Medical Insurance Billing and Coding: A Different Kind of Health Care Job
Not everyone who wants to work in the growing health care field is also interested in caring directly for patients. Luckily, there are numerous health care jobs that don't require medical or nursing training. For instance, jobs that help health care facilities and insurance providers operate legally and effectively are on the rise. They include:
- Medical insurance billing and coding. These workers, also known as medical billers, assign a code to each medical diagnosis and procedure. They then use special computer software to figure out how much insurance reimbursement the doctor, hospital, or nursing care facility should receive.
- Health claims examiner. These insurance company employees review and approve or reject insurance claims against the company.
A certificate or diploma from a technical or vocational school or community college is typically required for an entry-level job in medical insurance billing and coding, and many employers prefer candidates with an associate's degree. Classes and courses may include anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, privacy laws, and health data standard and statistics. Several professional organizations, including the American Health Information Management Association, offer certificates.
Medical Billing and Health Claims Examiner Fields Continue to Grow
This field--like nearly all health care fields--is experiencing growth as medical tests and procedures proliferate. In 2006, medical records and health information technicians (including medical billers) held about 170,000 jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the number should continue to see employment growth between 2006 and 2016, adding 30,000 jobs. Median annual earnings in the field were $30,610 in 2008.
Schools near you offer courses or classes leading to a diploma or certificate in medical insurance billing and coding. In just a few months, with a little training, you can be part of the fast-growing health care industry.