Medical billing is a career for which you can receive the necessary training in approximately 1-2 years of formal education. You might choose to become a medical billing administrator if you are very detail-oriented and think analytically. There is expected to be faster-than-average job growth in the field, and medical billers have the option of working in hospitals, clinics or physicians' offices.
Medical billing administrators are trained in billing processes for medical procedures. Most have completed a certificate or associate's degree program in medical billing and coding. Hospitals, clinics and physicians' offices are the most common employers of medical billing administrators.
|Required Education||Certificate or associate's degree in medical billing and coding or medical administrative assistance|
|Other Requirements||Voluntary certification is available through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2018)*||$40,350 (for all Medical Records and Health Information Technicians)|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||11% (for all Medical Records and Health Information Technicians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description of a Medical Billing Administrator
Medical billing administrators handle insurance claims and other forms of physician reimbursement. They determine which medical procedures are covered by insurance and work with patients on payment plans for procedures that aren't covered. Medical billing administrators also resolve issues related to insurance claims and patient payments. They maintain patient billing files and might perform some administrative duties, depending on their workplace. Medical billing administrators are typically experienced in medical coding as well.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of medical records and health information technicians, including medical billing administrators, will increase by 11% from 2018-2028, theoretically resulting in roughly 23,100 new jobs during that time (www.bls.gov). As a large segment of the population reaches old age, demand for medical services will increase, which will contribute to this job growth. As of May 2018, the median annual salary for health information and medical records technicians was $40,350.
Education Requirements for Medical Billing Administrators
Medical billing jobs commonly require completion of a certificate or associate's degree program in medical billing and coding or medical administrative assistance. These programs include coursework that covers medical terminology, anatomy and physiology. Students are introduced to common medical coding terms and procedures, such as ICD-9 and certified medical transcription (CMT). Additionally, medical billing students become familiar with various insurance providers and software applications, as well as general laws and ethics, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Medical billing administrators are not required to become certified, although some employers do seek individuals who've earned voluntary certification. Several options exist, depending on an individual's career goals. Medical billing administrators who want to focus on coding can pursue the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) designations through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). This organization also offers the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credential for those graduating from an approved associate's degree program. The RHIT designation might prove valuable for those aspiring to move into managerial positions in health information.
Anyone with an interest in the medical insurance industry could look into a career as a medical billing administrator. A certificate or associate's degree program covers medical coding and other necessary skills. Earning voluntary certification can increase a person's job prospects in the field.