Career Definition for a Medicare Biller
Working for hospitals, physicians' clinics and medical centers, Medicare billers manage the processing, submission and recording of Medicare claims submitted by patients. Like general medical billing specialists, Medicare billers review claims, complete and submit forms and follow up on past claims to ensure appropriate and timely payout for a hospital, clinic or medical center. However, the Medicare billing field is dedicated specifically to the complex processes and regulations of Medicare. Some Medicare billers work 'behind the scenes' in the financial departments of large medical centers or hospital networks, while others work more directly with patients in smaller clinics and physicians' offices.
|Education||No formal requirements, but a high school diploma and classes or vocational training in anatomy, physiology, coding and billing software recommended|
|Job Skills||Detail orientation, knowledge of Medicare rules, integrity, compliance, familiarity with electronic filing systems|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$36,860 for all billing and posting clerks|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||14% growth for all billing and posting clerks|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), no standard education is required of billing specialists, including Medicare billers. However, a high school diploma is advisable, and those with some college or vocational school training in anatomy, physiology, coding and medical billing software will find a wider range of job opportunities. Larger medical centers and hospital networks often prefer a bachelor's degree, associate degree or vocational school certificate in a relevant field, such as biology or medical office management.
Because Medicare billers focus specifically on Medicare claims, training or experience with Medicare billing software is important; more generally, familiarity with electronic filing systems is helpful. A career in Medicare billing is a good fit for detail-oriented individuals who are comfortable complying with set processes and following up on a consistent basis. Successful Medicare billers are experts in Medicare rules and regulations and are adept at ensuring claim integrity.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), billing and posting clerks - a broad category that includes medical billers - can expect to see 14% job growth from 2016-2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for healthcare services should mean that medical billers will see greater demand than other financial clerks. As of May 2017, the BLS reported the median annual salary for billing and posting clerks was $36,860.
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Here are a few other options for similar careers:
For those wanting more payment collection and administrative responsibilities beyond Medicare billing, becoming a medical secretary may be the right career move. Medical secretaries handle patient payment and insurance claims in addition to scheduling procedures and appointments, transcribing physician notes, formatting reports and managing medical files.
Although there are no formal educational requirements specified for this profession, a high school diploma and some college coursework in medical terminology and office procedures are sometimes desired by employers. Most knowledge and skills are developed through on-the-job training.
The BLS projects a strong 22% increase in job opportunities from 2016-2026, mostly driven by the increased demand for medical care. As reported by the BLS in May of 2017, the median salary for medical secretaries was $34,610 per year.
Social Service Assistant
If helping patients understand Medicare and assisting them with the application process sounds like an interesting job, consider a career in social services. Social service assistants collaborate with professionals such as social workers and doctors in developing plans for individuals with emotional, physical and financial needs. They explore what resources are available, like Medicare or food stamps, and help their clients navigate through the paperwork. They also follow up to make sure the assistance provided is effective.
Educational requirements for this field of work vary by employer, but a high school diploma is usually necessary. College coursework from an associate degree or certificate program could also provide one with a competitive advantage in the job market. The BLS estimated that social and human service assistants earned a median annual income of $33,120 in 2017. They also projected employment growth of 16% for social and human service assistant positions between 2016 and 2026, resulting in the creation of 63,900 new jobs during that period.