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What Does a Medical Biller Do?

Medical billing clerks interpret medical codes and submit bills to insurance companies, patients and other agencies for medical services. Read on to learn more about medical billing and how to get started in this career.

Job Duties

An essential part of the health care industry, a medical biller, also called a medical billing clerk, ensures that the billing of services is handled correctly and that the right person or company is billed or paid. Daily tasks could include auditing and submitting claims for patient visits, diagnoses, and medical procedures to insurance companies, patients, and other payers. You may have to handle problems with billing. For example, you may need to make collection calls or submit claims to collection agency when bills are overdue, appeal denied claims, and process payments. You may also have to call insurance companies to get authorization for procedures in order to guarantee the claim will be paid once submitted.

Important Facts About Medical Billers

Professional Certification Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) and Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR)
Key Skills Technical and analytical ability, attention to detail, interpersonal, trustworthy
Work Environment Hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing and residential care facilities, government agencies
Similar Occupations Medical transcriptionists, medical and health services managers

Education and Training

To work as a medical biller, you must be familiar with medical terminology and medical insurance codes. You also need excellent communication skills, customer service experience, and attention to detail. You should expect to work on the phone frequently and spend most of your time sitting at a desk.

You might want to complete a formal program in medical billing to gain the skills and knowledge necessary for this career. Certificate programs, a common option, usually take less than a year to complete. In some programs, you may also learn about medical coding, which is the process of assigning codes to medical procedures and other items found on a medical bill. While enrolled in a billing or coding program, you may take courses in medical vocabulary, human anatomy, medical coding, and insurance billing.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the employment of medical records and health information technicians, including medical billers, is expected to grow by 13% between 2016 and 2026. The BLS also reported the median annual salary earned by such specialists as $40,350 in May 2018. The Bureau notes that billing and posting clerks employed by physicians' offices earned an average of $39,000 a year, while those who worked at hospitals averaged $39,480 annually in 2018.