Medical billers and coders verify the accuracy of patient invoices.
Patients also must receive the correct reimbursement for their services, and you’d make sure they do.
Just like any profession, this career has its pros and cons.
- Pros of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
- Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
- Should You Become a Medical Biller and Coder?
- Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder Summary Table
Pros of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
If you work as a billing specialist, you will more than likely process invoices.
Coders will usually categorize insurance claims to make sure patients receive rightful compensation according to their policy terms.
Some positions may require you to perform both billing and coding services.
However, you more than likely would end up in one or the other if just starting out for the first time in this occupation.
Wherever you work, making this career move benefits you in at least seven ways.
Work In Various Settings
You may be able to find billing and coder work at a doctor’s office, hospital, or insurance company.
Additionally, you have the potential to work from home to increase your schedule flexibility once you’ve put in at least a couple of years’ worth of time in this position.
If you don’t mind relocating, that also may open up chances not found in your current location.
Working in less-develop regions may also increase your potential to make a consistent income in either billing, coding, or both.
Online Training Available
You may still want to find a local medical center to practice your skills.
However, the medical billing and coding track is one of few that you can learn almost completely online.
This provides you chances to learn at your own pace, as not all online classes require live participation.
In-person training sessions also exist too.
However, the online courses make it possible for you to complete certification when classes aren’t running in your location.
This will accelerate your learning and help you acquire paid positions sooner than other people.
Short, Inexpensive Training
You don’t need years of schooling or experience to get started.
Training may take approximately four to eight months, and you might find paid work opportunities during this time.
If you want to further your education, however, you can do that too.
Several variables may contribute to how much you pay for your training.
However, online tuition and certification fees may only run you about $2,000.
Continuing education classes for updating your licenses might only require a few hundred dollars of investment per year.
You may start out at about $35,00, but it may not take you long to reach almost twice that per year.
Billing and coding can make an annual salary of about $60,000.
However, that does require undergoing proper training and certification.
The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) shows you ways to “level up” to earn more, and they give you guidelines on how to succeed and make a steady living.
The Coders (AAPC) starts you off with one of three available entry certificates: Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS).
After you have completed the initial certifications, you may start out in a billing department.
Then, you might move into coding, and the AAPC gives you the chance to secure one of several additional related specialized certificates.
More specific training gives you the expertise you need to required perform physician’s office, inpatient, or outpatient coding, for instance.
Earning as many certificates as possible keeps you current and awards you new opportunities.
Minimal Patient Interaction
It’s not that you won’t ever meet patients.
You will, especially if working on-site, and you may have to ask them questions about the care they received.
However, you won’t have as much interaction with them as if working in a caretaking role.
Billing and coding may suit you if you want to gain steady employment without working directly with patients.
Instead, you spend most of your day recording information from doctors and other medical professionals so that it can be processed and billed correctly.
Entry Level Opportunity
After your initial certification, you might find a job working immediately after that.
You might even have the chance to start training in a full-time position before you complete your certification.
What’s more, you may find out later you want to become a nurse or doctor.
This gives you a chance to work in an environment where you would operate in a caretaking role directly with patients.
Otherwise, a billing and coding career could prepare you to become a hospital administrator.
Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
Requires Some Technical Training
You don’t need to know as much as a nurse, doctor, or hospital administrator.
However, a biller and coder must at least understand basic anatomy and physiology.
This requires some technical training where you will need to remember and know how to spell medical terms and know-how to abbreviate hundreds or even thousands of health conditions.
If you don’t have the capacity to remember the terms and codes in a reasonable amount of time, that may make it challenging to perform your job.
Limited Work-at-Home Opportunities
The AAPC says that there are limited work-at-home opportunities.
The most flexible jobs end up going to people already experienced in the field.
It may take you a couple of years of working on the job unless this changes.
Finding a hybrid job where you only have to show up part of the time on-site might happen, however.
On the other hand, work-at-home opportunities may increase as working remotely continues to trend as much as it has since 2020.
Knowing you may have this opportunity may not require you to relocate for a job in the future.
Not Always Easy
The work may sometimes seem repetitive, but you also might have times when you need to rush to enter the information into the patient records.
This may increase the chance of expensive errors that also cost reputation and lives.
You also might experience some stress from the pressure of having to pick up the pace when you experience bouts of patient intake, such as after infectious outbreaks.
During influxes of intakes, you’ll need to fill in patient information fast without making any mistakes.
It may not always require you to work at a fast pace.
However, having practiced performing work under pressure will increase your chance of success in this field.
You might notice a 9 percent job growth outlook for billing and coding specialists until 2030.
However, an increased number of people might hear about jobs in this field.
As a result, you might experience more competition when applying for these positions within 10 years from 2020.
If you want to succeed in this profession, you need to equip yourself with knowledge and experience.
Regulations Constantly Changing
The healthcare industry constantly changes its regulations, and billing and coding specialists must stay up-to-date on all new rules and regulations.
Continuing education classes may take up quite a bit of your free time because of this.
Coding and billing specialists often enter the same information into different systems multiple times throughout the day.
This can become monotonous unless you perhaps end up in a position that requires you to process multiple types of claims.
Mistakes Cost Lives
Billing and coding mistakes not only could cost money and ruin your reputation, but they also might cost lives.
If you take on this role, make sure you check and double-check your entries.
You don’t want to make any fatal mistakes when hired in this position and verify your training source before you attempt to take on any paid job or undergo an examination before becoming a biller and coder.
Should You Become a Medical Biller and Coder?
If you’re someone who likes to stay busy and doesn’t mind working long hours, then this may be the perfect career for you.
You shouldn’t have a problem staying employed, either, once you’ve secured a full-time position.
At some point, you may have increased work-at-home chances when working as a biller and coder as well.
Becoming a medical biller and coder may be the right job for you if you prefer to work in a clean, professional environment.
It may also suit you if you prefer to work with people but not necessarily around them 14/7.
If you’re looking for a career that doesn’t require you to attend school for three or four years before you can earn money, this also may be the right opportunity for you.
You might find your first full-time position in less than two years.
Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Medical Biller and Coder||Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder|
|Work In Various Settings||Requires Some Technical Training|
|Online Training Available||Limited Work-at-Home Opportunities|
|Short, Inexpensive Training||Not Always Easy|
|Decent Salary||Competitive Field|
|Career Steppingstone||Regulations Constantly Changing|
|Minimal Patient Interaction||Repetitive Work|
|Entry Level Opportunity||Mistakes Cost Lives|