More than 20 million people work in health care in the U.S., but did you know most of those workers are not doctors and nurses? For the healthcare system to run well and provide good patient care, it needs a vast network of support. Among those trained professionals are Medical Billers and Coders. They’re the people who make sure that providers get paid and that you don’t pay too much when you visit your doctor. That’s because they will send your bill to your insurance company. If you’ve ever thought of a healthcare career, Medical Billing & Coding is a way to support the industry without treating patients.
Pros of a Career in Medical Billing and Coding
This is a fast-paced and important part of healthcare, but that’s not all that makes medical billing and coding a career you may want to consider.
- Steady Work You Can Rely On: As a Medical Biller and Coder, you would most likely work full-time in a healthcare facility or doctor’s office. There could also be the opportunity to create a part-time schedule. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, demand for Billing and Coding Specialists is expected to see average growth through 2030.
- Employee Benefits: If you do work full-time, you can expect benefits such as health insurance, worker’s compensation, and paid time off. Depending on your employer, there may be additional benefits available, such as paid training and retirement savings plans.
- Skills You Can Use Anywhere: Once trained and experienced, you’ll have a skillset that you can take to most any state in the entire country. So, if you need to move or just want a change of scenery, you can apply to new positions in the same field in a different state.
- Meaningful and Important Work Every Day: Being a part of something meaningful that helps others can be incredibly rewarding. This is more than collecting a paycheck. You’ll be a vital part of helping all kinds of patients receive and pay for the care they need to survive.
- Evolving Knowledge: While this career is relatively steady and predictable, different aspects of your duties will change. New diagnoses and billing codes are added, providers and insurance changes, and you’ll need to keep your mind fresh to keep up with it all.
Cons of a Career in Medical Billing and Coding
It’s wise to consider all sides of a career decision, so you are fully prepared for what you’re getting into. Medical Billing and Coding can also present some challenges.
- Attention to Detail is Critical: You will work with large amounts of important patient data and names and codes can appear very similar. For example, cystitome and cystotome are practically the same word, right? But one is used to open the lens of the eye and the other is used on the bladder. Mislabeled diagnoses and codes could delay payment and procedures, and ultimately the level of care your facility provides.
- You Will Spend Long hours in Front of a Computer: This is not a physical job with a lot of movement. Most of your day will be in an office setting, in front of a computer screen. That also means there is no heavy lifting required, nor will you be asked to travel or be out in the cold of winter or heat of summer.
- You Won’t Be in Treatment Rooms with Patients: While you will interact with and communicate with patients, it will not be in a treatment room. Your role is behind-the-scenes, making sure that information is up to date and that payments get processed in a timely manner. If you were hoping to help treat patients, you might want to explore the benefits and challenges of being a Medical Assistant.
- You Will be Required to Learn a Lot of New Codes: There are tens of thousands of CPT and ICD-11 codes and they’re always being updated. While you won’t be required to know all of them, there are a lot of numbers and letters you will need to become familiar with.
- You Have to Be Patient and Determined: Resolving patient billing issues can sometimes be complex and time consuming. Not every case will be simple and familiar. You need to be focused and thorough and determined to do the best for patients and their providers.
Is Billing and Coding the right career for you? Charter College offers an online Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Billing and Coding that you can complete in as little as 14 months. Don’t have a computer? We’ll provide you with one. This program is currently only available to Alaska residents through our Anchorage campus. Fill out the form to learn more now.