Live Chat Now
Give us a call

Send us a text



Medical Billing Specialist: Job Overview

By DeVry University

June 22, 2023

5 min read

Medical billing specialists play a pivotal administrative role in the broad, complex and fast-moving healthcare industry. If you’ve thought about pursuing a medical billing and coding career, understanding the duties and responsibilities of a medical billing specialist is an important first step in learning about this exciting career path. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the role, discussing some of the skills required for the job, the projected growth for this occupation and some of the steps you might take as you prepare to pursue this career.

What Does a Medical Billing Specialist Do?

Working for healthcare providers like hospitals, group specialty practices and outpatient surgery centers, medical billing specialists are responsible for managing the payment side of the relationship between the provider and the patient. Their regular duties may include:

  • Insurance claims: Billers submit claims to patients’ insurance carriers using codes that are assigned to each of the medical or diagnostic procedures performed by the provider, typically electronically, and communicate with insurance companies as they track and monitor the status of payments. 

  • Invoicing: Medical billing specialists create invoices for any remaining balances over the amount covered by patients’ insurance plans and send them to the patients.

  • Managing payments: Billing specialists collect payments from patients and manage patient information to be sure it is kept up to date in the provider’s system.

  • Investigating claims: When insurance claims are denied or a patient has not paid a bill from the provider, the billing specialist will investigate and take the appropriate action to resolve the situation.

Becoming a Billing Specialist

On your journey to pursue a career as a medical billing specialist, you should plan to take a path that includes hands-on medical billing and coding training and education to help you enter the occupation, certifications that verify specific skills involved in this career and ongoing professional development.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that, while a high school diploma or equivalent plus some work experience may be enough to qualify for some positions, many require a postsecondary certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree.

Medical billing programs typically include coursework in medical terminology, health data requirements and standards and medical coding classification systems.

At DeVry, we can help prepare you to pursue career opportunities in medical billing and coding with skills-focused certificate and degree programs like our medical Billing and Coding Undergraduate Certificate, Healthcare Information Technology Associate Degree or our Bachelor’s Degree with a Specialization in Health Information Management that not only immerse you in this specialized field but can help you prepare to pursue industry-relevant certifications that may be needed for career entry or advancement.  

As noted by the BLS, employers may prefer to hire medical records specialists who’ve earned certifications or expect them to earn them shortly after being hired. Industry-specific certification programs that apply to medical billing specialists and medical coders help demonstrate the specific skills required for this career, like the Certified Professional Biller (CPB), offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). This certification verifies a biller's proficiency in submitting claims within national health care regulations and their understanding of private and government-funded insurance plans. It also tests a biller's familiarity with the numerical codes assigned to medical procedures. 

Other certifications that apply to medical billers and coders include:

  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC), also offered by the AAPC.

  • Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) administered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

  • Certified Coding Associate (CCA), which is also offered by  AHIMA.

To gain experience in medical billing while pursuing your education or certification, you may want to consider applying for an entry-level position in a medical office. This will allow you to gain exposure to the healthcare industry, build your resume and develop contacts that could help you land your first job once you’ve completed your education.

Medical Billing Specialist Skills

This important healthcare role combines aspects of information technology, healthcare delivery and customer service, requiring medical billers to have a medley of technical and workplace skills like:

  • Computer literacy: Medical billers should be able to work confidently with computers, learn and use new software and access and organize patient information. This is becoming increasingly important as healthcare providers shift to electronic medical records.

  • Math skills: Billers may be required to utilize math skills in a variety of ways as they work on patient accounts and provide financial updates to both patients and their colleagues.

  • Analytical skills: Involving critical thinking and problem-solving, this skill comes into play when billers need to find errors in patient billing, understand insurance claims or review their patients’ financial histories.

  • Customer service: Strong customer service skills allow billers to maintain professionalism when discussing patients’ accounts or navigating difficult situations. Skills like empathy and active listening are essential here.

  • Attention to detail: Strong organizational skills and the ability to pay attention to the small details are crucial soft skills for medical coding and billing specialists, as this job requires thorough documentation of procedures, claims and invoicing.

  • Ethics and Integrity: Like all other medical professionals, billers must exercise discretion and act ethically when working with patient data and protect patient confidentiality as required by law.

Medical Billing Specialist Career Outlook

The job growth outlook for medical billing specialists continues to look positive. The BLS projects employment of medical records specialists (which includes medical billing specialists) to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, with 14,900 job openings each year, on average, over this period.1 This growth is projected on a national level and local growth will vary by location. This projection is not specific to DeVry graduates and may include earners at all stages of their careers.

Prepare to Pursue a Career as a Medical Billing Specialist at DeVry

If you have the desire to put your skills to work in the healthcare field, becoming a medical billing specialist is one of several medical billing and coding careers to explore. At DeVry, we can help you transform your passion for healthcare into a profession with 100% online certificate and degree programs that can help you gain essential skills and help prepare you to pursue industry certifications in this important healthcare specialty. Online learning at DeVry allows you to learn on your time, balancing your commitment to education with other aspects of your busy life. 

Classes starting every January, March, May, July, September and November session.

Filter Blog Post Category

Related Posts