What do medical billers and coders do all day?
Bill and code, of course, and they get paid well to do so.
If you are someone interested in handling billing and medical payments, this is a great job.
Learn behind-the-scenes of how the medical industry works with billing, and become an important part of the process.
To help you better understand what this job entails, here are several pros and cons of being a medical biller and coder.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
- 2 Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
- 3 Should You Become a Medical Biller and Coder?
- 4 Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder – Summary Table
- 5 Source
Pros of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
Makes a Rewarding Job
Being a medical biller and coder is a rewarding job for individuals who are self-motivated and driven.
If you are someone who works well alone and independently without having someone over your shoulder reminding you what to do or checking your work, consider this career stat.
You manage paperwork and process invoicing related to medical bills for patients, which is also fun for anyone who is curious about the medical field.
Learn about the different types of medical services hospitals provide, as well as the medical lingo for injuries and surgeries treated by care providers.
Popular for Remote Workers
It is a field that often involves remote work and contract job options.
This frees you up to work in different cities, states, or even countries quite easily.
Freelancers often work as medical billing and coding professionals and are accepted in the industry.
If you are interested in freelancing as a remote worker, start a small business from your home or a rented office.
In the Medical Career Track
You get to work in the medical industry and be someone who is around other medical staff.
This can be exciting and educational if you are interested in getting a different career later on.
.For example, you might return to school for nursing after a few years of work as a medical biller and coder.
Having a medical job as a biller and coder will help you form stronger associations and networks as you advance your medical career.
Training is Less Than One Year
Becoming certified as a medical biller and coder takes less than a year.
Plus, most programs now offer remote or online training along with certification.
This frees up learning opportunities for students interested in working as billing and coding providers.
Compared to other medical careers, the pathway to a medical biller and coder is much shorter.
Always Something to Learn
The job of a medical biller and coder involves learning something new most days.
This industry is constantly evolving and every case is different.
Then there is also the new technology and software involved with automating certain areas of the job.
Keeping up with everything is a challenge that is also rewarding for someone who is in the field.
Flexibility in the Workplace
A big benefit of being a medical biller and coder over other medical jobs is flexibility.
With nursing jobs, for instance, nurses are required to work 18 to 24-hour shifts for a few days in a row.
Medical billers and coders can often work at home, which means greater flexibility.
There are none of those long 24-hour workdays for this job, which is a perk for many individuals.
You can also work in most places, unlike a lab technician who must sit in a medical lab all day to manage patient samples.
This freedom and flexibility are what draw many medical students to billing and coding early in their careers.
Pay is Good
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a medical records and health information specialist, which is the fancy way of saying medical biller and coder, earns an annual salary on average of $45,240 or $21.75 an hour.
The industry is growing as fast as average at a rate of nine percent.
This is promising for those interested in this career.
You also have room for advancement with the addition of more certifications and degrees beyond the basic one to get you started.
Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder
Not Working Directly With Patients
You do not get to work directly with patients.
For some individuals who are outgoing, this can be a more isolating aspect of the job.
Instead, you are spending the majority of your time reading and sorting through patient records and clinical databases on a computer.
Your job requires a lot of computer work, in fact, so having strong computer skills, including spreadsheet and word processing, is important.
For some new workers in the field, this can be a limitation.
More than a Quarter Work in Hospitals
While remote work and freelancing are driving up the workforce for medical biller and coder jobs, there is still 33 percent of these jobs that are in general medical and surgical hospitals.
This means there is a one in four chance that at some point in your career in this field, you will have to work in a hospital setting.
For some, this can be a big deal, especially if you are someone who does not want to work in the medical department.
If you are queasy around blood or injuries, then you want to avoid the hospital setting for sure.
Yet unless you work in a big city, freelance and remote work is most likely limited for new medical biller and coder professionals.
May Require Specialization
Being a medical biller and coder may mean you have to specialize.
For example, there are three types of billers and coders: cancer registrars, health information technicians, and medical coders.
If you are in a competitive market or live in a city where there is a lower demand for general medical coders, opt to become a cancer registrar to increase your potential.
This means more training and advancement, which can be stressful for someone new to the industry.
It also involves studying and training outside of your business hours, and for some professionals, this is too much to do for a job.
Certification is Required
You may also be required to get an associate’s degree or another post-secondary diploma in order to be a medical biller and coder.
Certification is almost always required by an employer, especially if the job is in a hospital.
The types of certifications that are available for this job include Certified Professional Coder, Registered Health Information Technician, and Certified Coding Associate, as well as the specialization of Certified Tumor Registrar.
A formal training and education program along with testing and evaluation is required for these certifications.
This is a time and money investment that can be a lot to bear for some people.
Advancement Involves Degrees
Advancement is impressive for someone working as a medical biller and coder.
This field allows professionals to earn a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in health information technology.
At the same time, some individuals might not be interested in the prospect of potentially having to go back to college to continue with their profession.
If the idea of having to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree later in life to make more money is intimidating to you, note this is the typical pathway to advancement.
Interpersonal Skills are Required
Individuals working as medical billers and coder professionals, whether in a hospital setting or freelancing remotely, must have strong interpersonal skills.
While you are not working directly with patients, you are interacting with doctors, nurses, finance officers, and other people regarding payments and patients.
This takes a lot to deal with sometimes, especially when these professionals are not easily available for you to connect with for information.
The use of interpersonal skills helps you navigate how to handle different personality types.
This is key to working in high-pressure and fast-paced environments like hospitals.
Must Prove to be Analytical
Are you strong at math or using numbers and equations?
This is a job where you must have analytical skills that allow you to analyze large quantities of data and information in the form of numbers and symbols.
By definition, the job of a medical biller and coder is focused on coding and reading the code involved with billing patients.
These codes are written in their own medical language.
Your job will be to read the medical code and utilize it accurately.
For some, this is going to be the biggest challenge of the job.
Should You Become a Medical Biller and Coder?
A medical biller and coder is also known as a medical record and health information specialist.
This is a profession where individuals manage patient information and submit health data to registries and databases.
Code is a specialized language used for this field that is read by others in the medical industry.
Most medical billers and coders work in hospitals, which is a fast-paced area to work in that is constantly challenging.
However, remote jobs for medical billers and coders are rapidly becoming available nationwide.
This is encouraging for individuals who are interested in a career as a medical biller and coder.
Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Medical Biller and Coder||Cons of Being a Medical Biller and Coder|
|Makes a Rewarding Job||Not Working Directly With Patients|
|Popular for Remote Workers||More than a Quarter Work in Hospitals|
|In the Medical Career Track||May Require Specialization|
|Training is Less Than One Year||Certification is Required|
|Always Something to Learn||Advancement Involves Degrees|
|Flexibility in the Workplace||Interpersonal Skills are Required|
|Pay is Good||Must Prove to be Analytical|