a healthcare billing clerk needs to understand the insurance business as well as diagnostic codes. A close eye for detail, and an ability to use numbers are important career skills for this occupation.

Clerks also need to be careful, accurate, and good with record keeping. At times, they may need to communicate with customers and agencies (such as insurance companies). Since most billing processes now include computer programs, it is desirable to have knowledge and ability with computers.

Career Advice for Billing and Coding Clerks

A billing and coding clerk can typically start in this field with a high school degree. However, employers do sometimes favor employees with four-year educations. Online coding and billing clerk training courses can help you improve your skills with specific coursework related to billing issues. If you like solving financial problems and carrying out detail-oriented tasks, you might want to explore retraining as a billing and coding clerk.

Career Outlook for Billing and Coding Professionals

  • Percentage of predicted employment increase between 2012-2022 decade: 22 percent
  • Total number of employed coding and billing workers projected by 2022: 227,400
  • Degrees and certifications recognized by most employers: Associate's degree (certificates and shorter medical trade school programs may be applicable)
  • Organization offering nationally recognized examination in coding and medical records security: The American Academy of Professional Coders
  • Total number of medical records and health information technicians holding jobs in 2012: 186,300.
  • Employers offering potentially higher-paid management positions for experienced coding and billing technicians: Physicians' offices, hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies
  • Number of coding and billing professionals working in hospitals: Two out of every five
  • Businesses expected to hire more coding and billing professionals during the 2006-2016 decade: Home health care centers, outpatient clinics, nursing care facilities

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians