Medical Billing

The health care industry continues to boom with many new regulations and reform in limbo. Job growth should be robust due to the likelihood that new systems will be put in place for such administrative duties as patient record keeping and customer billing. There will be a demand for savvy individuals who have up-to-date training in these new systems to help get these programs up and running. Another benefit of these administrative positions is that workers do not have to get involved in patient care. Health information technologists and medical billing specialists who graduate from a medical billing school degree or certificate program will be well positioned to take advantage of this growing sector.

Medical billing schools offer several different degrees and certificates to their students. In fact, there are diverse associateís degrees, bachelorís degrees, and certificates with an equally diverse number of job titles, including medical records clerk, health care information technologist, medical records coordinator, and medical records technician just to name a few. The reason for the number of degrees, certificates, and titles is due to the difference in licensing requirements from state to state. Some states require medical billing specialists to hold an associateís degree in medical billing while others require a bachelorís degree or accept a certificate in medical billing in conjunction with another degree in an unrelated or related field. Medical billing schools gear their programs and internships towards state licensing requirements. Candidates can earn a medical billing degree in as little as 18 months in some states.

The medical billing industry is changing rapidly and there is little reason to believe that reform will not continue. Politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to speculate that medical billing reform is a key component in bringing down medical costs for insurers, companies, the government, and individuals. The current system of coding and billing should become more standard over time and medical records will be increasingly digitized. Coding is the process of identifying and numbering medical procedures and supplies in a standard way. Billing is the complex process of using the codes to determine which stakeholder is responsible for what percentage of a medical bill. This includes conferring with insurers over which procedures are covered by a patientís particular plan as well as understanding the deductible system of the patientís plan. Medical billing specialists use deductibles and co-payments to determine how much patients must contribute from their own pockets or from their medical accounts. Co-payments and deductibles are designed to keep patients from seeking unnecessary medical care and to allow insurers flexibility in insuring both healthy people and those with chronic illnesses or other expensive medical problems.

Once entrenched in the medical billing industry, medical billing professionals may find themselves returning to medical billing schools to maintain their licenses, to learn new skills, and to advance vertically in their careers. In an industry like health care, where the pace of change can be dizzying, maintaining and updating skills through continuing education is the key to continued employment and advancement. With so many job titles in the medical billing field, it is imperative to specialize and learn new skills to gain a foothold higher in the administrative hierarchy. Medical billing schools are currently expanding their course offerings to serve professionals and working medical billing specialists. The increase in flexibility promised by online classes and degrees makes it easier than ever for modern workers to add educational credits to their resumes.

Last Updated: 05/22/2014