Medical Billing Specialist Jobs
Billing clerks are responsible for calculating charges and creating bills to be mailed to customers. By verifying and double-checking purchasing records, billing clerks ensure that even long and complicated bills are printed accurately. Medical billing specialists are especially in demand; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 35 percent of individuals employed in the field work in the health care industry.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Medical Billing Specialist
A growing number of medical billing specialists have begun to work from home. Those who do not work at home are generally employed at hospitals or physicians’ offices. A 40-hour week is standard although those working from home may have irregular hours or work part time. On an average day, a medical billing clerk will review necessary information and compute charges to produce bills. This can be a complex process as some bills can be quite long and intricate. A large part of a medical billing clerk’s job also involves dealing with insurance company. For example, a billing clerk working at a hospital has to contact a patient’s insurance company to figure out what health procedures the company will reimburse.
General Requirements and Training
Most medical billing jobs require a minimum of a high school diploma. Employers tend to prefer those individuals who have completed some college or obtained an associate’s degree. A growing number of community colleges, technical schools and distance learning programs have begun to offer certificate programs in medical billing. Students in these programs take courses in the basic sciences relevant to the medical field, like anatomy, biology and physiology, and courses teaching students to use billing software and medical billing coding.
Billing clerks must be extremely organized and detail oriented. Medical billing specialists must also be trustworthy because they frequently work with confidential material related to patient’s medical records.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets standards which all medical billing specialists must adhere to in order to ensure that patient confidentiality is not broken.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for billing clerks employed by physicians’ offices is $32,360 as of May 2008.
The annual mean wage for billing clerks employed by general medical and surgical hospitals is $31,800.
Payscale.com reports that a medical billing clerk with one to four years of experience earns an average of $11.34 to $14.80 per hour, while a medical billing specialist with twenty of more years of experience earns an average of $14.40 to $18.09 hourly. According to Salary.com a medical billing clerk earns an average salary of $28,288 to $34,342 per year.