What Are the Duties of a Medical Biller?

If you are interested in an administrative position within the medical field, you might consider working as a medical biller. As a medical biller, it is your job to work with insurance companies or patients to ensure bills are paid in a timely manner. Schools offering Insurance Billing & Coding Specialist degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

In a medical billing position, you are responsible for contacting insurance companies to see if services are covered or if referrals are needed. You also process the correct billing forms to get claims paid through insurance coverage. If a patient is paying their own bill, you prepare the bill, send it to the patient, and ensure it gets paid. You may also have to appeal insurance decisions if a company refuses to pay or start collection proceedings for a patient who hasn't paid.

Most of your work takes place in an office setting. You may have to make phone calls and use a computer program to manage records.

Important Facts About Medical Billers

Median Salary (2014) $35,900 ('for medical records and health information technicians')
Key Skills Integrity, analytical thinking, technical ability, detail oriented, interpersonal
Work Environment Hospitals, physician's offices, nursing and residential care facilities
Similar Occupations Medical transcriptionists, medical and health services managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Medical Billing vs. Medical Coding

Medical billing and coding are often grouped together when employers are looking to fill a position. Medical coding involves preparing medical bills using codes to identify the procedures and other items on a bill. Medical coders covert the medical procedures into the codes, put the information into the computer system and helps the insurance provider to easily identify what is being billed.

Education and Certification

To work as a medical biller, you typically need an associate's degree in health information technology or medical billing. You may also want to consider becoming certified in health information technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), employers are starting to require that employees become certified. Certification may be obtained through a professional organization, such as the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). The Registered Health Information Technician credential offered by AHIMA requires you to complete an associate degree program from an approved school and pass an exam.

Employment Outlook

According to the BLS, there were 184,740 jobs for medical records and health information technicians as of May 2014, including medical billers. Most of these professionals worked in hospitals and the offices of physicians. The BLS projected from 2014-2024 that this field would see a 15% increase in employment.

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