The medical billing and coding specialist is at the center of the health care revenue cycle. By creating precise service and billing records, these specialists in Falling Waters WV allow health care providers to concentrate on caring for patients; permit insurance companies and other payers to efficiently process claims; and offer reassurance to patients that their statements are accurate. To accomplish these objectives, the medical billing and coding specialist:
- Keeps detailed records of all healthcare services provided to the patient
- Maintains current files of the patient demographic, insurance, and account information
- Translates all of these records intocodes that reflect the patient medical history, diagnoses, tests, and treatments
- Uses the coded data to create invoices or claims that accurately and confidentially report services provided and the patient conditions.
A proficient coder performs these duties well, and contributes to the smooth functioning of the business of health care.
Work Environment in West Virginia
Medical billing and coding specialists enjoy an array of career opportunities with a variety of employers. Many find positions in medical facilities, such as clinics, hospitals, private practices, or other health-related facilities. Insurance and outsourcing companies also hire medical billing and coding specialists, as do government services such as Medicare and Medicaid. In most instances, employment is full-time, in an office environment, during normal business hours; however, 24-hour medical facilities may offer or have requirements for evening and weekend hours. Opportunities to work from home are increasing in number.
Entry level positions in Falling Waters 25419 often require formal training to ensure a baseline understanding of the complexities that make up the medical field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in September 2010 that a total of 176,090 people were employed in medical billing and coding. Of those, the majority were employed in inpatient hospitals. Inpatient medical coding follows different procedures than outpatient medical billing. Hospital coders often have a degree in Health Information Management, which encompasses medical record technology and maintenance, as well as medical coding and billing. Due to the complexity of inpatient billing administration, inpatient hospital coders usually earn above the mean income of coders in other situations.
Requirements in Falling Waters West Virginia
While there are no formal educational requirements for this career, many employers will only consider job applicants with a minimum of an associate degree, such as from an accredited community or technical college. Coursework in biology, chemistry, computer science and math will strengthen a resume.
Most employers provide on-the-job training, but the employee must prove his or her mastery of nationally recognized billing and coding standards developed by business, government and the health care industry.
Licensing and/or Certification in Falling Waters
Although not required, most employers seek candidates with a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist (CMRS) certification. The certificate process takes nine to twelve months to complete and covers basic knowledge in physiology, anatomy and the sciences. Other important components of the certification include:
- Medical terminology
- Computer database management
- Billing and coding procedures
- Insurance procedures
Although strictly voluntary, becoming certified increases the likelihood of securing a higher paying position.
Necessary Skills and Qualities
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) identified skills required for medical billing and coding specialists. These include:
- Ability to work independently
- Strong knowledge of the subject
- Good critical thinking and communication skills
Specialists must have high ethical standards due to the confidential nature of patient information. Empathy is also required, as the specialist must be able to explain charges and invoices to patients and their families, often under stressful conditions.
Opportunities for Advancement
Most medical billing experts begin their professional career at the front desk, sharing reception and coding responsibilities. After gaining some experience, the specialists are promoted to positions of higher responsibility, where invoicing and key operations of the office or agency take place. With additional education and experience, a specialist can attain further advancement to the role of office manager, billing administrator or supervisor.
If you would like to gain the necessary education to become a medical billing and coding specialist in West Virginia, we highly recommend that you check out our free School Finder Tool located on top.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for all billers (including medical billing and coding specialists) is $34,410 per year. The lowest 10% earn less than $24,090 and the highest 10% earn over $48,860. In doctors’ offices and hospitals, these specialists earn average yearly salaries of $34,500 and $34,890, respectively.
Because of the wide disparity between physician office sizes and resources, the average salary of $29,030 may seem low, but it accounts for small, general practices in rural areas, as well as large practices in metropolitan markets. Anecdotal evidence shows that the medical biller is considered one of the top tier professionals within the physician office setting.
Medical coders and medical billers are also employed in nursing care facilities, short-term rehabilitative hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, physical therapy clinics, nutrition clinics, and charitable, non-profit healthcare clinics. Wherever medical services are performed, those services are translated into code. Healthcare is a growing and dynamic industry in Falling Waters WV 25419 that affects millions of lives every day.