How to get a job in medical billing

Written by Kate Lopaze

You’ve probably heard about how the healthcare job scene is growing by insane amount over the next 10 years. But if you’re not necessarily interested in the medical side of being an allied health professional, where does that leave you? The good news is that there are lots of administrative roles that are growing and opening right alongside the rest of the healthcare field. One such job is medical billing, because a fact of healthcare is that services need to be tracked and paid for accordingly.

What does a medical biller do?

Medical billers work behind the scenes in a medical office, hospital, or other healthcare facility. This is an administrative role, ensuring that patients (or their insurance companies) are accurately billed for the medical care they receive. Medical billing responsibilities may include:

  • Tracking payment information
  • Assigning billing codes to a patient’s tests, procedures, and other healthcare services
  • Submitting and following up on invoices to patients and insurance companies
  • Working with medical staff (like physicians and nurses) to ensure billing accuracy
  • Working with patients to set up payment plans
  • Monitoring payment status and collections
  • Managing patient records securely and accurately

This is typically a 9-to-5 kind of job, with a stable work week, since billers work primarily with data and patient information rather than in direct patient care.

What skills do medical billers have?

This is an entirely administrative role, so your skill set should be heavy on organization, attention to detail, and financial math.

Organizational Skills: Medical billers are responsible for ensuring that all medical procedures are billed accurately, whether to the patient or to the insurance company, so it’s important to have the ability to keep things moving cleanly and efficiently.

Attention to Detail: Errors in billing can lead to legal or financial problems, so it’s essential to be able to notice errors and confirm the accuracy of data before it goes out.

Finance: While this job typically doesn’t require advanced accounting, medical billers should have strong math skills and the ability to analyze billing and financial data.

Discretion: Healthcare information is usually highly confidential (and legally so), so medical billers need to be able to maintain that patient confidentiality at all times.

What’s required to work in medical billing?

Medical billing is a field you can enter without a college degree, though an associate’s degree in medical coding or health information technology can be an asset. Certification is not usually a requirement for medical billing clerks, but if you want to enhance your resume there is an optional certification by the AAPC (formerly known as the American Academy of Professional Coders).

How much money do medical billers make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical billing professionals make a median annual salary of $38,040 (or $18.29 per hour).

What’s the outlook for medical billers?

Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for medical records and health information technicians (including billing professionals) will grow by 13% by 2024—faster than average for all jobs.

If you want to work in the growing healthcare world, but find yourself drawn to the more administrative end of things, medical billing and coding can be a solid long-term choice for your health-related career path.

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About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.

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