Medical billing and coding is a healthcare function that’s necessary for the overall industry and individual institutions. Without it, there wouldn’t be a standardized billing process, and health insurance claims would likely be a mess. Medical billing and coding are often lumped together as one, but in truth, you need two separate certifications for each, and coding has several specializations you can learn as well.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in medical billing and coding, this guide is for you. We’ll discuss the job itself, the field, salary expectations, and more. This will give you a more complete picture of what you’re pursuing before you begin.
Ready? Let’s get started. Here are five reasons to pursue a career in medical billing and coding.
1. Fast Track Into A Growing Career Field
The great thing about medical billing and coding specialists is that they’re in demand, and the field itself is projected to grow by about 8% in the coming years. This is much faster than average, according to the BLS, and is promising for new or prospective billers/coders. In 2019 alone, there were over 300,000 jobs across the nation for medical billers and/or coders.
If you’re looking for a career that you can jump right into, this is it. Most programs only take about 10-12 months to complete, but you also have the option of pursuing a two-year associate’s degree. This can help you get established in a new career with promising job growth in less time than you think. Are you ready to start anew? It’s time to pursue a career that’s worth the cost of the education to get there.
Speaking of which—in most cases, you can expect to spend less than $10,000 in total for your certification/associate’s degree. Does that sound better than four years at traditional university costs? Schools like UMA offer online medical billing and coding courses to get you into the field quickly and affordably.
2. You Can Go Anywhere
The great thing about medical billing and coding is that it’s in demand across the country, which means you’ll have plenty of options when you graduate. Of course, you’ll need to check whichever state you plan to work in for any hard requirements to practice there, but in most cases, your certification(s) should be enough. There are several specializations that you can acquire as well, which will also broaden your horizons.
This makes for a career that’s both rewarding and flexible. Maybe you don’t want to stay in your hometown, or medical coders make more in the next state over. Whatever the case may be, this career choice offers you the flexibility to go just about anywhere and still potentially find work.
Remember that no career is guaranteed, even with a certification, but having one certainly increases your chances.
3. Salary Expectations
Another great thing about medical billing and coding is that the starting salary is, on average, about $42,000 per year, or about $20 per hour. Compared to other entry-level jobs, this falls in at about average as far as livable wages go. However, the coding position offers something other positions may not: the chance to make more by obtaining more certifications.
You can obtain a CPC, COC, CIC, or CRC certification to expand your skillset and open up new opportunities for employment. This will also help you command a higher salary, by as much as $20,000 per year! It all depends on where you work, of course, and what you’re doing, but the opportunity to grow is a real advantage for billers and coders.
4. It’s An Important Position
The transfer from paper documentation to electronic documentation has taken decades, but now we’re here. Pretty much everything is stored electronically, and medical records are no different. The billing process also (usually) occurs via the web, and that’s why we use standardized codes to let insurance companies know what they’re being billed for. The standardized language of medical codes ensures that everyone is on the same page, and there’s no confusion about the procedure that was performed, medication that was prescribed, or treatment that was given.
5. The Medical Field Itself Is Growing
Before COVID-19 put our hospitals at full capacity, the medical field as a whole was growing each year. The prevalence of chronic illness in our society continues to increase as we become sicker, less active, and more addicted to poor food choices. While we can’t possibly identify all the causes of illness that assail us, we can ensure that everyone gets the care they need.
The medical field has thousands of positions that need filled, both on the clinical and administrative side of things. The field will continue to grow in the coming years, and we’ll always need dedicated and compassionate people to fill those roles.