WHAT DO MEDICAL BILLER/CODERS DO?
The medical and insurance fields are booming industries, and if you are well organized and ready for a challenge, you might make your career as a medical biller/coder. Medical billers write down health and treatment information for input into written and electronic patient records. These records are used for insurance claims, medical histories and possible donor or patient registries. Because of the highly technical nature of this work, and the sensitivity of private health information, billers and coders must ensure that health information is secure at all times.
Billers and coders review the information written by doctors and nurses and add that to a patient's records, often using electronic health records (EHRs) to input information. They work with insurance companies to make sure that hospital bills are covered, and that bills for any copay a patient might owe are delivered.
HOW MUCH DO MEDICAL BILLER/CODERS MAKE?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that in 2010, the median hourly income for medical record and health information technicians was $15.55, or $32,350 annually.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
Typically, one needs at least an associate's degree in health information technology or a similar area. Certification is also available and highly encouraged by employers, such as Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT).
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Analytical Skills: Medical biller/coders must be able to read medical records and decide the best way to record those records so that they are logical and understandable.
- Attention to Detail: Accuracy is very important in medical records, for diagnosis, treatment and billing. Attention is key.
- Interpersonal Skills: Medical billers and coders work with doctors, nurses, insurance companies and other information techs to create medical records. Being personable and easy to work with helps.
- Technical Skills: Medical biller/coders often use specialized software to record medical information. Being able to quickly understand technology is necessary.
THE FUTURE OF MEDICAL BILLER/CODERS
Medical records and health information tech jobs will grow by 21% between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS. This is faster than the average job.