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What Is an Insurance Billing Specialist?

Insurance billing specialists work in the health and medical industry and handle all aspects of billing for insurance and patients. The following article explains what an insurance billing specialist does and provides information on professional certification.

Career Defined

An insurance billing specialist is responsible for handling patient accounts, records, and bills. You would be responsible for working in the office or administrative area of your place of employment, whether it be a clinic, hospital, or doctor's office. You'll process payments, claims, and other insurance-related paperwork for patients and medical providers. You'll work with doctors, providers, and nurses on a routine basis to ensure that your paperwork is entered and submitted correctly and in a timely manner.

Important Facts About Insurance Billing Specialists

Median Salary (2018) $40,350 (for medical records and health information technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 13% (for medical records and health information technicians)
Required Education Associate's degree or post-secondary certificate
Similar Occupations Medical transcriptionists, medical and health services managers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Skills

Insurance billing specialists, also known as medical records or health information specialists, typically handle the paperwork regarding insurance reimbursements. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), specialists in this field typically hold an associate's degree. As an insurance billing specialist, you should be detail-oriented and knowledgeable about patient privacy laws. There are specific job skills you should have that will help you be successful in this career field, including the following:

  • General computer skills
  • Knowledge of medical terms and words
  • Knowledge of coding procedures
  • Accuracy
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a team player
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail

Certification

It's often recommended, but may not be required, that you obtain professional certification. It may increase your chances of obtaining a job, provide you with more knowledge about the field and demonstrate to employers that you are dedicated. The American Health Information Management Association (www.ahima.org) provides a certification exam that you can take to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), and the American Medical Billing Association (ambanet.net) offers Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) certification. Certification usually involves earning an associate's degree from an approved educational program and passing a certification examination.