Career Information for a Hospital Billing Clerk
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.
|Education||Completion of a coding certification program, 2-year associate's degree, or a 4-year bachelor's degree in health information technology|
|Job Skills||Ability to deal with large amounts of data quickly and efficiently, attention to detail, accuracy, proper handling of confidential and sensitive information|
|Median Salary (May 2017)*||$36,860 (billing and posting clerks)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||14% (billing and posting clerks)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
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 increase by 14% from 2016-2026, and because of the high demand for healthcare services, job growth for billing clerks in medical settings is expected to be particularly large. In 2017, the median annual salary for all billing and posting clerks was $36,860, per the BLS.
Alternative Career Options
Similar career options in this field include:
Bill and Account Collector
These workers contact customers whose bills are overdue. The BLS reported that 12% worked in health care and social assistance in 2016. Other than a high school diploma, no formal education is usually required. In terms of career outlook, employment in bill and account collection was expected to decline by 3% from 2016 to 2026, per the BLS. In 2017, these clerks in general earned a median income of $35,330.
Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerk
This group of workers performs a number of tasks, such as posting transactions in ledgers, correcting financial errors and preparing financial statements. A high school diploma is a minimum education, but many clerks complete postsecondary training. A 1% job decline was predicted for this group for the 2016-2026 reporting period from the BLS. Clerks in this category made a median salary of $39,240 in 2017.