Hospital Billing Clerk: Job Info & Career Requirements
Hospital billing clerks can enter the field with varying levels of education. Find out more about education paths ahead, as well as career and salary information. This article also lists two alternative careers to consider.
A hospital billing clerk is a hospital office employee responsible for coding and entering medical records, communicating with insurance companies and billing patients. Hospital billing clerks use computer software and knowledge of insurance and billing practices to correctly translate verbal descriptions of diagnoses and procedures into numerical codes.
Become a Hospital Billing Clerk
An entry-level position as a hospital billing clerk typically requires completion of a coding certification program, a 2-year associate's degree or a 4-year bachelor's degree in health information technology. Employment opportunities are more diverse and opportunities for advancement more likely for those with more education, according to the American Health Information Management Association, www.ahima.org. Programs include classes in clinical classifications, insurance and billing, legal regulations and applicable software programs.
Hospital billing clerks are comfortable dealing with large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. They are detail-oriented and precise in their work. A hospital billing clerk must deal with confidential and sensitive information in a tactful and discreet manner.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), billing and posting clerks (including hospital billing clerks) fall under the broader category of 'financial clerks'. The BLS reports that employment of billing and posting clerks is predicted to grow 20% from 2010-2020, and because of the high demand for healthcare services, job growth for billing clerks in medical settings is expected to be particularly large. In 2012, the median annual salary for all billing and posting clerks was $33,450, per the BLS.
Alternative Career Options
Bill and Account Collector
These workers contact customers whose bills are overdue. The BLS reported that 8% worked in physicians' offices in 2010. Other than a high school diploma, no formal education is usually required. In terms of career outook, bill and account collectors working in the offices of physicians were expected to have a 44% job growth from 2010 to 2020, per the BLS, which is much higher than the 14% growth expected for bill and account collectors in general. In 2012, these clerks in general earned a median income of $32,480.
Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerk
This group of workers perform a number of tasks, such as posting transactions in ledgers, correcting financial errors and preparing financial statements. A high school diploma is the minimum education, but many clerks complete postsecondary training. A 14% job increase was predicted for this group for the 2010-2020 reporting period from the BLS. Clerks in this category made a median salary of $35,170 in 2012.
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