Demand in medical billing and coding is at an all-time high, and with good reason: The medical industry is currently seeing explosive growth. This is related not only to the increased health care needs of the aging Baby Boomer generation but, also, increased compliance concerns related to the Affordable Care Act and other health care legislation.
From hospitals to insurance companies, a variety of organizations rely on the expertise of medical billers and coders who work hard to ensure that health data is properly organized and managed. This demanding profession calls for extreme attention to detail as well as impressive multi-tasking and problem-solving abilities. If properly trained at an esteemed medical billing and coding school, skilled job candidates can find work in a variety of settings—several of which are highlighted below:
According to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, most medical billers and coders work in hospitals or physician offices. While many maintain traditional 9-to-5 schedules, those employed by hospitals may sometimes be asked to take on evening or overnight shifts.
Often, hospital-based billing and coding involves niches related to inpatient or outpatient care. Many employees are assigned to specific departments, such as surgery or oncology. Those working in clinics primarily focus on outpatient care, such as physician visits, lab services, and minor procedures.
Today's nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide residents with easy access to onsite medical professionals who handle a variety of day-to-day health care needs. Medical billers and coders in this niche must understand procedures related to both routine visits and ancillary services. Additional complications may come about due to Medicare, long-term care insurance, or lifecare agreements.
In addition to working in nursing homes, medical billers and coders with an interest in geriatric services may also secure employment for home health agencies or hospice centers. Many are surprised by the extent to which difficult emotions enter their day-to-day work—but while such jobs are far from easy, they can also be extremely fulfilling.
Not all medical billers and coders view claims from the patient's perspective. Many work for insurance companies in hopes of streamlining payment processing. Their efforts ensure that all claims are accurate, so an eye for detail is vital to success.
Several insurance companies offer remote opportunities, although employees may occasionally need to travel to headquarters or other locations. These positions tend to be highly competitive, but those with medical billing and coding certificates often enjoy a significant edge during the application and interview process.
Many medical billers and coders work for state or federal government agencies. These jobs are favored for their regular hours, high pay, and excellent benefits. Such positions also give professionals the opportunity to impact the broader health care system.
Top government agencies and organizations that employ medical billers and coders include:
Increasingly, experienced medical billers and coders are able to take advantage of remote work opportunities, which can offer a greater degree of flexibility and personal control. Often, all that is required for a successful career is a strong internet connection, a healthy dose of motivation, and, of course, a detailed understanding of modern billing and coding procedures.
Some remote billers and coders work on a full-time basis for hospitals and clinics, which may require them to train onsite or occasionally stop in for other job necessities. Others, however, never set foot inside the facilities they serve. They may work for clinical documentation improvement services, insurance companies, or even educational institutions.
An increasing subset of billers and coders serve as independent contractors, often simultaneously holding down multiple positions. Remote workers often enjoy the freedom to set their own hours. As such, this can be an ideal opportunity for those who desire greater flexibility than a traditional job can provide.
Similar in many respects to remote medical billing and coding, consulting allows professionals to leave the typical office setting and exert a greater degree of control over their day-to-day tasks. Often, consulting positions focus on the IT or quality assurance aspects of the profession. Some consultants work primarily on a remote basis, while others travel regularly to various facilities to get a better sense of their current billing and coding procedures.
Whether you dream of working in a hospital, at a long-term care facility, or from the comfort of home, ample opportunities exist within your preferred niche. The ideal medical billing and coding certificate program will prepare you for a variety of possible job placements. Once you've obtained your certificate, you can rest assured, knowing that you are fully prepared for both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.