Many who consider a career in health care do not immediately gravitate towards medical billing and coding. For one thing, as a layman, you may have no knowledge of the vocation or what it entails. Or you may prefer something like nursing that allows you to interact with patients. And while it may not be as sexy as an MD after your name or a job that requires you to wear scrubs on a daily basis, there are many benefits to choosing this field of the health care profession.
- Less schooling. You can get started with a certificate, which only takes a year to earn and is offered at many institutions of higher learning. You can also continue your education (and improve your job prospects) by attaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. You are also likely to receive on-the-job training in most cases.
- Good pay. On average, you can expect to make an annual salary of about $35,000 to $42,000 depending on your location, education, and experience. This is a pretty good salary not only for someone who is fresh out of school, but for anyone with 1-4 years of schooling. And with continued education and experience, you can expect to earn even more.
- Job security. Not only are there a lack of qualified professionals available to fill these positions, every medical office needs a biller and coder who is intelligent, trustworthy, and reliable. You are effectively the person who ensures that physicians get paid for their work, so knowledge and experience will ensure that you are never out of a job. Plus, because of technological advances that now allow billing and coding to be done faster and at a higher volume, the field is rapidly expanding.
- Helping patients. Although you may never interact with patients, your duties can include several functions that help them, from processing and reviewing claims to reimbursement. At the very least, you are ensuring that all of their paperwork is in order so that they have the best chance of getting their health care covered by insurance, and most patients would thank you for that if given the opportunity.
- Flexible job options. While many medical billers and coders work in an office setting (whether it’s for a physician or an insurance company), there are plenty of opportunities to work from home. You can start your own business by freelancing for private practices, or join a firm that feeds you work piecemeal. Either way, you can enjoy the freedom of working as much or as little as you want. Even better, this is the type of job you can do anywhere, so if you have to move to a new location, you should be able to find a job without hassle.
If you haven’t considered a position in medical billing and coding before, now is the time. With the job market in decline, you would do well to enter a field where qualified individuals are in demand and growth is assured. You will be able to use your technical knowledge and meticulous attention to detail in the noble pursuit of helping others, while ensuring a stable future for yourself.