If you’re good at details, handling healthcare paperwork could be the perfect field for you.
The healthcare industry literally runs on paperwork – documentation for patient records and payment from the insurance companies. Every time a patient receives a healthcare service, a record is kept of the observations, medical or surgical procedures and treatment outcomes. This record can include the patient’s symptoms and medical history as well as test results, diagnoses and treatment plans.
To get reimbursement from insurance programs or Medicare or Medicaid, medical billing and insurance coders assign a code to each diagnosis and procedure. They use specific software to assign several hundred “diagnosis-related groups” or DRGs to the patient’s bill that explain what procedures were performed and why.
The DRG code is critical to help determine the amount the insurance programs will reimburse the hospital, the doctor and the laboratory. Medical billing and insurance coders must:
- Understand medical terminology
- Enter patient information into computer databases
- Code the proper procedures and diagnoses
- Send the information to the appropriate patients, insurance companies, doctors and medical facilities
A growing field for skilled professionals
Technicians with a strong background in medical coding will be in particularly high demand. Other professionals will be needed to manage the entire process, check for accuracy and secure the information as required by law.
More job openings are expected in doctors’ offices because of increasing demand for detailed records, especially in large group practices. New opportunities will also happen in home healthcare services, outpatient care centers, hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities.
What are the career opportunities in this field?
Medical Billing Career Paths
Properly trained insurance billing andcoding professionals are in very high demand across the healthcare industry. Positions exists in all areas of healthcare including doctors’ offices, insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, or any other healthcare provider. Examples of career paths for Herzing University graduates include:
- Medical Coder
- Insurance Claims Analyst
- Coding Specialist
- Medical Office Assistant
- Coding Technician
- Medical Billing Specialist
- Medical Clerk
- Health Information Specialist
Graduates of the Herzing University insurance billing and coding specialist programs will be positioned to work as either a medical biller or medical coder. They may also choose to incorporate both career paths as some employers seek one person who is capable of performing both functions.
Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist Salary
Salaries for insurance billing and coding professionals depend on level of education, experience, credentials earned, and geographic location.
- The American Academy of Professional Coders recently compiled a salary survey in which over 5,000 members responded. See the result at AAPC Salary Survey.
- The American Health Information Management posted the results of their member salary survey from 2008. Review their findings at AHIMA Salary Survey.
Insurance billing and coding specialist typically work in an office environment in either a healthcare facility or agency setting. A typical work week for full-time employees is 40 hours, Monday – Friday with the possibility of paid overtime, depending on the employer. Insurance Billing and Coding Specialists often receive a comprehensive benefit package that includes health insurance, paid vacation, and a retirement savings plan such as profit-sharing or 401(k). Some employers have part-time opportunities available as well.
What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?
The Herzing University Insurance Billing and Coding programs are designed to prepare students for the following certifications:
- CCA Certified Coding Associate
- CCS Certified Coding Specialists
- CCS-P Certified Coding Professional (physician-based)
What is the program title, length, and content?
The Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist programs at Herzing University are focused on providing graduates with the specific skills and capabilities they will need to succeed as billers and coders in doctors’ offices, home healthcare services, outpatient care centers, hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities. This includes a strong understanding of anatomy & physiology and different coding programs and procedures.
Medical Billing Program Comparison Chart
Program availability varies by location.
|Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist||44||12|
|Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist||61||20|
|Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management||124||36|
Diploma in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist
This diploma program is the first step in launching your career in medical billing and coding. Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions as medical billing specialists, medical coders, and insurance claims analysts. Download Program Course Sheet
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist
This program takes what you learned in the diploma program and adds the general education classes needed for an associate degree. This provides more career flexibility and better chances for advancement. Download Program Course Sheet
Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
Graduates of the bachelor program will have the most career opportunity as well as the best potential for advancement. Not only do they have all the basics of coding, health sciences and general education, they also have business, accounting and management skills high-level management requires and will be prepared for management positions in the area of medical records and health information documentation. This program has a blended delivery, so some classes will be taught at the campus and some online (or entirely online, if the student chooses, except for the internship). Download Program Course Sheet