Medical Billing & Coding Job Description
Salary and Job outlook
Job growth is expected to increase by 20% over the next 8 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who are skilled and knowledgeable in technology and computer software are in particularly high demand.
Salary varies based on location with jobs in Federal Executive Branches paying upwards of $40,000. The average starting salary is $30,610 as of May 2008. Of those in this particular field, 39% work in hospitals. Many, however, work from home or independently contract their work.
- Federal Executive Branch: $42,760
- General medical and surgical hospitals: $32,600
- Nursing care facilities: $30,660
- Outpatient care centers: $29,160
- Offices of physicians: $26,210
Medical Billers and Coders work at a variety of healthcare settings including but not limited to: private physician offices, nursing homes, outpatient care centers, home healthcare settings and assisted living facilities. They also can be employed outside of healthcare settings in Federal Government agencies.
Medical Billers and Coders often work in an office setting with no direct hands-on patient interaction. They can also work from home as independent contractors of their services.
Medical billing and coding professionals are employed with the portion of the health care industry dedicated to administration. They are responsible for encoding patient information accurately using an alpha-numeric medical code that is standard in the industry. Medical billers and coders obtain information from patients like specific treatment, health history, diagnosis, symptoms, examination results, treatment methods and other pertinent information. Once obtained, medical coders and billers facilitate the transfer of information between health care providers and insurance companies to ensure that payment amounts are accurate.
Medical coding and billing professionals will utilize many different coding systems, depending on the location of their employment. Used primarily by hospital providers is the Level 1 HCPCS coding system while hospitals, physicians and other health professionals use Level 2 HCPCS. The DRG coding system is designated for diagnoses. Medical coders must be detail-oriented to ensure the dispersion of proper payment and creation of precise, easily processed medical bills.
There is an open flow of communication between medical billing and coding professionals to clarify diagnoses or gather additional information. Technicians consistently check for quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security of the patientís information.