Medical Billing Schools
Which types of jobs are available for those interested in medical billing?
Medical billing professionals work in the health care industry in an administrative role. Their responsibility is to ensure both patients and health insurance companies are billed correctly and on time. Medical billers often spend a great deal of time on the phone, speaking with patients and insurance companies about medical invoices. For personable, outgoing professionals who enjoy working in the medical field, medical billing careers can be a great match. Potential challenges of a medical biller's job include working hard to collect payment from debtors with delinquent accounts. In some cases when debtors fail to make payment, medical billers may have to begin the process of collection. Medical billers typically work in an office environment, at either a health care facility or a medical billing agency.
Formal training required to work in a career related to medical billing
Most employers require medical billers to have at least a high school diploma, but those with an associate degree or certifications can set themselves apart from the general pool of job candidates. Most programs can be completed within one or two years. More specific experience is typically gained through on-the-job experience. An associate degree in medical billing, such as an associate in health administration services could provide a solid foundation in finance, administration, record keeping, and human resources specific to the health care industry. There are several associations that provide relevant certifications and education in the medical billing field, as well as opportunities for career growth and development. The Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) exam and other relevant certificates to the medical billing field can be prepared for through various programs that are offered by these associations. For example, the Healthcare Billing and Management Association (HBMA) or the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offer education and events through distance learning and other programs.
The typical career path of someone interested in medical billing
Medical billers are typically good communicators with strong interpersonal skills who enjoy working in a health care setting. After gaining on-the-job experience for several years, medical billers can advance to become supervisors and managers within a health care administrative office or a third-party call center. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 411,000 workers nationwide in the bill and account collector job category. About 18 percent work specifically in health care and social assistance settings. Some medical billers have expanded job duties that include other administrative aspects of maintaining a health care facility. Medical assistants, for example, are professionals that also update and file patient medical records, schedule appointments, and fill out insurance forms, in addition to handling medical billing. The BLS reports that medical assistants held 483,600 jobs in 2008.
Job outlook and salary information for those interested in medical billing
The substantial growth in the nation's aging population, coupled with advances in medical technology and research, is causing the health care industry to expand significantly. Likewise, job opportunities for workers in health care will be favorable. The BLS expects that employment of bill and account collectors will grow faster than average for other occupations, at a rate of about 19 percent over the 2008 to 2018 decade. In particular, the BLS reports that new jobs in this category will be created specifically in the health care industry, due to a high volume of delinquent accounts and the demand for medical billers to resolve them. As the health care industry continues to expand, so does the employment opportunity for medical billers. Nationwide, according to May 2009 data, the mean annual wage for those professionals in the bill and account collector category is $32,560. Medical assistants are also expected to see faster than average job growth according to the BLS, and job prospects should be excellent. Medical assistants earn median annual wages of about $28,300, according to May 2008 BLS data.