Medical Billing and Coding Jobs

As the healthcare industry continues to grow, so does the need for medical billing and coding professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29,000 new medical billing and coding jobs are expected to be created, on a national level, by 2029. That’s in addition to the 341,600 Medical Records and Health Information Specialist roles that already existed in the U.S. as of 2019.1

With that many job opportunities, it’s no surprise that there are many different paths you can take when you pursue a career as a medical billing and coding specialist. From doctors’ offices and hospitals to insurance companies, medical billing and coding functions span far and wide across the healthcare industry. Let’s take a look at some of the typical tasks involved in today’s medical billing and coding jobs.

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What is a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist?

When you think of medical billing and coding specialists, think of them as the bridge between healthcare providers and insurance companies. Typically, medical billing and coding jobs involve the management of insurance claims, invoices and payments. The primary goal of these roles is to ensure the proper coding and processing of procedures, diagnoses and treatments so that patients are billed correctly for the services that they received.

It’s important to note that, in many cases, medical coders and medical billers are two separate but interrelated roles. Take a look at how the day-to-day tasks can vary between the two:

  • Medical Coders: Medical coders analyze clinical statements and patient records, then transcribe diagnoses and medical information into universal codes. These codes are used by healthcare providers and insurance companies to process insurance claims. Attention to detail is an important skill for this role.
  • Medical Billers: Medical billers use the codes assigned by medical coders to submit claims to insurance companies and send billing statements to patients. They ensure the healthcare provider receives timely payments and are responsible for appealing denied claims and resolving payment discrepancies with insurance companies.

Is a Medical Billing and Coding Career Worth It?

There can be many benefits to pursuing billing and coding jobs. Here are some reasons to consider a career in this field:

  • Medical billing and coding jobs allow you to work in the caring and nurturing field of healthcare, without being in a clinical, patient-facing role.

  • The healthcare industry is expanding and the demand for medical billers and coders is projected to rise. The medical coding and billing field is growing, on a national level, at a rate of 8% between 2019 and 2029, which is faster than average for all occupations.2

What Career Paths Are Available as a Medical Biller or Coder?

You can pursue a medical billing and coding job in many employment settings, including hospitals, physician's offices, nursing homes, dental offices, home care services and outpatient facilities. You can also work for insurance companies, law firms and government agencies. If you choose to further your education, you can consider positions in medical coding management and other administrative roles within larger facilities, such as hospital networks.

Common Job Duties as a Medical Biller and Coder

Medical coders review and analyze patient records to match diagnoses and treatments with the correct billing codes. They work with physicians or their assistants to ensure accuracy while keeping track of patient information and treatments over multiple visits. They also need to ensure the highest level of information security to protect sensitive patient information.

Medical billers submit insurance claims and prepare patient statements using the codes prepared by medical coders. They're also responsible for verifying insurance eligibility and obtaining insurance referrals or pre-authorizations for patient procedures. They negotiate with insurance companies to resolve payment discrepancies, set up payment plans for patients and check all payments for accuracy.

Medical billers and coders should be detail-oriented, possess excellent communication skills and have a good command of computers and billing software. They should be able to provide outstanding customer service and have basic knowledge in accounting and bookkeeping.

Education Requirements and Experience Needed for a Medical Billing and Coding Job

To pursue medical billing and coding jobs, you may need to have relevant post-secondary education. You can pursue a certificate program to help prepare you for the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) or Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) exams through the American Health Information Management Association. You can also prepare for the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). These exams require demonstration of knowledge in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, billing guidelines and industry standards, and show employers that you have the skills you need to perform essential job tasks.

Credentials such as CCA, CCS, Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) must be rectified every two years. You can do so by taking formal educational programs, participating in tele-seminars, delivering presentations, publishing academic work or conducting an independent study.

Here are examples of healthcare programs that can prepare you to pursue certification exams and advance your knowledge in the healthcare field:

Can You Work at Home as a Medical Biller and Coder?

It depends. Today, most medical billing and coding tasks are performed electronically. Some medical facilities offer billers and coders the option to work remotely so you can enjoy location flexibility and reduce commute time.

If you work for an employer, expect to be available during specific hours. Some companies offer shift work, so you may have the option to work during evenings or weekends. You can also consider working as a contractor or starting your own medical billing and coding business, which may give you more time and location flexibility.

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1Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary.
2Growth projected on a national level. Local growth will vary.
3Not including breaks. Assumes year-round, full-time enrollment. Additional program information may be found on our Degree Programs page.