Medical reimbursement specialists work alongside healthcare professionals in medical settings, helping patients with processing insurance reimbursements, scheduling and making bill payment plans. Though on-the-job training is standard for this career once employment has been secured, many medical reimbursement specialists have earned a certificate in medical billing or a related field. Voluntary professional certification is recommended.
|Required Education||Certificate in medical billing or a similar field; on-the-job training provided with employment|
|Other Requirements||Voluntary certification often preferred by employers|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||22% for all medical records and health information technicians*|
|Median Annual Salary (2014)||$40,306**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Medical Reimbursement Specialist
The common educational path for this career is job training and a certificate of completion, which can be attained at a technical school, vocational school or community college. The length of these programs varies; some can be completed in 12 weeks, while others take four semesters. Common program courses include medical customer service, medical office procedures, medical office administration and medical terminology.
Medical reimbursement specialists are employed in healthcare businesses, such as hospitals, clinics and insurance companies. They work alongside physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers in a supportive administrative role. Primarily, a medical reimbursement specialist works with insurance and billing companies to determine the method of payment for patients. This includes administrative duties, such as managing financial and medical records. They may also transcribe medical reports, greet new patients and schedule appointments.
Employers prefer medical reimbursement specialists who have earned certification through a professional organization. While this is not a job requirement, it is highly recommended. Certification is important because it verifies an understanding and competency in medical billing, while it also demonstrates a willingness to adhere to high standards of professionalism and training.
Organizations such as the American Medical Billing Association (www.ambanet.net) offer a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist certification for those who complete and pass a lengthy examination. The exam has more than 800 questions covering subjects such as medical terminology, information technology, coding, insurance and anatomy. This exam can be taken online, and two free re-tries are offered. Certification is good for one year; to re-certify, 15 hours of continuing education have to be completed.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to PayScale.com, salaries for medical reimbursement specialists ranged between $27,035 and $53,578 as of October 2014, with a median salary of $40,306 reported. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of all medical records and health information technicians will likely grow by about 22% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than average (www.bls.gov).