The job market for medical billing work has grown and is expected to keep growing. Estimates forecast an increase in demand for medical billers and coders of 10 to 15% by 2016. This is also a field with a fair amount of diversity. There are a number of distinct job types that fit the overall medical billing classification. Someone going into this field may choose to focus on one or several of these job types. The more different areas of the field a medical biller goes into, the more experience they will accrue and the more employable overall they will become. So considering job diversification is always a good idea.
Three general categories of medical billing jobs include outpatient, inpatient, and payer billing. Here are some common job types:
Medical billing for small practice
This is simply handling patient billing for a small doctor’s office. This would obviously be considered outpatient billing. The biller submits bills for patient office visits, treatments, and medications to insurance companies for payment.
Medical billing for outpatient hospital
This type of billing includes all billing for hospitals and clinics that involve people who are not admitted for overnight stays (i.e. outpatients). In hospitals the volume and pace is higher than with individual physician practices, so these types of jobs tend to be more demanding and also may be higher paid.
Medical billing for inpatient hospital
The process of medical billing becomes more complicated as patients are admitted to hospitals for overnights stays of various durations. The amounts that payers (i.e. insurance companies) are charged is higher and there is sometimes doubt as to how long patients will remain admitted. So this type medical billing job tends to be a somewhat different ballgame than outpatient billing.
Jobs that involve both out and inpatient billing will use skills that apply to both types. One person is seldom in charge of both in and outpatient billing for the same institution, so often this job is either a supervisory one or one on a billing team in the office of a hospital.
Medical billing for insurance company
Insurance companies also hire medical billers. This falls into the payer billing area of expertise. Insurance companies need people familiar with billing to check, and if necessary dispute or adjust, claims.
Independent medical billing jobs
Any and all of the above positions can be done, in whole or in part, by independent medical billing contractors and home based businesses. These jobs offer, as you might imagine, a lot more freedom and control of your own time. Many medical practices are turning to outsourced billing as a way to save on various costs associated with in house billing, so there is definitely a demand for this type of medical billing job approach. The size of these independent businesses can range from a single individual working out of a home office to large remote hospital administration companies.
Medical Billing Instruction
Another job type to consider if you have education and/or experience in medical billing. Why not instruct others in the ins and outs of this lucrative career? Medical billing teacher positions are available at a wide variety of career colleges, community colleges, state universities, and online schools. Many of these may require some kind of teaching degree or certificate, but it varies, so ask at the institution where you are considering applying for a position what the requirements are. The traditional path for teaching of any kind is to get a B.A. in a certain subject, and then follow it up with a teaching certification that usually takes a year or so to complete, but medical billing is not really a traditional “academic” discipline, so there may be shorter routes.
You can also think of teaching medical billing in a freelance sense. If you’re really knowledgeable about you could advertise yourself as a private medical billing teacher.
These are some of the basic medical billing jobs and job types that are available. There are others as well. This is a fairly well paying field, and one with potential diversity and advancement. So think outside the box when getting into it as a career, and you’ll get a better sense of all the options open to you.