First of all medical billing and coding are basically two different functions. You can focus on billing or medical coding or a combination of both. Oftentimes people think you must train in both billing and coding but that’s not the case. Oftentimes in the company you work for as a medical biller you’ll receive work that comes to you already coded.
So you could be on the coding end or billing end. Some companies do both in-house. But the simplest and most effective route is to focus on one or the other. Both require training usually and to add coding you would have to add quite a bit of training. If you just take medical billing training, course or a program you can get your training done and get your certificate, in some cases, and you’re ready to get a job.
One of your concerns of course will be to find out how much money you’ll make as a medical biller, billing specialist or assistant, medical coder or medical insurance specialist. When you start checking around and looking for jobs you will find that the titles come by various names. So keep that in mind. A medical insurance specialist usually does both billing and coding.
The kind of money you’ll make as a biller or coder will depend on how much experience you have and what billing and/or coding training you have. At a bare minimum you should be able to get a wage of at least $12 to $15 an hour starting out. The more recent and long-term experience you have will increase your job starting salary quite a bit.
So you can see that the level of education you have, whether you have a certificate or not and amount of experience will be a factor in the salary you receive. Check all your local job sources and human resource departments at hospitals, clinics and insurance companies to see if you can get an idea of job requirements and salary range for specific jobs they have opening for. A medical billing certificate is not always necessary. A trade school, vocational, billing or coding school gives out their own certificates plus there are national exams you can take and pass to earn a certificate in your field also – for example as a Medical Billing Specialist. Local colleges and universities have billing or coding classes and programs in some cases.
You need to check with your local schools and compare them with online schools. Make sure you understand what you’re signing if you’re asked to sign a contract for any online education. Your local colleges may also have online programs so you can get the medical billing and coding education you need that way also. Federal financial aid and money is set aside for online classes also.