What Is Medical Billing?

Everything You Need To Know About Medical Billing and If It's Right For You

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What Is Medical Billing?

The How, What, When and Where of Medical Billing

First, let’s answer the question: What is Medical Billing? It is the specialty that submits claims to insurance companies to facilitate payments for services provided to patients. Medical billing is an integral part of the healthcare industry. Without the input from Medical Billers, doctors would have a difficult time getting paid for their services.

But you may ask yourself: what then is a Medical Billing Specialist? Is that the same as a Medical Biller? The answer is No. The difference between a Medical Biller and a Medical Billing Specialist is this: Medical Billers do not necessarily have the certification credentials that a Medical Billing Specialist has. To become a Certified Medical Billing Specialist (CMBS), you need to a take a certification exam administered by the Medical Association of Billers (MAB). While the certification specialist designation is not required to get a job as a medical biller, it is certainly recommended. Acquiring the CMBS designation will give your career a boost and help you set your credentials apart from the rest.

Places to Work as a Medical Biller:
Once you take Allied’s online medical billing courses and become a medical billing specialist, the industries in which you can work are quite plentiful. Options include community hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, prison facilities, long-term care hospitals, federal government hospitals, rehabilitation centers and outpatient clinics. Practice types include: internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatric care, chiropractic care, sole proprietorship, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and many more.

The work environment of a medical biller is fairly stationary. Billers work with a variety of different equipment, including barcode scanners, calculators, classification software, database user interface and query software, word processors, microfiche and microfilm machines, document management software and other general medical software.

Additionally, most medical billers work full-time, some of which work in facilities that may be open 24 hours and may have to work evening or overnight shifts.

Career Paths for a Medical Biller May Include:

  • Medical Billing Specialist
  • Medical Billing Clerk
  • Claims Examiner
  • Claims Processor
  • Medical Billing Collector
  • Medical Billing Office Manager
  • Billing Coordinator
  • Reimbursement Specialist

Also, be sure to check out where our Allied graduates are working!

What You Should Know as a Medical Biller:

  • Current Procedural Terminology (CPT – registered trademark symbol needed): CPT is the uniform language (codes) Medical Billers and Coders use for the purpose of reporting and describing medical, diagnostic and surgical procedures and services.
  • HCPCS (Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System) Level II: The standard code set used by Medical Billers and Coders.
  • ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes: ICD stands for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. ICD-9 is the current code system in place. ICD-10 will be adopted nationwide in October, 2013.
  • Revenue Cycle Management (RCM): Medical Billers need to manage all facets of the revenue cycle, from appointment to ensuring that insurance has covered the expense. RCM is essentially the act of making sure that you (and/or the practice you work for) get paid, and paid on-time.

What You Do as a Medical Biller:

  • Gather patient information and billing details from physicians
  • Submit billing details to insurance companies for payment
  • Apply knowledge of various medical billing procedures, fee schedules, collection methods and claims
  • Check for patient eligibility
  • Process responses from health insurance companies
  • Prepare invoices and contact patients regarding past-due bills
  • Collect payments, make adjustments, handle denied claims and process appeals

Ways to Enhance Your Medical Billing Career:
One of the most empowering ways to enhance a career is to acquire specialized knowledge—either in the field of current employment or within the industry as a whole. For medical billers, the options are vast: you can increase your knowledge and consequently enhance your career by adding in-depth medical coding knowledge to your skill-set; you can take a medical administrative assistance course to provide you with an overall understanding of the inner-workings of a medical office; and you can take courses in electronic health records and health information management for a more proficient understanding and management of patient records.

In the ever-evolving medical industry, the more knowledge and specialization you have, the better you’ll fare. Supplement your online medical billing training today!

Medical Billing Employment Statistics:
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of jobs in the “Medical Records” industry for 2010 was 179,500. As for the job outlook ahead, they project a “21% (Faster than average)” increase in jobs from 2010 to 2020. Plus, as hospitals and physician offices look for more efficient ways to collect payments and prevent billing oversights, the need for medical billers will continue to increase.

Medical Billing Salaries:
The median annual salary of a medical billing specialist is $32,350 (according to 2010 numbers).

Medical Records and Health Information Technician Median Annual Wages

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