The profession of medical billing and coding is becoming increasingly popular as these medical aministrative professionals can earn handsome incomes similar to those earned by medical claim processors and consultants. They process medical claims electronically for healthcare providers who are not trained or do not have time for it.
Once such a specialist’s career is established and earning potential is realized, it’s not unusual for these experts to earn a stable income ranging from $30-35,000 to $40-45,000 annually. The professional advancement of medical billers and accordingly, their earning potential, is highly dependent on their education, their experience in the industry, as well additional certifications achieved.
There is tremendous opportunity for professional advancement in the field of medical billing and coding once you are fully certified. While not necessary or mandated, certification demonstrates your seriousness and competence to potential employers, while giving you and edge over other, non-certified individuals competing for the same job. With the proper credentals establishing your ability and training, earning opportunities also rise.
So who provides certification and where can it be obtained?
There are several official bodies that offer certifications, including specialized offerings for those professionals who want to focus on a certain field of medicine (like cardiology, emergency medicine, family practice, pediatrics, gastroenterology, general surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, pain management, radiology and urology). These include…
- American Academy of Professional Coders
- Professional Association of Healthcare Coding Specialists
- Medical Association of Billers (MAB)
- Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance Certification
- The American Health Informtion Management Association
The cost to become certified varies, but it’s usually around $300, which seems expensive, but considering it’s a solid investment in your future earning and employment potential, it is well worth the money. Complete details can be found at each individual association’s web site.
The professional growth for a medical biller can be gauged from the fact that a vast number of hospitals, nursing homes, private practitioners, insurance companies, claim consultants and many others are seeking to hire certified medical billers to ensure proficient services to them.
Health Information Management individuals in this IT age are performing one of the most pivotal tasks of the healthcare industry. This is echoed by the Mervat Abdelhak, Ph.D., RHIA of American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) as well as Executive Director of The Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA).
Certification And Starting Your Own Medical Billing and Coding Business:
Starting your own business as an individual medical reimbursement consultant is yet another avenue which many individuals are exploring. You can serve either individual small medical practitioners or bigger organizations with your specialized services and have them charged according to the specialization required. You can even develop a whole team of professionals to work under your guidance for the same or even suit yourself and work as an individual from the comfort of your home.
It goes without saying that if you intend to start your own home based medical billing and coding business, you will definitely want to ensure that you are properly certified, as well as any potential employees.
As the job of being a medical billing and coding professional becomes more sophisticated, healthcare providers prefer certified professionals over non-certified.